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As we all know, cars have a tendency to roll, so keeping the car stationary with no inclines or declines is necessary before this process even begins.

How To PROPERLY Jack Up A Car

Straighten the steering wheel, put the vehicle in park or neutral if you have a manual , and engage the parking brake as hard as possible. Not every spot under a car is load-bearing. However, on most, the jack points are all in the same vicinity. We needed to access some parts on the transmission housing. Because the engine sits at the front with the transmission just aft of the motor, raising the entire front of the car was necessary.

We had to find the best place to put a floor jack so that both front wheels came off the ground. In our case, it was in the middle of the crossmember. This minimizes the risk of damaging the vehicle. On a traditional floor jack, make sure the release valve is closed, typically done by rotating the main lever clockwise. Remember, righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. As you jack the car up to the height you seek, be attentive to the way the car moves as you pump the jack.

Best places to jack up car??

Raise the car to the desired height so you have enough space to work and complete your task. These are to act as backups in the unlikely event that the main jack fails. If you don't have an available car lift and still want to do the work yourself, the car jack is the next best option to control the height of the vehicle. Compared to car ramps, a car jack can raise and lower a vehicle in incremental amounts so you don't need to raise it any more than necessary. Using a car jack is relatively simple if you do it correctly and safely. It also doesn't have to be expensive in terms of the tools you need to get the job done.

The trick is having the right jack, a couple of jack stands and wheel chocks for safety, and the right location to lift it into position. Since there is always a danger of the car falling off of the jack, there are a few steps you should take to keep you and others safe:.

The key to successfully lifting your car is having the right equipment. The car jack and jack stands all need to be rated for your vehicle's weight so you can lift everything safely. You can't just lift a car anywhere and expect it to remain on the jack or stands. This is why a little bit of preparation is required beforehand:. Once everything is ready, actually lifting the car is fairly simple as long as you have the right lifting point and security measures in place.


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Once again, if you haven't already done so, secure the opposite wheels to prevent the vehicle from moving. Once everything is secure, you can begin the lift. The first step is to actually get the car jack in the position where it can effectively and safely lift the frame of the vehicle. This point will depend on the vehicle itself, so you may have to do a little research beforehand. Once the jack is connected with the vehicle and the wheels are in place, you are ready to lift the weight of the car up off the ground.

Once you have it at the desired height, you will have to secure the vehicle to keep it from falling back onto the ground if an accident happens. This is particularly important if you're going to work underneath the vehicle while it is lifted. You can repeat these steps for each wheel you have to lift to get the desired work done. If you are changing a tire, for example, you only have to lift one wheel and then lower it. Some automotive repairs and services require two or more wheels to be lifted. Lowering the vehicle post-lift is a simple matter of reversing the steps above: Reposition the jack and raise it until it takes the weight of the vehicle, remove the jack stands, and then lower the vehicle until it rests on the ground.

There are a number of DIY repairs and services that require lifting a vehicle. Even simply changing your oil requires you to get underneath the engine to access the oil pan. We're partial to hydraulic jacks since they are easy to move around and still strong enough to take the weight of most vehicles. Scissor jacks are good when you need to lift the vehicle on the side of the road to change a tire. More specialized jacks, like floor jacks, are also useful but are less flexible in use.

Most car jacks are designed to lift one wheel at a time. You can lift all four wheels with sequential lifts, but always make sure you are working with one corner of the vehicle at a time. Safety Since there is always a danger of the car falling off of the jack, there are a few steps you should take to keep you and others safe: Use the right jack. All car jacks are rated for different maximum weight capacities, meaning some aren't appropriate for larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks. It helps to know the weight of your vehicle ahead of time if you don't have a jack stand so you can buy the right one.

Secure the vehicle with wheel chocks, jack stands, and the brakes. The floor jack will allow you to lift one end of the car, not just a single corner like that scissors jack. Your best bet is to jack from the middle of the chassis on the front subframe or transmission case or from the rear differential housing. And just so we're clear, the oil pan, exhaust system or gas tank isn't a safe jacking point. If you don't recognize these items when you look at the bottom of your car, you probably shouldn't be under there, and you don't need to read any further.

Remember, when the floor jack goes up and down, the jack pad describes an arc. The jack's wheels need to be free to roll as the pad moves on its arc or the pad will slip. Ditto for later, when you're using the jack to lower the car. Even a pebble can keep those small metal wheels from rolling. A hot radiator can crank out a huge gush of boiling, plus-degree coolant if you open it before the engine cools off enough. Cracking the cap before it's cooled off is pointless. Not all the perils of auto maintenance happen underneath the chassis.

There's plenty of danger under the hood, too. Aside from the obvious stuff, like sticking your fingers into the fan or belt when the engine is running, there are other ways to seriously hurt yourself under there. If your vehicle has an electric cooling fan, be aware that it can spin all by itself, even when the key has been turned off. These fans continue to cool the engine until the block has dissipated most of its heat. And that could mean 15 minutes on a hot day. Pull the fuse or relay if you must work near it and just can't wait.

The radiator cap is another danger zone. It keeps coolant under as much as 15 psi and at temperatures as high as F.

The high pressure raises the boiling point of the coolant well above its atmospheric boiling point. Crack open the cap and it can flash-boil as the pressure in the system plummets. It's best to wait until the pressure drops back to zero. You'll know, because the upper radiator hose will be lukewarm to the touch and will feel squishy.

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If you must open the cap, use a rag and crack it open to vent--be sure to keep clear of the live steam. You might not even be able to see that steam, either, so use extreme caution. You had better have a good reason for opening the system anyway, because all the coolant that turns to steam or boils out will have to be replaced. Fuel lines are another trouble spot.

Sure, you've bled off the pressure which could be as high as 60 psi, enough to squirt gasoline all the way across the shop at the Schrader valve on the fuel rail, or by cranking the engine with the ignition disabled.

How to Jack Up a Car: 10 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow

But there is still fuel in that line. And if you're doing electrical work nearby, a few spilled drops from that line could catch fire. One anecdote: I was working on a VW a few years back and disconnected the fuel lines so I could unbolt the cylinder head. Unbeknownst to me, VW has a cute strategy to help its cars start promptly. To fill and pressurize the fuel lines between the in-tank pump and the engine, the fuel pump runs for a few seconds when you open the driver's door. Yes, I opened the door and sprayed gas right into the face of a gentleman standing close by.

No lawsuits, but rest assured, I always clamp off fuel lines whenever I've got them disconnected. And no smoking--please. Not all of the work around the shop is on the car. Plan to fire up the welder to tack the metal lawn furniture back together after a rowdy Super Bowl party?

Let's remember to police the area near the welder or the grinder. Be sure to remove that pile of shop rags and last week's newspaper. You do have a fire extinguisher in the shop, right?