How to Repair A Floor Jack That Won’t Hold Pressure

There are two basic ways to lift a car onto its jacks. The first is with the use of hydraulic cylinders which requires no power, but the second method uses an electric motor and creates significant noise. Here’s how you can repair your floor jack that won’t hold pressure after it has been misused

The “what causes a hydraulic jack to leak down” is the most common issue that people run into with their floor jacks. It can be caused by a number of things, but the most common cause is a damaged seal.

You’re ready to elevate your automobile when you notice your floor jack won’t bear any more pressure? Of course, employing it in such a situation is impossible; it’s just too dangerous. This would greatly raise your chances of destroying your car or, even worse, injuring yourself.

Having said that, you still need to elevate your automobile to repair it, correct? So, what should you do if your floor jack won’t retain pressure?

First and foremost, take a deep breath and relax. In most circumstances, the answer is straightforward. The actions to take are as follows:

  • Examine the lifting capability;
  • Check the amount of hydraulic fluid;
  • ‘Fill the system with blood.,’ says the narrator.
  • Examine the release valve.
  • Re-inspect the general condition.

Contents Table of Contents


Examine the Capacity of Lifting

First and foremost, you should be aware that each jack has a maximum lifting capability. You can’t go beyond it and attempt to raise anything that is more than the device’s capability.

When you have a jack that won’t raise whatever you’re attempting to lift, the first thing you should do is verify its capacity.

Attempting to raise a car heavier than your jack’s capacity will usually result in the same symptoms as a jack that can’t retain pressure. The jack will begin to climb until it reaches the vehicle’s body, at which point it may raise it somewhat. However, when the jack reaches the point where the wheel would leave the ground, one of two things will happen: the jack will either stop raising or it will raise the wheel slightly off the ground but return to its original position as soon as you stop pumping.

Continuing to pump the jack may result in internal leaks and seal degradation, eventually prohibiting the jacks from retaining any pressure.


Before attempting to raise any car, check the nominal capability of your jack versus the vehicle’s weight.

This is one of the easiest repairs since the answer is self-evident — just don’t expect your jack to do miracles. is the source of this image.

Make sure the hydraulic fluid level is correct.

Regardless of whether the fluid level is lower or greater, both extremes may produce issues since your lifting equipment will not perform effectively.

The fluid level should always be within the acceptable range, neither too high nor too low.


When a jack is used with a greater fluid level than typical, the higher than required pressure risks blowing out seals, producing internal leaks, and causing the jack to lose pressure.

A jack with a low fluid level, on the other hand, will normally operate correctly, but the maximum height will be greatly reduced. The true issue here is determining why the fluid level dropped. Hydraulic systems are closed-loop, which means the fluid level should never go below zero. If it does, there’s most likely a leak someplace, which you’ll need to rectify before using your jack.

How to check a jack’s fluid level

It’s easy to check the fluid level in a jack. Simply remove the fill cap and check the oil level in the chamber.

Because various jacks function in different ways, be sure to read the owner’s handbook for details. Of course, it’s not unusual for jack owners to have misplaced or thrown away the instructions shortly after purchase. Fortunately, there are several sources that provide jack repair guides.

When it comes to oil, keep in mind that various hydraulic fluids are used by different jacks. Make sure you double-check the appropriate fluid type and viscosity in your jack’s owner handbook.


Furthermore, lubrication helps to avoid corrosion and future failure, which is another reason to pay attention to the items you choose.

Also, jacks should never be used with compressor oil. Compressor oil, like engine oil, lacks the necessary additives, which may cause seals to fail prematurely. If you’re in a pinch and need to find a fast remedy, you may always re-fill your jack with automatic transmission fluid and complete the task. However, don’t forget to drain the fluid fully and re-fill it with the hydraulic fluid advised for your jack as soon as feasible.


Bleed the system

When a little amount of air becomes caught within your lifting device, it loses its capacity to lift. If this occurs, you’ll need to bleed the system to get rid of any remaining air bubbles.

Fortunately, bleeding a jack is a straightforward process that may be completed in three easy steps:

  • Make a counterclockwise turn on the purge valve.
  • Remove the lifting device’s oil fill screw.
  • Place the valve back in its original position.

Voila! The trapped air should have been forced out of the system by now, allowing you to continue moving the car forward. If the problem persists, repeat the procedure a couple of times more.


But how did air bubbles get up in the system to begin with?

A low fluid level is one of the most typical causes, or there might be a leak someplace. If hydraulic fluid leaks, air might get in as well.

As a result, you should follow the preceding procedures and examine the jack for leaks as well as ensuring that the fluid level is right.

Add some fluid if the level is low. Drain the jack and re-fill it with fresh hydraulic fluid if you believe it’s due to insufficient fluid viscosity.


Examine the Release Valve.

So you’ve double-checked the oil, capacity, and bled the system, but your jack is still refusing to bear pressure?


The next step is to check the valve for leaks and make sure it’s airtight. If it isn’t, when you attempt to raise anything, it will let the pressure out and maybe let air back into the system.

A leaky valve will almost always have a greasy coating surrounding it, indicating that there is a leak.

How-to-Repair-A-Floor-Jack-That-Won039t-Hold-Pressure is the source of this image.

Re-inspect the general condition.

That brings us to the last step: an overall examination.

If you want my honest advice, I’d suggest doing that before and after you begin lifting anything.


This will limit the possibilities of things going wrong in the midst of your task, as well as the possibility of damage your car or jack.

Examine every component, including the valve, piston, and linkage. Turn it on its side and inspect it in both the extended and retracted positions to ensure that it functions correctly.

This technique is simple and straightforward, and it will save you a lot of time and aggravation.

Last Thoughts

There’s no need to worry now that you know what to do if your floor jack won’t retain pressure. Just take it one step at a time till you figure out what’s wrong.

Regular maintenance is, once again, the simplest approach to avoid malfunctions and future difficulties. Maintain your jack as much as possible by keeping it clean and dry and cleaning it at regular intervals. When in doubt, consult your jack’s repair manual and adhere to the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance plan.

As a result, your jack will last as long as possible and you will get the most bang for your money!

Also check out our list of the top ten best floor jacks!

Chicago Tribune (featured image)


A floor jack is a tool that is used to lift heavy objects. They are typically found in garages and other places where they can be used to help with moving or repairing vehicles. If the floor jack won’t hold pressure, there may be a problem with it. Reference: how to bleed a floor jack.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix a hydraulic jack that wont hold pressure?

A: This is a hydraulics problem, so you need to contact the manufacturer of your jack.

How do you fix a hydraulic floor jack that wont stay up?

A: This is a tough question, and there are many possible solutions. The most likely solution would be to start by taking the jack apart piece by piece so you can find where its failing or what might have gone wrong with it. You will then want to figure out why that part of the jack isnt staying up properly before figuring out how to fix the issue

Why is my floor jack losing pressure?

A: Your floor jack may be losing pressure as a result of the air that its pumping up and down to circulate around your workspace. Sometimes, this can happen when you over-tighten the fittings on the head of the pump or if they leak too much oil due to wear and tear. You should make sure there is no blockage in between where youre connecting pipe pieces (outside with outside) making sure all parts are fully tightened before trying again!

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  • hydraulic jack won’t pump up
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Aaron Cardwell