How to bleed a floor jack correctly – Quite a few people, non professionals, that purchase a Floor Jack don’t realise they need to preform maintenance on them to ensure they continue to work in an effective and safe manner.
One of the more dangerous things that can happen to your floor jack is they can get air in the system. This can lead to failure of the jack, which I dont need to tell you can be extremly dangerous when you ar relying on your Jack to safely suspend a heavy load above you while you work below it.
The good news is regular bleeding of your floor jack is an easy process and will ensure your system remains free of air.
How To Bleed a Floor Jack
1. Extend the lift arm / ram piston – pump the jack with no load on it until the Jack arm which supports the saddle is fully extended to its highest point.
2. Next step is to release the pressure on the jack by opening the pressure valve. On more expensive, high quality jacks the valves are opened by turning the jack handle in a counter clockwise direction. On older models and often cheaper jacks the release valve is positioned below the handle, you need to remove the handle and refit it onto the release valve or use a pair of pliers and once again turn it in a counter clockwise direction. Wait till the jack arm has returned to its lowest position before moving onto the next step. Some release valves also have a flat head screwdriver fitting you can make use of.
3. Next step is to remove the filler plug. Check the owners manual that came with your Jack (if you cant find it Google the jacks name and model number followed by “owners manual” or “pdf” and it most likely will turn up in the search results). Once again you will need to employ the use of your trusty flat head screwdriver, turning the filler plug slowly in a counter clockwise direction until plug is removed. Any air trapped inside will now be released, you will be able to audibly hear the air being released, once the hissing noise has stopped screw the filler plug back in, in a clockwise direction until its hand tight.
4. Close the release valve, by turning it in a clockwise direction.
5. Now comes the boring part, you will now repeat this process over and over again until you no longer here any air escaping as in step 3 above. Your Jack has now been correctly bleed.
How often you do this depends on how often you use your Jack, for professionals I would schedule it relative to the work load on the Jack, once every 6 months at the most. Casual users can get away with not checking their Jacks for long periods of time, but I still would recommend you check it every 12 months, even if you have only used a couple of times in between.
You cant be to safe when it comes to ensuring your garage jack is in safe working order, so checking it more often is preferred over letting it lapse to long.
Regularly bleeding your Jack, following the steps above, means you will always be lifting your vehicle in a safe manner.
If you have any questions, or if any of the above is unclear let me know in the comments box below.