Have you noted some strange behaviorswith your floor jack of late?
Like failure to lift the load to a maximum height? Or it takes too much pumping before it actually lifts the load on it. Or it has no control when lowering the lifted load?
If yes, then you need to bleed it ASAP!
What is Floor Jack Bleeding?
This is the process of expunging air that has found its way into the hydraulic system of your floor jack. This trapped air is the most liable culprit for causing all the symptoms stated above.
The bleeding process may be outlined in the user manual that comes with your jack. But if you misplaced it or there are no such procedures in it, don’t panic.
This post will walk you through the simple steps you need to follow to properly bleed your jack.
Things You’ll Need:
- Flathead screwdriver: if possible, accompany it with a star screwdriver (there is no harm).
- Hydraulic fluid. I repeat, hydraulic fluid, not brake fluid, not any other type of fluid.
This is because other types of fluids are not meant for the hydraulic systems and when used over time, they cause corrosion inside the system leading to the decreased durability of the floor jack. I’m sure you want it to last a lifetime.
Once you’ve the above things beside you, you’re ready to go…
1. Place your floor jack on a flat surface.
2. Remove any load that may be on the lifting arm of the jack.
3. Wipe the surface of the jack clean. This is to prevent dirt from getting into the system after you open it up.
4. Pump the handle to its maximum position(if possible). If it have problems reaching the maximum position, just give it 5 to 15 strokes.
5. Release the pressure valve. Doing this is as easy as turning the pump handle counter clockwise.
In some floor jacks, the pressure valve is located beneath the pump handle. You may need to gently unscrew the pressure valve.
By releasing the pressure valve, the lifting arm lowers to its lowest position.
6. At the base of the pump handle, you will find a compartment or socket which may or may not be screwed. Open up this compartment using either the flat head or the star screwdriver.
Inside you will find a screw –the bleed plug-at the center, mostly rubber but in some models its metallic. Use your flathead screwdriver to gently squeeze it sideways, you will hear a hiss coming out of the screw.
You can even completely remove the rubber screw, making sure you don’t damage it-you will need it later.
7. In the bleed plug opening, gently pour in your hydraulic fluid to its maximum level after which you should pump the handle 6 to 8 times and watch to see if any air bubbles are coming out of the bleed plug.
8. Continue pumping until there are no more air bubbles coming out of bleed plug opening.
9. Parch everything back to its position.
10. Test your floor jack to see if it’s back to its normal working condition.
At last, the nightmare is gone! Your jack is now back on course.
NOTE: working with a faulty floor jack is extremely dangerous.
Imagine a situation where the vehicle lifted with a floor jack comes hard down on you as you are underneath working on it. Fatal?
Always be on the lookout for the slightest symptoms of presence of air in your jack system and bleed it immediately.
Although the bleeding process may seem too cumbersome to be performed regularly, it will prevent you from losses and body injuries which will arise from using a faulty jack.
Maintenance is VERY crucial to the durability and optimal performance of your floor jack.
Make sure you check your floor jack daily and look out for any abnormities.
For a floor jack that has been lying idle in the store, I’d also recommend you to first bleed it using the simplified steps I’ve shared with you above to ensure it performs at its best.