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What Goes Up: Step-By-Step Instructions To Get Your Hydraulic Jack Lifting Again

If you work on your car at home, you probably rely on your hydraulic jack. If it's not working, neither are you. Don't go out and buy a new jack until you try to repair your current one. In most instances, you should be able to fix the problem so you can get back to work. Here are some step-by-step instructions for repairing your hydraulic floor jack.

Start with a Clean Jack

Before you start working on your jack, you want to make sure it's clean. Working on your jack while it's dirty could allow dirt and other sediment to get into the hydraulic fluid where it can damage the cylinders. Take a clean shop rag and wipe down the entire surface of your hydraulic jack. Pay close attention to the crevices around the cylinder plug. Once your jack is clean, you can move on to the next step.

Open Up the Cylinder

Take a look at the top of the hydraulic fluid cylinder and locate the rubber plug. That plug will need to be removed. You can use a standard screwdriver to pry the edges up. Once you have the edges of the plug lifted, you'll be able to remove it easily. Wipe the plug off with your shop rag and set it aside.

Drain and Replace the Hydraulic Fluid

Contaminated hydraulic fluid can prevent your jack from working properly. You'll need to drain the used fluid from the cylinder and replace it with clean fluid. Here's what you'll need to do.


  1. Place a bucket under your hydraulic jack.
  2. Adjust the jack so that the fluid will drain directly into the bucket.
  3. Remove the fluid plug located under the jack.
  4. Allow the fluid to drain into the bucket.
  5. Place the plug back on the jack.
  6. Fill the cylinder with fresh hydraulic fluid.

Take it on a Test Run

Once you've replaced the hydraulic fluid, you'll need to test your jack to ensure that it's working properly. Begin by lifting the arm and allow it to rest for several minutes. The arm should stay elevated. Once you've tested the arm several times, you can test it on a car or other piece of equipment. Lift the jack to the desired height and allow it to sit for several minutes. If the jack stays in place, it's ready to use again. If it's not, you'll either need to replace the jack or have a professional hydraulic repair technician take a look at it.

You depend on your hydraulic jack. If it's not working properly, use the instructions provided above to get it up and lifting again. Contact an equipment company, like http://fivestarhydraulicslv.com, for more help.