Most well-made floor jacks will have a long service life in the shop if they are properly maintained.
Like all equipment, floor jacks should be inspected regularly for damage and kept clean. The owner’s manual is the best source for specific recommendations on lubrication, when to change the hydraulic fluid and other maintenance requirements.
The following five tips should help keep your floor jacks from getting jacked up:
1. Check hydraulic fluid: With the saddle fully lowered and the jack on level ground, remove the filler screw. Hydraulic fluid should be filled to the level of the filler screw hole. If the level is below this hole, add hydraulic fluid.
2. Use proper fluid: Do not use brake fluid, alcohol, detergent motor oil, dirty oil or any fluid other than quality hydraulic fluid. Improper fluids can cause internal damage to the jack and improper operation.
3. Lubricate properly: All moving joints require lubrication often. Lightly grease the saddle post and saddle bottom. Remove the handle and grease the lower end of the handle where it rotates in the handle socket. Using a grease gun, grease the lift arm pivot shaft grease fitting until grease appears at the end of the shaft. Oil all lift arm linkages, front wheels and rear casters.
4. Bleed the cylinder: If the jack seems to strain in lifting and supporting loads, bleeding the cylinder could restore the lifting capabilities. The cylinder should be bled continuously to enhance the overall performance of the floor jack.
5. Store properly: Storage is a critical element of proper floor jack maintenance. Ensure that the floor jack is wiped down and clean before storing it. Release all the pressure in the cylinder to alleviate stress on the system. When storing a floor jack, ensure that it is in the upright position to prevent the hydraulic oil from leaking.
This shop tip is brought to you by BendPak.