Let’s say that you want to do some work on a localized area of your car. In this instance, you only have to raise that one part. It might be work on the front, back or on either side of the vehicle. The best thing to do is raise the car onto two jack stands with same height adjustments and firmly resting at the safe jack points.
What do you need to go about this?A quality floor jack, a pair of quality jack stands, at least two wheel chocks, and optionally,a tire or two with rims or wooden boards. With these, you are ready to proceed.
Read the Car Owner’s Manual
To pick the right jack stands for your car, start with the owners/ buyer’s manual. This will inform you of the car’s curb weight. The weight is what determines the load capacity of the jack stands to use.
This also points out the different locations of the safe jack points and the safety jacking procedures for the car.
Raising the Front or Back
Armed with the information on the position of the safe jack points, when you are raising the front or the rear of the car, the lift point is usually one. This means that you will only have to lift the vehicle once to install the jack stands.
The first thing to do is to park the car on a flat hard surface preferably paved ground, clear of debris. After parking, fully engage the parking brake; leave the gear engaged for a manual vehicle and in the park for an automatic. With this done, place the wheel chocks on the opposite end of the vehicle from where you will be raising.
When raising the front, one of the most common jack pints would be in the middle of the front cradle, or engine support cross member. Be mindful of the fact that for a front engine mounted vehicle, the front end would be typically the heaviest.
Place yourfloor jack beneath the jack point and raise it slowly while watching the rear wheels for any signs of rolling.
Once you attain the desired height, bring in the jack stands and install them on the stipulated jack points. This can be on the front axle or behind the front wheels. With these done, slowly lower the car onto the jack stands.
When raising the back of the car, place the jack stand on the designated center jack point and follow the procedure as you would have done for the front part. In this case, be very cautious because the parking brakes will be rendered useless since they only work on the rear wheels.
Raising the Sides
Raising the sides of a car is slightly different from raising the front or rear. This is because you might have to raise it twice.
Identify the jack pints and follow the safe pre-jacking procedures as shown before.With that done, place the floor jack beneath the safe jack point; laving room for the jack stand- this is unnecessary if you are using an all-in-one jack stand. Raise the car ever slowly while monitoring the wheels on the ground.
Once the height is achieved, install the jack stand and lower the car to rest on it. Move to the rear, if you started with the front, and repeat the steps.
With both jack stands firmly holding the vehicle up, it is time to test your handy work before venturing any limb beneath the car. You do this by shaking the jack stands themselves lightly to ensure that they are firmly locked in. Go ahead and give the car a slight shake to see if the car is held up securely and is not wobbling.
If it is wobbling, please, get the floor jack and raise the car off the jack stands to readjust them afresh. It is better safe than sorry.
Extra safety Measures
When satisfied that the car is firmly held up, you can take some extra safety measures. Place one tire or wooden blocks (4”x4”) close to the jack stand nearest to the spot you will be working on. This is to catch the car in case of an accident.
With all this done, you can feel safe working on your car. Remember this, following the procedures, will give you an easy time working and greatly improve your safety doing so. Therefore, play safe and work accordingly.