How to Jack Up a Car Properly
Performing maintenance on your truck or car sometimes calls for simple repairs, while others require you to lift up your vehicle. If you need to perform various tasks like rotating tires, changing oil or replacing brake pads, you can work with a jack to get under your car. Jacks are simple to use with the proper knowledge. However, failure to follow safety precautions and adequate techniques could result in damage to your vehicle as well as put you at risk for injuries or even death.
Take a look at these floor jack safety tips and procedures to ensure a hazard-free maintenance check.
How to Jack Up a Car
If you’re unsure of how to proceed, call the professionals at North American Auto Equipment. Jacking up a vehicle may seem simple, but if you don’t take the right steps, it could lead to risky conditions. Here's how to proceed:
- Park on a solid and flat surface: Make sure the transmission is in “park” or the lowest gear if you drive a manual car and put the emergency brake on. You must consider the danger of your car rolling or slipping off the jack stands without correct placement. Always work with a hard surface that won’t give while working under your vehicle — no stones, gravel, slick areas, dirt, etc.
- Chock the set of wheels on the ground: Chocks or other similar solutions like cinder blocks, rocks, wedged wood and bricks prevent tires from rolling. Workers often lift a car via two jack stands at a time, either at the front or back end, so place the chocks as necessary.
- Find your vehicle’s lift points: Most cars have several locations, and if you don’t know where they are, refer to the owner’s manual or call a professional. Jacking somewhere other than the preferred points could cause your vehicle to slip, or the car’s weight could damage the frame. It’s typical for the jack points to be on each side of a car behind the front wheels and in front of the rear.
- Slide the jack under your car one point at a time: When you reach the exact lift points, raise the jack and make any final pivoting adjustments. Lift the vehicle off the ground and work the jack upward until the corner of your car lifts off the ground. Then, stop when you have enough clearance. ***Important: make sure you have the right jack.
- Working under the car will require you to use jack stands: For a more secure base, slip the stands under your vehicle where the jack is supporting the frame. Line one up at a time, then lower the jack, so it supports the weight of the car.
- When finished, lower the car: If you have jack stands underneath, you must raise the device first, remove the stands, then lower the vehicle.
Car Jack Safety
Using a jack and jack stands are beneficial whether you’re working in a professional setting or you’re at home. But always remember to refer to the following safety tips to ensure your protection and the safety of others:
- Always park the vehicle on level, solid ground with the “E” brake in place.
- Don’t change a tire on the highway or another busy road.
- Don’t substitute other elements for jack stands.
- Never jack up a car without implementing wheel chocks.
- Place stands on thick plywood if you need to work on unstable ground.
- Put the car in park or the lowest gear.
- Use a jack to lift a car, not to hold it in place.
- Use stands if you’re working under the vehicle.
Refer to the Experts at North American Auto Equipment
Purchase jacks and stands online or contact a representative for further assistance. We are a hands-on company that recommends the proper solutions to match your application. We are also always updating our website, so be sure to check in on a regular basis.