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How To Jack Up A Car

Step by step
How To Jack Up A Car

Whether you need to change a flat tire, replace your engine oil, reinstall a loose exhaust clip, or simply inspect the underside of your vehicle, you will need to know how to jack up a car properly and safely. The following step by step guide will help you do it quickly and easily while staying off harm’s way.

Choose Your Ground

pavement ground

First, you should never try to jack up your car on soft ground like dirt. Always park your car on solid ground (concrete or asphalt) and make sure that the specific part of the road is adequately flat/level. Do not ever try to jack up your car on a downhill/uphill road. Finally, try to avoid parking on the exit of tight turns and points of low visibility for the upcoming cars.

Secure Your Car

parking sign

Check that you have raised the parking brake high enough and add a couple of chocks on the two wheels that will be on the non-raised side of the car. If you don’t have chocks, use a couple of large stones from the roadside. Finally, place a warning triangle on the road and at a distance of 7-15 meters behind your car.

Locate the Jack Points

car underneath man

All cars have at least two jack points that are basically locations that are meant to be used for jacking up your car. They are connected to the frame in such a way so that when you jack up your car it will suffer the least amount of deformation.

Usually, you will find these points on the side of the front and rear wheels, and they should also be indicated in the user’s manual. You can identify these points as a small flat area. Once you do, position the jack under the point and make sure that it lines up to it when its arm is raised.

Jack Up and Secure

man under car jack up

Most jacks use a hydraulic pumping action to have their arm raised. Once you reach the required height, put at least a jack stand on the side of the car for added security. This stand can be either a metal tripod or a large piece of wood. This is required if you are planning to go under the car since the jack may fail at any time, but it is not required if you are simply planning to change a flat tire.

Remember to perform some basic maintenance to your jack by lubricating it once every couple of years. Also, keeping a couple of wheel chocks in the trunk is never a bad idea. Finally, remember that it is better for the car to be raised in service workshops as the frame will be less stressed when caught from all four sides. That said, jacking it up yourself should only be done during emergencies.

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