Stop Messing Around! This Is The Proper Way On How To Jack Up A Car
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If you own a vehicle (or if you are seriously considering buying one) then you need to know the proper way on how to jack up a car. If you don’t, then you might end up damaging your ride, or you might have to explain to the police on how a driverless vehicle managed to careen down a busy and inclined street on its own behest. Not a pretty thought, right?
If you need to change a flat tire, then you will obviously need to jack up the car. If you need to do some light repair work on the brakes, steering, and suspension, then you will also need to raise the vehicle. Jacking up your car is inevitable. It is bound to happen, and you will need to do it in one way or another.
In that regard, there is no harm in doing it perfectly each and every time. Your car is equipped with a scissor jack from the factory and it is located in the trunk next to the spare tire (if your car is equipped with a spare tire). The scissor jack is good enough if you need to raise the vehicle to change a flat tire. Although raising the scissor jack will involve a bit of elbow grease, you can purchase an aftermarket bottle jack/floor jack or alligator jack to make the job easier.
You don’t need to buy the best floor jack to lift your vehicle. What you need is the right knowledge and technique to get the job done in the fastest and most efficient way possible.
Before proceeding to jack up your vehicle, here are a couple of safety reminders:
1. Always park your car in a hard and level surface. If you need to jack your car in an inclined road or hill, you should park next to the curb and turn the front wheels toward the curve to prevent the vehicle from moving down the hill.
2. You should only use a jack to lift the vehicle from the ground. Do NOT use a jack to hold the vehicle in the air. This is not only ridiculous, but it is also irresponsibly dangerous.
3. If you need to raise the vehicle for an extended period of time, you need to use the best jack stands that are designed to support the weight of your vehicle.
4. Never get under the vehicle when it is raised with a jack. You don’t want to end up in the hospital (or worst, the morgue) looking like a morbid mess of flattened bones and flesh.
5. Invest in a good set of wheel chocks. You need a sturdy set of wheel chocks when you are jacking up your car. You should place wheel chocks on each wheel that is on the opposite side of where you intend to lift the vehicle. For example, if you are lifting the front left side, you should place a wheel chock on the right rear tires. This will prevent the car from rolling or moving unnecessarily. You can also use a sturdy block of wood or a heavy rock as wheel chocks.
6. Always engage the parking brake before lifting your vehicle with a jack.
7. If you have a manual transmission, place the stick in 1st or 2nd gear. If your vehicle is equipped with an automatic transmission, shift the gear lever to P or Park. This is an added safety measure that will prevent the vehicle from moving or rolling down.
8. You should avoid changing a flat tire or jacking up your car on the highway or freeway. With that being said, it would be best to wait for the highway patrol. Also, you should avoid jacking up your car when you’re parked in sandy or loose soil. The ground may not be strong enough to support the weight of a jacked vehicle.
The Proper Way On How To Jack Up A Car
After taking the necessary safety precautions, here are the easy steps on how to properly jack up a car.
What You Will Need:
- Scissor jack/floor jack or hydraulic jack
- Wheel chocks
Park your car in a safe and level area, preferably on a concrete ground. If you are on a busy street, turn on your hazard lights and place the early warning device a couple of meters behind your car. Engage the parking brake.
Locate the jack points on your vehicle. The jack points are usually located a couple of inches behind the front wheels and in front of the rear wheels.
There are also a couple of central jacking points under the front and rear bumpers. When in doubt, you should consult the owner’s manual. Never jack up your vehicle without using the proper jack points to avoid vehicle damage.
Place a wheel chock on the opposite side of the lifting point.
Grab your scissor jack or floor jack. Place the jack under the jack point to begin lifting your vehicle.
If you are using a scissor jack, simply insert the rod over the knob and crank repeatedly to lift the vehicle.
Wondering how to use a floor jack or hydraulic jack? Simply insert the handle in the proper location and repeatedly pump up and down to raise the vehicle off the ground.
You should only raise the vehicle just enough so that the wheel will clear the ground. Raising it any higher will necessitate the use of jack stands.
Note: If you are changing a flat tire, you should loosen up the lug nuts before proceeding to jack up the vehicle. Never loosen the lug nuts while the vehicle is supported by the jack.
If you need to do some work under the vehicle, place jack stands under the lift points of the car.
When you’re done, it is time to bring your vehicle back on solid ground.
If you are using a scissor jack, simply crank the handle in the opposite direction to lower the jack.
If you have a floor jack, use the handle to turn the pressure release valve. This will serve to lower the jack. Turn the valve slowly to gently lower your vehicle. Don’t forget to remove the wheel chocks before setting off.
Now that wasn’t so hard, right? Learning the proper way on how to jack up a car is a simple skill that every car owner should know. With the right tools and technique, you can successfully raise or lower your vehicle so you can change a flat tire in no time at all.