Automotive

Any suggestions how to fix a car Jack that cannot lift

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 8th, 2021 8:32 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
May 22, 2019
548 posts
123 upvotes

Any suggestions how to fix a car Jack that cannot lift

I have an old car Jack, it cannot go up and lift.

Is there anyway I can fix it?
IMG_20210606_110616277_HDR.jpg
19 replies
Member
Aug 25, 2006
219 posts
189 upvotes
Toronto
if it won't lift at all it has lost some of it's hydraulic fluid. There should be a screw fitting somewhere on the unit that you can refill and top up with more fluid. I have a similar older unit that I use to lift vehicles unto jackstands that I've had to top up a couple times over past 20 years. I refill with the cheapest Automatic transition fluid I could find at Canadian tire. Once topped up it lifts no problem. Understanding that the seals in it are probably not in the best shape I don't use it to hold the vehicle suspended off ground.... only used to lift onto jack stands. Your seals may be totally gone too in which case after you refill it you'll see oil seeping out of it when you apply lift. Since it looks like a pretty old basic unit you can just replace it.... cheap replacements can be had for about $40 (https://www.princessauto.com/en/2-ton-t ... 0008760415)
[OP]
Sr. Member
May 22, 2019
548 posts
123 upvotes
I have Honda transmission oil, would that suffice?
dbracer wrote: if it won't lift at all it has lost some of it's hydraulic fluid. There should be a screw fitting somewhere on the unit that you can refill and top up with more fluid. I have a similar older unit that I use to lift vehicles unto jackstands that I've had to top up a couple times over past 20 years. I refill with the cheapest Automatic transition fluid I could find at Canadian tire. Once topped up it lifts no problem. Understanding that the seals in it are probably not in the best shape I don't use it to hold the vehicle suspended off ground.... only used to lift onto jack stands. Your seals may be totally gone too in which case after you refill it you'll see oil seeping out of it when you apply lift. Since it looks like a pretty old basic unit you can just replace it.... cheap replacements can be had for about $40 (https://www.princessauto.com/en/2-ton-t ... 0008760415)
Deal Addict
Sep 22, 2009
2077 posts
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Markham
In my experience, some of these cheaper jacks will crap out after a year...especially those below $50 on sale ones. You can take it apart and replace the o-rings, seals and fluids (time and money). Or alternative, just toss it and get a better one (+$100) that will last you +10 years.
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
That looks like a pretty old jack. You'd need to replace the failed seals and refill with hydraulic fluid. It wouldn't be worth your time for a cheap jack like that. Just buy a new $50 one. Or get a higher quality aluminum jack for $150.
My aluminum jacks are still going strong at 8 and 15 years.
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Dec 11, 2003
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engineered wrote: That looks like a pretty old jack. You'd need to replace the failed seals and refill with hydraulic fluid. It wouldn't be worth your time for a cheap jack like that. Just buy a new $50 one. Or get a higher quality aluminum jack for $150.
My aluminum jacks are still going strong at 8 and 15 years.
This is probably a dumb question but how do you know if a jack is aluminum or not? Thanks.
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Feb 11, 2007
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ds2chan wrote: This is probably a dumb question but how do you know if a jack is aluminum or not? Thanks.
You can usually tell by looking at it. OP's is obviously steel (thin plates). Aluminum is thicker and lighter for the same capacity. It's also often in bare silver anodization in look. They also advertise that they're aluminum.

Costco has a good price for this 3 ton aluminum jack right now https://www.costco.ca/arcan-3-ton-profe ... 17470.html
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Nov 7, 2016
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Ontario
If you don't know what to inspect or replace, please just replace it. It is to dangerous lifting a heavy car (even a small one) to risk injury or death on something you don't know how to fix or check...
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Sep 1, 2005
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When it looks like that, I'd probably say dump it and get a new one. A jack is something you don't want to fail ever even if you have jack stands.

It might fail at a bad time and you're car would be stuck on the driveway until you go get another jack which might be next day...but wait you don't have a car to go buy the new jack.
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
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Dec 6, 2017
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I had one, ended up giving it away as I did not want to deal with a faulty jack that might fail at a critical moment.
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Sep 13, 2007
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Your Toyota deserves a new car jack
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[OP]
Sr. Member
May 22, 2019
548 posts
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I am saving money for a Rav4 electric car, $50 is too much for stingy guy like myself.

iSimple wrote: Your Toyota deserves a new car jack
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Feb 11, 2007
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ilovetoyota wrote: I am saving money for a Rav4 electric car, $50 is too much for stingy guy like myself.
How much is a wheelchair or prosthetic arm?
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Mar 23, 2004
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Well ihatetoyota lol but I have a jack that's very similar to this. My neighbour just gave it to me one day 'cause I guess he knows I work on cars a lot, basically he wanted to junk it but didn't know how/where and passed it off on me. I tried to tell him I didn't need it but he kind of pushed it on me and I didn't want to be rude. He said it was working when he last used it, but I never used it to know. Is missing the "stick" or rod but looks like you have one from yours. A bit less rusty than yours. If you're in the west end of the GTA and can pick it up, then you can have it. No guarantees it actually works (again I never tried it) but if $50 is too much, free might work?
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Oct 24, 2016
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OP, if you don’t know anything about jacks, just replace it. There are some things in life that are just not worth the risk. If I was in your shoes (and I have no knowledge on jacks) I would replace once the jack stops working. BTW, I have the exact one from Costco linked above and very satisfied with it.
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