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How To Jack Up a Car Safely

Most people are unaware of where their jack is located in their vehicle, or even if they have a jack and tire iron. But even with the advances in tire technology, the need to jack up an automobile may arise from time to time. Flat tires, brake problems, fluid leaks, suspension problems, driveline issues, all are reasons for the need to jack up your vehicle. At first take, jacking up an automobile may seem like simplicity itself and it’s true, jacking up a car is not particularly difficult provided you take some necessary precautions.


Jacking an automobile up is not a difficult skill but it can be a dangerous one

Jacking an automobile up is not a difficult skill but it can be a dangerous one

  1. Park your vehicle on a flat, level area.
  2. Place your vehicle’s transmission in park for automatic transmissions, or reverse for manual ones.
  3. Set the parking brake.
  4. Turn on your emergency flashers if your vehicle is on or adjacent to a roadway.
  5. If you have to park on or near a roadway, use emergency flares and fluorescent warning triangles as well as your emergency flashers.
  6. Place blocks in front of the front wheels and behind the rear wheels to prevent the automobile from rolling forward or rearward as you jack it up.

Locate your jack

  1. Depending on your vehicle, your jack may be found in a number of different locations.
  2. It could be in the trunk or under the floor of the trunk.
  3. It may also be under the vehicle along with the spare tire.
  4. In some vehicles like certain pickups, it may be found behind the driver or passenger seat.
  5. You may also find the jack behind a panel in the trunk or even attached to the underside of the hood.

Placing the jack under the vehicle

  1. Most vehicles today have specific jacking points that are recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. These points are usually under the rocker panels just in front of the rear tires or behind the front tires.
  3. Depending on your vehicle and the type of jack that you have, you may be able to place the jack under an axle, frame member, or suspension part such as a spring support or wishbone that connects to a wheel hub.
  4. Make certain that the jack will not damage any of the suspension or body when it takes the weight of the vehicle.
  5. If you are going to use a jack that did not come with your vehicle, verify that the jack is rated for the weight of your vehicle.

Jacking the vehicle

  1. Operate the jack by turning the handle for a screw jack or working it up and down for a hydraulic floor jack or bottle jack.
  2. When you have the vehicle raised to the height required, place jack stands or other substantial supports under the vehicle.


Do not rely on a jack to hold your automobile up while you work under it. Jacks can fail and allow the vehicle to come down suddenly.

Be sure to return your jack to its proper location after use so you can find it again, if necessary.

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