Jacking up a car can be pretty straightforward, except that it can fall off for several reasons, including human and machine errors. Unfortunately, many car owners/DIYers have been seriously injured due to this incident.
Car fell off jack damage can affect the rotors and control arm. Usually, this occurrence doesn’t damage the car frame. Nonetheless, if your car falls off jack, the situation will result in further repair in addition to what you were trying to fix.
Meanwhile, this can make you incur more expenses. Here, we’ll explain what you should do if your car fell off from jack.
Car Fell Off Jack Damage – What Should I Do?
If your car fell off the jack when you lifted the car to conduct a repair, ensure to do the following immediately.
Inspect for any damages
Firstly, ensure to check anyone/everyone working under the vehicle to verify if anybody was injured. If you have an injured person, kindly apply first aid or take the person to the nearest hospital for treatment.
However, if nobody is injured, go further to inspect the car for any damages. The brake rotors and control arm may have the most severe possible damage from a car falling off jack. Usually, the frame may still be intact.
Lift the car with a low-profile floor jack
Since you may not know the exact reason why the car initially fell off the jack, carefully use a low-profile floor jack to lift it again. Meanwhile, this is most likely the ideal component you can use to get underneath the car and lift it up.
However, ensure to check your owner’s manual to ascertain the correct jack lift point under the car. In most cases, the lift points are located behind the front tires and in front of the back tires. The positions are usually marked with an arrow indicating the spot.
Hold the car with jack stands
If you’re lifting the car a second time, it would be helpful if you included other sophisticated components to help you hold it firmly. For example, you may want to use Big Red Jack Stand to sustain the vehicle once you lift it with the jack.
A jack is not designed to hold your car alone for too long without the assistance of jack stands.
Causes Of Car Falling Off Jack
Cars fall off jacks for various reasons, including faults associated with the jack and defects on the spot where the tools are used. If you’re a victim of a car falling off jack, the following are some of the reasons for the occurrence.
Jacking up a car on slopy or soft ground
The position where you jack up your car determines to a large extent, whether the car will remain on the jack or fall off after a while.
In other words, jacking up your car on slopy ground will cause the vehicle to wave due to the imbalance of the jack. Meanwhile, the car will eventually fall off if the jack is not balanced enough.
Also, if you hurriedly jack up your car on soft ground without paying attention to the spot due to a flat tire emergency, the jack will most likely sink into the sand, lose its balance, and cause the car to fall off.
Failure to engage the emergency brake
Some people do not remember to shift their vehicle’s gear to park and engage the hand brake for maximum safety before jacking up the vehicle. If a car falls off a jack where the jack is intact, this will most likely be one of the main reasons, among others.
You don’t want your car swaying back and forth while working on a component underneath the car, as this can easily cause the car to fall off the jack. So, it is advisable to engage the park gear and emergency break before jacking a car.
Also, ensure to loosen your tires’ lug nuts while the car is still on the ground because it is easier and faster that way. If you attempt to break-loose the lug nuts after jacking the car, the process will make the car shake on the jack as you apply force to loosen the nut.
Using a jack with a small base
There’s a high tendency for a jack with a small base to fail than its counterpart with a wider base. This is simply another reason why cars fall off jacks.
If you want to lift up a larger vehicle, ensure to use a more sophisticated jack with a wider base. For instance, a scissor jack may not be ideal in all cases. Therefore, it is important to understand when you need a bottle jack instead of a scissor jack.
Failure to use wheel chocks
Besides engaging the park gear and emergency brake, wheel chocks help to achieve better safety when jacking a car.
For example, you can use wooden blocks or professional wheel chocks to stop your car tires from rolling when jacking it up to work on components underneath the vehicle.
Sometimes, car owners forget to use the emergency brake and wheel chocks when lifting their vehicles, thereby relying on the park gear and the jack only.
Can You Damage A Car By Jacking It Up?
No, you can’t damage a car by jacking it up, provided you place the jack at the correct spots underneath the vehicle. In most cases, the jack lift points are located in front of the rear tires and behind the front tires.
If you place the jack in inappropriate locations, the weight of the car may cause the jack to damage the frame or even result in an imbalance that may cause the car to fall off.
What Can Be Damaged When A Car Tire Falls Off?
If your car tires fall off, the incidence can damage the underside and the car’s frame. However, the extent of the damage would depend on how hard the car falls when the tire goes off.
Nevertheless, occurrences like this are covered by insurance. Ideally, full cover insurance will help to shoulder the expenses of restoring your car to a good shape like the incident never occurred.
Is It OK To Jack Up One Corner Of A Car?
It is ok to jack up one corner of your car if you need to fix something around that area. However, ensure to use a jack stand to get additional support after lifting the corner up with a jack. This will help minimize the car’s tendency to fall off the jack.
Also, ensure that you place the jack in the right spot underneath the car. In addition, concrete and leveled ground would help maintain the jack’s stability at the base to avoid car jack failure.
How High Can I Jack My Car?
Simply jack your car to a sufficient level above the ground that can enable you to fix whatever you need to work on underneath the car. Ideally, 3 – 10 pumps would do in most cases.
What’s the point of lifting your car very high just to replace a flat tire? It is unnecessary because you may face more risks lifting the car beyond the extent needed to perform a repair or change a component.
How Long Can A Floor Jack Hold A Car?
A floor jack isn’t designed to hold a car for too long. Instead, it is meant to lift your car, while you include a jack stand to hold the car firmly as you work underneath.
However, a floor jack can hold a car for a few minutes to a few hours. Nevertheless, there’s no point in using a jack for the job of a jack stand. They are built with varying capacities and purposes.
Nevertheless, if a car fell off jack stands,there’s a tendency that the reasons could be similar to when the incidence occurs on a jack.
Car fell off jack damage can be severe depending on the height from which the car fell. However, the brake rotors, control arm, frame, a few other components under the car may suffer damage and mechanic can be fatally injured due to such incidence.
Therefore, it is advisable to use recommended jacks and jack stands when lifting a car to perform a repair beneath. Also, ensure to use wheel chocks and engage your park gear and emergency brake while lifting the car on concrete leveled ground.