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Floor jack will not lift car off jack stand

I have a Craftsman Professional 4-ton floor jack that I purchased a few years ago. I used it a couple times then stored it in the garage for the first winter. Since then, it will lift a car from the ground, but when I try to lift if off the jack stand, the jack will not lift the car. The speedy-lift feature still works, but once it gets to the car it will not lift. I assume there are different cylinders or valves for the two lift stages. Fluid is full and I followed the instructions to purge air out of the system. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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  • Horshack Apr 21, 2009

    I assume the bleed screw is the part that is turned when you turn the handle. I will look at this, but I haven't noticed any fluid leaking from anywhere.

    Thanks for the tip, I'll check back with the results.


  • Horshack Apr 27, 2009

    At first, I could successfully lifted an off-road pickup truck with no problem with this jack. However, now I cannot even lift a Grand Am. Again, this is usually after I have already used the jack to put the car on jack stands. Once on jack stands, the jack will not lift the car off the stands. Sonce I can get the car on the jack stand, I didn't think I exceeded the height capability of the jack.

  • Anonymous May 12, 2009

    sears was willing to sell me a new power unit for my 4ton jack with the same problem for $125, what a great company

  • Samuel Charles Spriggs May 11, 2010

    There is an O-ring around the bleed screw. Is this possibly leaking?

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It sounds like you have MAXED out the absolute HEIGHT that the jack is CAPABLE of extending to.
Try this to test this theory; Remember though before you !!EVER!! attempt to raise a vehicle with a jack, make sure that the vehicle is on FIRM LEVEL ground and that the JACK is likewise. Even if you have to slowely drive your vehicle a short distance in order to attain level ground, DO IT. THIMK! It could mean the difference between whether or not you live to tell about the flat you changed.
Get yourself a piece of 'treated' 2"x10"x 2' lumber which you will put in the trunk of your vehicle with your jack. It is now 'married' to your jack.
Chock the Tires on the opposite side of the vehicle that you will be working on. The weight of your vehicle will be redistributed when you jack up the vehicle. Even though you will have it in 'Park' you do NOT want it to move any at all. The chocks will prevent this.
Place that piece of lumber beneath your vehicle below the 'jack point'.
Place your jack squarely on this piece of lumber and slowly crank the jack up, keeping your eye on the jack point where the jack is in contact, until the tire is off the ground about 1/2 inch, any higher and you are just wasting energy and time. Once the tire leaves the ground it is high enough to remove from the vehicle. You may have to raise the vehicle up a bit more in order to replace the flat with a good tire. Be SAFE, Start low and work your way higher.
The REASON for the piece of lumber under the jack is to distribute the weight that is now bearing on the jack so that it does not depress into the ground. It also provides you with a stable platform to begin with and gives you TWO more inches of height to use with the jack if needed. Use it even if you are on asphalt because depending on the consistency of the asphalt material and how HOT is is from the current weather, the jack could settle a bit into the asphalt and this procedure could prevent this and keep you safe.
If you are using jackstands, use a piece of treated 3/4"x10" square, plywood under it as well to keep it from settling into the ground. Raise the vehicle only high enough to slip the jackstand under the portion of the vehicle where you will be placing it and still allow the tire to be removed.
Be SAFE and live to tell the tale. :)

Posted on Apr 26, 2009

  • knuclebuster Apr 27, 2009

    If there's absolutely NO LEAKAGE, it may be that the hydraulic fluid is simply, slowly escaping past the internal O-rings and back into the main reservoir.

    Try this to eliminate this possibility;

    On a FIRM LEVEL, concrete is nice, surface, jack up one of the wheels till it's off the ground, say EXACTLY TWO INCHES.

    MEASURE the DISTANCE (height).

    Make sure children have NO ACCESS to the vehicle.

    Leave it in this position for a half hour or so.

    MEASURE the height again.

    If the MEASURED HEIGHT is the SAME as when you started, it's not likely that your jack is defective, and I stand with my initial assesment.

    IF the MEASURED HEIGHT is LOWER now, AND the JACK has not SETTLED into the ground, it is more than likely that the hydraulic fluid is bypassing the internal O-Ring, in which case I will retract my initial assesment.

    Remember, anything made made is subject to fail at some inconvenient point.

    Good luck. :)

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