How To Use a Jack Stand

How To Use a Jack Stand – Let’s Learn Together!

There are a few ways to accomplish the task when it comes to lifting cars. We have seen loads of car lifts. Today we’ll take a look at jack stands. 

Using Jack Stands is one of the most commonly used methods to lift cars and one of the more preferred tools. Users sometimes have safety concerns with jack stands, but this method is just as safe and efficient when done correctly. 

The key is to use it correctly and safely while maintaining all the rules that come with it. It may seem like a few steps too many for some, but once you get the hang of it, it shouldn’t seem as complicated as it may come off the first time. Let us get right into the details! 

What Is a Jack Stand?

If you’ve not been slacking off, we’ve covered this topic in our Jack Stands for Lifted Trucks article. However, I intend to discuss this topic in detail here.

A jack stand is a mechanical device that is height adjustable. It is made from metal, which supports the weight of vehicles lifted using it. Using them to lift cars is placed below the vehicle after it has been raised, giving it ample support as the jack is removed. 

A jack stand must be used while lifting a car because it helps the car jack to distribute the weight and provide further support. The car can be lifted for longer when using this jack stand alongside the jack itself. 

How To Use a Jack Stand

The essential parts of a jack stand include the following:

Base

Jack stands come with a four-leg base frame, or 4 As, creating a pyramidal shape that connects to the floor. 

Support Bar 

The support bar is a ratcheted bar that connects the car to the jack stand. The top of the support bar has a U shape that helps to catch the top properly.

Locking Mechanism 

While the ratcheting device ensures that the support bar stays in its place, jack stands also have a failsafe option. This is usually a pin put through the support bar as a backup option. 

Release 

In most cases, the release is a handle that we can use to release the support bar’s ratcheting to lower the bar. 

Different Types of Jack Stands

Jack stands are differentiated in the way they lock into place. Some commonly used types include the ratchet, the pin, and the screw. 

Rachet 

With this type, a ratcheting device is installed into the jack stand inside the support bar. This allows the jack stand to lock itself automatically when lifted, ensuring that it does not lower on its own or cause any damage. 

To release it, we have to use a handle. So it is only released when we want it to or are aware of it. 

Pin

Pins are mainly used for an added level of security in jack stands. But, in some cases, only pins are used. The jack stands come with many holes that adjust the height. The pins are placed through these holes to alter the height needed. 

Screw 

Screw-type jack stands are rarely used, but they are still on the market for the few users who prefer them. 

Here, a large screw is placed in the middle of a cylinder. This screw is then used to adjust the height by screwing it in or out.

Safety Measures Before Using a Jack Stand 

Using jack stands is not unsafe. But, whenever you lift something as heavy as cars or lie under them for work, it is better to have some safety measures in place. Better to be safe than sorry! 

If you are preparing to work lifting a car using a jack stand, there are two things you need to have with you. 

  1. Safety goggles
  2. Mechanic gloves 

How To Use A Jack Stand?

Before you can go and start working with your jack stand, it is essential to note that you need to understand every detail properly before starting. Especially if you haven’t done this before, we suggest you follow these steps to ensure success on your first try! 

Grab A Work Partner

Does it have anything to do with the work itself? No. But, it is a good idea to have a work partner for beginners as they can hand you tools you may need or catch things you may not. In simple terms, try to get a helping hand on the first try to make things go smoother. 

Get A Flat Surface

It is vital to find a leveled surface to prevent accidents. If there is a bare slope, you will find the vehicle rolling out of its place as soon as the tires are lifted off the ground. 

If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, make sure to put it into parking mode. For vehicles with a manual transmission, put it into first gear. Whichever the case is for you, also ensure to pull the parking brake. This means that the vehicle will stay stationary throughout. 

Use Wheel Chocks 

While wheel chocks are not always needed, they are highly recommended if the vehicle rolls off. Suppose you forgot to pull the parking brake, and the car starts to roll over. 

But having the wheel chocks in place means that won’t happen. It puts an extra layer of security and prevents significant accidents even if you make mistakes. 

Place Floor Jack at OEM Points

Now we have reached the main point. Grab the instruction manual to see where the jacking points are. You only have to lift from these points, which are typically located on the vehicle’s undercarriage. 

We suggest referring to the instruction manual, as using the incorrect jacking point can cause damage to the vehicle. 

After locating the jacking point, start lifting the vehicle using your car jack. Do this part slowly so that the car is raised even and does not suddenly shift. 

Place The Jack Stand

Now that the vehicle has been raised, we must place the jack stands under the lifting points. You will find that there is space at every one of the points to accommodate the grip. 

Once placed, adjust it and secure it into its place correctly. This will ensure that the jack stand has been thoroughly extended to support the vehicle. 

Now you can release the hydraulic pressure, but slowly! The jack stands can hold the car properly as long as it is on a leveled surface. But we will warn you only to proceed to release the hydraulic pressure after you have confirmed that the jack stand is tightly pressed against the car and is not moving. 

Perform A Stability Check 

To check if the vehicle is, in fact, stable, shove your vehicle a little to see if the stands are in place. If the vehicle is still on level ground, you should start working on it now. 

Lower The Vehicle 

After you are done working, it is time to lower the vehicle. Here, the process is basically a reverse of what you did to lift it. 

First, place the floor jack under the jacking point and lift the vehicle above the stand. Now you can remove the stand safely. Start lowering the vehicle, but do it very slowly to minimize the chances of damage.

Once the vehicle is lowered halfway, place wheel chocks again at both ends of the tires. This ensures added safety that the car will not roll away on either side as it descends. 

My Last Words

Lifting cars using a jack stand can seem challenging, especially for beginners. But as you have seen, a little practice is all you really need to get the hang of it. 

Some key points to remember are always using the right jacking points and moving very slowly. You never want to do this in a rush, as it can backfire terribly. Remember, safety comes first! 

If you are ever unsure, or you feel unsure about a specific step or process, consult a professional or contact the manufacturer to clear your doubts before you proceed. 

Using a jack stand properly is essential for car owners, and now you know how! 

Eddie Burton - Senior Author
Senior Author: Eddie Burton

Eddie Burton is a passionate car enthusiast and a seasoned mechanic with over 15 years of experience in the automotive industry. He has worked with a variety of vehicles, from classic muscle cars to modern luxury cars, and has extensive knowledge of all types of auto parts and accessories.

Eddie’s love for cars began at a young age when he would spend hours tinkering with his first car, a 1967 Mustang. Since then, he has pursued his passion for cars by working in various garages and workshops, honing his skills and expertise in everything related to automobiles.

As a contributor to our website, Eddie shares his in-depth knowledge and experience with our readers, providing valuable tips and advice on auto parts, repairs, and maintenance. He’s committed to helping car owners get the most out of their vehicles by providing honest and practical reviews of auto parts, accessories, and tools.

With Eddie’s vast experience and expertise, you can trust his recommendations and insights on everything related to cars. Whether you’re a seasoned car owner or a newbie in the world of automobiles, Eddie’s articles and reviews will help you make informed decisions and keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come.

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