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Hydraulic Bottle Jack

When it comes to carrying out maintenance work on your vehicle, you usually have to lift it at some point, whether you want to change a tire or your oil. While there are other options available out there such as carrier ramps or even 2 or 4 post jacks, the most common way to lift part of your car is with a hydraulic jack.

Best Aluminum Floor Jacks
Best Hydraulic Bottle Jacks

Best Hydraulic Bottle Jack

Best choice

Pro-Lift B-004D Grey Hydraulic Bottle Jack

Pro-Lift B-004D Grey Hydraulic Bottle Jack is a 4-ton bottle jack that is ideal for auto, truck service, farm and shop use. With the heat treated critical stress areas, it ensures long life performance. In addition, the carrying handle makes it so easy to carry around wherever need it. It features the steel lifting saddle that is engineered to hold load securely.

  • 4,9 Rating
  • 4 Ton Capacity
  • Heat treated critical stress areas ensure long life performance

Top rated Hydraulic Bottle Jack

Top choice

Torin Big Red Hydraulic Bottle Jack

  • 4,8 Rating
  • 2 Ton Capacity
  • Glide-action pressure pump is designed to lift with minimal effort
More Information

Best choice

Pro-Lift B-004D Grey Hydraulic Bottle Jack

  • 4, 9 Rating
  • 4 Ton Capacity
  • Heat treated critical stress areas ensure long life performance
More Information


Powerbuilt 620471 Hydraulic Bottle Jack

  • 4,7 Rating
  • 3 Ton Capacity
  • Safely lifts and holds Unibody and body-on-frame vehicles
More Information
How to Use a Hydraulic Bottle Jack?

Bottle Jack Guide

How to Use a Hydraulic Bottle Jack?

Lifting a car to make simple adjustments, such as replacing a tire, can be a daunting task, but the danger is frightening in itself. You’ll practically transport tons of tungsten carbide. It is for this reason that you need a tool you can trust to keep all the weight from falling on you. So, what are the qualities of a reliable hydraulic jack that you should be looking for while buying one? Well, here are some of the key features of a trusted jack.

Weight grading: Hydraulic jacks are rated in terms of the tons they can hold. For economy and mid-range cars, a heavy hydraulic jack is the right choice. However, if you own a truck, van or SUV, you should look for a 3-ton plug.
Lifting height: To lift your vehicle efficiently, the hydraulic jack should be placed under the vehicle. For this reason, it is essential that you have good ground clearance to attach the jack. For a reliable hydraulic jack, you should have a ground clearance of at least one inch.

Product quality: The last thing to consider is the quality of the hydraulic jack. The high quality hydraulic jack is made of high quality metal that is solid. In this context, you should consider choosing a hydraulic jack that is much heavier, as lighter jacks often cause great instability.

There are many reasons why you would want a jack. Of course, if you are on our website, you probably want a jack to lift your vehicle for maintenance work. Read more about 11 Best Bottle Jacks in our new review!

Hydraulic bottle jack 20 ton

While some jacks are used exclusively for automotive purposes, others are more versatile. The hydraulic bottle jack is one such type.

These practical car jacks are also ideal for construction projects such as holding up floor joists, terraces or small foundations. You can even use them to bend bars.

Hydraulic bottle jack how to use

They work as effectively in a horizontal position as in a vertical position, making them an all-rounder. And they are small enough to be portable.

If you have purchased or are considering purchasing a hydraulic bottle jack for use with your vehicle, read on to learn how to use it properly and safely.

What is a hydraulic bottle jack?

After the scissor jack (which is free on most cars), the bottle jack is the second most common of all the different types of jacks available.

You have probably seen one of these, even if you did not know what it was. It is the typical red (mostly), slender, vertical jack that is often found in trunks, trailers, garages and construction sites.

A bottle jack is a compact hydraulic piston that has the shape of a small bottle but the capacity to lift extremely heavy objects, including cars. When lifting heavy vehicles or other objects, great care and caution should be exercised. For reasons of stability, the jack should be placed on firm, level ground. The position of the piston plunger on the object is important to avoid damaging the object or components. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find safe lifting points and read the bottle holder’s owner’s manual before use.

How to use a bottle jack

how to use a bottle jack

How do hydraulic bottle jacks work?

Before we discuss the specific process of refilling the oil in your hydraulic bottle jack, you should first know what is happening in it. In this way you can see the meaning of the fluid or oil you are going to introduce into it.

The hydraulic jack was invented in the middle of the 19th century, but it was based on principles set out 200 years earlier by the French scientist Blaise Pascal.

Pascal discovered that the application of pressure to a fluid, which is essentially incompressible, in a closed space led to a uniform transmission of this pressure in all directions.

Therefore, here is what’s going on in a hydraulic jack:

Inside the jack is a fluid reservoir. (It is a kind of oil.) When you pull up on the handle, some of this fluid is sucked out of the tank into a small cavity under a small piston. Press the handle and the piston pushes the fluid into the main cylinder, where there is a larger piston.

How does a bottle jack work

how does a bottle jack work

How does a hydraulic bottle jack work

Each cycle of up and down pushes more fluid under the large piston and increases the pressure and the cylinder. Since the pressure is the same in all directions and the walls of the cylinder do not move but the piston, the piston is pushed upwards and held there by the pressure below.

When you are ready to lower the jack, you can slowly return the fluid to the tank by turning the release valve. When the pressure drops below the central piston, it gradually slides down again until it is fully retracted.

Why is oil important?

As you have read above, oil is the driving force of the hydraulic jack. Without it, there is not enough pressure exerted against the piston.

The problem with this mechanism is that, as with all fluids, there will always be leaks. No matter how safe the container or the locking points are, there will always be leaks. You will notice that some of the oil is leaking when you are about to lower the lift stroke. Therefore, the more you use it, the more the oil will leak at some point.

Therefore, it is important to fill it with oil. If your bottle lifter does not contain enough oil, there is a possibility that the power will be reduced, resulting in slippage while you are lifting your vehicle.

The last thing you need is for your vehicle to fall to the ground while you are in the middle of lifting, right? Now let’s go through the simple process of filling your hydraulic cylinder lifter.

Filling a hydraulic bottle jack

Here are the things you need:

  • Flat screwdrivers or similar tools
  • hydraulic lifting oil
  • Newspapers or fabrics
  • rag
  • Plastic adhesive bottle

Note: It is important that you use hydraulic jack oil. Use of other oils will only damage the bottle jack

Here are the steps:

Step 1
Place the jack in an upright position and make sure you are on a level surface. You can place rags or newspapers under the jack to catch the oil that will seep through.

Step 2
Pay attention to the rubber filler plug. This is usually on the side of the cylinder near the top of the jack.
Then insert the plug with a flat screwdriver. Take care to open it slowly so that the excess oil does not splash out.

Step 3
Take your hydraulic jack oil and place it in the plastic pressure bottle. Make sure that the plastic adhesive bottle has a pointed and long tip.
Place the tip in the oil filling opening and push out the oil. Continue until you have filled the container. Take care not to overfill it. A good rule of thumb is to stop the filling if it is at least 0.3 cm below the filling hole.

Step 4
After filling, push the oil filler plug back into the hole and make sure that it remains in place. You can try to open it with your fingers just to make sure it is securely closed.

Step 5
Use a cloth or cloth to wipe off any excess oil that may have been spilled during the filling process. You must do this after each session as oil build-up on the outside of the lift can also cause slippage as it affects the joints.

Are there different types of hydraulic jacks?

There is a wide range of jacks, but they all work essentially the same. The biggest differences you will notice are the lifting range and the load capacity.

For most automotive applications, jacks ranging from 2 to 12 tons are more than sufficient. However, you can find jacks designed for 100 tons or more. Typically these are used on construction sites to hold buildings high.

There are hydraulic jacks that can be operated with compressed air instead of hand pumps. If you do a lot of vehicle lifting, you might enjoy having this type of jack to save yourself a lot of manual work. They cost slightly more than a manual jack, but if you already have a compressor, you will appreciate the time and effort you will save.

How to use a hydraulic jack

how to use a bottle jack to lift a house

Use of a hydraulic bottle jack

It should be taken for granted that lifting a heavy object in the air and balancing it in a confined space is dangerous.
Although a good jack is a safe jack, it is still a situation that requires caution. The kind of injury you can suffer or the damage you can cause by abusing a jack is frightening.

Here is a step-by-step guide to the safe operation of a hydraulic bottle jack:

  1. If possible, park your vehicle on a level surface. A garage is the best choice. If it is an emergency, try to find a flat spot (if you can move your vehicle) and stay away from traffic. Set your parking brake to prevent rolling back; if the car rolls while you are jacking it, it may tip over and fall down.
  2. Wedge the wheels at the other end of the vehicle from where the jack is located (front wheels when lifting at the rear; rear wheels when working at the front). This is another protection against setbacks.
  3. If you plan to get under your vehicle, or if you want to give it up for a longer period, you will need Jack Stands. Get your jack, check them for defects, and make sure they are ready for use. Always use a jack stand when carrying out maintenance work under the vehicle. Detailed instructions can be found in the manual: How to use the jack stand.
  4. Check your jack for defects or damage, including leaking hydraulic oil. Make sure the plug is tight; it is usually on the back of the barrel. Also, make sure that the release valve is closed. Wipe off any deposits from the saddle (the upper part of the lift cylinder) to ensure good contact with the vehicle.
  5. Mount the handle and insert it into the holder on the side of the drum. Make sure it is complete – you do not want it to slip out!
  6. Give the jack a few test pumps without load. Simply pump the handle slowly up and down. Lower the cylinder by slowly turning the drain valve counterclockwise to make sure it works properly. The handle is notched at one end; use this notch to rotate the release valve. The valve is located near the lower part of the barrel on the front of the jack. Retighten the release valve.

how does a hydraulic bottle jack work

  1. Find the lifting point on your vehicle in the area you need to reach. If you are not sure where it is, refer to the instruction manual. Lifting points are specially designed to absorb the pressure of a lift without bending or breaking. It is important to lift from the designated lifting points to prevent damage to the vehicle.
  2. Check your work area to make sure it is free of people and debris and anything that could injure you. Also, make sure you have enough space to work safely.
  3. Place your bottle jack as close as possible to the lifting point. If the floor is uneven or soft, placing a solid board under the jack will give you a solid, relatively flat surface to work on.
  4. Insert the handle and pump the jack until the saddle almost touches the vehicle. If you need to make small adjustments to perfectly align the saddle to the lifting point, now is the time.
  5. Carefully pump the jack until the vehicle is high enough above the ground so that you can do what you need for a safely ride. Although good bottle jacks have safety features to prevent overstretching, it is still a good idea not to lift your vehicle higher than you need. Now position your jacking stand(s) so that they are ready to support the weight of the vehicle.
  6. Remove the handle from the jack and carefully turn the drain valve counterclockwise with the notch at one end. This will drain the liquid from the cylinder, allowing the lift column to descend. Lower the jack very slowly until the weight of the vehicle is on the jack stand(s). Make sure that the stand(s) are held before lowering the jack further.
  7. It is safe to work on your vehicle now. When you are finished, repeat steps 9 to 11 until the weight is off the stand(s).
  8. Carefully remove the jack stands and put them away as well as any tools you may have used.
  9. Make sure that no one is working on or under the vehicle or standing near it. As soon as you are sure that everything is in order, lower the vehicle slowly until it is on the ground.

How to use a hydraulic jack in horizontal position

Hydraulic jacks are normally used to lift objects from the ground. However, there are times when it is necessary to use a jack horizontally. Projects such as aligning a door frame benefit from using a winch to spread the opening. Bottle jacks are the only ones that work this way. Using a hydraulic jack in a horizontal position requires the pump to be lower than the piston. This prevents the hydraulic fluid from escaping into the piston accumulator and causing a pressure drop.

Step 1
Turn the drain valve counterclockwise using the notch on the end of the lift handle to fully lower the piston. Turn the valve clockwise as soon as the piston points down.

Step 2
Place the jack on the side with the pump under the container. The reservoir is the cylinder containing the piston and the pump is where you insert the handle.

Step 3
Hold the jack with one hand in a straight horizontal position and operate the pump with the handle. Pump the handle side-by-side until the base of the jack and the surface of the piston are in contact with the object to be repaired.

how to use a bottle jack on a car

Concluding considerations

That is all there is! Just remember that it is always important to work carefully and follow every step every time, no matter how often you lift your vehicle and how comfortable you are with your hydraulic jack.

Using a hydraulic bottle jack

Locate the valve at the bottom of the bottle jack. It is a small flattened screw top device that holds the pressure of the hydraulic piston when locked, and then releases the hydraulic pressure when opened. Using the tip of the bottle jack handle as a key for the valve, turn it clockwise until it is tight.

Lifting your car is a serious matter and has the potential to cause serious injuries and even death if not done properly. Be careful, do it right and have fun with your vehicle!

If you are still in the market for a hydraulic bottle jack, check out our reviews and full buyer’s guide.
Thanks for reading and good luck with your next project!

How to Use a Hydraulic Bottle Jack? A Step-By-Step Guide Video

Best rated Hydraulic Bottle Jack

1. Torin Big Red Hydraulic Bottle Jack, 2 Ton Capacity

2. Pro-Lift B-004D Grey Hydraulic Bottle Jack – 4 Ton Capacity

3. Torin Big Red Hydraulic Bottle Jack, 6 Ton Capacity

4. Pro-Lift B-020D Grey Hydraulic Bottle Jack – 20 Ton Capacity

5. Torin Big Red Hydraulic Stubby Bottle Jack, 12 Ton Capacity

6. Powerbuilt 620471 6000lb, Unijack 6000lb, Unijack

7. Torin Big Red Air Hydraulic Bottle Jack, 20 Ton Capacity

8. Powerbuilt 647501 Heavy Duty 12-Ton Bottle Jack

9. TONDA Hydraulic Bottle Jack, 4 Ton Capacity

10. Powerbuilt Alltrade 640912 Black 3 Ton,All-in-One Bottle Jack

11. Pro-Lift B-004D Grey Hydraulic Bottle Jack – 4 Ton Capacity

David Muench (Carnes Mechanical)

David Muench (Carnes Mechanical)

Hey, I’m David. I’ve worked in a cars store for 6 years. I write reviews and guides, helping people to choose the most suitable technicals and best product for them. I’m happy to finally share my knowledge of the industry here, on CarnesMechanical.


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