Call Us Today: (800) 633-8234

The Most Common Hydraulic Jack Problems

Hydraulic jacks simplify the movement of large or heavy items. The jack’s hydraulic system multiplies a worker’s efforts, enabling one person to successfully lift and maneuver heavy loads with little physical strain. Jacks are also used to suspend heavy objects in midair to provide maintenance access with minimal exertion on the operator’s part. Though they’re built to be tough, hydraulic jacks can sustain damage from heavy use, improper maintenance, environmental elements, and other factors that compromise their ability to perform. Regular hydraulic jack repair and/or maintenance mitigates the damage caused by these issues by identifying signs of damage early and allowing for fast correction of any problems. This is especially crucial for older jacks that have been operational for many years.

Signs That Signal the Need for Hydraulic Jack Repair

Regardless of the type of jack or the application, there are some issues that are common within this tool category. Maintenance problems can compromise a jack’s ability to operate efficiently and negatively impact operator safety. If your equipment exhibits these signs, it is important to coordinate jack repairs right away.

Jack Does Not Fully Extend or is Slow to Release

Hydraulic jacks depend on fluid-driven pressure to create movement. When the flow is compromised, it can cause problems with lifting mechanisms.

Squeaky or Damaged Wheels

Excessive noise issuing from your wheels could mean it’s time to replace those parts. Often, the application of heavy oil provides enough lubricant to prolong the life of metal support structures.

Damaged Frame

Without a structural sound frame, your entire unit could literally fall apart under a heavy load. This type of damage typically cannot be repaired and requires the purchase of a new hydraulic jack.

Foamy or Milky Oil

Discolored or frothy oil means water has infiltrated the system. If not remedied quickly, this condition will cause irreversible internal corrosion.

Handle Kicks Back

Stop using your hydraulic jack immediately if the handle kicks back up after a down stroke. This condition is extremely dangerous for operators. Fortunately, a repair professional can restore the unit’s function.


Depending on which fluid is leaking from your unit, this sign could indicate a range of potential problems. A thorough examination of the unit is necessary to decipher the issue.

Rams Won’t Lift

When rams won’t respond properly, this usually points to a lack of hydraulic fluid. Simply add more fluid, turn the jack to its release position, pump a few times to release trapped air, and then refill the reservoir. Once the seal is replaced, the unit should function properly.

Overloaded Jack Trips Safety Valves

If the load is too heavy, the jack’s safety valves will engage, which will cause the jack to stop lifting. Refer to the user manual to identify the safety valve and follow instructions to reset it.

Professional Guidance from Hydraulic Experts

Hydraulic jacks are an essential part of many industrial and commercial operations. From warehouses to production floors, these devices enable the simple and efficient movement of massive products and components. However, hydraulic jacks are not indestructible. Like all machinery, attentive maintenance and prompt repairs are both key to prolonging the life of the unit. Many common hydraulic jack repairs can be performed by novices or those with little mechanical skill. However, proper correction of many issues will benefit from professional input. Metro Hydraulic Jack Co. provides hydraulic jack repair services that support your commercial or industrial operation. Our repair shop and testing facility are fully equipped to evaluate, service, and repair your hydraulic floor jack. Contact us to find out how our hydraulic jack repair services can help lift your profit potential.  
Posted in Jacks

14 thoughts on “The Most Common Hydraulic Jack Problems

  1. After we pump the jack up it does not stay up. It slowly drops down and does not hold the load in place. What do you think is causing this problem?

  2. I am inquiring about converting a bottle Jack into a weight scale using the safety valve and a pressure gauge. Can the safety valve port be used for this application by modifying the check release ball with a plug?

  3. I have a few Jet 22.5 ton jacks that we use for house foundation work. I have a few that I cannot get to go down. I have taken the oil out and replaced it thinking that it could be dirty. I just don’t know the jack wont move no matter how much weight we put on them

  4. Sounds like I may have a “Rams Won’t Lift” issue! I’ve got a Michelin 3 1/2 ton trolley that won’t pump until I’m past the resting position by 4 or 5 inches! It used to pump as soon as I started pulling the handle away from the upright resting position.. not bad for getting it used/brand new, for 60 bucks CAD.. 8 years ago! Thanks for the article!

  5. ld1k 1000 lb motorcycle lift is up all way and will not go down call princess auto and he said turn screw half turn it controls speed to go down nothing happen . so took screw out and pumps out oil but doesnt go down do you know what i can try.. table is 4 months old

  6. I like that you mentioned that when a jack does not fully extend or is slow on release tend to be a sign that a hydraulic jack needs to be repaired. We have a hydraulic jack in our garage in case we need to do something with our car, however it has been acting uncooperative lately. I heard there are shops that offer services like Greenlee tool repair so I’ll call for them first.

  7. When I pump the jack when I push down on the handle, the ram goes up when I lift up the handle the jack goes down the valve is tight and it’s full of hydraulic oil. Can you help

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Quality Services Since 1941

Our Expertise Our Expertise

For over 70 years, Metro Hydraulic Jack Company, a third-generation, family-owned and operated business, has been providing industrial hydraulic parts and equipment services to commercial, automotive, marine, refuse, and construction industries.


As a leading U.S. sales and service center, we provide an unmatched customer experience and create long-lasting professional relationships with our clients.


social proof:

Power Team Simplex Enerpac Graco
Milwaukee Cylinder Stanley

Request Information

"*" indicates required fields

Send Copy to Self
Remember my Information
Max. file size: 128 MB.
Captcha *