How To Use Jack Stands Safely
Using jack stands is a great way to make sure you are safe when working under your car. Putting the vehicle on the stands correctly could mean the difference between a project that can be completed easily and successfully and a tragic accident. Knowing jack stand safety is important. You can follow some simple steps to make sure your jack stands are safely installed under your vehicle.
Find a Level Work Space
You want the space where you are going to be working to be as level as possible. Raising a car on unlevel or uneven ground can be dangerous. If possible, ensure that the space under the car is paved or cement so that your car will be firmly supported.
Check Your Owner’s Manual
Your owner’s manual usually has information on how to raise your vehicle safely. This will usually include where to place your jack stands or your jack. If you place either on places that are not firm, you could have problems.
Find Your Car’s Weight
In your paperwork or owner’s manual, find the "curb weight" of your car. Then check that the jack and jack stands you want to use will support that weight.
Set Parking Brake
Go to the driver’s seat and set the parking brake on your car. This will prevent the car from moving back and forth as you are jacking it up.
Use Your Jack
Use the jack that came with your vehicle and place the jack at the point your owner’s manual says to use for raising the vehicle. If you don’t have a jack that came with your vehicle, you can use a floor jack if you are on cement. A floor jack can safely raise all vehicles if they are on a firm surface.
Install the Jack Stand
Place the jack stand where your owner’s manual indicates. If the owner’s manual doesn’t specify a place, put it under a solid, structural piece of metal. Sometimes the vehicle will have a small indentation on the chassis of the car near the wheel you just jacked up to indicate the proper placement of the jack stand. Do not put a jack stand under items such as the floor boards or items that move, like parts of the suspension.
Move straight across the car and repeat the process. You want to raise the car evenly. Don’t do both on one side and then go to the other side of the car. Install a jack stand on the driver’s side front and then do the passenger’s side front.
Go to the Back of the Car
If you started at the front of the car, you now go to one side of the back. Repeat the process of jacking up the car and placing the jack stand securely.
Last Time to Repeat
Go to the last side of the car and repeat the process again. Raise the car securely and install the jack stand.
Test the Car
Push the vehicle with your hand to see if it is going to shift. If it moves or shakes, make it more secure with more blocks. You can use any type of item that is heavy and sturdy, such as cement blocks or pieces of wood.
Jacking up a car and installing jack stands involves knowing about jack stand safety. You must raise the car evenly and install the jack stands correctly to make sure the car stays in place. You can also take off the tires from the car and lay them sideways under the wheels. You can use any solid blocks to place around the car to make it even more safe.