Knowing how to use a floor jack is an essential skill, especially when you are into fixing cars all the time. If you want to know how to use this tool, here are simple steps that you can follow at home:
What you Need to Know about Floor Jacks?
Floor jacks are an important tool that is essential when you fix and lift a vehicle. When you don’t have a floor jack, lifting a car is impossible.
Cars are naturally heavy, so if you don’t use the proper tools and precautionary measures, serious damages and injuries might occur.
Especially when you are new, using a floor jack should be used appropriately by following the right steps.
Doing so will save you from damaging your car and yourself. Not only are floor jacks a necessary tool, but they are also an effective item that you can rely on consistently.
Check out: Best floor jacks of 2017
Steps in Properly Using a Floor Jack
Preparing for the Lift
When you are fixing your car, you have to make the necessary preparations before you start your operation.
It’s important that you prioritize your safety to avoid unnecessary damages and injuries. Thus, you have to prepare these:
- Wear protective gear such as eye goggles, gloves, coveralls, and sturdy footwear.
- Inspect your floor jack before you use it. It’s important that you check all the accessories and replace the missing parts before you use it.
- Check the floor jack’s weight capacity on its labels. Make sure that you remove any heavy items inside your car that gives additional weight.
- Park your car on an even surface – preferably on concrete. Parking your car on a flat ground will allow you to have better stability when you’re going to use the floor jack to lift the car.
Locating the Jack Points
Before you lift your vehicle for fixing, identifying the right jack points is a crucial part of the process. Every vehicle has its own checkpoints, but the basic idea applies to all.
- Read your car’s manual since jack points are different for each vehicle. Most often, the jack points are located near the front or back wheels. Usually, these points are on a mental edge, so check if there are parts wherein you could insert your floor jack for usage.
- Always refer to your manual. If you don’t have your manual at the moment, don’t hesitate to use tutorial videos or read guidelines on the internet. Also, asking for a friend’s assistance will also do.
- Before finally attaching your floor jack, make sure that these are the right jack points of the car. Sometimes, it’s easy to neglect this part of the process; thus, the floor jacks are less sturdy or are wrongly placed.
Attaching the Jack and Lifting the Vehicle
Now, this is the part wherein the floor jack is attached to the vehicle. At this stage, don’t continue with attaching the floor jack if you are uncertain with the jack points or if the jack itself is wobbly when attached.
- Get your floor jack and place it under your car. The saddle of the jack should be placed in the car frame as intact as possible on the assigned lifting points.
- Check the valve if it’s closed. Don’t proceed when you haven’t done the precautionary steps beforehand. The valve should be accurately installed because this allows the jack to hold the pressure and carry the saddle when you start pumping.
- If the jack has no label on it, you can turn its handle clockwise until it stops.
- Once done, you can now start lifting the jack saddle. Just slowly lift it while you check if it’s directly in contact with the jack points.
- If the jack is misplaced, you can redo the whole process. If not, continue pumping until the vehicle is at your preferred height.
Using Additional Accessories
While some skip this part, there is nothing wrong with applying a few extra safety measures.
Floor jacks aren’t that safe when used alone, so you can add additional accessories like jack stands and wheel chocks to ensure further safety:
- After raising the vehicle to the desired height, insert a jack stand between the gap of the car and the ground.
- Once set, rotate the jack handle until the car is securely placed on top of the jack stands.
- Before you start operating, add wheel chocks so that your car will not roll out when you are fixing it.
Also see: 5 best jack stands
Additional Safety Tips
With the proper steps and these additional safety tips, you will definitely save yourself from any damages and severe injuries. Here are precautionary measures that you can apply:
- When purchasing a floor jack, always ask for recommendations. Usually, sellers will know what type of floor jack and accessories are needed for a particular kind of car.
- Only use floor jacks for its main purpose only. Floor jacks should only be for lifting not for holding the car in place.
- Never go under a car without a jack stand as support. Jack stands should always go with floor jacks because they are specifically made for the purpose of supporting a lifted car.
- If you don’t have wheel chocks, there are other alternatives that you can use like bricks, sturdy rocks, chunks of wood.
- Never park on a soft surface because your floor jacks will bury on the ground, thus resulting in wobbliness.
- Always use the parking brake before you jack up your car.
- Slightly shake your car before going under to see if the floor jack is stable.
Floor jacks are a helpful tool when you want to lift your car for fixing. However, you should know how to properly use this tool and its accessories for it to successfully work.
Now that you know how to use a floor jack with the help of these steps and safety tips, you can now proceed to lifting a car without worries today.
Check out this video by Eric the car guy on how to use safely use a floor jack:
To learn everything you need to know about floor jacks follow the below link: