Boasting supreme versatility, hydraulic bottle jacks are worth getting to know more about. Below, we’ll discover what makes a hydraulic bottle jack so unique. And find out what steps you need to take to use one when you need one.
What Is a Hydraulic Bottle Jack?
Unlike the standard scissor jack, hydraulic bottle jacks follow Pascal’s principle and use oil. This means the jack utilizes pressure, built up by the oil. Interacting with the piston, the pressure causes it to move the lift plate. This effect provides support for lifting heavy objects.
Types of Hydraulic Bottle Jacks
The hydraulic jack comes in many sizes and weightlifting ranges. Some hydraulic bottle jacks can handle 100 tons and others only 2. For car repairs, jacks that handle 2 to 12 tons do the trick.
Some hydraulic bottle jacks can also be combined with an air compressor. While they cost more, they can make a lift hands-free.
Key Steps When Using a Hydraulic Bottle Jack
The steps below will help you to use hydraulic bottle jacks without accidents or tools breaking.
Step 1: Park Your Vehicle
Park the vehicle on a flat stable surface, such as garage, driveway, or concrete. Eengage the parking brake once your car is parked. This prevents rollbacks and keeps the vehicle from falling off the jack during lifting.
Step 2: Chock Your Vehicle’s Wheels
Chocking the wheels keeps your vehicle from rolling backward. If you’re lifting the front wheels, chock the back wheels, and vice versa.
Step 3: Use Jack Stands
Never use a jack as a jack stand. If you intend to lift the vehicle for extended periods or go underneath the vehicle, you need jack stands. Before employing jack stands, check them for any defects.
Step 4: Inspect the Jack
Now that you’ve inspected the jack stands, inspect the jack as well. Check the tool to see if there are any oil leaks. Also check the plug and release valve, and wipe away dirt and debris.
Step 5: Assemble the Jack and Make a Few Test Pumps
Insert the handle into the receptacle on the side of the barrel. Make sure the handle is completely in to prevent accidental slippage. After, give the hydraulic bottle jack a few test pumps without anything on it.
Check the cylinder by turning the release valve counterclockwise. Once you’re certain the jack is working properly, re-tighten the release valve near the bottom front end of the jack’s barrel.
Step 6: Locate the Lift Point on Your Vehicle
With the jack primed and ready, you can begin locating your vehicle’s lift point. Consult the vehicle’s user manual to locate these specific points.
Step 7: Check Your Worksite
Before you put the jack underneath your vehicle, check your worksite. Remove all debris and clear the area of people. Make sure you’ve enough room for safe moving around.
Step 8: Place the Jack into the Position
Place the jack as close as you can to your vehicle’s lift points. If your worksite is uneven, use a plank of wood to balance the jack before lifting the vehicle.
Step 9: Insert the Handle and Pump the Jack
Insert the handle into the jack and slowly pump the jack. Make sure the jack is lined up under the lift point. Once the jack is lined up, begin pumping it until the vehicle is high enough. Many jacks have safety measures against over-extension. Avoid jacking the car up too high.
Step 10: Insert Jack Stands and Remove the Handle
Insert the jack stand underneath the lift point. After the car is securely on the jack stand, remove the jack. Using the notch on the jack, remove the jack handle. Turn the release valve counterclockwise to release the cylinder slowly and remove the jack.
Step 11: Work on Your Vehicle
Remove the jack and get to work. From time to time, check to ensure the car isn’t sliding off the jack stands.
Step 12: Repeat Steps 8 Through 11
When you finish working, follow steps 8 through 11. Lower the vehicle slowly, until the weight is completely off of the jack.
Step 13: Remove Jack Stands and Check Worksite Again
Check your worksite again after removing the jack stands. Make sure no people are underneath the vehicle and that the tools are put away. You can then safely lower your vehicle.
Slow and steady wins the race when you use hydraulic bottle jacks or any other type of jacks to provide the best outcome and safety to all of those around. This is a great tool but can also cause harm if not used properly. So, be sure to always follow these steps to ensure your safety.