“How to use scissor jack to raise a car?” is an important query to answer, and we will shed light on not only what scissor jacks are but also how to use them, which will be critical knowledge for any car owner. Since scissor jacks are one of the most functional and easy-to-use car jacks around, they usually come included when you purchase a new vehicle.
Even though these are generally one of the simplest automobile jacks you could use, you still need a basic idea of how they work, and there is a proper procedure for using them to get the appropriate result. In this comprehensive tell-all guide, we will walk you through the exact steps of using a scissor jack to raise your car so that you can check or fix any component!
- 1 How Can You Use a Scissor Jack To Raise a Car?
- 2 Conclusion
How Can You Use a Scissor Jack To Raise a Car?
You can use a scissor jack to raise a car by first parking the vehicle and using tire chocks promptly. After assessing the stands, you can lift the car using the jack. Remember to shift the weight from the jack to the stands.
1. Parking the Vehicle
Before attempting to lift a car with a car jack, it is crucial to ensure the vehicle is parked on a level surface. A level spot in the garage or a parking lot is an excellent option, as it ensures that the car will not tip or wobble during the lifting process. This action step is essential to ensure the safety of the user and anyone else in the vicinity.
In addition to selecting a level surface, engaging the parking brake before lifting the car is important. The parking brake is an additional safety measure preventing the car from rolling back or forth during lifting. Rolling back is a common issue that can cause the car to maybe slip off the jack, leading to accidents and injuries.
2. Using Tire Chocks
In addition to selecting a level surface and engaging the parking brake, it is also advisable to use tire chocks as an additional safety measure. Tire chocks are small wedges placed against the tires to prevent them from rolling or moving during the lifting process.
If available, it is recommended to use chocks on the tires opposite to where the scissor jack is being used. For example, if lifting the rear of the car, chock the front wheels; if lifting the front, chock the rear wheels. This step ensures that the car remains stable and prevents any potential accidents.
It is essential to note that using tire chocks should not replace other safety measures such as selecting a level surface and engaging the parking brake. Instead, they serve as an additional safeguard, providing extra stability and preventing the car from rolling or shifting during the lifting process.
3. Using Jack Stands
Scissor jacks are a common tool used for changing tires, especially in the event of a flat tire. However, it is crucial to note that scissor jacks are not designed to hold up a vehicle for an extended period. For safety reasons, it is widely recommended to use jack stands if you need to work underneath the vehicle. Before using the stands, it’s essential to inspect them to ensure they are in great condition and appropriate for the vehicle’s weight.
4. Assessing the Jack Beforehand
Check for debris clinging to the screw or saddle and remove it if necessary. Suppose you notice any structural damage or have doubts about the integrity of the jack. In that case, recycling and purchasing a new one is best.
While scissor jacks are generally affordable, using a damaged or flawed jack can pose significant safety risks and potentially lead to accidents. By inspecting your jack before use, you can help prevent any accidents or mishaps while working on your vehicle.
5. Prepping the Jack and the Car
Assembling your scissor jack correctly is crucial before using it. If you have a two-piece handle, ensure it is securely assembled and hooked into the loop. Test the jack a few times without a load to ensure it functions smoothly. If it feels tight or jerky, apply silicone lubricant to the screw to loosen it up.
Before using the jack, locating the lift point closest to where you’ll be working is crucial. You can refer to your own owner’s manual or search online for guidance. Remember to only jack up the vehicle at the lift points designed to handle the extra load without cracking or bending.
6. Raising the Saddle
When positioning the scissor jack, aim to get it as close to the lift point as possible. It doesn’t need to be perfectly aligned; you can adjust it later. Once in place, start turning the handle clockwise to raise the saddle. Stop turning once the saddle almost touches the vehicle, but not quite.
Adjust the jack’s position to ensure it is correctly positioned. Remember, never place your fingers between the saddle and the vehicle, as it can be dangerous. Once you have positioned the jack correctly, you can continue turning the handle until it establishes contact with the vehicle.
7. Lifting the Car
Once the scissor jack is in contact with the vehicle, you may notice increased resistance as you turn the handle. Keep turning the handle until the vehicle starts to lift off the ground. As you lift the vehicle, keep a close eye on the jack, ensuring it remains stable and planted on the ground. If it starts tiling or shifting, stop immediately and readjust the position. Safety should always be your top priority.
Lift the vehicle until it’s at a height that allows you to perform the necessary work comfortably. You must ensure the vehicle is stable and secure before you begin. If you plan to use jack stands, position them securely under the vehicle’s recommended lift points. Double-check that the stands are sturdy and can handle the vehicle’s weight.
8. Transferring the Weight to the Jack Stands
Start turning the handle counterclockwise slowly to lower the car from the jack to the stands. This movement transfers the weight of the vehicle to the stands. Monitor the jack’s movement and the vehicle’s stability as you lower it.
Once you are confident that the jack stands can support the vehicle safely, continue lowering it until you can remove it from underneath the vehicle.
9. Removing the Stands
When you have completed your repairs, it’s time to reverse the steps to lower your vehicle safely. Start using the handle to turn the jack counterclockwise and lower the vehicle until it rests on the jack stands. Next, ensure that the weight has been transferred entirely to the stands before you remove the jack. This action step is crucial because you don’t want the vehicle to fall off the jack stands and cause any injury.
Once you have confirmed the vehicle is securely resting on the stands, you can move the stands away from under the vehicle and place them in a safe area. Before you clean up your work area, make a final check to ensure no one is working under or near the car.
10. Lowering the Vehicle
You can now start lowering the vehicle back to the ground. Carefully turn the handle counterclockwise, doing it slowly and steadily to ensure safety. Rushing this step could lead to accidents, so take your time.
You can pack up your equipment once the tire is back on the floor and the weight is off the jack. Fold the jack down flat and put it away in a safe place. With everything packed up, your work is now complete.
If you have not used a car jack before in your life, or you are new to working with vehicles in general, it might feel like a lot of work initially to lift a heavy car, and it might sound almost impossible to do so. Because of this, we covered every step required in the process of using a jack,
including some important points in the summarized list below:
- To use a scissor jack, first make sure your car is parked on a smooth and level surface and engage the parking brake.
- Use tire chocks as an additional safety measure by placing them against the tires to prevent them from rolling or moving during the lifting process.
- Scissor jacks are not designed to hold up a vehicle for an extended period, so it is recommended to use jack stands if you need to work underneath the vehicle.
- Before using the jack, inspect it for debris, structural damage, or any doubts about its integrity.
Mastering an important skill that is extremely relevant in emergencies will give any driver a higher level of confidence, and it also allows you to be ready if you find yourself in a tight spot without needing to go to a repair shop. Since you now know how to use the scissor jack to lift your car properly, you should be able to fix what needs to be fixed and get that vehicle back on the road in no time!
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