Let’s talk about some basic uses of a jack stand. After that, you will clearly see why there isn’t any safer alternative to jack stands.
The first thing you need to realize is that a jack should not be used as a support tool. It’s a lifting tool. There is no safe or reliable method of stabilizing or balancing a load with just jacks.
Always change a tire on a vehicle supported by a jack, don’t go underneath a jack-supported vehicle, and don’t leave a load unattended. There’s no harm in being too cautious.
Those who are stranded or do not have jack stands can change their tires with a jack, but this must be done carefully.
What To Do In Emergency Situations?
This rule is only possible to break when changing a tire. You must complete your task as quickly as possible, and you should not stand or step under the car.
The use of cinder blocks is never recommended due to their low weight rating and potential for damage. You can use wood stacked lengthwise instead of jack stands to support weight in a pinch.
Alternatively, you can arrange the unused tire alongside the chassis while it is being replaced. This way just in case you lose the vehicle to the jack, you might still have an opening to react.
Can You Use A Car Jack Without Stands?
You first need to jack up the car in order to do anything under it. It’s a pretty straightforward process. The car should be driven onto a hard and level surface so that a car jack can be placed under it. In your owner’s manual, you will find the individual jacking points.
After that, place stands beneath the vehicle, then lift and lower the vehicle, removing the jack altogether. You might wonder if you can just use the jack to keep it in place if this seems complicated? The answer is no! A few exceptions may exist. We should first go over some of the basics.
There are two main kinds of jacks. There is the mechanical one which is like the scissor jack. This looks more like the one you may have stored with your spare tire.
And there is the hydraulic, aka the floor or trolley jack. The screw that is threaded through the two sides of a flat diamond-shaped frame is the most common part of modern mechanical jacks. As a result, the outer ends of the load are drawn closer together.
To convert some force on the operator’s side, hydraulic jacks use two cylinders connected by hydraulic fluid. In addition, a lever is used to achieve even greater lifting power.
On uneven or gravelly terrain, a scissor jack is more stable. This is why it is included in your spare kit. However, it won’t hold up over time.
When hydraulic Jack is under load, seals may rupture, allowing the fluid to leak through and lower the load. A leaky seal gradually lowers the jack if there is a load on it. You should place jack stands properly if you need to lift the vehicle to do work underneath it.
A jack alone does create not only a mechanical failure risk but also an unbalanced machine. If only one point is jacked up, it will place a heavy load. The vehicle can be dropped in an instant if left unattended on a jack for any amount of time.
The Best Alternatives To Jack Stands
Are you uncomfortable using jack stands on your car for basic maintenance? It’s not your fault. Safety is a major concern when it comes to jack stands. Fortunately, some alternatives are safer. There are several safer alternatives to jack stands, including the following:
Mini ramps are inexpensive, just like jack stands. The ramps raise your car’s front end by its tires. However, while mini ramps are a good option for minor auto maintenance (like oil changes), they do have some drawbacks.
The lift height of mini ramps, for example, is insufficient. Because they are only six inches tall, a person can’t easily slide beneath the car on their own. Additionally, mini ramps are only really suitable for two wheels.
A Commercial Grade 2 Post Or 4 Post Lift
It is best to buy a commercial-grade lift if you are purchasing a two-post lift or a four-post lift. A commercial-quality lift offers more for a relatively small investment than a cheaper entry-level one in terms of durability and safety. The four-post and two post lifts have large footprints, unfortunately.
The garage has to be 12′ or higher in height and around 1.5 garage spaces wide in order to fit one. The concrete must also be rated for 3,000 PSI, making it thicker than average. In most cases, upgrading a homeowner’s garage will be necessary.
There is also the Kwik-Lift. Learn why it’s a great alternative to jack stands. My recommendation would be to use Kwik-Lift instead of jack stands.
Drive-on lifts are safe and reliable, and the Kwik-lift has both. A lot of reasons make it the best choice, including:
Due to their portability, jack stands are popular among car owners. Also portable, the Kwik-Lift can be fitted into any single-car garage, even those with limited space.
Kwik-Lift is one of the most durable lifts on the market. Due to its sturdy construction, it can support an impressive amount of weight while also remaining stable.
A second benefit is that it doesn’t come with any fancy parts scheduled for obsolescence, so it will last forever with occasional lubrication. There are no lift motors, hydraulic parts, connectors, etc., to worry about; it is made of steel and steel only.
3. Comfortable Working Height
With Kwik-Lift, you can work at the ideal height in any position. For example, sitting on a chair or stool outside the vehicle, laying on a creeper under the car, and standing above the engine bay. In addition, the ground clearance is good enough to do more than basic maintenance. Kwik-Lift, for instance, provides you with enough height so you’ll be able to drop transmissions.
4. Fast Set Up And Tear Down
It takes 30 minutes to set your car up and an hour to take it down, using the Kwik-Lift. In most cases, Kwik-Lifts can be installed in under 10 minutes. Using the Kwik-Lift is a faster, easier, and safer process since it was designed for ease of use.
Kwik-Lift carries the vehicle by its wheels, so it won’t tip backward or forward like entry-level lifts. Whenever you need an uneven distribution of weight, such as during an engine swap, a Kwik-Lift is a perfect tool.
There are alternative options available if you don’t want to use a Kwik-Lift, including mini ramps and DIY portable car lifts. Also, you can go full DIY and make your own portable car lift. That being said, don’t take any risks when jacking up your car.