Car Jack Safety - Not "Cute"

Car Jack Safety – How to Choose the Right Jack for DIY Repairs

DIY auto repair projects can be satisfying and exciting, as you start seeing how much money and time you can save, as well as seeing your own repair ability grow and develop. Unfortunately, though, as you commence in different DIY projects, you may notice a certain lack of safety instructions in different DIY guides, especially when it comes to car jack safety. Does this mean car jack safety isn’t important or is irrelevant? Not in the least!

Car jacks must be able to hold up a considerable amount of weight and allow you to work without fear, while you are completely under that weight. If you choose your jack poorly, it can mean your life, and that is not an exaggeration. Choosing the right jack is an important step in DIY repairs and should not be overlooked. Let us look at a couple jacks and their differences, ensuring you are making car jack safety a priority.

We will be taking a look at the scissor jack, or the factory jack that came with your vehicle, and the floor jack, or a service jack that you must purchase separately.

  • The first aspect of car jack safety we will consider is the weight each car jack can handle. Normally, when you buy a vehicle, it will come with a scissor jack that was specifically designed to hold the weight of your vehicle or even just one corner of that vehicle. If you try using it on another vehicle or lifting too much of the vehicle it came with, then the results could be catastrophic. Floor jacks, meant for vehicle repairs both DIY and professional, come with different capacity limits, but most being two tons or more. This makes them much safer to use for lifting your vehicle for an extended period of time or lifting a wide range of vehicles. Taking the weight capacities and the designations for each jack will help you always take car jack safety into consideration.
  • The second aspect is the length of time your car jack can stay viable and dependable. The car jack that came with your vehicle was specifically made for handling roadside repairs. It was not designed to handle regular DIY projects and repairs. The jack was created with the idea that you should not have too many roadside breakdowns. This means your scissor jack should not be depended on for any and all DIY projects. Floor jacks were created for long-term and repeated use. They will last an impressive amount of time in your DIY arsenal and can be depended on for almost all projects throughout its extensive life-time.
  • The final difference we will discuss is the different abilities of both jacks. As previously stated, the scissor jack is designed for roadside repairs, and more specifically, changing a tire. Working on anything beyond this with a scissor jack can be disastrous and costly. Floor jacks are versatile to the extreme as they were created to work on a number of different vehicle types and weights. They can unfortunately be quite heavy and take up a lot of room as well. This makes scissor jacks still relevant for portability and mobility.

Floor jacks and scissor jacks are both useful for different situations and projects and therefore, if you own both, don’t feel that they are just interchangeable. Looking at this list you will see the importance of both types of jacks and the intentions for both as well. Whatever the project you are working on, whatever jack you choose to match the project, always employ proper car jack safety by using jack stands and wheel blocks. If you consider this guide and work within the capabilities of your car jack, your DIY projects will go smoothly and safely.

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