JACKING UP YOUR CAR is NOT as Safe as it Used to be ? Be aware of other traffic

Jacking up your car the correct way

You may think that jacking up your is an exact science but believe me plenty can go wrong. Even our most experienced mechanics can make a mistake when jacking up a car. The worse

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Lady’s very often change their own wheel these days

thing to happen is if the jack is placed under a sill and not the re-enforced area just under the edge of car. Most models of car have a special re-enforced part at the front of the sill area and is marked by a notch in the metal to show you where you can jack up your car without it going through the softer sill part of the body just under the car doors.

The jacking points are usually illustrated in the owner’s manual, but if you do not know where the jacking points  are and are not sure, then DO NOT jack the car up, leave to a professional , who knows what they are doing.

If you are confident or stuck somewhere with a flat tyre then this is something that you should tackle. The first thing to do is to make sure that you are on a HARD SURFACE. Please do not try to jack your car up on a grass verge or a field, anywhere that is soft. The obvious thing to happen is that the car jack will just sink, and unless you have some wooden blocks in the car then the job will be hopeless.

Once you have established that the ground is hard enough then you should look for and remove your wheel removing kit from the car boot. This usually consists of a scissor jack, wheel brace and locking wheel nut tool (if your car has one). The car jacking point is marked by a cut out in the metal plate on the front and rear of the car; this shows the strongest place to jack up the car. Once this is all done then you can say a prayer and hope that the wheel nuts are not seized up or over tightened, from the last time that the wheel was removed. If the wheel is over tightened then you may have to get help or call out a nearby garage for assistance.

Some drivers know about this and carry a hollow piece of strong metal tubing in their tool kit to give them leverage on their wheel brace. It is also wise to keep a small thick piece of wood in your tool kit to place on the jack as you start to lift the car. This gives the jack a better bite, instead of the metal on metal of the jack and the car sill.

Some more advanced motorists will keep a small trolley jack in their car for jacking up with

 for a safer jacking experience, in my opinion good preparation is the word. It is no different in the professional garage, we have always to be safety conscious when jacking up cars, either with a trolley jack or on the vehicle ramps, the same should apply to the DIY motorists.

The more experienced person who carries out their own cars repairs should be able to jack a car up by using the steering and suspension jacking points, but it is always a good point to

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Scissor jacks are the most common DIY jack found in your cars tool kit

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Citroen with the arrow showing the jacking point

make sure that you have some good strong axle stands to rest the car on before you commence working on your car and the same applies to a hard surface when lifting the car, all these points may seem trivial but as a garage owner of over 40 years, I have seen many stupid things happen, that were only due to thoughtlessness on the behalf of the mechanic.

When jacking up your Used Cars  you can get a feeling if the thing is not going right, so if you hear any strange creaking noises or metallic sounds then let the car jack down with care and start again, care is the buzz word. I suppose thinking about it; this is why the breakdown services are very busy, there are now many different types of wheels and jacks on today’s modern cars and if you are not sure or confident please join one of the motoring breakdown services such as the AA or RAC here in the UK.

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. I have worked for a couple for national tyre companies in my younger days, before starting my first business. I now own a garage and MOT testing centre, here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre, and I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Motor-Codes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre and of course Tyre-safe.