Changing a tire or oil should be something that all vehicle owners know how to perform. However, this isn’t always the case for fear of doing something wrong or simply never being taught.
That’s OK, but if you want to avoid being stranded by the side of a busy highway while waiting hours for rescue to arrive, now is the time to learn.
However, before getting into the weeds regarding actually changing a tire, it’s prudent to understand how to safely use your vehicle’s jack to avoid injury and damage to your car.
Ensure Your Jack Is In Good Working Order
Regardless of the piece of equipment you are using; you should always check it is in good working order before attempting to use it. If you have tested it, but the car jack not lifting up even a low weight, it could be an indication that it’s broken in some way.
The best way to start your check is with a standard visual inspection. Take a look around and see if there are any signs of fluid leaking out, corrosion, or physical damage that might prevent it from being used safely.
If everything looks fine visually, you can move on to testing it out with lower weights that don’t pose a risk to your health. It could be a time of furniture or anything that has some mass to it. Start lifting slowly, and if you see any signs that something is awry, it might be time to take it to be repaired or even invest in a new one.
Start With A Flat Surface
If your jack is in fine fettle and you need to use it, you should always begin on a flat surface when possible. Although this might not always be the case, you should make an effort to move your vehicle to a location that is so if possible.
A flat surface ensures an even lift that will keep you safe as well as the health of your car. Uneven surfaces can cause the jack to buckle from its base, which could cause a lot of damage depending on the circumstances.
Place Jack Under the Car Properly
If you have never used a jack, you should take a look through your car’s manual and read the instructions carefully. While many vehicles will use the same method (i.e., finding the hard point near the wheel), others have more elaborate techniques to lift it off the ground.
In the long run, it pays to learn how it works for your car before needing to use one and discovering you don’t know how to.
Lift The Car Slowly And Steadily
Slow and steady wins the race, and this is undoubtedly true regarding lifting a vehicle that likely weighs over a ton! You want to begin the jacking process slowly and settle into a smooth and steady momentum until you have reached the desired height.
This includes during the lowering process since too much speed might cause it to overload or dangerously spin the handle out of your control.
You might think there isn’t much to lift a car or heavy time up with a jack, but therein lies the issue. A jack can cause injuries or damage when used incorrectly without correctly knowing how to use it.