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Can I Use Motor Oil in My Floor Jack?

A floor jack is a device that we use in lifting vehicles. This jack contains lubricant or grease inside it. Sometimes, the new jack doesn’t have any oil inside it. In that case, you have to fill the jack with oil. But which oil should you use in the floor jack? Users ask us, “Can I use motor oil in my floor jack?” Surprisingly, people think about the use of motor oil in such a wrong way.

Why we say this, you will understand soon. But before the explanation start, let us clear you one thing. Don’t use motor oil anywhere without the engine. Otherwise, it will ruin that thing.

Can I Use Motor Oil in My Floor Jack

Which oil can I use in my floor jack?

Floor jack is a hydraulic system. To run a hydraulic system requires hydraulic oil. Fuel or engine oil is not suitable to run with a floor jack mechanism. These oils run at high temperatures always. Moreover, they are heavyweight. On the other hand, hydraulic oil is lighter and won’t run at high temperatures.

You have to use hydraulic jack oil in your floor jack. All hydraulic jacks, snow ploughs, and refillable shock-absorbents are made so that they can use liquid with hydraulic jack oil. This oil combination won’t work perfectly without hydraulic jack oil. Hydraulic oil is considered the standard oil for all types of floor jacks. Its ISO rating is 22, and its temperature is 40°C, an SAE 10 weight.

Can I put engine oil in my floor jack?

Engine oil is not made for hydraulic jacks. They are made for engines and contain special characteristics that only match car engines. So if you are looking for a hydraulic jack oil substitute, motor oil is not that substitute.

Motor oil is hard, and they come with a grading system. If you can manage a lightweight motor oil like “10/20W engine oil“, it could be a good substitute for hydraulic jack oil. You can also use ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) as floor jack oil. But you cannot put regular engine oil in the floor jack.

Moreover, there are some mineral-based oils suitable for hydraulic jacks.

oil for floor jack

Which type of oil should I choose for the floor jack?

There are some characteristics must have in oil to use in the floor jacks.

  • Viscosity.
  • Better lubrication.
  • Oxidation.
  • Rust protection.
  • Light.
  • Anti-wear.
  • Fire-resistant.

Those four are the primary characteristics we need to use oil as a hydraulic floor jack oil. In short, it is called low foaming characteristics. Vegetable oil is a great hydraulic oil. It has low foaming characteristics for hydraulic jacks. Including vegetable oil, any type of mineral oil is suitable for your floor jack. Here are some examples –

  • Vegetable oil.
  • Vacuum pump oil.
  • Compressor oil.
  • R22/12 refrigerant oil.
  • Transmission oil.

If you can’t manage the hydraulic oil for some reason, you can use those mineral-based oil floor jacks. If you have baby oil in the home, you can use them also.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What is the best hydraulic oil?

Ans. ISO 150 and AW32 Hydraulic jack oil are among the best-selling hydraulic jack oils.

  • Will motor oil work in a floor jack?

Ans. No, but you can use lightweight motor oil (10/20W). However, if you use regular motor oil in a floor jack, it will be ruined.

  • Can I use brake fluid in a floor jack?

Ans. No, you cannot use brake fluid or tranny fluid in a hydraulic floor jack. They will screw up the seals.


To sum up, you cannot find motor oil effective in floor jacks. So, the answer “Can I use motor oil in my floor jack” is simply no. You must avoid using motor oil in the hydraulic jack to maintain better working capacity. When you have better alternatives to use than engine oil, why do you put engine oil to ruin a floor jack? Hope, we have cleared your miss-ideas.

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