When choosing the right jack, there are many factors to consider. When people attempt to fix their cars, they often cause accidents. Many of these accidents can be avoided if simple guidelines are observed. Making the right choice of floor jack is one of them.
A jack is a friend you should have if you love to drive a car and work on them. Are you wondering what kind of floor jack you need for your vehicle? Let’s get started.
Making the right choice of floor jack is one of them. A floor jack and a bottle jack are the two major jack types. Bottle Jacks are easy to recognize since they resemble bottles.
Check out the most appropriate floor jack for your truck and what you need to do when the floor jack breaks.
You generally look at two categories when choosing the best hydraulic jack for your truck, car, or SUV: Build materials and capacity.
Your choice of jack material will be influenced by the usage frequency and nature of the project. Steel and aluminum are the two most widely used materials. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. There is no difference between type A and type B; what matters is which meets your needs best.
Among jacks, steel is the most popular option since it is less expensive and more durable. They are also the heaviest because of their weight.
Steel jacks are most commonly used in repair shops and dealers’ service bays. In most cases, they only change the tires, and the jacks do not have to be moved very far.
Aluminum jacks are located at the other end of the spectrum. The cheapest but least durable can weigh less than half as much as equivalent steel products.
Mobile mechanics, roadside assistance, DIYers, and racetracks with a high priority on speed and mobility use aluminum jacks. In some cases, roadside assistance pros don’t think aluminum jacks will last longer than three to four months.
Some manufacturers have introduced hybrid jacks, which combine aluminum and steel. Steel remains the structurally important component of lift arms and power units, while aluminum is used for side plates.
Despite their weight and price differences, these hybrids accomplish a good balance. Certainly, hybrids can work well for mobile professionals, but steel remains the best choice for its durability for heavy-duty work day-to-day.
These options also appeal to serious DIYers and gearheads who wish to save some weight on their projects.
The Different Types of Jacks
Apart from mechanical and hydraulic jacks, three types of jacks have varying benefits and drawbacks.
- Floor Jack
In a garage or workshop, you will typically find these. They’re probably the most powerful and capable jacks the average consumer can buy.
In an emergency situation, you wouldn’t likely be able to transport one of these around in your car due to their size. For easier mobility, they are often equipped with casters or wheels. In light of that, level and flat terrain is ideal.
Jacking up a car with a floor jack is not a difficult task because of the straightforward working mechanism of floor jacks. Typically, these types of jacks function by raising an arm that connects to the jack point on the vehicle and raising the chassis, as necessary. The car can then be lowered, or the jack stand can be used to keep that point raised.
- Bottle or Piston Jack
Bottle jacks, which raise a vehicle with a piston mechanism, are also more portable. In addition, you can also use levers to operate them. Jacks of this type are useful, but their height is limited.
Only two times the height of the device can these devices raise the vehicle. It is also possible for these devices to be taller than sports cars or other lower vehicles, so they may not be able to be placed under them. Vehicles like SUVs and tractors are mostly recommended for using them.
- Scissor Jack
Most people know the scissor jack because it often comes with spare tire kits (if the car is equipped with such a kit). They’re usually only used to change tires, not to make more comprehensive repairs.
While they are portable and lightweight, they are rather tiring to lift due to the mechanical motion required to wind them up.
Look For Vehicle Weight
You will need to know your vehicle’s weight in order to use the floor jacks. A jack is designed to support a certain amount of weight.
Whenever you open the front doors, you will find an inscription indicating whether the vehicle is lighter or heavier, or you can check the car’s manual. Jacks for sedans typically have a supporting capacity of two tons, while those for pickups and SUVs are twice as powerful.
You may not have many options for car jacks out there since many cars are pretty low. Adding some height to your car by rolling it over a stack of lumber is nice, but it gets old pretty quick. The height requirement isn’t important if you lift SUVs and trucks as a hobby. Ultimately, choose a vehicle-friendly jack with a minimum height.
In order to lift a car safely, it must be lifted to the maximum height. An appropriate jack lift height for most cars is 20 inches. Except if you want to lift your off-road vehicle with huge tires, in which case you’ll need a vehicle with a stronger lifting capacity.
A jack’s platform width, as well as its lift arm width, are important factors. The same applies to the jack pad in terms of its width and length, plus the wheelbase dimensions of the jack.
A wider jack with a longer wheelbase will prove more stable for gearheads. The jack needs to be raised fully before it can be used. If you cannot fit a wide jack within your chassis, a narrow one might work better.
Why Buy A Floor Jack?
In the garage of a DIY enthusiast, a good floor jack is an important piece of equipment. Whether it is for a large or small project, floor jacks come in a few shapes and sizes.
A certain kind of jack will do the job as long as you just want to change a tire; however, it’ll be more appropriate to use another kind of jack if you want to make other changes, such as changing the oil or the brake pads and rotors.
Furthermore, having your car serviced by a mechanic for these basic maintenance tasks can cost a lot, especially since you can just do them yourself in the garage.
There are a lot of resources online showing how to do routine car maintenance, so if you own a jack and want to do it yourself, you should do it.
The most benefit from owning a jack can be seen among drivers who regularly change their tires. Having the right tools can help you save money on tire changes, and tire changes aren’t all that difficult.
Furthermore, a good jack will ease oil changes and help replace parts that are worn out, like brake rotors and brake pads. The use of a floor jack for transmission repairs is also possible in more extreme cases.
People love vehicles for a variety of reasons. While some appreciate their design, power, or value, others love them simply for their convenience. The idea of vehicle breakdowns is something most drivers would rather not think or hear.
A person usually goes through some of the loneliest times during these times. That is why it is always recommended that you stay prepared for situations like this.
The first step is to choose the right kind of floor jack. No matter what type of vehicle you own, you can always find the right floor jack for your needs.