A Common Floor Jack Problem List & Solutions

VD February 02 2022

Having your jack dysfunctional when fixing up a vehicle can be frustrating. With multiple moving parts and screws all over, troubleshooting common jack problems can be a challenge. Here are four common jack problems with practical solutions that you can DIY. 

Problem: Jack Won’t Lift a Weight

Solution: Don’t Overload the Jack

Different jacks will have various load lifting capacities and will give out more weight. First, check the lifting capacity of your particular jack model. 

Other than this, a jack can also lock up due to its safety features designed to prevent injury. This also happens due to overloading and can be resolved by using either a jack with more strength or removing some of the weight. 

Check the Level of Hydraulic Oil

It’s essential that you fill the hydraulic oil at just the right level; not too low and not overfilled. Both situations can cause the jack to lose its lifting capability. While it can be fixed by keeping just the recommended oil levels, and under or overfill can also cause damage that needs technical fixing. You will need an expert inspection to detect and fix the damaged parts in case of damage.

Remove Air from Jack

Trapped air within the jack can cause lifting failure as it locks up the valves, disabling it from holding enough pressure. If this is the case, you will need to use the bleeding process to remove any trapped air effectively. 

First, unscrew the oil filler and place the release valve in an anti-clockwise position. Once done, you need to pump and screw the jack handle multiple times until all air is removed. Detecting when all air has been released can be difficult and, therefore, can only be confirmed once your jack starts to work correctly again.

Check the Release Valve

If the last option does not work, the problem may be in your release valve. To fix this, check the positioning of the release valve to detect any sloppiness. If the valve is too loose, your jack will not be able to maintain enough pressure and lose its lifting capacity. This can simply be resolved by tightening up the release valve with the right size of wrenches. 

Add Lubrication

Friction is often a common problem behind most mechanical failures. In the case of jacks, some moving parts can lose their lubrication, and the friction can cause these to lock up and not move effectively. Typically, rust or corrosion can cause this damage and can be resolved with a good-quality lubricant or oil. 

Problem: Oil Leak

This problem can arise simply due to wear or tear or ain in the O-rings. To resolve the issue, follow the steps below:

  • Look for the point of leakage and replace the affected O-rings. To do this, loosen the valve by simply rotating the screw counterclockwise. 
  • Next, you need to stand the floor jack so that the screw faces upwards. This standing position will get all the fluid leaking from the jack, which must be drained until empty. 
  • At this point, your jack will be ready for new O-rings, which need to be screwed-in in the valve screw hole after removing the old ones. Now you can refill your jack and place back the valve screw for a fresh start.

Problem: Turned Overload Valve 

Overload valve is a preventative feature that is sensitive to twisting and turning. If it was spun, seek out expert help and do not rotate it to any direction on your own. Doing so can cause further damage and mess up the tension on the jack.

Problem: Frozen Wheels

This is also caused due to rust or corrosion on the wheels. Simple lubrication can quickly get the wheels moving again.