How to Bleed a Hydraulic Cylinder on a Car Lift

Written by kim sarah
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How to Bleed a Hydraulic Cylinder on a Car Lift
Hydraulic cylinders provide a smooth ride to car passengers. (mechanizied car park showing hydraulic cylinder image by Heng kong Chen from

Hydraulic cylinders act as shock absorbers on a variety of machinery types. One piece of machinery that relies on these devices is a car lift. Hydraulic car lifts use these cylinders to smoothly raise and lower cars. Without shock absorption in the lifting process, damage could be done to the car. To keep hydraulic cylinders working smoothly, the fluid within them has to be bled to remove air or other inhibitors. This can be done in a matter of minutes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hydraulic fluid
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Rag

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  1. 1

    Top off the hydraulic lift with hydraulic fluid. Remove the nut on the fill hole located on the top of the hydraulic lift. Pour the fluid into the hole.

  2. 2

    Replace the nut that you removed from the fill hole. Turn the nut clockwise to tighten it in place.

  3. 3

    Extend the hydraulic lift to its longest point.

  4. 4

    Loosen the bleeder nut until the hydraulic extension begins to slowly retract without any assistance.

  5. 5

    Let the hydraulic lift retract on its own until water begins to come out of the bleeder hole.

  6. 6

    Monitor the fluid coming out of the bleeder hole. Wait until there are no bubbles in the fluid and then tighten the bleeder nut to stop the flow of fluid.

  7. 7

    Use a rag to wipe any spilt hydraulic fluid off the surface of the hydraulic lift.

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