Tech Tip: How to keep proper maintenance on floor service jacks

July 1, 2013
Proper lubrication and tightened hardware are among the most important elements to maintaining a floor jack for longer life.

The most commonly used portable automotive lifting device is the floor service jack. Users expecting long service life will normally purchase a higher priced professional model. Professional models are expected to last longer due to design, choice of seals and precision-made components.

Life expectancy can also be extended through periodic maintenance. Scheduled periodic maintenance can be determined based on frequency of use,  average load lifted and the environment. Hydraulic power units should not require refilling of hydraulic fluid unless there is an external leak or a fluid change is scheduled. External fluid leaks should be corrected before refilling with fluid. It will be necessary for the jack owner to consult the owner’s manual or manufacturer for proper fluid level. Too much or too little fluid could affect the performance of the jack. Service and maintenance can also be provided at the manufacturer’s closest authorized service center.

The most important maintenance tips for extended life is to make sure the jack is properly lubricated and all hardware is tightened. Most lift arms include grease fittings to lubricate the arm's pivot pin. Operate a grease gun until grease is seen coming out of both sides of the lift arm pivot pin location. Use a multi-purpose NLGI type grease. All other pivot points and bearing surfaces  should be lubricated using white lithium spray grease. Lubricate front and rear wheel axles, caster bearings, handle yoke and pivot bolts, handle yoke pump roller, release valve linkages, top of pump piston(s), and all shafts. Finally, make sure all hardware is tightened. Loose hardware can cause stripped threads and premature wearing of components which will eventually render the jack inoperable.  

Information provided by: PowerStation LLC

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