Even the simplest car maintenance and repair tasks require you to get underneath your vehicle (changing the oil or a tire). In these circumstances, lifting and supporting the car is essential for your safety. Here’s a list of rules to keep in mind before crawling underneath a two-ton piece of metal.
Find a Friend
If possible, don’t work on your car alone. Having an extra body to hand you tools, keep you company, and call the proper authorities in case of emergency will help you in every way imaginable.
Reading manuals is a less-than-exciting task, but this simple step can keep you from wasting time and endangering yourself in the process. Your car’s owner’s manual and the directions for all supporting material will help you get things done right (every vehicle has suggested jack points). If you can’t find or have lost manuals, almost all exist online these days.
Find Level Ground
The ground underneath your car should be level and clean. Questionable pavement can easily pull a car off its jack.
Get the Gear
Even if you have a friend, gathering all necessarily equipment and having it close by will save you time. You’ll definitely need a high-quality jack and at least two jack stands. If lifting the whole car, four jack stands are ideal.
After you put the transmission in Park, chock the wheel on the opposite side you will be working on. For best results, use two wheel chocks (in front and behind the wheel). This will keep the car in place. While wood, metal or rubber chocks work well, large rocks or cinder blocks do not.
Lift and Support
Using a solid jacking point and enough room for the jack stand, lift the vehicle. After you’ve finished, support it with jack stands–use them in pairs if supporting the whole front or rear.
Check Jack Stands
After the car has been lifted and supported, check each jack stand for firmness. It shouldn’t move at all. If it does, try adjusting the jack stands up a notch.
Give it a Shake
Gently shake the car to make sure it’s secure. All jack stands should sit firmly on level ground. If anything feels lose, don’t risk it. Try the process again. Once you’re sure everything feels safe, you can get started on your task.
For all your car’s repair and maintenance needs, call the experts at Empire Auto Care in Ft. Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Wilton Manors, Lighthouse Point, and Lauderdale By The Sea at 954-800-8512 today!