Why must jack stands be used

Any time you carry a car—any time you carry a car off the bottom—there must be security gear in place that correctly rated for the load of the car. For a lot of wrenchers, two-post lifts and moveable automotive lifts aren’t but within the image, so jack stands are required for secure lifting. Whereas stands are extra of a ache to arrange and use than hydraulic lifts, they’re secure when used appropriately. Nonetheless, we put collectively a definitive information to soundly utilizing jack stands. Comply with these steps, and you are going to be putting jack stands for a lot of trouble-free years to return.

Why must jack stands be used

1. Cellphone a pal

Whereas not required, we extremely suggest doing auto work with another person each time potential. Even when it is simply your son/daughter or pal with little automotive expertise, it all the time helps to have an additional pair of eyes or arms. They could even catch one thing you missed! If nothing else, have them hand you instruments. If in case you have these nifty color-coded instruments, it’s going to assist the uninitiated to rapidly discover precisely what you want!

Why must jack stands be used

2. Discover a stage floor

At all times use your flooring jack and stands on a flat floor. If there’s greater than a slight, barely noticeable slope, one half of the car may roll or shift misplaced when the tires carry off the bottom. In case your car’s transmission is computerized, put the automotive in park. If it is a guide transmission, put it in first gear. In each circumstances, pull the parking brake to make sure your car stays nonetheless always.

3. Place wheel chocks

Wheel chocks are your final line of protection within the occasion one finish of your car rolls ahead or again. Even a small roll may shift the underside of your car off the ground jack or jack stand, and that may have severe, even lethal, repercussions. So, let’s attempt to keep away from that, lets?

Why must jack stands be used

4. Set flooring jack at OEM jacking factors and carry car

Steps 1 – Three have been all about security, and there is nonetheless yet another factor to do earlier than lifting your automotive and safely utilizing jack stands. Test the car’s guide to acquire the right jacking factors, and carry from these factors and people factors solely. The ground jack you utilize ought to be correctly rated for the load of the car; it also needs to be high-quality and are available from a good firm. When jacking up the car, cowl as a lot of the jack level’s middle as potential, however depart sufficient room for the jack stand.

5. Place your jack stand

Jack stands must be positioned instantly beneath the lifting level. There ought to be sufficient room at each jack level to accommodate the stand’s grip. When releasing hydraulic stress from the ground jack, a correctly rated jack stand will maintain the load of the automotive so long as the stand is flat. Issues happen if the jack is tilted or the car weight would not come down flush on prime of the stand. Solely absolutely decrease the hydraulic jack after confirming that the automotive is tightly pressed towards the stand. The stand mustn’t jiggle.

Why must jack stands be used

6. Transfer entrance to again (or again to entrance)

If you happen to plan on lifting all 4 wheels, end the half of the automotive that you just begin on: entrance or again. As soon as half of your car is within the air, you needn’t fear about wheel chocks. Merely carry out steps 4 & 5 for the remaining wheels.

7. Stability test

Give your automotive a couple of gentle shoves to confirm that the stands are all in place. Make sure the car is stage, with all stands are raised to the identical top. If every little thing checks out, your car ought to be secure to depart on stands indefinitely beneath regular circumstances. Congratulations! You are free to get to work.

8. Increase and decrease

The very last thing you are going to do, after all, is decrease the car. To do that, roll the ground jack beneath a jacking level, elevate the car simply above the stand, and take away the stand. Decrease the car as slowly as you may. The shocks will simply take up the descent, even when it appears swift. As soon as half the car is lowered, bear in mind to position wheels chocks at each side of the tires, simply as you probably did when lifting the automotive. You’ll be able to even do that when the primary tire touches down, if you wish to be extraordinarily cautious. Repeat these steps for all OEM carry factors, and provides your self a pleasant pat on the again. You are now a car lifting professional.

Why must jack stands be used

Any time we take into consideration doing any upkeep to our automobiles, chances are high good it might want to be off the bottom. To take away a wheel, the tire must be at the least a pair inches off the bottom. To vary the oil, relying on the automotive, you’ll must carry the automotive at the least a foot. Lifting a automotive is one factor, however that’s not sufficient for a secure DIY job – NEVER (we are able to’t stress this sufficient) ever put any a part of your physique beneath a car supported solely by a jack! If you happen to’re going to do something beneath a lifted car, it must be supported by jack stands. In any other case, the outcomes may be disastrous.

Thus, we’ve consulted Holy Writ and compiled “The Ten Commandments of Lifting Thy Chariot,” which interprets within the trendy tongue, “How you can carry and assist your automotive safely.”

Work with a Good friend

Whereas sustaining or repairing your automotive, work with a pal if in any respect potential. His or her having automotive data is sweet, however not vital. If it’s a must to bribe them one thing canned, bottled, or corked, it’s a worthwhile funding, as they’ll encourage you, hold you firm, or hand you instruments. If there may be an emergency, your pal can name 911 and presumably save your life!

Park on Stage Floor

Jacks and jack stands solely operate vertically, and the identical gravity that retains your automotive firmly planted on the pavement will simply as simply pull your automotive off a jack or jack stand on a slope. At all times park your automotive on stage floor.

Learn the Handbook

Learn the manuals for each your automotive and your lifting and supporting gear. Each car has steered jack factors, additionally stable suspension and body factors. If you happen to don’t have an proprietor’s guide, significantly, purchase one or Google it – you would possibly be in a position to obtain it without cost. Equally, learn and obey jack and jack stand capability limits and security directions. A great rule of thumb to observe is to make use of a jack and jack stands with a capability of at the least 50% the load of your automotive.

Assemble Your Gear

Relying on the job at hand, you would possibly must carry only one wheel, the entrance finish or again finish, or the whole automotive. Assemble your lifting and supporting gear. Elevate your automotive with a top quality jack. If lifting only one finish of your automotive, you’ll want two jack stands. If you happen to’re lifting the whole automotive, use 4 jack stands. On comfortable earth, resembling asphalt or grass, thick plywood can stop them from sinking.

Chock the Wheels

Put the transmission in gear or in park, and chock the wheel reverse the place you might be lifting. Use two wheel chocks, in entrance and behind the wheel, to maintain the automotive from shifting ahead or backward. Plastic, steel, rubber, or picket chocks are all good selections. Rocks, block, and bricks aren’t such good selections, as they could crumble or slide.

Elevate Your Automobile

Why must jack stands be used

Lisa Schaetzle/Getty Photos

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Lisa Schaetzle/Getty Photos

Jack up the car utilizing a stable jacking level, leaving sufficient room for the jack stand to assist the automotive. If lifting only one wheel, lifting simply that nook of the car is a good suggestion. If lifting the whole entrance or rear, select a jack level within the middle of the entrance or rear suspension or body.

Help Your Automobile

Help the car with jack stands. If supporting one nook of the car, place the jack stand beneath the jacking level and modify the peak, locking it in place with the pin or pawl, as relevant. If supporting the entire entrance or rear of the car, use jack stands in pairs, ideally set and locked to equal top. Don’t use wooden blocks to realize extra top, as a wooden block might slip or cut up – purchase taller jack stands. Decrease the jack slowly till the complete weight of the automotive rests on the jack stands.

If lifting the entire automotive, carry and assist the entrance first, to the utmost top able to your jack and jack stands. Then carry and assist the rear of the car, utilizing a second pair of jack stands.

Jack stands are necessary instruments that hold a car propped up after having used a flooring jack, like a scissor jack or a hydraulic jack, to carry a car. As soon as the car is lifted sufficient to suit the jack stands on a stable a part of the automotive beneath it, just like the chassis, they’ll be fastidiously fitted and examined by hand for durability, at which level the jack can be eliminated. As soon as the jack is eliminated, the car can be examined once more for durability. If the car is sturdy, you may start no matter work must be performed on the car.

Figuring out the right way to use jack stands correctly is the distinction between finishing routine upkeep or repairs efficiently, and present process what may be a disastrous accident that has the potential to be deadly. Comply with the steps under to learn to correctly use a flooring jack and jack stands.

Half 1 of 1: Jacking up your car and implementing jack stands

Supplies Wanted

  • Chocks (4, one for either side of two wheels)
  • Flooring Jack
  • Jack stands

Step 1: Park on a stable floor. Be sure your car is parked on a flat concrete floor and that the circumstances of the ground on which you’ll be utilizing the jack stands is stable and freed from particles. It will make sure that the jack stands will keep in place.

  • Warning: Don’t, beneath any circumstances, try and jack up a automotive on an uneven floor or on a comfortable floor like grass or dust. The results may trigger extreme damage, and it additionally has the potential to be deadly.

Step 2: Set the parking brake. While you park the car, be sure you use the parking brake and that it’s absolutely engaged.

Step 3: Use wheel chocks. Relying on what finish of the car you’re engaged on, place wheel chocks on each side of the tires on the finish of the car you’ll NOT be jacking up.

Wheel chocks make sure that the car is not going to roll while you jack it up.

That is particularly necessary if you’re engaged on the again finish of the car, which is more than likely the place the parking brake is situated. If you happen to carry the again finish of the car, the entrance wheels can nonetheless roll, so all the time apply wheel chocks to the wheels earlier than utilizing a flooring jack.

Step 4: Take a look at the ground jack and search for defects. Take a look at the ground jack along with your foot or hand earlier than utilizing it to ensure it engages and disengages correctly.

Be sure it raises and holds and that it releases successfully. Examine the ground jack and the jack stands for noticeable defects, and make it possible for the handles on the jack stands work correctly.

Step 5: Test the owner’s guide on your vehicle’s jack factors. Earlier than utilizing the jack stands, test the owner’s guide for manufacturing unit authorised jack factors.

Jack factors are areas beneath the car which might be designed to be sturdy sufficient to carry the load of the car when the car has been lifted.

Step 6: Use the ground jack to hoist the car. Whether or not you could have a scissor jack or a hydraulic jack (most well-liked), place it beneath one of many beneficial jack factors outlined within the owner’s guide.

Elevate the car excessive sufficient for the required upkeep or restore job it is advisable to accomplish.

Step 7: Place the jack stands beneath the car. Take two jack stands and modify them to the right top. Then match them beneath the beneficial jack factors outlined within the owner’s guide.

Be sure they match comparatively tightly beneath the jack factors and that the floor they’re resting on is stable, flat, and freed from particles. If it’s not, modify the ground jack as vital to position the jack stands safely beneath the jack factors in a way that meets all security specs.

Take a look at the jack stands along with your hand to ensure they’re safe.

Step 8: Take away the ground jack. As soon as the jack stands are in place, slowly launch the ground jack and set it apart.

Flippantly nudge the car to ensure the jack stands keep in place earlier than you begin working and, after all, earlier than you situate your self beneath the car.

  • Tip: You’ll be able to take different precautionary or preventative measures to guard your self whereas you’re working by putting picket blocks beneath the automotive on a stable floor close to or on the jack factors, simply in case the jack stands fail. By no means use materials that might be crushed beneath the load of the automotive, resembling cinder blocks or bricks.

At all times keep in mind that utilizing a flooring jack and jack stands correctly means paying shut consideration to your work floor. Certainly not must you ever put your self in danger by attempting to work on an uneven or doubtlessly comfortable floor, and remember that comfortable doesn’t essentially imply comfortable to the contact. Heat asphalt may doubtlessly be thought of comfortable, particularly when the climate is scorching. Doing a job nicely means doing a job safely.

As soon as you’ll be able to use a flooring jack and jack stands correctly and safely, although, you’ll be in a position to full numerous routine upkeep duties and repairs in your car your self. If you’re ever doubtful about how continuously to carry out a few of these duties or have questions in regards to the present well being of your automotive, you may lookup your automotive to search out out extra about when it must be serviced. Or, in case you discover that you’re in any respect uncomfortable servicing or repairing your automotive your self, you may all the time contact one of many licensed technicians at YourMechanic for assist at your house or workplace.

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To do something beneath a automotive, it’s a must to jack it up first. The method is fairly easy: Drive the automotive onto a tough and stage floor, place a automotive jack beneath an appropriate spot (particular person jacking factors can be present in your proprietor’s guide), carry the car, place stands beneath and decrease the load of the car onto the stands, eradicating the jack altogether. If this appears difficult, it’s possible you’ll be questioning in case you can simply use the jack to stick with it? No! Perhaps there may be one exception … however let’s evaluate the fundamentals first.

Jack Sorts

There are two major sorts of jacks: mechanical (just like the scissor jack you will have saved along with your spare tire) and hydraulic (a flooring or trolley jack).

Most trendy mechanical jacks use a manually turned screw that threads via two sides of a flat diamond-shaped body, bringing the skin ends nearer collectively to carry the load. Hydraulic jacks use two cylinders related by hydraulic fluid to transform some pressure on the operator’s aspect (amplified even additional by a lever) to supply main lifting energy.


A scissor jack is extra reliable on uneven floor or gravel — therefore the inclusion in your spare package — nevertheless it’s not meant to carry weight long run. Hydraulic jacks are designed with inner seals to maintain the fluid from flowing again into the chamber and decreasing the load, however seals can rupture or tackle small leaks that may step by step decrease the jack if there’s a load on it.

If it is advisable to carry the car to do work beneath it, you must correctly place jack stands and allow them to carry the brunt of the load. Not solely do you danger mechanical or hydraulic failure by solely counting on a jack, you additionally create a doubtlessly unbalanced, very heavy load by solely jacking up one level. Leaving a car on solely a jack for any period of time unattended means anybody may come over and by chance drop the entire thing.Why must jack stands be used

Emergency Conditions

One potential exception to this guidelines is altering a tire. In case you are stranded or don’t have jack stands and must get a tire modified, it’s possible you’ll use solely a jack, however this must be performed with warning. Don’t — at any time — place arms or toes instantly beneath the automotive, and end what you begin as quickly as potential. In a pinch, dense items of wooden stacked lengthwise can be used to assist weight in lieu of jack stands. Cinder blocks ought to NEVER be used, as they don’t seem to be weight rated and will crumble with out discover. One other emergency answer is setting the unused tire between the chassis and the bottom as you alter them out. That means, simply in case the car falls off the jack, you would possibly nonetheless have somewhat room to react.

The underside line is {that a} jack is a lifting device, NOT a assist. Jacks alone aren’t a secure technique to steadiness a load or a dependable technique of holding it up. Undoubtedly don’t depart a car suspended on a jack for longer than it takes to vary a tire, NEVER go beneath a car solely supported by a jack and don’t depart a load unattended. You’re all the time higher secure than sorry.

Try all of the instruments & gear obtainable on NAPA On-line or belief certainly one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare areas for routine upkeep and repairs. For extra info on utilizing a automotive jack, chat with a educated skilled at your native NAPA AUTO PARTS retailer.