Cars and means of personal locomotion are much imperative in this life of hustle and bustle. If you own your vehicle or even if you possess a rented one and looking for How to Jack up a Car. Then it becomes necessary to acquaint yourself with all thick and thin associated with your car.
Your car can breakdown on the road to destination and you are deserted and unable to call the help. What to do then? The need of hour is to learn to mend the car yourself and become a DIY technician.
We have gathered here a manual on your problem along with some tip and tricks. So that you may not face much difficulty in handling it when it ceases to move further. It can be a flat tire, some broken wire or damaged steering. For all these, you will have to jack up your car by a correct technique which we have brought here.
Getting to Know How to jack up a car:
Following a bad method or slight inexperience in handling can end up in damaged spare parts which can cost you a great deal.
The car is usually equipped with a scissor jack from the manufacturers which resides right next to your spare tire. It is enough to raise the vehicle if your need to change a punctured tire. In order to raise the scissor jack, you will need elbow grease. Equipping your car with bottle jack/floor jack or alligator jack can be useful hack to make the lifting process easier.
Important Points to Note
There are some crucial points to get acknowledged before proceeding with elements and process.
- Your car must be supported by jack stands whenever you are working underneath it. The hydraulic jack must be fixed tightly in place.
- Try chocking up wheels on opposite axle. This will prevent the car from running down the hill.
- Scissor jacks are much weak to hold much of strain. They are quite useful when used on a roadside emergency otherwise not.
There are number of tools which you will need to smoothen the process of jacking up a car.
- Car manual (to get a reference of engine oil type and bolt torque numeric)
- Hydraulic floor jack
- Pair of jack stands to provide stability and safety to car body
- Pair of wheel chocks or cinder blocks to impinge the wheels
- Lug wrench or impart wrench
- Utility gloves to protect hands of grease.
- Lighting equipment to improve conditions
Steps You Need to Know Jacking Up a Car“
- Finding a Flat Parking
Long before starting the actual process, you need to park your car on an appropriate place. This place must be levelled, hard, smooth and large enough to accommodate your vehicle comfortably without any damage.
This can be your car parking, garage, driveway or if in open then next to curb. The front wheels should be turned towards the curve to hinder vehicle moving down the slope.
Avoid jacking up the car on muddy grounds, grass, dirt or marshy surfaces. This will cause your car to rip off and there may occur a serious accident to you or the car.
- Securing the car
After parking the car securely in a place, the next step is to secure the car position by following a number of steps.
- Put the car in first gear (manual transmission) or Park (automatic transmission).
- If you intend to work on front wheels then you need to set the parking brake and adjust wheel chocks right behind the back wheels.
- Instead, if you want to lift the rear wheels then its worthy to place set of chocks to support the front wheels both on front on behind them. Parking brake will be of no much use here as it works on rear wheels.
- If you are deprived of chocks then using a wooden block or a cement brick can be useful hack. Never use a jack to lift up the car or it can turn into worst if it breaks out.
- If your car is on manual transmission then try setting it in gear 1 or 2. If it is in automatic transmission then Park gear would serve the purpose.
- Loosening Lugs
If the required task is to remove the wheel for changing a flat tire or to get access to brakes then loosening each lug of the required wheel is the correct step.
This will help to avoid wheel spinning when vehicle is already supported on the jacks. It will be difficult to remove wheel otherwise.
- Locating Jack Point
Finding jack point for vehicle can be aided by referring to the factory manual or some service provider manual.
Scissor jack’s jack points can be found 2 inches behind the front wheels or in front of rear wheels. There are also present central jack points in between two tires.
Each vehicle is manufactured differently so come their needs. Not every spot under vehicle is load bearing. A vehicle manual is the best things to refer as it can provides first-hand information regarding specifications of each vehicle
- Jack it up
The next step in the process after moving floor jack into the position is making sure that the hydraulic valve is shut tight. Now, slowly move the floor jack’s handle to the downside to enable the saddle of jack upwards till it touches the jack point.
If you are using a scissor jack then try fixing the rod over knob and move continuously to life the vehicle.
During the process, keep checking the stability of jack point. If it does not feel stable or is loose then stop right away and move the car to the original position.
If everything goes fine then continue the process until car reaches the required height to let you crawl easily under it.
- Fixing the Jack Stands
This step is quite important to handle and guidelines should be structured separately for each vehicle. As the contact points are quite different for each vehicle.
After lifting car to the desired height. Move the jack under the jack point (use a manual to identify this). Repeat the steps for all jacks that need to be installed. Notches located on side rails where scissor jack fix are often the points for these jacks to get fit in.
With a floor jack, it is done by revolving the main lever in clockwise (provided release valve is shut). While installing jacks, make sure that they are positioned at the same height. Unequal height can lead to unbalanced conditions to the car stability. Jack stands should be utilized in pairs.
As a tip to the process, place a spare wheel underneath side of car so that it remains in position even if one jack stand fails out.
- Lower down the vehicle
Once the jack stands are installed successfully, consider lowering down the car. This will allow the car to fit exactly upon stands.
Try doing this in case of floor jack by rotating the handle anti-clockwise which releases hydraulic fluid and cause the saddle to lower down. Once the car is fixed upon the stand, raise the saddle to touch the car. This will provide extra support to car in case it fails out of weight o jack stand.
Avoid using suspension components at jack points. They are not designed to bear heavy load and may crack down.
- Check for any default
Perform a safety check before starting to mend your car. Try pushing your car a little to see how well its fixed in the place. Make sure that the conditions are stable up to mark as any loop hole can risk your life.
Types of Jacks
- Scissor Jacks is also known as jack screw. They are small, lightweight, handy and can find a convenient place in your car. They are absolutely well designed for changing a flatten tire.These days, electrical scissor jacks are also available.
- Hi-Lift Jack also known as high lift or farmer jack is an extremely versatile tool. It provides exceptional results when it comes to pulling, levering, pulling or winching. These are useful for conventional vehicles.
- Hydraulic Jack often referred to as Best floor jack, garage jack, trolley jack or service jack is quite bulky in size. They do not fit comfortable in the car so are most suitable to garage. In most case it uses hydraulic pressure to lift up the car and heavy vehicles. Occupies a higher place then scissor jack at garage because they can bear more weight, do not wear off easily, and can gulp in more weight easily. The best quality material can be shopped from a hardware store.
- Floor Jack is most commonly used for maintenance and car repairs. They are easy to move around and can fill in exact spot to offer a tight connection with car. They serve as workhorses of jack community. They offer themselves as an excellent tool when mechanic needs to go under to car for repair purpose.
Some Tips and Tricks
- Always consult manual to rightly identify the jack points.
- A jack should only be used to lift the vehicle while stands should be utilized to hold it in place.
- When working under vehicle, use jack stands. Never use only jacks while you move under the car.
- Gently shake the vehicle when it is supported on jack to ensure that it will not move from its place.
- Jack and jack stands should only be used on a levelled surface to ensure work enhancement and safety.
- Consider blocking the vehicle with bricks, wedges or wheel chocks before using the jacks to life the vehicle.