Now, in the olden days, it was easy because vehicles had solid frames, and you just put the jack right on the frame. But guess what? Most modern cars don’t have separate solid frames; they use what’s called unibody construction.
If you look at the bottom of the car, you see all these welds all over the place that are holding the car together. However, the metal is a lot thinner, so if you try jacking up the car using in the wrong place, it will just bend.
Toyota, they have special notches will you put the jack, just in front of the rear tire, you’ll see these two notches, this is where you put the jack to jack the car up.
There are also notches behind the front tire. Of course, you will need a floor jack to jack the car up. So, before I get into that, let me give you a tip.
Safety Tips Before Jacking A Car Up
Don’t just go on buying some cheap little Jack because big jacks aren’t all that expensive. I advise buying a low-profile jack because cars are so low, you need something to get under there.
But of course, if you have a truck or an SUV, you can just get a normal Jack, they jack up a lot higher, and of course, you need a good set of jack stands.
Before you Jack the car up, pull on the emergency brake, so it doesn’t roll. Then line the jack-up with the notches and start cranking.
Make sure you have solid jack stands with you. You will need to put one or two under a solid piece like the bottom of a cross member or something made out of solid steel.
When you let the jack down, the car will sit on the stand. It will be nice and stable. After that, you can take the wheels off and do the work you need to do.
And, of course, use common sense when jacking up on solid concrete; you don’t want to jack up on a hill that’s muddy or slippery.
Avoid changing tires on freeways and highways. Wait for the highway patrol by hanging out a white piece of paper or a white rag in the driver’s window.
Change a tire near the curb with the wheels turned in if you don’t have anything to block the wheels with.
While this may not prevent you from getting hurt if the car rolls off the jack, innocent motorists and pedestrians will not have to deal with a runaway autonomous vehicle.
Block the wheels of the vehicle before raising it without jacking it up. The wheels on the end of the car not being raised can be blocked with bricks, wooden wedges, or metal wheel chocks.
How To Jack Up A Car With A Floor Jack
Jacking up a car is usually done to change a tire, but you may also need to raise a vehicle to inspect brakes. The following is a guide for safely jacking up a vehicle.
You should park your car on a flat, hard surface. It’s extremely dangerous to you and others when the car slides off the jack. To avoid this, only work on flat surfaces away from vehicles and distractions.
You should work on a surface that is hard and stable so that it will not shift. An example of this would be a concrete driveway or detached garage. There’s no guarantee the dirt in the yard will be solid enough to support the car, even if it’s flat.
Wheels must be chocked. Metal and rubber wedges, known as chocks, are used to prevent wheels from rolling. At the end of the car opposite to where you are going to lift, place a chock in front of each wheel. Several sources suggest bricks, cinder blocks, large rocks, or wedges of wood can be used in the absence of chocks.
Make sure you have parked your vehicle. Make sure the parking brake is set, and the transmission is in “P.” Put the gearshift into the lowest forward gear if it is a manual transmission.
You should take extra precautions if the conditions are subpar. In the event that the car slips off its jack, the instructions in this section will protect you and others. Using the instructions below will ensure a safer jacking process in case you are unable to meet the conditions above.
You can make a stable platform for the jack using a thick, flat piece of wood if the car must be jack-stacked on a softer surface, like a dirt shoulder.
The wheels of the car should be in contact with the curb if you need to jack the vehicle on an incline. Using this device will keep a car from slipping off the jack and hurting others if it goes out of control.
You can turn the tires into the curb in the same vein if there is nothing to block the wheels with. The car should never be jacked on a roadway shoulder. Make sure you turn on your hazard lights if you have to jack up your car near a road. Direct traffic away from you if you have flares, cones, and/or pylons.
Locate the jack point. Many vehicles have multiple points along with their bodies where the vehicle can be lifted. The weight of the car may damage it if you lift it elsewhere (or it may even slip off the jack). Most owner’s manuals describe the location of the jack points on a car.
There is typically a jack point on either side of the front or back wheels. The rocker panel (that metal or plastic strip below the doors) usually sits next to this. Sometimes, the rear and front bumpers are the two central jack points.
The jack points can be found along the pinch weld (the weld going down the side of the car beneath the doors) if you are not sure where they are. Another option is to cut out the plastic skirt revealing metal or to attach a sturdy plastic block to the frame. Perhaps a “jack” spot is even visible on the undercarriage.
Now you have found the point where to place the jack. Under the jack point, position the jack. Under this jack point, slide your jack. You can slide it around until it is touching the car, so you don’t need it to be lined up perfectly.
Assure it is facing the right way up. To see instructions on how to use your jack when it isn’t labeled, refer to your owner’s manual. The size of the jack is usually determined by its broad, flat base and by the angle of the arm reaching toward the car body.
Raise the jack. If you have an interface jack (see below), it will depend on how you need to do this. Make any necessary last-minute adjustments as the upper arm of the jack approaches the underside of the car so that it lines up with the jack point.
Elevate the car. The jack becomes more difficult to raise when it is in contact with the underside of the car. The car corner should leave the ground as you continue to work the jack upward. Once you have enough clearance behind the car, you may stop. Just a few inches are sufficient for common tasks like changing a tire.
When you’re done, lower the car back down. Your car is ready for whatever work you need to do at this point. Put the jack away after you have slowly lowered the vehicle to the ground. It is important to raise the vehicle off of jack stands, remove them, and lower it.
so now you know how to jack up a car with a floor jack. And the next time you need to jack your car up and do some work, you’ll feel safe knowing you’re doing it right.