A floor jack is required when you will change your tire or swap out a rusted brake pad. It is a mechanical or hydraulic tool that lifts a car off the ground by several inches, using a press that is controlled by a pedal or a handle bar.
You need a floor jack when making rudimentary changes to the underbelly of the car, or if you need to inspect the entire car body. A simple search on the Internet will return thousands of entries online about floor jacks so there is never a knowledge limitation on the topic.
A floor jack is easy to operate and is fine under all circumstances, regardless of the company that manufactured it. But it can be a nightmare if one does not how to use it.
A jack can cause a lot of damage to the car and people around it if it is mishandled or not fit properly in the lifting point of the vehicle. If you do not know how to fully operate a floor jack, seek the assistance of people who have been working on vehicles, particularly disassembly and fitting.
Take note of the following steps below on how to use a floor jack. These are common steps that apply to all types and brands of floor jack. List these if you must because all of them are important when using the tool.
Know the exact weight of your vehicle
Every brand new vehicle comes with an instruction manual that describes the car in detail. If your vehicle was given to you by someone else, request the car manual from the original owner.
If the owner cannot produce the manual, search for your car manual on the internet and find its net weight.
Reread your manual and make sure that the weight of the vehicle you will be lifting is below the jack’s threshold. Failure to do so can lead to injury and even death since your jack is made to lift less than its limit.
Know the exact weight of the vehicle to save time and money, since the slightest miscalculation can destroy the jack and damage the car. It can hurt the person operating the tool and people nearby.
Use another jack if the overall weight of the car exceeds the tool’s limitations. It is better to be safe than sorry when operating on – and under – your car.
Toss out excess weight
A floor jack can only lift up to a certain weight. Once it reaches its limit, its safety features will kick in and prevent the user from using the tool.
Removing excess objects from the car can make lifting with your floor jack easier, especially if its overall weight is near the jack’s threshold. This makes the process easier and faster to pull off.
A hydraulic or manual floor jack would be fine. It is all up to user preference when checking out your jack of choice. The brand is not that important but it’s good to have a trusted one lifting your vehicle.
Make sure that excess weight is out of the car to avoid untoward incidents. Excess baggage can help damage your jack if it literally weighs down the car too much.
Lubricate the jack before using it
It is good to have a well-oiled tool before engaging in some heavy lifting. A floor jack has moving parts that require constant management and care.
A great way of taking care of the jack is lubricating it before and after every use. Oil is a welcome ally for the moving parts. It is not enough to know how to use a floor jack – maximizing its potential is also important.
Oil stops parts from clamping down or getting stuck. Lubrication enhances performance so that all the parts move in fluid unison. Make sure that the jack is well-oiled before using it to avoid untoward incidents.
A jack that is less oiled can jam in the middle of heavy lifting or lose its thread while under incredible stress. Make it a habit to always maintain your jack because it also prolongs its life and usefulness.
Know where the contact points of your vehicle are
Make it a point to know the vehicle’s contact points before using the jack. This is the most important part because you cannot lift a vehicle safely without knowing where to put your jack in. Contact points vary per vehicle so read up the car’s user manual.
Once you know the location of your vehicle’s contact point, place the jack properly beneath the contact point. This is the only focus point you have when operating your jack underneath the vehicle.
You cannot just put the jack anywhere beneath the car because you can severely damage it.
The contact point spreads the weight of the vehicle onto the jack. It is also one of the toughest parts of the car since it is designed to absorb punishment.
It spreads weight evenly so that the jack will not have a problem pushing the entire vehicle up. Putting the jack below the bumper or near the tail pipe can destroy its respective ends, which can cost a lot of money.
Again, ask for the help of an expert if you do not know how to use a floor jack with confidence.
Locking and unlocking the floor jack
Floor jacks have a safety mechanism that stops the tool from being cranked up or down. Lock the jack when you think the car is high enough from the ground that it is safe and accessible to work on.
The main purpose of a jack is to raise and lower a car properly, while the main usage of a lock is to make sure it stays in place.
Do not abruptly unlock the jack when someone is still beneath the car, even if the jack has a stopper that triggers during accidental releases.
Unlock it only when you are at a safe distance from the car. Always prioritize your safety and others when operating your tool.
Make sure that you are wearing safety equipment like gloves and work glasses when using a safety jack. You never know when the jack will do something weird like shaking or leaking oil.