One of the most vital tools in the household garage is the floor jack, yet few people know the proper maintenance tasks that should be performed. For example, do you know how to bleed a floor jack? In this guide, we cover the steps, showing you how to bleed a hydraulic floor jack the right way.
If air gets into the hydraulic jack lines, it becomes more difficult to keep the vehicle elevated while you are working on it. To fix this problem, you need to remove the air by bleeding it.
How do you bleed a floor jack? Here are a few steps you should follow.
- 1Extend the ram piston lift arm. You want to pump up the jack without a load on it. Get it all the way into the air with the saddle fully extended.
- 2Open up the pressure valve of the jack to release air. If you have a high-end floor jack, the valves are opened up by turning on the jack handle in a counter-clockwise motion. Otherwise, you need to move the valve that is located under the handle. You might need to take the handle off and use your pliers to turn the valve.
- 3Do not move on until the jack arm is at its lowest spot.
- 4Take out the filler plug. You can find its location by referencing the owner’s manual. If you don’t have the manual, search it online based on what type of jack you have, such as searching - how to bleed a Pittsburgh floor jack.
- 5Once the air stops escaping, you put the filler plug back in place. Then, hand tighten it by moving clockwise.
- 6Close the jack release valve. You will turn it clockwise.
- 7Repeat the entire process until there is no air escaping anymore. When the air is done escaping, it is completely bled.
With this regular procedure, you ensure that your jack stand is always ready to go.
Why Do You Need To Bleed a Floor Jack? (Benefits Explained)
Why would you want to bleed the floor jack? If you want it to perform at optimal levels, it's best to bleed it. Plus, when you use it for heavy-duty purposes, it's critical to bleed it for your safety, so it doesn't sink down. Even the smallest amount of air in the system can diminish the performance of the jack.
This air limits how much the hydraulic jack can lift. It also creates a leak when lifting a heavy load. This isn’t just annoying, as you have to keep pumping up the jack to get it to work, but it’s also dangerous. In fact, there are car jack accidents every year that lead to death.
When To Bleed A Floor Jack?
How do you know when it’s time to bleed your floor jack? The most common symptom is that the floor jack will start to leak down when you are using it. However, there’s never a bad time to bleed it, especially if you want to ensure your safety.
If you aren’t using the jack often, you won’t need to bleed it regularly. However, those using it for heavy loads or every day will find that bleeding it should be done more often. Additionally, if you are moving your floor jack around to different locations, it’s best to bleed it to ensure it’s working properly.
Frequently Asked Floor Jack Questions
What are some safety concerns when bleeding a floor jack?
Whenever you use a floor jack, you want to be careful to avoid injuries. Follow all of the steps to bleed it, as set out by the manufacturer’s recommendations in your owner’s manual.
How much oil do you put in a floor jack?
You will add a small amount of hydraulic oil to the jack to keep it operating its best. You can fill the oil hole by using a small funnel until it is full.
Can I use brake fluid in my floor jack?
The majority of floor jacks use ISO 32 hydraulic oil. If you substitute it with brake fluid, transmission fluid, or engine oil, you could mess up the seals of the jack.
What is the viscosity of jack oil?
Usually, the SAE viscosity grade is 10W. With an ISO rating of 22-32, the typical range of hydraulic oil is between 22°F and 284°F, so it works well in all conditions.
Now that you know how to bleed a floor jack, you are ready to take charge of your tool usage and maintenance. By caring for your floor jack, you ensure better safety every time you get below the car.