An Ultimate Guide To Hydraulic Oil For Jack

Hydraulic oil is a non-compressible, low-viscosity fluid responsible for transferring or generating pressure. Hydraulic fluids can be synthetic or mineral-based. The jacks are commonly used to lift SUVs, trucks, and heavy cars. These jacks need hydraulic oil for creating pressure or energy for lifting weight. That’s why Hydraulic oil for the jack is very important to keep performing.

With regular use, your jack oil may become dirty and doesn’t work efficiently. You must change the oil when you notice your hydraulic jack isn’t working. But before using any hydraulic oil, you should know the best hydraulic oil for jack. Let’s discuss hydraulic jack oil, which oil is best and more.

What Is Hydraulic Jack Oil?

Hydraulic jack oil is a hydraulic fluid used for sealing, power transfer, lubrication, and more. But, we distinguish these fluids based on their properties. Most typical hydraulic jack oil is mineral oil, and it’s insoluble in water. Particular hydraulic liquid properties are best for hydraulic jacks.

Many hydraulic jack oils have anti-wear properties because they allow the lifting of heavy objects. Jack needs to do serious work; that’s why hydraulic jack oil needs to meet the specific requirements.

Hydraulic Oil For Jack

Hydraulic Jack Oil Weight and Grade

If you’ve looked at a hydraulic oil bottle, you may have seen SAE10W or ISO20 written on it. Do you know what they mean? They represent the oil’s viscosity grade.

Viscosity Grades:

An engine oil’s viscosity grade indicates its resistance to flowing into your automobile’s engine. A lower viscosity grade lubricant will be more liquid, fluid, and easier to flow.

Conversely, if the grade is higher, the oil is thicker. And if it flows slowly, it allows a protective coating to create on engine parts.

ISO and SAE:

On a jack oil bottle, two types of notation are used, for example, ISO 22 or SAE10W. In this example, SAE is the short form of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Because they created this notation, the W stands for Winter, and the 10 is viscosity grade.

A viscosity of 10 on the SAE indicates a kinematic viscosity of 22 (cSt) in grade 40. Before the “W,” if the number is low, this oil can efficiently work at low temperatures. SAE’s parallel grading system is the ISO system. For example, SAE 10W is similar to ISO 22.

Now, there are two types of oil based on this viscosity grade; Monograde and Multigrade. An example of a monograde oil we just discussed is SAE 10W. But sometimes, you can see it written 10W30.

This is a multigrade oil; it can perform in low and high conditions. In this case, the value before “W” indicates the same meaning as monograde oil. But the value after “W” indicates the viscosity grades that can work at higher temperatures.

For the jack, we usually use the low-viscosity monograde hydraulic liquid. For example, commonly used ISO 32 or SAE 10W oils include.

hydraulic jack oil

Hydraulic Jack Oil Properties:

Hydraulic fluid comes with specific properties that are best for hydraulic jacks. The characteristics of this hydraulic jack fluid are listed below.


Accordingly, hydraulic jack fluid is a viscous fluid between 22 cSt – 32 cSt @ 40°C. Hydraulic jacks and hoists must maintain the required viscosity for smooth lifting. When density decreases, the fluid’s lubricating property will decrease and damage system elements.

Thermal Stability:

Hydraulic jacks and hoists operate at different temperatures. Therefore, hydraulic systems must maintain fluid properties consistent with hot and cold conditions. Improved chemical and thermal stability is needed to expand oil life.


Adequately, most hydraulic jacks and hoists will have metal surfaces. Thus, if you use non-compatible hydraulic oil, it may damage the metal surfaces of the jack. That’s why you need to use non-corrosive hydraulic jack fluids.


Poor jack oil can be a cause of filter blockage. These blockages prevent fluid flow through the jack system and cause difficulty lifting the load. Hence, hydraulic jack oil must be clean and filterable for efficient performance.

Besides this, the other hydraulic jack oil properties are anti-wear, anti-oxidant, fire resistance, and hydraulic durability.

Hydraulic Jack Fluid Substitute

Usually, it’s recommended to use a particular jack oil for your jack. But if you have an emergency and no other option, you can use a jack oil substitute. So, let’s know some hydraulic jack oil substitutes below:

Read more about Hydraulic Oil Substitute

Machine Oil Or Motor Oil:

Machine oil or motor oil viscosity grades 10W and 20W work like the original jack oil. You can use it as an alternative.

ATF or Automatic Transmission Fluid:

ATF is another substitute for Jack Oil, but its uses are limited. Additionally, if you have a small jack handy, you can use it. Yet, ATF has additives that will damage seals. But mind it automatic transmission fluid is different from hydraulic fluid and is prone to foaming at high pressure.

Read about Dexron-type ATF transmission fluid

Power Steering Fluid:

You need oil for your jack, but you don’t have any other option than to use power steering fluid. It will be another suitable option for you. Mainly, it’s hydraulic and can create the necessary viscosity level for your jack. Some technicians recommend you to sometimes use baby oil or vegetable oil as a jack oil.

Best Hydraulic Jack Oil:

Oil with the best viscosity level can resist oxidation and corrosion and be suitable for hydraulic jacks. In icy environments, an additional additive is necessary. It prevents freezing and allows the jack to perform despite sub-zero temperatures. Some of the best hydraulic jack oils are:

Hapco Hydraulic Oil

Are you looking for the best hydraulic jack oil for your jack? Hapco hydraulic oil can be the best choice. This versatile and durable choice can work without fail in almost all regular environments. Mainly, you won’t discover a better choice than Hapco hydraulic oil.

Hapco hydraulic oil is a top-tier choice on the market. Moreover, Hapco oils come with special additives to prevent machine rust and corrosion. Ultimately, this is incredible whether you use it for a hydraulic jack or any other application.

Sta-Lube Hydraulic And Jack Oil

Are you looking for an oil that works with all hydraulic fluids and is suitable for any operating temperature? Then Sta-lube hydraulic jack oil is the perfect choice for you.

You shouldn’t need to empty the oil chamber and top off directly to use this oil. Manufacturers have added many crucial additives like antifoam and antirust to this oil.

Lucas Oil 10019 Hydraulic Oil

Lucas hydraulic oil is another incredible option. This oil develops the overall performance and automatically shuts down any problem. Lucas Oil 10019 is best for the brake system, but it will also work perfectly with your hydraulic jack. Using this oil reduces operating temperatures and boosts the life of rams, hoses, and cylinders. Primarily, this oil is inexpensive, that’s why low-budget consumers can use this oil.

hydraulic jack oil substitute

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. Can you use any hydraulic oil in a jack?

Though hydraulic oil and jack oil are similar, low-quality hydraulic oil can be dangerous for your jack. Maximum hydraulic jacks and hoists contain metal surfaces. Thus, if you use non-compatible hydraulic oil, it may damage jack surfaces and sometimes may lead to an accident as hydraulic jack is used in heavy-weight works. That is why it’s better to use non-corrosive hydraulic jack fluid.

Q. Is hydraulic jack oil the same as hydraulic fluid?

Yes. In the market, you can find several grades of hydraulic oil. All these grades are classified according to the oil viscosity level. But you should check your jack manufacturer’s recommended hydraulic grade for oil selection.

Q. Can I use transmission fluid in a hydraulic jack?

Automatic transmission fluid, or ATF, commonly called hydraulic oil, proves to be an excellent substitute. Even so, you can use transmission fluid in other hydraulic systems as a hydraulic oil substitute.

Q. Can I use gear oil in a hydraulic jack?

You should not try it! because gear oil has EP additives that can work for better functioning of gear and give protection from friction and heat, it will not help to transmit power which is the main requirement in hydraulic jack.

Final Word:

Various oils can be used in hydraulic jacks, but not all oil ensures quality performance. Some oils may be too thick and can’t work appropriately with Jack. Others may be too thin and cause the jack to leak. To use in a hydraulic jack, the best oil is low viscosity lightweight oil.

The reason is that your jack won’t work efficiently with the high-viscosity oil. Before making a purchase, make sure you do your research to get the perfect value. Overall, we have given some vital information about hydraulic oil for Jack. We hope you get the best result after reading this article—best of luck.







I am Engr. Z Eusuf Lubricant Specialist, Mechanical Engineer & has been working with engine lubricants for a long time and knows what makes them work best. I can help you find the right oil for your needs, and I have tips on how to keep your engine running at its best.