A car jack is perhaps the most functional spare part that every driver must have in the car. You might not realize this until the need comes, and you have no option but help yourself. On the same note, it would be equally useless to have a jack that does not help, due to size mismatch with your vehicle. In fact, the size parameters are among the risk factors, considering that you will get underneath the car while trusting the jack to hold the weight until you are done with your business.
The Right Weight
To begin with, a car jack uses mechanical parameters to lift and lower down the weights. When choosing the right weight, you should first consider that of the subject cars. This is because a jack should have a weight capacity that is at least one-third of the car. For instance, if your vehicle weighs 5000 pounds, the recommended weight capacity should be above 3750. In this case, you have guaranteed that the lifting capacity will not only support the vehicle but also makes it easy to operate the jack, up and down while preventing physical or mechanical strains during the operation process. Most brands produce 2 tons and 3 tons varieties of car jacks, meant for mid-size and full-size car varieties, respectively.
In most cases, what you should avoid is a jack with a lifting capacity below the above recommendation. Whether you are using a hydraulic or scissors type, you stand the risk of either damaging the car or suffering injuries, when the weight of the car exceeds the lifting capacity. It is, therefore, advisable to adopt a slow lifting and lowering of the car, especially when you are not sure of the jack’s weight capacity. In order to increase the stability, you can utilize stands, which suit the size and types (Hydraulic or Scissors) of jacks that you are using.
To know how to jack your car safely, read this article.
The Car’s Profile
How high or low your vehicle is given another approach towards answering What Size Jack Do I Need for My Car. The ground clearance, which refers to the height between the ground and the jack point, defines the types and best sizes for your car. A low profile type of car will require a lift that goes underneath with ease, while the pivots produce maximum power, with each effort. For instance, when using hydraulic types, it is easy to increase the ground clearance, without the requirement of additional support to lift up the car.
On the other hand, when using scissors-types, the maximum height the jack gets is an important consideration. This is because you need enough working room, especially if you are to change oil, brake pads, or any underneath compartment. In case your vehicle has a high profile, your size choices should be of the bottle types of jacks. Considering the height of the bottle-jack, the jack point should allow you to adjust the ground clearance to stable heights. For vehicles with medium or normal heights, any type would favor the car, as long as the jack conforms precisely to the jack point.
The Make Versus Size
A floor jack should be among the spare parts that you carry in your car, making their physical sizes an important factor. Currently, some brands are utilizing heavy plastics in some compartments, in an effort to reduce the weight and increase portability. This portability easy movement as well as operation, especially when you have no one to help you operate the vehicle. If you would get an aluminum floor jack with the same capacity and efficiency as the pure aluminum variety, then the plastic types would be a better option.
However, given that you will use the best floor jack on metal and hard surface; these mixed types have a durability issue. In case you have to use them, it is important to have the assurance that the plastic used has no detrimental effects on the efficiency and minimum durability of the jacks. Nevertheless, even the pure metal types have a lifespan and will require maintenance just like the rest.
When answering the question on What Size Jack Do I Need for My Car, consider your car size and weight as a guide to the capacities and heights you need. Other factors such as portability and ease of operation should come after you have the capacity issues addressed.