Some people mistakenly think that to use a automotive floor jack all you need to know is how to operate it for maximum height before you get to repair or replace a part on your car. Most people forget that car maintenance and repair can be a dangerous job if you are not keen on taking precautions. It could lead to injuries, bodily harm or even damage to your vehicle, all of which require money to fix. If you want to use a floor jack safely:
· Park and Chock
Always park the vehicle and apply the parking brake before you start raising the vehicle. You will need to park the vehicle on a flat and even surface for safety. Furthermore, you will be required to chock the wheels on the side that you are not raising to prevent the vehicle from rolling away. Forgetting any of these steps could put you in harm’s way.
· Test the Jack
Just like with other items, you do not want to use a floor jack that you have not tested. This is not only necessary on the first day but also every other time that you use the jack. You do not know what state the jack is in since you last used it. Troubleshoot the jack, check that the liquid levels are normal if you are using a hydraulic jack and ensure that there are no leakages. One of the most obvious giveaways for a faulty jack is that it loses height over time. Look out for all the warning signs and stop using the jack if you suspect any faults. You may need to repair or replace the jack depending on the severity of the problem. If, however, the jack is in good condition, proceed to use it to lift your vehicle.
· Pick Jacking Points
When you need to lift your vehicle, you will need to pick jacking points. The best position is recommended in the user’s manual. It is best to avoid weak structural points and choose firmer positions such as the axle. The jacking position determines your safety. If you pick a weak point, the car could give in and get damaged as well.
· Use Jack Stands
The use of jack stands can never be emphasized enough. Some people lift the car and proceed to work underneath when it is only supported by the jack. This is very dangerous because it is not what the jack was created for. You will need to invest in a good pair of jack stands that can comfortably support the weight of your car. Once you have lifted the car, place the jack stands in the appropriate position as instructed in the manual. After this, remove the jack from its place and test how stable the car is. If you are satisfied with how stable it is you can move on to repair your car. However, if you have any doubts, position the jack stand beneath the jacking points and then change the position of your jack stands until you feel that the vehicle is stable enough.