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As a general rule, the lifting pad should have at least an inch of clearance from the lifting point under your car. It goes without saying that the overall build quality of the jack should also be considered in your buying decision. Always go for jacks that are made mostly of solid metal. Heavier car jacks should also be chosen over lightweight ones since these can also offer you stability. The sad thing is that you won’t be able to try the car jack before you buy it so reading online reviews should give you an idea of the car jack’s performance in real life.

Here are 4 of the most common: This is the type of jack that vehicle manufacturers already include in their cars. A long screw is turned to draw the ‘legs’ of the scissor together. As the legs are drawn closer, they also grow higher. Scissor jacks are purposely built for specific models of car as they are designed to fit the lifting points in the car. It’s very portable and is often secured in a compartment in the trunk designed specifically for storing such jacks. This is the most common car jack that is great not only for changing tires, but also for repairs and general maintenance purposes. It works on the principle of hydraulic pressure to lift heavy objects with relative ease. They come with 4 wheels for ease of placement under the car as well as a long handle which is used to operate the lift mechanism.

Floor jacks come in different weight capacities so it would be wise to check the gross tonnage of your vehicle and get a floor jack with a higher weight capacity. The downside of such car jacks is that they can be very bulky and heavy that it isn’t really practical to put them in your trunk. As the name implies, a bottle jack is a type of car jack that takes on a cylindrical shape. It comes with a mechanism that allows for the insertion of a lever so that it can be pumped and create pressure in the bottle jack. This also works like a floor jack, except that it is more compact and doesn’t come with wheels. The problem is that, like the scissor jack, its stability is dependent on the type of surface it is placed on. These are specialty jacks that are designed to raise off-road vehicles or any other vehicle with a lifted chassis. These can raise vehicles up to a staggering height of 5 feet and are rated at 7,000 pounds in lifting capacity. They are also exceptionally long, the shortest being 3 feet. This makes them very impractical to put in your car’s trunk. Here’s how to use a floor jack safely: Always check your floor jack for proper operation before using it. Any obvious sign of damage or leaks should warrant its immediate replacement. Always use a floor jack with a weight rating that is appropriate for the weight of your car. Always make sure to put your car in a flat, firm, solid, stable, and even surface before placing the floor jack. Make sure the car is in the Park position and that the emergency brakes have been engaged. Place a wheel chock on the wheel opposite the one you will be working on. If you’re working on the front right wheel, then place the chock on the front left wheel to prevent accidental rolling. Use a jack stand to support your vehicle while you’re working on it. This is just a precautionary measure in the event that the floor jack fails. Put the floor jack in the correct lifting points of your vehicle. Check your car’s manual to learn the locations of these lifting points.

Make sure to test the stability of the floor jack even before you start working under the vehicle. When you’re done working on your vehicle, always make sure that no part of your body is still under the vehicle before you start lowering the jack. A car jack is a device that can raise a vehicle several inches and up to a few feet off the ground. Most employ hydraulic pressure to lift the car, although there are also those that operate on a screw-type mechanism. Jack stands, on the other hand, are fixed devices that are placed under the vehicle once it is already lifted or raised.

Once in the desired height, a jack stand can be placed on the frame or axle to help support the vehicle in an elevated position. The hydraulic pressure on the car jack is then slowly released until the vehicle safely rests on the jack stand.

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