A wide variety of automotive tasks involve lifting the car for inspection, correction, and repair. Therefore it is essential to understand the major jack points under a car to enable smooth lifting of the vehicle without any damage to property or life.
What is a Jack?
A jack is a device used to raise a part or entire body of a vehicle off the ground in order to facilitate repair and maintenance. Most people are aware of the basic automotive jacks, which are included as standard equipment in every new car. Two types of commonly used jacks are:
- Floor Jacks: They’re 4-wheeled, heavier Jacks used to lift and provide stability to heavy loads with the help of a hydraulic cylinder. Floor Jacks mostly used in garages or for any kind of regular work.
- Scissor Jacks: They are lightweight and portable jacks that function on a screw mechanism to lift the vehicle. They’re included in an emergency toolkit to ensure safe and successful roadside repairs.
How to Jack Up a Car Safely?
Jacking up a car is not much scary as we all think. Below is the step-by-step process on how to lift a car with a jack easily.
Step 1: Finding a Flat Surface to Park
A hard, flat, and sturdy surface is the best place to jack up a car. It ensures that the car doesn’t roll away and is at a safe distance from the crowd. Also, make sure the ignition is off.
Step 2: Block the Movement
Use rubber or metal chocks, bricks, roadside rocks, or wood to secure the vehicle in one place and block its movement.
Step 3: Raise the Car Using Jacks
For emergencies, a few inches lift is enough to provide clearance to change a tire or inspect; when the jack points connect with the body of the car, it’ll raise the body off the ground. Make sure to position the jacks correctly so that they are in an upright position; slanting jacks can easily slip off.
Step 4: Use Jack Stands
If you’re not a professional worker, it is suggested that you use jack stands to ensure accurate positioning of the vehicle at all times, without any fear if it is falling over.
Step 5: Lower the Car
Give the vehicle a slight lift using jacks so that it is easier to remove the jack stand smoothly. Then, unwind the jack handle in the opposite direction until the tires touch the ground, remove the jacks and the blocks used to secure the tires.
Different Jack Points on a Car to Use
Every car has at least 6 load-bearing points which can be used as jack stand points. Jacks are the toughest metal on the car’s body as they’re equipped to withhold the entire weight, these metals run across the axles in some cases and along the front-rear seam in all.
- Some car models have small flat metal areas labeled “jack” on the undercarriage. It is always advised to check the user manual to find clear illustrations of jack points.
- In most cases, jack points are located behind the front wheels and in front of the rear wheels. They are positioned next to rocker panels (metal beneath the doors).
- Occasionally, you can find two jack points behind the front and rear bumpers. According to their positioning, these points can lift half of the car. But it is important to ensure that jack stands are employed if these central jack points are used.
Jacking Points of Some Popular Cars
Based on the design of the car, brand, and model, the car jack placement can be slightly different. Here is the best choice of the jack points concerning some common cars:
- Honda Civic: The strongest points to carry the entire vehicle’s weight are the metal plate behind the bumper, rear axle, and front control arm.
- Chevrolet Malibu: You should jack it up by the frame, not the emergency jack point available, as it can possibly bend the metal around it. A Pinch weld adapter might solve this problem.
- Silverado: The best point to place jack Under Silverado is the rear axle.
- Honda Accord: Front and rear jack points behind the bumper are the most robust to place.
- Nisaan Altima: Frame rail between the two notches can be used to lift the car up.
- Honda Odyssey: The jack points in Honda Odyssey are the cross members.
- Ford Focus: Using the double-seam-welded sills on the side of the car is the easiest way to jack your Ford Focus. Putting the jack against the central jack point is also the right choice.
- Toyota Corolla: Jacking points are located on the side rim of the vehicle, indicated by reinforced jack.
- Ram 1500: Rear Axle is the best choice to lift the vehicle.
Precautions to Take while Using a Car Jack
- Park around the curb in case of an inclined, broken, or soft surface.
- Always use a jack stand when you are working underneath the vehicle.
- Always block the wheels properly.
- Place the car in the Park transmission in the First gear.
- Use the hand-brake before jacking up the vehicle.
- Always use a car jack on a flat, level surface.
- Never place floor jack on the car body.
- Do not raise the vehicle while someone is inside.
Finding the jack points in your car is not an impossible task. The easiest solution is to refer to the user manual and watch some videos if needed. With the help of detailed information and some practical experience, it will be an easy task to accomplish. Following the steps mentioned above can help you jack up your car safely with ease and precision.