It doesn’t matter how much you’ve paid for your car: eventually, it will require some repairs. You might find out about that in your garage, or while driving on a highway. There are multiple reasons why you may need to keep your car aloft for some time. You might need to change a wheel or oil in your vehicle. You wouldn’t be able to do that without a floor jack. However, it is important to exercise the necessary caution. About 10,000 people in the United States get injured while using car floor jacks each year. In a second, you’ll learn what you should do and what to avoid while using a car floor jack.
THE TYPES OF CAR JACKS
Before we examine the guidelines for safe use of floor jacks, we must explain the differences between various types of car jacks. You need to know where each kind of them can be safely used, or you’ll be risking an injury or even death.
- Scissor jack is the type of a car jack that can fit into the trunk of your vehicle. It is useful if your car needs quick repairs. You should remember, though, that scissor jacks don’t have the necessary stability for prolonged use. That’s why, if it’s possible, you should use them to raise your vehicle off the ground and then place the jack stands underneath it so that even if the scissor jack fails, you won’t be risking an injury.
- If you go to your mechanic, you’ll probably find out that he is using floor jacks. There’s a reason for that – they have wheels, which makes them highly mobile. This way, there’s no need to carry them to another place, which, taking into account the weight of those devices, could quickly turn out to be problematic. Even the best floor jack should only be used on solid and flat ground. Otherwise, it could move, which could cause the car to lose balance.
- Hydraulic bottle jacks are used for vehicles that weigh a lot. Their weight capacity surpasses that of other types of jacks, which is why they are used for the most challenging jobs.
If you need to keep your vehicle aloft for an extended period of time, you should use jack stands to increase your safety. Even if the device that you use to raise your car off the ground malfunctions in any way, the powerful jack stands will keep you safe.
TIPS FOR FLOOR JACKS SAFE USE
Okay, so if you have the necessary equipment for the job, remember those tips:
- Before you start using a car floor jack, you should ensure that your car is parked on stable and level ground. Otherwise, you’ll risk that your vehicle starts rolling in any direction.
- If you would like to be absolutely certain that your vehicle doesn’t move an inch while you are underneath it, you should consider buying wheel chocks, which would ensure that your car remains immobile. We recommend using them not only if you are worried that the surface might not be perfectly level. It doesn’t take much for the car to move in any direction. Your wife or a kid could bump into your vehicle by mistake, unaware that you are lying underneath it. Wheel chocks don’t cost much, but they can prevent a tragedy from occurring.
- Ideally, you would place a jack stand under your car every time you need to get underneath it, so you should always remember about taking one before you get on the road. Sure, you might be wondering why is it necessary if nothing terrible happened during the last ten times you had to get under your car, but you never know what could happen this time. Jack stands are absolutely essential if you intend to keep your vehicle aloft for an extended time.
- If you have more serious and time-consuming repairs in mind, then you should check whether it is entirely safe to do so each time you get under your car. Even if there are jack stands under your vehicle, ultimately, those devices can also fail sometimes. It could be the manufacturer’s fault, or there could be a small earthquake while you sleep. As an effect, it could no longer be safe to get under your car. That’s why you should try pushing the car lightly in all directions to check whether it moves. At the same time, while you are already under the vehicle, you shouldn’t pull or push the car using considerable force, or you’ll risk your safety.
Floor jacks can be extremely useful if your vehicle requires some repairs. However, you shouldn’t forget that accidents happen, and you should prepare for that adequately.