Since hydraulic jacks lift cars with seeming ease, they are frequently overlooked when it comes to hydraulic repair in Minnesota. This is easy to do, as jacks often perform flawlessly for 10 years or more before they start showing signs of vulnerability. As this sturdy yet not invincible tool is the one that your shop relies upon the most to finish its work and keep customers happy, it would not hurt to know the following issues and simple repairs that could come in handy in case your jack does not function as well as it did before:
- Ram does not lift: When there is no lift, it is likely due to an empty or low oil reservoir. Without a full tank of oil, air builds up through the jack and makes it impossible for it to lift. It is one of the most common issues, and a big source of panic. Fortunately, it is also easily repaired. If the reservoir is not leveled, top it off. You will need to make sure you fill it with the same type of oil or fluid as what is already in the reservoir. If you need to drain the reservoir completely to fill it with something different, do that rather than risk damage by mixing different types of fluids.
- Oil leaks: Worn out seals and o-rings are the common culprit when you notice an oil leak. This is something that will arise eventually, as it is a symptom of constant use. Using motor oil or brake fluid as a substitute to oil can also wear out these seals. If you find either external or internal leaks, the repair involves replacing those seals. Mechanics who know their lifts well can often complete these repairs themselves. However, it may also be easier to bring in a professional on-site, especially if your search for the leak means excessive downtime. Sometimes, it is better to trust someone who has detected leaks before to finish this work.
- Turned overload valve: If a worker is new to handling your lift, it is not uncommon for their confusion to turn the wrong knob while seeking the oil filler port. This oversight will stop a jack from lifting, and you will need to readjust the tension. Since this is done differently with every lift, you will need to consult your owner’s manual. Most likely though, you will need to bring in a professional. Consider this oversight a good reminder to educate new workers properly on the handling of the hydraulic jack. That decision could save you costs in the long run.
While a jack is a durable piece of equipment, it can also be fussy. Never attempt any hydraulic repair in Minnesota that makes you uncomfortable, as errors while handling jacks could cause injury. Also remember to keep up with maintenance, especially paying attention to oil levels and filter life. While parts on lifts do wear out, you can give them longer life by taking care of them.
M & M Hydraulic Company is available to perform on-site or shop repairs in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Give us a call if it is time for your hydraulic lift to receive attention.