Car Jacks


April 12, 2013 By Mike Lee
Last updated on July 27, 2015

We hate having to crawl under a car. There are numerous jobs that require us having to work underneath a car. Make sure your car jacks are upto the job.

Safety First:
OK we’re going to talk safety first. It never ceases to amaze us, how many people jack their cars up in the most dangerous way, on a slope, on grass, in a limited amount of space etc. The next mechanics tool to be mentioned is THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE when jacking your car up.

Axle Stands
Axle Stands
How long does it take for you to place some of these under the car? They can be placed under the axle, chassis rail, suspension mounts, most cross members or any other place solid enough to take the cars weight at that corner. Once the car is on the axle stands, give the car a quick push here and there to check that it is stable and secure. We have several, including these heavy duty ones, rated at 3 tonnes. Use them.

Chocks
Chocks
Always use a chock at the wheels still on the ground and sometimes it may be advisable to fit them both in front and behind the wheel/wheels. Use common sense here. Another thing you can do (as well) is leave the car in gear (when not going to be working on the engine and starting it, obviously) and if possible leave the hand brake on.


Raising the car:
There’s a number of ways to raise your car off the ground, either fully, on one side, front only, rear only or on just one corner. The following is just a few ways.

Car Ramps
Car Ramps
Make sure that the ones you buy can take the weight of your car and are wide enough for your tyres. Remember that if your car has been lowered you may encounter problems driving onto them, so you may need to buy Hydraulic ones that allow you to drive onto them and then jack it up. Best to have someone watch and guide you as well.

Trolley Jack
Trolley Jack
Quick and easy way to get your car up and down. Still use axle stands as well to be safe, especially if getting under the car.

Bottle Jack
Bottle Jack
Another quick and easy way to get your car up and down, however they tend to be quite high and have only a small mounting surface area.

Scissor Jack/ Cars own jack
Scissor Jack/ Cars own jack
The scissor car jack is quite convenient, as it can be placed just about any where and can be set quite low (We’ve used these to just lift a lowered car off it’s suspension enough to then push a trolley jack under). We also use them as a second jack for safety. The cars original jack can also be used for it’s main purpose and to help lift the car on one corner and then place an axle stand at that corner.

Other ways to get under and around your car
For those more serious and carrying out full restorations, there are car body dollys and various car body repair frames/benches and rotisseries. Of course if you are lucky enough to have access to a full car lift, use it.