How to Jack Up a Car Safely
Everyone should know how to use the jack that comes with his or her car. Try this at home so if you ever get a flat, you'll know where the jack is and how to use it.
- Moderately Easy
- Jack Stands
- Car Jacks and Jack Handle
- Yellow Pages
- Car Manuals
Park the car on level ground and pull up the parking brake. Leave manual transmission cars in first gear or reverse and put automatics in park.
Place a chock or a brick behind or in front of (depending on the road's incline) the wheel diagonally opposite one being jacked up.
Place the jack under the car's frame nearest the wheel to be jacked up. There's a thin lip that runs along the side of your car, this is where the jack should go. Your owner's manual will have a picture of the safest place to put the jack. Bumper jacks will attach to slots in the front or rear bumper (on older cars).
When the jack is in place, insert the handle according to the directions on the jack, and turn or ratchet the handle to make the jack rise. If it lowers or cannot turn, rotate the handle the other way, or flip the switch marked 'R' and 'L' (for 'raise' and 'lower').
Raise the jack high enough to either replace a flat tire or place the car on a jack stand (a sturdy temporary stand at a fixed height). If you're changing a flat, remember to leave extra room--the new tire will be full of air.
Lower the jack when you're finished. Be cautious and go slowly. If you've used a jack stand, before lowering the jack you will need to raise the car slightly to pull the stand from its place.
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