A quality jack is the most essential tool for changing a flat tire on the road. But choosing the right one can be a challenge.
Scissor jacks are light and portable, and they lift a car by twisting a long screw. But they need more height and are challenging to maneuver.
Most vehicles come with a scissor-style car jack in the trunk that works by turning a lengthy screw to bring its legs together. This type of jack is quick, easy to use, and relatively lightweight. However, it should only be used for roadside tire repairs and never be relied on for lifting a vehicle.
If you’re considering a more advanced floor jack or an electric jack, check your vehicle’s tires to ensure the jack has the proper reach. You can also look at the jack’s maximum lifting height in its product description to determine if it will work with your vehicle.
This is particularly important for lifted truck and SUV models, which may have frame or axle lift points different from the standard location of the suspension’s “droop” travel. This means the jack’s maximum lift height needs to be higher than the lowest point on your vehicle. If it isn’t, you may need to purchase a different jack or find a way to secure the car.
It’s also important that the jack be light enough to carry around and operate, especially when you need to change a tire in the middle of a busy road or highway. The tire jack weighs just 28 pounds and comes with a 4.7-star rating from car enthusiasts who love how it saves time and money on wheel changes.
Another factor to consider is the jack’s lifting range, which is the height it can raise your vehicle off the ground. Different cars have different lift points, so you must choose one that fits yours well and provides sufficient room to work.
Some jacks take longer to pump up than others, so be sure you can tell the difference between models and choose one that’s easy to use. Never pump a jack when it has reached its maximum height, as this can put too much pressure on the seals and lead to premature failure.
It’s always important to look for a high-quality jack with safety features. Quality construction and durable materials can help prevent accidents and extend the life of your jack. Some jacks also have extra features to make them easier to use, such as a safety valve or locking mechanism.
Always check the jack’s lifting capacity against the weight of your vehicle before using it. It’s also essential to ensure the jack fits your specific car’s jacking points and that the area where you plan to lift the vehicle is safe and level.
Permanently block the wheel(s) not being lifted with bricks or wooden blocks to keep the vehicle from rolling away while you work underneath it. People have been crushed to death by cars that fell off jacks that weren’t adequately secured. Consider investing in a set of jack stands if you plan to crawl under the vehicle often. They’re cheap and easy to use.
A good car jack will help you get under your vehicle quickly and access all those little things that need attention. Look for sturdy construction and safety features like a locking mechanism to prevent accidental release. Also, consider how far the jack can lift your car off the ground. This will give you enough room to change tires or perform other maintenance without straining your back.
Remember to always jack up your car on a level surface and never on the side of a busy road! Jacking up your vehicle on the shoulder of a highway is dangerous and illegal, and you could be seriously injured. Always jack up your car on a well-lit, empty section of the road or at a parking lot. Having a set of jack stands on hand is also a good idea to secure your car once it’s lifted off the ground. These are super affordable, easy to use, and can support weight.