While there are several reasons to jack up your car, the most common are changing a wheel. Working underneath the vehicle must happen once in a while. Therefore, knowing how to safely jack up your car in the right way is critical. Many people prefer to do the job by them and save money.
However, the wrong usage of the quick jack is a recipe for disaster. By following a few simple steps can be the difference between a wheel change and tragedy. Learn how to do it safely.
Steps to Jacking up a Vehicle
- Steps to Jacking up a Vehicle
- A Level Surface
- Check the Equipment
- Consult Your Manual
- Make Sure the Vehicle is Completely Stationary
- When Possible Always Use a Floor Jack
- Make Sure the Jack is on Solid Non-Moving Part of Your Vehicle
- Use Jack Stands
- Test Your Stands
- Add Other Supports for Safety
- Lowering the Vehicle
- Safety Precautions
- Final word
A Level Surface
The first thing that you need do is locate a level working space. Putting the jack on a slanting surface places you in considerable danger. Therefore, before anything, ensure the surface is level and solid. Concrete surfaces are the best.
Check the Equipment
After you locate an appropriate surface, check your jack. Lift the anvil and lever down when you reach your desired height. Check that the jack parts are in good working condition before using. Rusted pieces may not work as you need them to.
The next thing that you need do is inspect the lifting plate. This part should be free of dirt or oil. Don’t use a wooden block between the plate and the contact surface of the vehicle. Overlooking this may cause the vehicle to slip and lead to a fatality.
The metal wheel is important parts of the jack. Make sure they are in a perfect working condition. You may need to lubricate these wheels if you notice that they are getting stuck. If that does not remedy the situation, replacement of the wheels or the whole unit may be the right thing to do.
Consult Your Manual
Every vehicle is different from the other. That’s mean there are several dynamics specific to your vehicle that go into jacking up and which you need to be aware of. The car manual is the best place to find this information.
Make Sure the Vehicle is Completely Stationary
Rolling wheels when jacking up are definitely a recipe for disaster. To prevent this, make sure that you use a parking brake. However, if you are car lifting the rear wheels, use wheel chokes. Mainly, the parking brake works efficiently on rear wheels. Therefore, the front wheels will still move even when the brakes are on. The shocks will keep the front wheels from rolling.
When Possible Always Use a Floor Jack
A wrench and standard jacks are tools that usually come with the vehicle. However, they are only for emergency cases. Regularly utilize a floor jack when you need to lift the vehicle off the ground. Avoid loose or wet soils as they can sink the jack causing an accident.
Make Sure the Jack is on Solid Non-Moving Part of Your Vehicle
As indicated earlier on, the vehicle’s manual has the necessary information on jacking up. The document will show where the jack needs to be. Avoid the car’s floorboards as they may sink in when you are jacking up causing slipups.
Apart from the floorboards, there are numerous places where the jack can cause considerable damage to the vehicle. For example, using the transmission or engine to jack up can be a very costly mistake. Avoid drive shafts, exhaust systems, and fuel lines among other sensitive places when jacking up. Essentially, some vehicles have a marked spot where you put the jack.
Use Jack Stands
Using two jack stands of the same height is always the best thing to do. This ensures there is adequate support for the vehicle. Vehicles hold considerable weight, and you should never use the floor jack alone. Don’t put your life in jeopardy. Jack stands to provide a good layer of protection, and you should never be without them when jacking up.
Test Your Stands
After installing the stands, it necessary to determine whether they are securely in place. On either side of the jacks, push your vehicle to make sure that they do not move. If you detect any movement, re-orient them until to the point where there is no such movement.
Add Other Supports for Safety
While the floor jacks and wheel chocks provide adequate support, it always necessary to be on the safe side. Additional solid support to catch the vehicle should allow the jacks slip. Blocks of wood or spare rims will provide this important additional support to avoid placing your life at risk.
Lowering the Vehicle
When you are done changing the wheel or any other job, you need to lower the vehicle safely. The first thing you need to do is raise the vehicle slightly and remove the jack stands. Next, lower the handle of the jack and turn it counterclockwise. Lowering the handle too fast can cause the vehicle to fall abruptly causing damage or injury.
Unsupported vehicles during auto repairs are unsafe. Avoid doing so at all times. Use jack stands and wheel chocks in the right way and accidents associated with slipped vehicles.
Always remember to use the checks in addition to the jack stands. Jack stands alone are not adequate in providing the right support. Accidents can still happen when the opposite wheel’s roll. Therefore, always make sure that you have additional support to prevent such as the wheel chocks.
Jack stand manufacturers insist you use only a pair per vehicle. Never use jack stands to support both ends of the car. Doing so will be putting your life at risk. Damage property is also a possibility if this risk is taken.
Many people these days prefer to do certain activities such as changing a wheel on their own. Jacking up your vehicle is an easy thing to do if you follow the right steps. Don’t assume anything and follow the stated precaution to avoid a tragedy. Vehicles are extremely heavy, and slip-ups are a possibility. Therefore, take all the necessary precautions.