Where to Jack Up a Car (the Right Safe Places)
Car jack is a must need tool during the car maintenance. It’s plays the major role during the car maintenance by lifting a car. Operations like changing tire, brake and other important tasks where you need to work under the car, a car jack is required in the first place. But you should know the exact place where to jack up a car. Expert says the place as a jack point and a car has several jack points. Today we will talk about the locations of those car jack points where you need to put your car jack.
What is a Car Jack?
A jackscrew or most commonly known as the portable car jack is a tool which can lift a car at a certain height. It looks very small but it has the capability of lifting a car very easily.
There are commonly 4 types of car jacks available in the market. They are the scissor jack, hydraulic jack, bottle jack and electrical jack. The most common type of jack is the scissor jack. Most of the cars come with a scissor jack. It is basically a screw which holds two metal brackets. When the brackets come closer to each other the car lowers down and when the brackets go away from each other the car starts to rise up. On the other hand, hydraulic jacks run on pumping principle of liquids. Professional mechanics use these jacks. A bottle jack also follows the same principle of a hydraulic jack but it looks like a bottle. And last but not the least, an electric jack. This type of jack is also similar to the scissor jack but you don’t need to apply force manually here. Just plug and play.
Where to Jack Up a Car
Most of us has the common misconception that there’s only one jack point under a car which is wrong. Many have common questions, where to put jack under car. There are commonly at least six jack points under a car. Different situation and car model will require different jack points for operation. There are so many points under a car, but six points are very popular and we are going to talk about these points in this article.
1. Metal Edge:
This is the last option you can try. Use this jack point when you don’t have any choice left. There are tons of metal edges under your car. Both soft and hard metals are present there. If you place the jack under a soft metal it will eventually crack the metal. So, this option is dangerous. But you can check whether the meal is soft or hard. To do that you need to take a key in your hand and then hit on the metal. If you hear a “ting” type sound then it is a soft metal. If the sound is like a low register, chances are high that the metal is a hard one. You can only put your car jack under a hard metal edge and there will be no issue while lifting the car.
2. Near Front and Back Wheel:
This the ideal spot for jacking the car. For beginners, this is a sweet spot to change the tires, mags. When you apply pressure it directly applies to the wheels. Most of the people do not apply this method for all wheels at once. They start with one wheel then place a jack stand and start raising another wheel. This makes the work easier. This jack point is great against slipping because the whole pressure is directly applying on the wheels.
3. Rear Differential:
This is one of the safest points in the entire car. Rear differential is situated at the center of adjoining two rear wheels. That is why it can hold the balance of the entire car. This jack point is used when you have to change bushing or leaf springs of your car. You might need to change them if there’s a problem in the current riding or suspension. This jack point is also very useful if you are changing your car’s height or chassis. This will make everything visible under the car and you will get maximum free space to work. Some people also use this jack point to see if the car is balanced.
4. Sides of the Body:
This jack point is very often used. This jack point is considered dangerous. The main reason behind this is, it can make the car slip. Not only that it can heavily damage the car’s body. Though, technicians use this jack point when they are fixing damage under your car. You need to place at both front and back side of your car. Then you can get underneath it. But make sure you have someone with you who can observe the slipping of your car while you are underneath it. This will reduce the potential accidental threat.
5. Rear Cross-Member:
Mechanics often use this point to lift your car. But there should be a front support while lifting the car because a car jack is not capable of handling the enormous pressure alone. You should use this jack point if you need to check the back of your car.
6. Front Cross-Member:
This jack point is at the front side of your car. Technician use this to check the front side of your car. This jack point is chosen because it supports the tank of your car. You can use this point when you are maintaining your car to change oils.
There are some more jack points but they aren’t necessary if you are focusing on these six points. It can cover the whole car jacking situation. Also, some other points are more dangerous so we should skip those spots. You should work carefully and make sure finding the perfect jack point for specific car maintenance situation.
Safety Measures to Take Before Putting a Car Jack Under a Car
- Always read the manual from the manufacturer. We don’t show our interest on reading it. The full users guide is described there. This type of negligence can lead to large accidents. If you do not want to read it, find someone who can explain the procedure to you.
- Do not go under the vehicle if it the car is only supported by the car jack. This could lead to serious physical injury. Always make sure your car is supported by some jack stands which is capable of holding the car for a long time. Also put as much jack stands as possible to make sure the car's stability. Before using jack stands for moving your car in your garage you can use car wheel dolly if you feel. But after using jack stands you cannot move the vehicles.
- Keep a person with you in case you are working under the car. He should observe the outer situation carefully and make sure that the car doesn’t slip. He can also give you a hand to pass necessary tools so that you don’t have to come out from underneath of your car frequently.
- Never use jack stand when there’s a person sitting inside the car. I’ve seen people doing this very frequently. You are on the roadside, then tell them to come out before you jack it. Also, try to avoid jacking on the highways. If you can park it to a safe place only then use jack stands.
- Check the car jack is properly assembled before using. Tighten every nuts and bolts of needed. Make sure the jack is 100% ready for using. Otherwise it can heavily damage your car as well as yourself. Sometimes it may slip which creates potential accidental threat.
- Double check for your car in parking mode. Take the car under a solid and flat surface and put it on the parking mode. You should block the wheels of the opposite direction if you are placing jack stand on a specific side of your car.
Hopefully, you have understood how to jack up a car safely here.
What Happens If You Don’t Place the Jack at the Right Place
Yes, your car jack placement can go wrong if you don’t have any idea where you need to put that jack. This could be a horrible situation because not all of your car’s body is made for jacking point. There are some vulnerable places where you can break your car parts. Also, you might even damage the chassis if your placement is not right. Another thing you need to notice that those jack points might be different for different car models so you better know your own model. Most of us never read the car manual after purchasing a car. This could lead to unwanted accident due to lack of own car knowledge.
Before lifting your car for the first time you should know the positions of placing the car jack and the uses of a jack. There are specific situations in which you need to put your car in a specific jack point. In this article I’ve covered all necessary jack points which can cover any car jacking scenario. I hope now you can find out these jack points on your own and get idea where to jack up a car. Take all precautions mentioned above before raising car. That’ll help.