There are many occasions when you may need to jack up your car. The most obvious one is to change a tyre, but other instances, such as inspecting your brakes or changing the oil may also require you to get under the vehicle.
Nothing will literally kill your driving enjoyment like having a car fall on you…
If you have any intention of working under your vehicle, a good jack and a good set (or two) of jack stands are absolutely mandatory.
On average in Australia, 160 injuries are associated with jacks each year. Jack safety is a big deal! A car can topple off a jack for no apparent reason. No matter how insignificant or quick the job, never place any part of your body under a vehicle that’s only supported by a jack. Always place it on a secure set of stands, just in case the worst happens.
Before you jack up your vehicle, there are some vital safety precautions to consider:
- Only use the jack to get a vehicle off the ground, Never to hold a vehicle in place
- Always use jack stands when you work underneath your vehicle
- Always block the wheels prior to jacking the vehicle, to keep it from rolling. If you’re changing a tyre and you have nothing to block the wheels with, park near the curb with the wheels turned in
- Never jack a car on a freeway or main highway! Call for help from roadside assistance or an automobile association
- Always park your vehicle on level ground before you jack it up
- Put the vehicle in “Park” (or in “First Gear” if a manual car), and engage the hand brake
- Place the jack under the part of the vehicle that it should contact when raised. If you are using jack stands, place them within reach.
- Lift the vehicle by suing the jack.
- Place the jack stands under the vehicle, near where the jack is touching it. Raise the stands until they are high enough to just fit under, and lock them in place. Slowly lower the jack until the vehicle is resting on the jack stands
- Wiggle the vehicle a little to ensure that it’s resting securely on the jack stands, then remove the jack.
- When you are finished, replace the jack, remove the stands and blocks, and lower the vehicle to the ground.