You don’t know when or in what situation you will be forced to change a flat tire, these are the things in life that you have zero control over it all, and you must be prepared. This is why is very important you know all the secrets and tips on how to use a jack in a safe and easy way. Doesn’t matter if it’s hydraulic or scissor kind, or a jack stand. You will know it all.
How To Use A Jack
Before I explain to you how to exactly use a jack, I want to share some little safety precautions about actually using a jack, take this into consideration when trying to lift your car off the ground.
- The jack should be used only and for the sole purpose of lift your car off the ground. Don’t use it as a tool to hold your vehicle in place. That’s just simply not its function.
- Secure all the wheels from moving, when you want to jack up your car, make sure you put some kind of rock, bricks, or wooden wedges blocking at the other side that isn’t being raised.
- Always park your car completely on level ground before you attempt lifting it up with the jack.
- You want to secure the vehicle by putting it in “Park” or in “First” if you have a manual transmission car, and also engaging the parking brake before you lift it off the ground.
Now that you have some precautions to think about, it’s time for you to learn how to use a jack properly, it’s ok if you don’t do it right at first. We recommend you do some practicing at home, but not alone, so if you need help or something happens, someone is there with you.
Step 1: Place the jack under the car
Before starting, please read your car’s manufacture manual or you can ask your local car’s services shop, to know exactly where you should place the jack, it can’t be placed wherever you want, it has a specific place. If you misplace the jack in the wrong place, you can damage your car. Now that it’s placed correctly under the car, you can start lifting.
NOTE: Under any circumstances, don’t ever try to jack up a car on an uneven surface, like gravel or sand or mud. The jack needs a solid and even ground to be, so it can properly lift the vehicle.
Step 2: Lift the car
If you have a hydraulic jack, put the handle in the indicated location and pump up and down. If you are using a scissor jack, make sure to insert the rod or wrench over the knob and then crank. You will notice how it starts going up along with your car.
It’s time to bring the jack stands out, which are recommended since it’s an extra step that ensures your car and your safety. You can place them under the car, near where the jack is lifting the car. Now, proceed to raise the stands to an enough height that they touch the car, and lock them in place.
We don’t recommend replacing jack stands with boxes or stones or bricks, since those things aren’t very stable, they can easily slip out or break while you are working under the car.
Step 3: Verify the car ain’t moving
Now that you have your car secured with the jack stands, and before you start working under your car, make sure it’s safely secured. So, move it a little, make it wiggle, this will tell you that the jack stands are well placed and also if you need to do any adjustments or block the wheels from moving. It’s better that it falls that way than with you under it. Once you feel everything is fine and in place, you can remove the jack and let the jack stands do the job.
Step 4: Remove it
If you are done working under your car and you want to bring it back to the ground. We recommend you to place again the hydraulic or scissor jack, secure it very well. Then you can start removing the jack stands. Lower them slowly, do one at a time, no rush. Now that you have safely removed them, you can start lowering the car again, just turn the crank in the opposite direction. If you decided to use a hydraulic jack, grab the rod and turn the pressure release valve. You will see the jack doing most of the work for you.
Basically, these are all the steps on how to use a jack in a safe way. Remember to always take into consideration the precautions mentioned at the beginning of this reading. Your safety must be the number one priority when doing any kind of labor, especially if it puts your body or integrity at risk.
If you know any more tips or things to take into consideration, please don’t hesitate on leaving a comment and sharing with the car’s community.