How to safely jack up your vehicle

How to safely jack up your vehicle

Being a do it yourselfer means that sometimes you’ll need to buy special tools or equipment to work on a project with. Cheap products have a reputation of malfunctioning easily and often. Afterall, like the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” So, for your safety’s sake, as well as the sake of your wallet, you should buy the best tools and equipment you can afford. Especially when it comes to raising and repairing your auto!

First off, if you need to raise your auto up at home to change the brake pads, replace the muffler, or perform some engine work, then you’ll need to use a jack. For do it your self who don’t have access to a garage that has a lift in it, then an auto jack is the next best answer.

Auto jacks are a common piece of equipment that comes in the trunk or storage unit of all autos, trucks, vans, and SUVs. If you repair autos on a regular basis, though, you should invest in a good quality jack to use. If you’re not sure how to use one, you should consult the manufacturer’s directions. There are different types of jacks, and different ways to properly use them.

Before you even attempt to use a jack, you’ll need to park the auto on a hard flat piece of ground. Shut off the engine and make sure the gear shift is in the “Park” position if the transmission is an automatic type. Otherwise, for an auto that has a manual transmission, move the shifter to “First” gear and engage the parking brake.

Then, use store bought steel blocks, concrete blocks, bricks, or large, square chunks of wood to block either the front or the back wheels. If you’re going to raise the front end of the auto with a jack, then block the back tires securely. And, if you’re going to raise the back end up, then block the front tires securely. This will help to prevent the auto from rolling either frontwards or backwards while you’re working underneath it.

Now, place the jack underneath the auto in the appropriate place as instructed by the manufacturer. This place might be in a slot on the bumper, against the frame of the auto, et cetera. Once you have the jack securely in place, slowly raise the auto up. When the auto is at the height you need it to be, place a pair of jack stands underneath the auto. The stands should be located in close proximity to the jack.

Make sure they are raised up so they’ll hold the auto in place at the right height. Then, secure them into place and reverse the jack. Then, carefully begin to lower the jack. As you’re lowering it, watch to make sure that the stands are going to hold the auto securely. If you see either one wavering or wobbling, stop lowering the auto immediately. Reposition one or both of the stands and repeat this process until you have lowered and removed the jack from underneath the auto.

Remember: the auto can slide off of the jack stands at anytime. While you’re working on your auto, make sure that you don’t move it too much. And, when you’re done with your repair, replace the jack underneath, remove the jack stands, then lower the auto safely to the ground again.


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