Hydraulic Floor Jack Troubleshooting & Repair Instructions

April 15, 2022

Mechanic is lifting the hydraulic floor jack under a car.

A hydraulic floor jack is a hydraulic tool that many car owners use frequently. It is used when trying to fix your vehicle, but you do not know how to get underneath the car with ease. That is where the hydraulics floor jack comes in. It can easily lift your entire vehicle with no problems at all. If you take good care of your hydraulics floor jack, you should use it for many years. If only you follow the manufactures instructions carefully.

Hydraulics floor jack made work easy for many mechanics and car owners. If you have been using your hydraulic floor jack for some time, you should have noticed some few hiccups here and there when trying to operate the machine. A good functioning hydraulic floor jack is a tool just like any other tool, and if not taken care of properly, it will become faulty. You should be able to know if your floor jack is faulty and how you can fix it.  

Most Common Hydraulic Floor Jack Problems and Repairs

1) Oil Leaks on Floor Jack

All hydraulic floor jacks use oil, and sometimes oil might start to leak, and if it leaks too much, it will cause the jack not to function correctly. Sometimes the oil leaks in the oil compartment have not been tightened, and if all the oil is drained off, the machine will not operate properly. You can always fix this problem by:

When you realize that oil has been leaking from your hydraulic floor jack, you need to fix it immediately. You will have to dismantle all the parts and try to figure out what is causing the leakage. If it is external, you will be able to fix it with ease. 

  • Oil leakages are not always extremely hard to fix, and if you have mechanical knowledge, you should be able to fix the problem.
  • Perform a thorough inspection of the hydraulic jack. Every time that we are on the road, we tend to ignore minor faults like scratches, Tears, or even wearing out of some parts of the hydraulic jack. Checking your jack will make you realize the small faults that can cause the jack not to operate correctly.

2) Floor Jack Ramp Failed To Lift Weight

If you have used your hydraulic floor jack for some years, you will notice that sometimes the ramp will not lift properly. It is not that the tool is malfunctioning. It is just one of the common problems that the jack faces. It usually means that our jack does not have enough oil in its compartments, preventing it from lifting. You can fix this problem in several ways like:

  • Check if the hydraulic fluid is level. Whenever your hydraulic floor jack starts to fail when trying to lift something, it might just be because the hydraulic fluid has reduced drastically. All floor jacks need refilling often to make sure that they are well lubricated. Always make sure that the oil is full of the oil line. You should also not put excess oil.
  • Lubricate your Floor jack. As you know, a hydraulic floor jack has moving parts, and those parts, if not well lubricated, will cause the jack to malfunction. Lubricating all the hydraulic machine’s moving parts will ensure that it operates freely and fluently.
  • Using the wrong oil fluids. The common reason why most hydraulic floor jacks fail is that we tend to use a different oil in the oil reservoir compartment. A hydraulic floor jack has its specific type of oil that should be available all the time. Trying to use brake fluids or oils that cannot be of great use for the jack will cause the tool not to lift in most cases.
  • Check if you are overloading the hydraulic jack. Every floor jack has the maximum capacity it can handle at a given time. If you exceed the weight limit, it might be the reason why your hydraulic jack is not lifting. So, try and check the weight limit.
  • Air congestion. Sometimes when operating the hydraulic jack, air will always find its way. Frequent overloading will cause the ramp not to lift. Realizing air that might be inside the jacks is probably the easiest thing to do. All you need is to loosen the release valve, and once all the air has escaped, you will have to tighten the release valve.

3) Overload Valve Damaged

All hydraulic floor jacks have an overload value, which has a warning that says “DO NOT OPEN”. Many people who are first-timers when it comes to dealing with hydraulic jacks always ignore this warning. The valve is the one that gives you a warning that the machine is overloading, and you need to release the pressure. Ignoring the warning means that you are overloading the machine, and it might end up breaking and malfunctioning.

  • If you have accidentally turned it on, you should fix that problem immediately. You do not know how to fix it, you can always go back to the manual instruction, and you will find a way of fixing the issue. If you cannot fix the problem, you should seek advice from a professional expert who has more knowledge.

4) Floor Jack Leaks Milky or Foamy Liquids

Most hydraulics always have oil leakages, which is a common problem, but sometimes you will notice that the color of the leaked oil is not black. If the color has some foam or milky coloration, that will mean that your floor jack is faulty and needs to be immediately repaired. That coloration means that there is water that has accumulated inside the machine. The water will cause the oil to change its color.

  • The easiest way to fix this problem is to make sure you drain all the oil in the hydraulic jack and leave it to try. Once the oil compartment is dry, you should refill it with fresh hydraulic oil and make sure you tighten the oil compartment.

5) Bended, Breaking & Cracked Floor Jack

Considering that a hydraulic jack is for lifting heavy machines, sometimes they will end up bending or even breaking. The breakages are usually caused by overloading the jack or misusing the floor jack. Confirming if the machine has any breaks will help you avoid future damages. If the floor jack is beyond damage, you will need to buy a new hydraulic floor jack as not everything lasts forever.

Other Common Causes of Hydraulic Floor Jack Faulty

Hydraulic Oil Level

The common cause of hydraulic failures is due to the low level of oil in the oil compartment. Oil is what causes the hydraulic jack to function correctly and if the oil tank is empty of has less oil, that will make the jack not to function normally. Regular checks will ensure that your hydraulic jack stays healthy for a more extended period. You need to refill it to the brim but not to overdo it.

Hydraulic Floor Jack Rubber plug

The rubber plug is what usually keeps the hydraulic floor jack healthy and prevent any leakages. The rubber might be old and needs replacement, so that should be confirmed first. Make sure it is fixed firmly into its hole to avoid any air or water from entering the compartment.


Hydraulic machines are particularly useful when functioning correctly, but if you ever face any problems with the jack, you will know how to fix them. Cleaning the floor jack will often ensure no leakages, air problems, or even water leaking. You should always ensure that the jack is stored in a cool, dry place to avoid any molds from forming on it.

Always make sure that the pistons are functioning correctly. Ensure that anytime you are changing the oil, you should use the proper oil for the jack. Before you ever us the hydraulic floor jack, always run a test to make sure it is functioning correctly before inserting it under your car. The regular test is excellent as it will show you any signs of damage early enough.