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How To Fill A Bottle Jack With Hydraulic Oil

For lifting heavy objects, especially trucks or cars, there aren't many alternate options other than hydraulic jacks. Of the two variations of hydraulic jacks, the bottle jack is best suited for your overall needs.

As most bottle jacks don't come pre-filled, you won't be able to use them properly unless you know how to fill a bottle jack with oil. 

But don't worry. In this blog, we will provide you with a detailed breakdown of how to fill a hydraulic bottle jack with oil, and if you follow all the steps accordingly, you will be able to fill a bottle jack on your first try.

So, without further ado, let's take a look at these steps, shall we?

Here are the steps you will need to follow to fill any bottle jack with oil or liquid of a similar structure.

Step 1: Get The Necessary Tools

Apart from the bottle jack and oil, you will need to have a few tools before you can start the filling process.

The tools that you will be needing are:

  • Newspapers or Paper Towels
  • Additional Rags
  • Screwdrivers
  • Squeeze bottles or Funnels
  • Wrenches (optional)

Step 2: Place Them Steadily On An Even Spot

This is the most common mistake people make when filing a bottle jack with oil. If your jack isn't placed properly, you won't be able to fill it completely, and what's more, you will end up wasting a lot of oil.

That's why at first, place the bottle jack on an even, flat surface. We recommend that you place it somewhere where you can clean off dirt easily because there will be a lot of it.

You can always place it on a table or workstation if you feel confident that you won't spill any oil over them. But just to be sure, place a few additional rags or newspapers underneath the bottle jack.

This way, if any unwanted mistakes happen, you won't have to worry about making a big mess, and you can clean them off quite easily.

Step 3: Opening The Jack's Release Valve

You need to keep the release valve accessible for the entirety of the filling process. This allows you to lower the bottle jack to its absolute limit, which helps you access your filler plug without any issues.

The location of the release valve depends on the model and the brand of your bottle jack. Most of the time, you can access it by using the handle in a counterclockwise motion.

For others, there might be a separate rolling switch entirely. If you can't seem to find the release valve, just consult your bottle jack's manual.

opening the jacks release valve

But if you are still having trouble, try to look for guidance on the manufacturer's website. You can even call customer support for more information.

Step 4: Remove The Cover Plate of the Filler Plug

This step can be avoided if your filler plug doesn't come with a cover plate. In this case, you will just need to take out the rubber protector and move to the next step.

But if your bottle jack does come with a cover plate, you need to take it out first before doing anything else.

Take out the screws using your screwdriver. Make sure to store the screws in a safe place because you will be needing them very soon. 

Now, the cover plate can either lift up or come off, depending on the model of your bottle jack.

So, don't try to push out the cover if it just lifts up. Because if you break the cover, the internal mechanism of your bottle jack will be exposed and will be more prone to dirt and damage.

Once the cover is up, you have to take out the filler plug. Do keep in mind that the filler plug rubber is quite strong, and you won't be able to take it off by using your hands.

But if you use the flat side of your screwdriver, you can easily take it off without any issues.

Step 5: Clean The Surrounding Area

Now you can directly proceed to remove the filler port and put oil in the reservoir. But before that, it is recommended that you clean the surrounding area of the bottle jack as this will ensure there won't be any dust or dirt when you put the oil in.

So, just use the rag to clean off the surrounding area and if the bottle is completely empty, then clean off the insides.

If the bottle jack has been used before and there is a lot of dirt build-up on the inside of the plug, you can water it down using a hose. And then clean it afterward.

This is a step that many skips but then suffer in the long run as the dirt build and eventually turns the bottle jack useless until you clean it up.

So, why take that extra trouble for the future when you can easily get rid of it?

Step 6: Take Out the Filler Port

Once you wipe the area under the cover plate, you will be able to access the filler port. In most models of bottle jack, the filler port is located on the backside of the bottle jack.

There are two types of filler ports in hydraulic bottle jacks: screwed ones and pop-out ones. The screwed ones are more stable, while the pop-up ones are easy to remove and put back in.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes it is not labeled whether the filler port is a screwed one or a pop-out one.

Take Out the Filler Port

So, if you are having trouble, then don't force it; examine the port and try a different approach.

Step 7: Filling the Reservoir with Oil

Now it is time for you to fill the reservoir with oil. Because the opening on the filler is very small compared to the oil containers, you can't optimally put oil unless you use a funnel or squeeze bottles.

If you are using squeeze bottles, you will first have to transfer the oil to the bottles and then pour that oil into the reservoir.

But if you are going with a funnel, it is very simple, just place it on the opening and then pour the oil through the funnel.

You should stop putting the oil when the oil completely fills the bottom and has reached the end of the lower rim.

Filling the Reservoir with Oil

Step 8: Clean Off Any Extra Spilled Oil

Before you start to put everything back on, make sure to clean any excess oil running around. Because no matter how careful you are, you are bound to spill a bit of oil here and there.

And if you don't take care of them and plug back the filler port and filler plug, the dust will gather over time. It will become more troublesome and difficult to get rid of.

Step 9: Put Back The Filler Port And Filler Plug

Now all you have to do is trackback. Put back the port first and then the plug. Make sure that all the screws are connected properly and that none of them are missing.

Do keep in mind that you will have to add a bit of force when you are putting back the filler plug.

Step 10: Bleed the Air Out

Air often builds up as you work to fill the reservoir with oil. So, you need to get rid of that buildup air by bleeding it out. The process is quite simple.

First, make sure that the release valve you opened earlier is still open. It should remain open, but in some models, it auto-locks again, which is why double-checking is a must.

Now just pump the jack's handle a few times; around ten to twenty times are enough. This will push out the air that is inside the bottle jack.

Bleeding the Air Out

And this is why checking the release valve is important. Because if it weren't open, the bottle jack would rise up, and the air won't be fully removed from the jack.

Step 11: Test the Jack

Now, just put everything back together. Close the release valves; usually, you can do this by just turning the handle clockwise. But different models have different ways to close the release valves, so check your manual beforehand.

Next, put the cover back on and then pump the jack to see if it works perfectly or not.
And that's it. These are all the steps that you will need to follow to perfectly put oil and bleed out any excess air from a bottle jack. 

Final Thoughts

Bottle jacks can be a lifesaver when it comes to picking up heavy objects that we normally can't. If you want to work on your car and tires, there is no competition against them.

And that's why it is important for everyone to know how to fill a bottle jack without wasting or spilling any oil.

If you have come this far in the article, we are confident that you know all the details and steps for perfectly putting oil in a bottle jack.

So, use this article as a guide, and best of luck filling your bottle jack with oil.

Links of Related Guide of Bottle Jack:

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