When we’re working on our cars, we of course need to make sure that we’re operating safely, efficiently and with a ‘plan B’ on our minds at all times. In this blog post, we’ll look at how to jack up a car, and investigate the best practises when it comes to working underneath and around your vehicles.
How to Jack up a Car – The Surface
The first steps – make sure you have flat surface to jack up your car. As well as having a flat surface, you also need to make sure it’s a hard surface and ensure that you’re in a position where the trolley jack or stands don’t sink into the ground. This could cause the car to become unstable.
How to Jack up a Car – Keep the Car Secure
Once the car is on a hard surface and safe up on jacks, you need to make sure you can secure it there before you work underneath. Axle stands are the best way of doing this – they are fairly cheap and and be placed as support underneath your can in addition to the jack. Never work underneath a car when it is supported only by a jack. It’s also worth bearing in mind, due to the structural integrity of the car and balance, that you need to work out the correct place to position stands. The car’s manual usually has this information.
Have Something to Rest On
If you’re on the correct surface, a trolley is the best thing to use to work under a car. Providing the ability to move around under the car, as well as have both hands free for lights, tools etc, it’s also safer as you are fully mobile. If you have not got a trolley, make sure you are lying in a position that’s comfortable and resting on something clear and secure.
Many people use ramps when working underneath a car. These work in the same way as axle stands, however the front or rear wheels of the car are physically driven up on to the ramps and left there. Again, if the ramps are positioned somewhere secure, this is a good way of keeping your car safe while working underneath.
Letting the Car Down
You need to make sure you let the car down safely when finished working underneath. Most trolley jacks require the air to be let out to release the pressure on the car. If you do this too quickly, the car can come down fast and this will risk putting the balance and tracking out.
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