To troubleshoot a hydraulic jack, you have to identify the problem. The common problems with a hydraulic jack include insufficient fluid, a jerky motion, cracked welds, loose or missing parts, pockmarked or rusted ram pistons, trapped air and insufficient hydraulic oil.
Inspect the hydraulic jack before use to find any fluid leakages, loose or missing parts, cracked welds, and pockmarked or rusted pistons. Close the release valve before pumping the handle. The saddle should rise a bit.
If the jack does not lift properly or does not lift at all, check if air is trapped in the system or if there is enough hydraulic oil. Trapped air can be removed by placing the release valve anticlockwise of the handle, removing the oil filler screw and pumping the handle. Then check the hydraulic oil level. Refer to the owner’s manual for the correct level of oil. To prevent dirt and dust, clean the ram using an oily cloth.
Put the saddle of the jack on properly, and close the release valve of the jack. Pump the handle, and if the jack does not work properly, check the tightness of the release valve. If it is tight, either you are overloading the jack or a hydraulic malfunction has occurred. If a malfunction has occurred, seek professional assistance.