The infamous floor jack is a tool that is a must-have for anyone that works with vehicles. The instrument is used to lift heavy sections of cars or other vehicles to work underneath it. Despite changes made to this classic tool, the core mechanism of every floor jack is still the fluid and the hydraulic lifting arm.
Fluid leakage from the device is an indication of malfunctioning. For example, the lifting arm will not rise and drop properly when you use the handle. Even if you don’t find any problems, it is important to repair the leakage as it will surely create problems in the future.
Cause of the Leakage
In 9 cases out of 10, fluid leakage should be found in the valve screw. The valve screw is the one that goes up and down responding to your actions with the handle, and ultimately raises and lowers the jack. In some jacks, this screw is attached with the handle while it’s placed beside the handle in some other jacks.
Identifying and Repair | How to Fix Floor Jack that Leaks Down?
You should be able to see damp and wet surfaces from the valve screw. If you pump the handle, you will find fluids coming leaking from the spot. That is your point of interest. We will tell you the exact steps you need to follow so that you can repair your leakage as soon as possible.
Release the Pressure
Irrelevant to your previous use, it is always good to make sure that there’s no pressure inside the jack while you’re working. To release the pressure, rotate the handle counterclockwise. If the valve screw is attached to the handle, it will be reset to its resting position too. If not, well, the valve screw will still be reset.
To reach the valve screw that is leaking, you need to dismantle some extra parts that stand in your way of taking out the valve screw. Unscrew or loosen any nuts that you see and think might be linked with the valve screw. It’s easier because the configuration of the parts that hold the valve screw is clearly visible.
Remove the Valve Screw
You don’t need any screwdriver to unscrew the vale screw. That’s because it’s pushed inside the hole and there is an O ring through which the screw goes inside. Wriggle the screw a little bit if the screw doesn’t come out easily. If you find too much resistance, you may consider the use of a pair of plyers.
Locate the O Ring
A small, black, O shaped ring made of rubber should be attached to the valve screw you just removed. There is a circular hinge at the tip of the valve screw where the O rings sit. Use flat-headed screwdrivers to take it out from the spot.
In some floor jacks, there is no hinge around the valve screw. So, the O ring is placed inside the hole. In this case, too, you have to use the flat-headed screwdriver and take out the O ring. It will be a little more challenging to take it out from the hole. But the flat-headed screwdriver should do the trick for you.
Replace the O ring
It’s better to use a brand-new O ring as a replacement so that you’re sure about the O ring this time. Place it in the hinge around the valve screw. Or, put it inside the hole if there isn’t any hinge on the valve screw. You will have to use the flat-headed screwdriver to place it correctly inside the hole.
Refill with Fluid
Use the specific type of fluid recommended by your floor jack manufacturer. Place a funnel above the valve screw hole and pour in the fluid slowly, you don’t want to waste here. Fill it up to your preference and move on to the next step.
Reinstall the Valve Screw
Reinstalling the valve screw is nothing but just to push it inside the hole. You’ll feel some resistance, just like the one you faced while pulling it up. Push and slide the screw inside. You may be tempted to use a hammer here but that won’t be necessary at all. Don’t rush it.
Wrap Up and Test
Do the exact opposite of everything you’ve done on the dismantle step. Put in all the nuts and bolts in the right place and tighten them firmly. After that, push the handle of the floor jack up and down to see whether the jack rises up or not.
Not only the rise and drop but also check for any fluids coming out of the valve screw. If you’ve done everything correctly, there should not be any fluids coming out and the jack should rise and drop as expected. And thus, you’ve fixed your floor jack that used to leak down.
The most challenging part could have been the dismantling step but it shouldn’t take more than 2 tries even if you’re an absolute beginner. Every screw and bolts you need to take out should be easy to reach. Apart from that, you will need just one try to master the process.
One of the most common problems that users face with a floor jack is fluid leakage. And the most common reason the decay of the O ring. No need to panic if you find leakage in your floor jack. Read the steps back and forth and you will get a hold of it pretty soon.
You can also check out How to Repair A Floor Jack That Won’t Hold Pressure?