Although there are quite a few different reasons to need a car jack to jack up your vehicle, changing a tire is the most common. As flat tires are always an unpredicted hassle, it is always important to make sure you always keep a spare tire, a car jack, and jack stands in your vehicle. Just about every vehicle is designed to carry these products (usually under a compartment in the trunk), so you won’t have to waste any extra space. I’ll go over a list of how to use a car jack appropriately, but it always helps to have the manual specific to your car jack handy.
First and foremost, make sure that before you use a car jack, that you are on completely flat concrete, as this is the safest place to use a car jack. Make sure that your car is turned off, in park, and that your emergency brake is enabled. If at all possible, use wooden blocks, concrete blocks, or something else to stabilize the area, and to keep yourself safe. Since situations are not always ideal, and if you should find yourself on a hill, or another type of situation where you must change a tire, but are unable to get onto flat concrete; then make sure you turn the wheels of your vehicle towards the curb, and if possible, use something to block the wheels to prevent the vehicle from rolling on its own. Even in an emergency situation, make sure that your car is off, parked, and the emergency brake is used.
Make sure to place the car jack under the specific part of the vehicle you are going to lift. If you place the car jack in a different location, it could cause damage to another part of your vehicle. Once you have the car jack in its appropriate location, use steady hands to slowly take the handle of the car jack from its lowest point to its highest point. Be sure not to rush this. Not only will it end with a shoddy job done, but you may incur serious injury to yourself.
Utilize your jack stands. Before using the good floor jack, make sure the jack stands are in their appropriate place, as no one wants a three ton (or more) vehicle to crush them. Position the jack stands underneath the vehicle, close to where the car jack is. Be sure to raise the jack stands high enough for you to not only fit under the vehicle, but to have a little wiggle room. Once you feel the jack stands are at an appropriate height, make sure to lock them in place. At this point, you can lower the car jack until the vehicle is resting on the jack stand. Make sure you are not under the vehicle while you are doing this. After you’ve removed the car jack, wiggle the vehicle a little bit to make sure it is sturdy and that it will not topple on you.