Need a tire change? Lifting a car safely is simple when you know how. Read more to find out how to jack up a car.
Every year, around 10,000 people are injured while using a car jack or hoisting up a car.
If you don’t want to be part of this statistic then you need to learn how to jack up a car properly. Fortunately, it’s easier than you may think and only requires five steps.
Keep reading to learn how to avoid injuries and potential expensive bills from your hospital.
How to Jack Up a Car
By following these five steps, you’ll be able to safely jack up any car. Each section has additional information so you fully understand why each step is essential.
1. Find Level Ground
The first thing you should do is make sure your vehicle is on a smooth, level surface. Any type of slope will cause your car to lean on the jack stands which may cause them to tip over.
Level ground can often be found inside your garage, on a non-sloping driveway, or on the street.
2. Secure Your Car
After moving the car into position, put the car in Park (automatic transmission) or first gear (manual transmission). Then, grab some wheel chocks, heavy rocks, or “4 x 4” pieces of lumber to keep the car from going anywhere.
If you’re lifting a front wheel, set the parking breaks on and place wheel chocks behind the back wheels. When raising a rear wheel, parking breaks won’t work so it’s crucial to set chocks on both sides of both front wheels.
3. Find a Jack Point
Avoid any damage to your car by finding a jack point to place your car jack. The easiest way to find them is to check your car’s manual.
Usually, jack points are located along the frame rail on each side of the vehicle. They can also be found at the front and rear cross members or the rear differential.
4. Lift the Vehicle
After you move the floor jack into position, make sure the hydraulic valve is closed. Then, place a piece of wood on the jack plate to wedge in between the car and the jack point to protect your vehicle.
To lift your car, slowly pump the floor jack’s handle up and down until it makes contact with the jack point. Continue slowly pumping the handle until the car is lifted to the desired height.
Be aware of any shifting or unusual noises. If at any point something doesn’t feel right, stop and slowly lower the car.
5. Place Jack Stands
If you are trying to raise up anything heavier than a pickup truck, you may want to place jack stands. These will give you extra protection because they can hold up even more weight than a single hydraulic jack.
When it comes to working under vehicles, you can’t be too safe, so consider picking up a pair of the finest jack stands to stabilize your car as you work beneath it.
Learn More About Vehicle Maintenance
Now you know how to jack up a car in five steps. As you can see, it’s essential to put these steps into practice to avoid any injuries or worse.
If you want to learn more about how you can take care of your vehicle, read our post about taking care of your car during winter. There, you’ll find a list of helpful tips so your car can weather the cold.