The main tools in a garage are jacks and jack stands and not screwdrivers, socket wrenches, or pliers as these are the tools that ensure the safety of a person while working on a car. The jack is a device that will help to lift the vehicle off the ground but the jack stands to keep the support to the vehicle at that position. It should be used whenever you want to jack your car. The following article will help you gain some basic knowledge about How to use a jack stand step by step and If this is foreign to you, it’s important to learn about these devices and how to use them, safely.
1. What is a Jack Stand?
Jack Stands are mechanical devices made of metals that can adjust the height to support the weight of a vehicle that is raised at some height from the ground. Mostly, these are positioned beneath the car so that they protect the vehicle from falling to the ground when supported at a certain height from the ground.
Fig: Jack Stands being used to support a car
2. Types of Jack Stands
The different types of jack stand that will be available in the market are:
1. Pin Lock Jack Stand:
This type of jack stand usually has holes lined up through which you will be able to adjust the height of the stand using your hand. Then to ensure that the stand is held at the required height, you need to slide the pin. The pin is made of a material that is either steel or iron to help ensure that the jack stand provides the greatest strength.
2. Ratchet Lock Jack Stand:
In this type of jack stand, you have a locking system that is the easiest to use. During the same time, the failure chances of these are the most. When you buy these jack stands, you should make sure that the specifications are right and you are buying them from a reputed manufacturer. This ensures that the jack stands are manufactured correctly and these will help to reduce the overall chances of failure. These types of jack stands operate by pumping the lever up to a required height and then triggering the release which will help in lowering the jack stand.
3. Screw Lock Jack Stand:
These jack stands are the least used. They offer more stability than a ratchet stand but these have slightly less stability than the pin lock stand. One of the main problems with these jack stands is in the method in which we use them. The supporting system of your car on which it will be placed is on the screw’s top. Lifting or lowering it requires the bar to be screwed or unscrewed from the base of the jack stand. This usually takes a lot of time and will be a tedious task.
Main Parts of a Jack Stand
The basic parts of most of the jack stands include:
- The Base : The jack stand base frame consisting of four-leg which are placed on the ground. These have the shape of a pyramid supported on four legs. The support bar helps in sliding up and down between the center opening in the base.
- The Support Bar of the Jack Stand: The support bar functions as the contact point between the jack stand and the car. This bar will stay in place at the height at which it is positioned when raised from the ground as it is ratcheted. At the top, it will have a U-shaped catch.
- The Locking Pin/Mechanism in the Jack Stand: For keeping the support bar in place, apart from the ratcheting device, mostly all of the jack stands have their backup plans which usually comes in form of a type of pin that moves through the support bar or will be positioned against the ratchet teeth of the bar
- The Release of the Jack Stand: Release acts as a handle that helps in releasing the ratcheting mechanism of the support bar and will allow the lowering of the bar.
Tool List You Need While Lifting a Car
While lifting a car from the ground, the following is a list of the essential tools that will be required:
You always need to organize your tools and gear to ensure at the time of working everything will be easily reachable and this will help in saving precious time. You also need to ensure that the workspace is flat and leveled and is well-ventilated. You need to check the local laws to ensure that you are not violating any of the codes while you are working on the street.
How to Use a Jack Stand?
The following steps need to be followed while using the jack stands:
- Firstly, you need to check that the vehicle is on a leveled surface.
2. Then you need to put the wheel chocks around the wheels and apply the parking brakes to ensure that the rolling of wheels does not take place and the wheels remain on the ground. If you are lifting the rear of the car then don’t forget to put the car in gear.
3. You need to then locate the jack points by referring to the owner’s manual and lift the vehicle off the ground using an appropriate jack.
4. Then you should place the jack stand beneath the vehicle at the specified jack points.
5. The support beam of the car should be lifted or screwed as close as possible to the contact points.
6. Ensure that the jack stands are properly placed. Then release the jack slowly and start lowering the vehicle on the jack stand.
7. The vehicle should be given a small sturdy shake to ensure that the vehicle is fully seated on the stand and the stability is maintained.
8. After the work is done, you need to place the jack and lift the vehicle above the jack stand.
9. After lifting the car above the jack stands, Now you should remove the jack stands.
10. Then using the jack release, you should start lowering the car.
11. You need to lower the car using the jack.
12. Repeat this process for removing all the remaining jack stands.
13. As soon as your car is lowered, you should remove the wheel chocks.
For Better Understanding about How to use a Jack stand, Watch the Video
Precautions to be Taken While Using a Jack Stand
- The Harbor Freight Jack Stands should not be used as they are not safe to use.
- You should ensure that you are using the jack stands by comparing the specifications to you and your car’s requirements. Read the owner’s manual for finding out the weight of the vehicle and using the right jack stands.
- You should ensure that you always work on a flat and leveled surface for stability and security.
- You should check the owner’s manual for the right jacking points before using the jack and jack stands.
- You should only use the jacks for lifting and never use them for supporting the vehicle. For that, you need to use jack stands.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
- How should you place the Jack Stands on the Axle?
The jack stands should not be placed underneath the axle of the car as these are not designed to support the weight of the vehicle. You should read the owner’s manual and should use the jack points specified in it for placing the jack stands.
2. Where should you position the jack stands underneath the car?
Check the owner’s manual for locating the jacking points specified on your vehicle. If the jack stands are wrongly placed you and your car can get serious damages and injuries.
3. Should you leave the car on the jack stand overnight?
Yes, you can leave your car supported on the jack stands overnight but ensure that it is evenly balanced. Use extra stands or extra wood for supporting the vehicle as a preventive measure.
4. Should you jack up the car for changing the oil?
It will depend on the size of the user, the car the user owns, and the position of the oil pan and oil filter on the vehicle.