The maintenance of workshop equipment and tools is essential - not only for longer service life, but in many cases also for safety. Trolley jacks and bottle jacks in particular require regular inspection.
After all, they lift the weight of a vehicle and are therefore exposed to high loads and are responsible for working safely on the vehicle - even if, in principle, suitable jack stands must be used to hold the vehicles.
In general, jacks require little and no maintenance. However, regular cleaning and inspection make a significant contribution to durability and occupational safety.
Special attention should be paid to the moving parts and rollers of the trolley jacks as well as to all types of hydraulic jacks.
Rodcraft gives six tips that workshops and private users should pay particular attention to:
1 - Filling quantity of hydraulic oil: Without sufficient hydraulic oil, the jack cannot reach the maximum lifting height. In the worst case, air in the system can even lead to dangerous situations. Therefore, the oil level in the hydraulic cylinder at the oil filler plug must be checked regularly. If there is too little (or even too much) oil in the cylinder, the amount must be corrected according to the manufacturer's instructions.
2 - Correct hydraulic oil: Everyone knows that different oils have different properties. A high-quality hydraulic oil is therefore a must for jacks. Brake fluids, engine oils or fluids that attack seals and lines must not be used under any circumstances.
3 - Venting the lifting cylinder: If lifting is difficult, venting the cylinder can restore the lifting ability. The cylinder should be vented at regular intervals, especially if the jack is not always standing vertically on the floor or is being transported.
4 - Cleanliness in the hydraulic system: Dirt in the hydraulic system leads to problems with the finely adjustable valves, especially when lowering the jack. By emptying the hydraulics, flushing and blowing out the system, such malfunctions can usually be easily rectified.
5 - Maintenance and lubrication: Trolley jacks have many moving parts, such as wheels, the lifting arm or various joints on the drawbar. To ensure smooth operation and protection against wear, all moving parts must be cleaned and lubricated regularly. Parts with grease nipples should definitely be lubricated with a grease gun.
6 - Storage: Jacks are often exposed to the toughest conditions, especially when used outdoors or during roadside assistance. Rain, dirt, dust and in winter, also salt, can quickly limit wear and functionality or even lead to failure. The jack should therefore be cleaned regularly to remove coarse or aggressive dirt. During storage, the pressure should be completely released and the jack should be stored in its intended (upright) position in order to avoid air bubbles in the hydraulic system.
Regular maintenance and care of trolley jacks and bottle jacks is easy and does not require any special expertise. If the hydraulic unit needs to be opened or dismantled or load-bearing parts need to be replaced, the advice of a specialist workshop or service center is recommended.