How to Fix an Engine Hoist

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Engine hoists are a valuable tool in any automotive shop. The ability to move heavy objects with ease makes a good hoist a necessity for a serious mechanic. However, like all machines that are frequently used, maintenance is necessary to maintain the quality of the machine.

Things You'll Need

  • Hydraulic fluid
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Allen wrench
  • Look on the cylinder itself and find the dime-sized fitting that plugs the cylinder. Not all manufacturers use the same methods for refilling or repairing an engine hoist. Some manufacturers use threaded fitting while others will use a rubber plug.

  • Make sure that the cylinder is clean before removing the plug. Use a dry cloth and wipe down all of the areas near the plug. Once the area has been cleaned, remove the plug by using the appropriate tool.

  • Fill the cylinder with new hydraulic fluid. If no hydraulic fluid is available, 5W-30 motor oil can also be used. The cylinder does not need to be completely full.

  • Replace the plug and wipe up any spilled liquid. Test the cylinder by pumping the lift arm and ensure the cylinder is working. Cylinders can also be replaced if adding fluid does not fix the problem.

Tips & Warnings

  • 5W-30 is a substitute for hydraulic fluid in this case.
  • Do not use an engine hoist that is not working properly. Hydraulic fluid is very slick, so be sure to clean up any spilled liquid.
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