Thursday, December 30, 2021

Erectile Insufficiency


The right-rear tire of Mrs ERJ's mini-van had a slow leak.

As sometimes happens when one's jack is old, it proved incapable of rising to the occasion. It was unmoved by threats or promises. Perhaps lack of use allowed the seals to dry out?

There is a rumor that there are little, blue pills that can work wonders. Alas, I had no such pills available, never having needed them before.

The answer proved simple enough. There is a port that is normally covered with a screw. I removed the screw and replenished the fluid with Automatic Transmission Fluid. Even though there are special fluids manufactured for the purpose, ATF is formulated for applications from frigid-to-smoking hot and is rubber-friendly to boot.

Mrs ERJ's tire had a roofing nail in the tread. It is now repaired and reinstalled.

So remember your old buddy ERJ when you find yourself in a situation where erectile insufficiency might be potentially embarrassing; try adding more fluid to the reservoir.

Bonus image:


  1. ATF. Makes total sense. I do have one of those jacks and will bear it in mind. Thanks ERJ!

  2. This reminds me of the hydraulic tilt on my boat.
    I tried hydraulic fluid. I tried Mercruiser tilt fluid.
    Then I noticed the pump reservoir said (faintly): Use SAE-30.
    All the difference.
    I have never had luck with refilling any floor jack, but you give me hope.

    1. Several of my nibblings worked at car dealers in the repair department. One of them specialized in transmissions.

      Transmissions where the owner had poured in motor oil were a high-runner for them. Whether they knew it was the trans fill or they mistook it for the engine oil fill is unclear.

      They started shifting erratically, sometimes not going into higher gears or the torque converter lock-up not engaging.

      Nick, the nibbling, said motor oil is designed to slightly swell rubber seals and that the high-mileage formulations swell them a LOT. ATF does not do that. Swelling rubber seals "grab" valves and delay their action.

      Or so Nick said.

      It may be that in the Merc application that tight seals were more important than precisely choreographed sequence of operation.

  3. ATF does sound like a reasonable substitute in a bind. I still have about half a bottle of the real jack oil on hand, though.

  4. A mixture of equal parts ATF and acetone will out perform any penetrating oil manufactured today.

    1. Throw in some deodorized kerosene and some mineral spirits and you have “ ed’s red” a gun bore cleaning solution that has been touted by some of the old school guys on the internet. Dont know how good it is.

  5. But I hate the taste of Trans fluid....

  6. When I was a youngster, we filled power steering units with ATF. Always worked.

  7. If you're jack is leaking fluid, tHere's usually an O-ring that needs to be replaced. There are lots of youtube videos on this.
    Happy New Year!!

    The Phantom


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