DIY: How to Use Jack Stands

Black jack stands

As a car owner, you should know how to lift your car with a jack stand. You need this tool since it raises your car from the ground so you can do maintenance work.

Although it seems uncomplicated, there are steps to follow on how to use jack stands.

Definition of a Jack Stand

Before learning how to use a jack stand, you must know what this car safety tool is all about.  

A jack stand is used when you need to work underneath your vehicle. Therefore, it lifts your car up from the ground and holds it in place.

It has a mechanical structure that can be adjusted. The solid mechanical stop keeps your car from falling since you can never completely depend on your floor jack’s hydraulics.

Using a jack stand gives you lower chances of failure and an additional safety net.

A jack stand normally has a base frame with an A shape, a platform with a ratcheting post attached to it, and a ratchet handle mechanism.

Most of the jack stands’ platforms can be pulled up without any difficulty.

However, you have to detach the ratchet mechanism. There is a very low possibility that the ratchet will be easily separated from your car so you need to use the stand and your free hands.

Reasons Why You Need a Jack Stand

Generally, you use a jack stand to fit your body between your car and the ground. However, you can get more benefits in using it.

Black jack stands

You cannot depend on hydraulic jacks since they do not work well from time to time especially those that are cheap.

If you depend on a jack to hold your car up, chances are, your car will fall and get damaged. Having a jack stand prevents these things from happening.

With a floor jack, there is only a single point of contact. It can work at times when you are not raising your car from the middle point.

When lifting your car in this position, it will likely wobble or tip from either side.

This will not be a problem with a jack stand for it has numerous points of contacts to support your car.

You have to remember to shake your car first before going underneath it to check if the setup is stable. Avoid accidents by doing precautionary measures.

Check out: 5 Best Jack Stands

How to Use a Jack Stand

Now, you know the basic information about jack stands. It is time to learn how to use them. The following are the steps you can follow to successfully and safely use one.

  1. Find a workspace that is flat.

You put yourself at risk if you jack your car up on a ground or surface that is inclined or uneven. Make sure that the area is level, and the surface underneath your car is paved properly to support your body.

  1. Check the manual.

The manual has details on how to safely lift your car above the surface. Reading it is especially important if it is your first time to use it.

  1. Determine the weight of the car and jack stand.

Get the controlling weight of your car and check if the weight is compatible with the jack stand that you have.

You need to do it for safety reasons. You can know the curb weight from the manual, Internet, or the door jamb’s plaque.

  1. Check your car’s brake for parking.

You should do this so that your car will not roll when it is on the platform. Furthermore, using wheel chocks in the area where you are raising your car will help you avoid wobbling.

If you skip this, your car can lurch. Then, it will fall, and possibly hurt or, worse, kill you.

You have to remember that chocks are very important if the wheels at the back are raised because the brake for parking is for the wheels at the back.

Therefore, the wheels in the front part can cause your car to move although you set the parking brake.

  1. Utilize a ground jack.

Remember to utilize the jack stand on concrete and flat surface. You should not use it on a ground that is wet, hot sand or gravel, and soil.

Due to the heavy weight of cars, your car may sink if placed on these.

  1. Position the stand below the vehicle’s structure that is solid.

Refer to the manual to know the instructions on where you can support your car using jack stands.

Do not position it under the boards of the floor of your car since this can result to breaking through the surface.  Moreover, you should not place the jack stand underneath a movable part.

  1. Remove the starting jack and do the same procedure again for the opposite side of your car.

It is advisable to use 2 jack stands that have the same height in order to support the two sides of the vehicle equally.

  1. Test the jack stands.

To do this, try pushing your car from the two sides and the rear using your hands to check for any movement or shaking. If it moves, adjust the jacks until they are fixed in place.

  1. Put additional safety objects for backup.

It is indeed better to be safe than sorry when you do something that can put you at risk.

Although your jacks and chocks offer enough firmness, it will be better to have an extra tire with rim or wooden blocks for added support.


Using jack stands are not very complicated if you follow the steps given on how to use jack stands.

All the steps should be properly followed in order to ensure safety. You must always prioritize your welfare before anything else.

Do not forget to use to use a jack stand and floor jack together all the time. After all, you can never be too careful when it comes to performing dangerous tasks.

Check out this video by Eric the car guy on how to safely use jack stands: