Repairing or maintaining your car can be a fruitful exercise. You always want to ensure that the car is in the best condition possible. This same process can also be very dangerous if you do not go about it the safe way. The tools that you use for the process are very important. You always need to have a heavy duty floor jack and reliable jack stands, especially if you are going to go underneath the vehicle. In order to safely use a floor jack, you need to:
- Choose Level Ground
Even before you start working on your car, you must prepare the surface that you are going to work on. When you are raising your car, the first rule of thumb is to choose a flat and even surface. When a jack is placed on slanted ground or grass and gravel, it poses a danger. It could tilt, slant and fall over or sink and give way causing the car to collapse. While the parts of your car can be easily replaced if you have the money, the same cannot be said of your health if you happen to get injured. It would take significant medical bills and time to get back to your normal functioning.
- Securing the Car
The second step is to secure the car. Once you park the car, ensure that you have applied the parking brakes. This ensures that the car does not roll away while you are lifting it or when you are underneath working on it. Apart from applying the brakes, you will also need to chock the wheels on the side that you are not raising. If you are working on the back wheels, chock the front wheels and vice versa.
- Raising the Car
Before you embark on raising your car, you must first ensure that your floor jack is functioning properly. It will not matter if you take all the necessary precautions but work with a faulty jack. The jack could still give in and lead to bodily harm or damage of your vehicle. Troubleshoot the jack, check if there are any breakages or loose areas on your jack before using it. If all is well, proceed to hoist the car.
- Supporting the Car
Finally, you cannot rely on a floor jack to support the car as you work on it. Floor jacks were not built to do this. They are only suitable for the preliminary stages of getting the car off the ground and raised. This means that you will need jack stands. You will need to follow the same guidelines when buying stands as you did when buying the floor jack. First, their weight rating must be compatible to your vehicle, that is, the same capacity or higher. You will also need to read reviews to see what other buyers have to say about the jack stands and establish if there are any concerns when it comes to the particular jack stands. Once you have the right jack stands, place them at the appropriate position, according to the manual, after you have raised the vehicle then remove the floor jack.