How Does a Floor Jack Work?

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A floor jack is a hydraulically-operated device that is used for lifting cars, trucks or other heavy pieces of machinery. Discover how a large cylinder assembly is used with a hand-powered piston pump to move a floor jack with help from a certified master mechanic in this free video on car maintenance and auto repair.

Part of the Video Series: Car Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Mark Blocker, in this segment we're going to cover how a floor jack works. OK what a floor jack is is a hydraulically operated device used primarily for lifting cars or trucks or other heavy equipment. It usually has four wheels on it which allows you some maneuverability and a long handle so it can be used to slide up underneath the car so you don't have to get down and actually position it. And how it operates it uses a large cylinder assembly and a hand operated piston pump which is operated by the crank, the jacking of the handle, in the handle itself contains a release device, you'll turn it all the way clockwise to close the valve and counterclockwise to open the valve which allows you to lower the pump. And how it operates by you jacking motion, pumping the handle downward, it pushes hydraulic fluid through a piston and into a cylinder. The cylinder is what's used with the use of leverage to actually lift the vehicle. So by the use of your manual input on the handle, the downward force that pumps fluid through a piston which uses the front of the jack to lift the vehicle. That's how a floor jack operates.

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