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How To Fill A Hydraulic Floor Jack With Oil

Are you losing sleep over the weak performance of your hydraulic floor jack? Don’t worry; the poor thing just needs an oil refill. But how to fill a hydraulic floor jack with oil? Look no further because here we have a step-by-step guide to assist you. Make sure to read till the end!

If your jack doesn’t come filled with oil already, don’t drain yourself over how to add fluid to a floor jack because it’s easy enough to do by yourself.

On the other hand, if you already own a floor jack, it needs a refill check after around 12 months of use. 

Whatever the case, the following steps are your way to go -

We’ll walk you through the process step-by-step here.

Step 1: Place the Jack on an Even Surface

The first step is positioning your jack on hard, flat ground, ensuring that it doesn’t roll off when being oiled. Furthermore, with the jack on a flat surface, the oil level is in line, so the chamber can be filled with precise aim.

Step 2: Loosen the Release Valve

Opening the release valve makes way for the oil to run into the main oil chamber located at the base of the jack. This will lower the piston or the arm of the jack.

The release valve on your floor jack could be one of the two types: with a slotted screwdriver fitting or with the lever positioned over the valve and turned counterclockwise.

The latter is found mostly on newer jacks. To release the valve in these jacks, just turn the lever anticlockwise. And to ensure what mechanism the release valve on your jack follows, take a look at your owner’s manual for guidance.

You must make sure the area around the spot is clean and dry, so don’t forget to check for oil leaking from the valve. Use a cloth to wipe the area clean. 

Loosen the Release Valve

Step 3: Locate the Oil Port and Remove the Oil-Filler Plug

Beginners may have trouble locating the oil filler plug, given that they are refilling their jack for the first time. Most of the newer jacks have the plug placed on the upper part of the oil chamber. Older jacks usually have it located at the base underneath a cover.

If you still can’t find it, consult your owner’s manual. But if you have managed to locate it, congrats!

Once again, you have to clean the area around the plug using a rag as a preventive measure against any contamination during the next steps. An old jack will have a good amount of dirt gooped around the filler port, so it’s best to spray the area with a hose or jet spray to wash the dirt away.

Now it’s time to unbolt it using an adjustable spanner. You can use an Allen wrench or a large flat-blade screwdriver. Turn the spanner counterclockwise to remove the plug.

Of course, after removing the plug, make sure not to forget where you keep it so that you don’t lose it before having to put it on again once the refilling is done.

Remove the Oil-Filler Plug

Step 4: Check the Oil Level

After you remove the plug, grab a torch or a flashlight to look inside the oil port. If the oil level is less than 1/8 inch below the port’s opening, it is okay to add oil into it.

Step 5: Remove Bad Oil

If you’re wondering how to refill a floor jack, it must be because of its debilitating performance. Besides oil running out, the existence of bad oil inside the filler port could be a reason behind this subpar performance. If that’s the case, you need to remove the bad oil.

First, get a drain bucket and then hoist the jack to an upper position and let the oil drain into the bucket. Keep it in this position until all the bad oil has been dumped in the bucket.

Step 6: Inject Oil into the Filler Port

The sixth step is the most important one because now you literally have to add the oil to your floor jack. First, grab a funnel that fits the opening of the oil filler port and set it into the opening where the oil plug previously was. Hold the funnel in place tightly with your hand.

Given that you’ve chosen a high-quality hydraulic oil for your jack, start pouring it through the funnel you’ve just placed into the filler hole. The funnel prevents the oil from spilling onto unintended areas. It also lets you pour the oil in small quantities and prevents overfilling. 

If you think you’ve poured enough oil to cover the cylinders, stop and take out the funnel. Give it half a minute till the oil evens out. Now grab the flashlight again and check if the oil level has reached about ⅜ inch below the filler port’s rim. If yes, then the jack has been filled as needed.

Overfilling it will actually cause your jack to crash instead of working smoothly, so make sure not to pour a lot of oil on the first go.

Inject Oil into the Filler Port of floor jack

Step 7: Place the Filler Plug in Its Former Position

Replug the filler port right after you finish filling the port with oil to prevent the oil from leaking. Make sure you secure the plug as firmly as possible by pushing it in or using a screw- depending on the type of your jack.

Step 8: Clean Where Needed

Once you’ve sealed the oil filler port with the plug, you’re pretty much done with the oil refilling task. But there’s one last step that requires you to check the jack around the areas you’ve worked for any oil spillage.

First, push the lever to lift the jack fully upright and look for oil spillage around the lever and around the piston. Wipe off any extra oil you find using a clean rag. Now release the lever and bring the jack to the down position and clean any oil you see under the jack.

You can use the oily cloth to wipe the jack clean too. Cleaning the jack using the oily rag this way prevents it from rusting.

Final Words

So, with this eight-step guide, you know how to fill a hydraulic floor jack with oil. But remember to come back at least after a year and inspect your jack for refilling needs.

Hopefully, then you won’t have to fret over about refilling a hydraulic jack. But regular inspection and maintenance of your floor jack are requisite if you want it to work smoothly for a long time.

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