The thought of lying under a car that is hoisted up above you by what looks like a metal pump is not the most appealing of visions, nor does it sound all that safe. It is only rational that you would be a little hesitant to put 100% of your trust in a floor jack.
When used correctly, floor jacks are very safe tools and are necessary for doing maintenance work on your car or for changing flat tires. Let’s face it, keeping a floor jack in the trunk of your car is always a good idea as you never know when you’ll need it.
It is important to remember that floor jacks are a little bit different to other types of jacks. The jack is on top of a caster that moves on wheels, so it is really easy to get into the right position. There are a few different types of floor jacks, but the safety rules don’t differ much between them.
Our main goal is to use the jack in the safest way possible regardless of whether we are changing a tire on the side of the road, or tweaking a few things in our garage. In order to be able to consciously ‘put safety first’ when using a floor jack, simply follow the guide below.
Floor Jack Safety Steps
- You can’t always take your car to the garage, I get it, you might be stuck in the middle of nowhere on a road trip with friends and family. However, if you do need to repair your car on the road, make sure you park it on a flat surface that is away from traffic before you begin to work on your car.
- Place your car in parking mode or in first gear if you are driving a manual with the handbrake firmly pulled.
- Do not assume that because you are parked on a level surface that the vehicle can’t accidentally roll back while you are working on it. The only way to know it will stay in place is to place bricks or some sort of stopper behind the wheels.
- Now that the car is in place and ready, get your floor jack out of the trunk. Test it out before you start lifting the car, pump it up and down and look for any leaking fluid.
- When you are happy that the floor jack is in good working order, put your jack stands near the car so that they are ready to be used when needed. Jack stands are the most important safety mechanism to use when using a floor jack. Don’t have a jack stand? Don’t worry, check out this jack stand review to find the safest one for the vehicle you own.
- Place the floor jack under the lift points on your vehicle and lift it very slowly.
- Once the car is lifted to the right height, put the jack stands in position and slowly lower the floor jack and put it out of the way.
- Work on your car.
You see, it isn’t that hard to use a floor jack safely!