When it comes to fixing car problems, we would rather pay someone else to do it if we can. Why? Because it can be hard work, and what’s worse, we might make the problem bigger than it already is. Let us take into perspective when we need to get something done underneath your car. Yes, you have to use a jack, but how to put a car on jack stands?
We will assume that you already know the basics of how to operate a jack. With that knowledge comes the fact that you really should not just use a jack to hold your vehicle up—you have to use jack stands. It is that easy, right? You just plop them there, and you are good to go.
Unfortunately, no. Setting up the jack stands properly can be a matter of life and death, especially if you have someone working underneath your car. One simple error can let the car slip and, of course, you know the consequence. Therefore, you should know how to safely and properly use your jack stands.
Today, we are going to discuss the ways on how to secure the jack stands. At the same time, we are also going to talk about some safeguards that you can follow. Before all of that, though, let us first briefly learn about the purpose of jack stands, just so you fully understand their nature.
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Are Jack Stands Necessary?
As opposed to its brother, the well-known car jack, it is really alarming to find out that only 5 out of 10 people know that jack stands exist. Therefore, we can say that 5 people are risking their lives as well as the integrity of their car due to ignorance.
So, why do you need these stands when you already have a jack to hold your vehicle up? Well, first off, it is called stands for a reason. These are tools you use to help keep your vehicle above the ground. Moreover, these are made for that specific purpose. With that, you can be sure that your vehicle will not fall—that is if you properly put the stands.
Using a jack to hold your vehicle is very risky and should never be done. You really have to use the stands, so your car is securely lifted. This way, you can do whatever it is you have to do under the car. Do take note that jack stands were made to withstand the weight of certain cars. Therefore, you have to get stands that are compatible with the type of car you drive.
How to Put a Car on Jack Stands: The Steps
Now that you know that using jack stands are non-negotiable, let us move on to how you can put them properly.
- Park the car on a flat surface. You should also remove any debris surrounding the car.
- Do not forget to engage the handbrake.
- Block your wheels or use wood blocks to make sure that the wheels will not roll.
- Take out your jack and jack stands and examine them carefully if they are fully functional.
- Place the jack underneath your car that is completely facing its contact point.
- Use the jack based on its user manual and lift the car slowly.
- Ready your jack stands, and feel the other contact points underneath your car, which is at the front.
- Make contact using the tip of the stand and make sure that it fits well.
- Flatten the bottom part of the stand while making sure that there is no debris beneath it.
- Before letting go, wiggle the car a bit to secure the jack stand in place.
- Do the same thing to the other sides. Some cars may need multiple jack stands.
- After successfully putting the jack stands, wiggle the car again to make sure that it is securely held by the stands.
- Slowly remove the jack by rolling it out.
You have already learned how to put a car on jack stands, and surely, it can be a long process because the name of the game is slowly but surely. But other than following the steps that we have listed, there are also things you should take note of for your own safety. These are the following:
- Read the Manuals
We are not just talking about the user manual that came with your car. You also have to read the manual for your jack and jack stands. Why? Well, obviously, it is because jack stands are not made the same. Thus, there might be special techniques you should do to make them work.
- Finish Setting Up the Stands
Never work on your car if it is only held up by a jack and a single jack stand. You might think that what you are going to do will not take a long time, but always make sure that you put up all the stands.
- Shake the Car
As scary as it sounds, once you are done putting the jack stands, you have to trust your work and shake the car. This is done to ensure that the stands can hold the car properly. Better let the car fall at this time than let it fall on top of you, right?
- Find the Right Surface
It is hard enough to lift your car, but you will make it harder if you try working on it on an uneven or much worse, a slant surface. Find a flat surface. In this way, gravity is on your side, and you can properly lift your car.
Moreover, using the jack and jack stands on an uneven surface will pave the way for them breaking down. After all, they were not made to grasp the ground. As a result, they will just slip.
Before you can lift your car properly, you have to understand the nature of the tools that you are going to use. It is not just about finding the best one, but it is about knowing how to use them properly. With that said, the steps that we have mentioned can only go so far when working with jack stands.
Before you can even go further, you should know how to use a car jack properly. Without that knowledge, the tips and safeguards that we gave you are worthless. Lastly, it really cannot be mastered by just reading as much information as you can about these tools. You should be able to actually use the tools and deal with the trial and error of it all.