How to Properly Jack Up a Vehicle
Older cars used to have separate body constructions. Girders were used to hold the vehicle frame, but those girders added a lot of weight and hence were not used in the modern vehicles. In older cars for jacking the car up, one would put the jack right below that girder to lift the car. But nowadays, modern cars have unibody constructions. There are special notches underneath these modern cars for the jack.
One can now very easily use jacks to lift the vehicle without damaging it or even themselves.
Before getting into the process, first, we need to know a little about Car Jacks.
Why do you need a Car Jack?
Vehicles sometimes require parts replacement that are out of our reach, here we need something to lift them up so that we can get to that part and fix it. This is where different jacks come in.
Most car companies provide jacks and its handle called Scissors Jack. But that very Jack has very limited applications i.e. it can only be used for changing tires. But what if we need to fix the brakes, or suspension system or get underneath the car for fixing the axle. That is where Floor Jack kicks in. This type of jack is hydraulic and can be jacked up to a high ground clearance and is a lot more reliable than the company provided jacks. However, these jacks are quite heavy and bulky and hence must be kept in the garage.
There are two type of Floor Jacks;
- Low Profile Floor Jack
- Plain Profile Floor Jack
Low Profile Floor Jack
This type is used for normal sedans, hatchbacks and station wagons. It has a low profile and can easily sneak underneath the car. The below image shows low profile floor jack.
Plain Profile Floor Jack
This type of hydraulic jack is used for heavy SUVs, pickup trucks, and transportation vehicles and can be jacked higher than low profile floor jack. Also, it has a bigger eye than low profile floor jack for stability.
If you own a small car, it is better to buy the low-profile floor jack as it can easily get underneath the car due to its low ground clearance as compared to plain-profile floor jack. But if you own a truck or a heavy vehicle, a plain profile floor jack is advised.
Sometimes we need to work underneath the car a lot longer, and for that, we need something that can hold the weight of the car without any mishaps. For that, you need Jack Stand.
Jack Stands are used for holding the car higher than the ground while you do the repairs. Jack Stands can be of steel or aluminium. Yes, aluminium is pretty lightweight but steel stands are a lot stronger as compared to aluminium ones.
Steps for Using Car Jack
- Before jacking, pull your car’s handbrake so that the car won’t move from its place.
- Bring the jack to zero so that it can sneak underneath the car.
- Now raise the jack a little higher so you can align the eye of the jack with the special notches.
- Once the alignment is done. It is time to jack your car up.
- Jack your car up as much as required. If you need to work for little longer put Jack Stands below the steel bumps underneath the car.
- Once you are done fixing your vehicle. Pull the Jack stands out and by spinning the lever of the Jack, bring the vehicle down to the ground.