Automobile repairs can be risky if you fail to observe the precautions recommended by expert auto technicians as a DIYer. Jacking up a car can be pretty easy; however, the outcome may not go as expected if you fail to do it properly.
If you’re asking, “Is it safe to jack up one side of a car?” carefully study the subsequent sections of this article.
In this post, everything about jacking up a car, including the step-by-step guide, the ideal position for the jack, and the importance of checking the lifting points, have been exposed below.
Is It Safe To Jack Up One Side Of A Car?
Jacking up one side of a car does not necessarily have any implications, provided you use the designated lifting points and hold the vehicle up with a jack stand after lifting it with the jack.
However, besides identifying the position of the jack points and using a jack stand in the end, it is also important to take proper safety measures in jacking the vehicle to avoid accidents.
You must stick to the ideal surface when jacking a vehicle. Also, ensure to do everything possible to keep the car in a static position to prevent it from rolling or falling off the jack.
Where Should You Not Jack Up A Car?
Never jack up your car on sand, gravel, or dirt grass to prevent the component from sinking. Also, avoid the temptation of jacking up your vehicle just anywhere because of an emergency.
For instance, jacking a car on the sloppy ground can make the car slip off the jack because of the slant standing position of the device. This can result in a severe disaster, especially if you’re working under the vehicle.
Never raise and hold a car with only a jack when working under the vehicle. While the jack is meant to lift, use jack stands to hold the car up perpetually. Meanwhile, ensure to use these devices on a plain (leveled) ground for balance and safety.
How To Jack Up A Car Safely
Learning how to jack up a car is pretty straightforward, provided you follow all precautions for maximum safety. This is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to jack up one side of a car without messing things up.
Step 1: Park on a solid plain (leveled) ground
One of the foremost reasons for jack lifts fail is the parking area. Sloppy ground, sand, gravel, or dirt grass are no-go areas when jacking up your car. Ensure to find a solid, leveled ground to park before commencing the exercise.
Ensure that the parking spot is hard and sturdy with no obstructions around. A garage away from the highway or a concrete driveway is an excellent place to do the job. In any case, wherever you choose must be flat and strong to avoid accidents.
Step 2: Engage the hand brake
Once you turn off your car’s engine, ensure to engage the gear shift to “Park – P” and pull the hand brake to solidify its static position. If you drive a manual transmission vehicle, shift the gear to the “first” gear and pull up the parking brake.
Carefully verifying that the car is correctly parked before stepping out to continue with the other stages. Always remember your safety when performing a repair.
Step 3: Chock the car tires
To further hold the car to stand still, use chocks to stop the wheels from moving to ensure maximum safety. Chocks are metal and rubber wedge-shaped blocks. Kindly place the chocks at the back of the rear wheel and in front of the front wheel.
If you can’t get chocks, you can use small bricks, rocks, or solid wedge-shaped woods to hold the tires in place. Again, your goal is to ensure that the tires do not move an inch while you jack up the car.
Step 4: Identify the jack point
Now that you have maintained all safety measures knowing where to put a jack on a car is another vital aspect. Most vehicles have two jack points on each side; one is immediately behind the front tire, and another is in front of the rear tire.
The jack points are situated underneath the vehicle’s rocker panels (the plastic or metal strips under the doors). Some cars are built with multiple jack points, up to 4 each on both sides.
In this case, you can find the other 2 jack points near the front and rear bumpers by theside of a car. You may want to verify your car’s jack points from the manufacturer’s manual for precision.
Step 5: Place the jack under the jack point
Once you identify the jack point underneath your car, position the jack directly under the spot. Determine the side of the jack designed to face up and the side designated to sit on the ground.
Generally, jacks are built with a wide base, signifying the side that should sit on the ground, and a relatively smaller upward arm with solid teeth designed to lift the vehicle. Once you identify the two sides, place them appropriately.
Step 6: Raise the jack to lift the car
Now, engage in lifting the jack to raise it, depending on jack you’re using. As you lift the jack very close to the bottom of the car, you can finally adjust it to align with the position of the jack point for proper elevation.
Meanwhile, if you have a scissor jack, slide the metal rod into the designated hole and turn it clockwise to set the top and bottom of the jack apart and raise the saddle.
Once the top reaches the jack point, fix it properly and continue turning the rod to raise the vehicle to your desired height. Also, if you have a hydraulic jack (floor jack or bottle jack), use the attached lever to raise the saddle until it reaches the vehicle’s jack point. Kindly note that floor jack safety depends on the car’s lifting points.
Step 7: Use solid jack stands
Once you raise entirely the vehicle, ensure to use safe jack stands to hold it up continually as you perform whatever repair or replace any part you want to change.
Don’t use a jack alone to lift and hold a vehicle, as it may fail. Instead, ensure to use the jack to lift the car, while the jack stand can hold it in place.
Why Is It Important To Check Lifting Points?
Checking the lifting points while raising your car with a jack is extremely important because the spots have been thoroughly designed to align with the jack.
Besides that, the sophistication of the lifting points makes them resilient enough to enable the jack to raise the car with ease.
Fixing the jack apart from the lifting points will not only scratch the car’s body, but it may also cause the car to slip off, resulting in a severe disaster. Again, this can cause serious injury if you’re working underneath the vehicle.
If you were contemplating, “Is it safe to jack up one side of a car?” this article has helped to resolve your question. The other vital aspects of jacking up a car have also been captured in this post.
Jacking up your car on one side does not have any implication, mainly if all you want to fix is located in that area. However, inasmuch as it is okay to lift one end of the vehicle, you must observe all precautions/safety measures to avoid accidents.