How To Use Jack Stands

Whenever doing a weekend project with your beloved car, it is crucial that you use the correct tools. One very important tool any prudent car owner does not do without is a pair of trusty jack stands. Jack stands are specially made to carry heavy loads, such as the car’s overall weight. Jack stands come in handy whenever a vehicle needs to be propped up to do some tinkering underneath the car.

  1. Know which jack stand to choose.
    • Jack stands are constructed from two different types of materials – jack stands made out of stamped sheet metal and those that are created from cast steel. Cast steel jack stands are much preferred by experienced motorists, as these are more durable and can accommodate much heavier loads than the stamped sheet metal jack stands.
    • Jack stands come in two different types – those that have a vertical bar in the middle and those that do not. Jack stands with vertical bars are commonly utilized to hold up axles or rails. Meanwhile, box-type jack stands without vertical bars are typically used to prop up vehicles that do not require their wheels to be disengaged. Of the two, box-type jack stands without the vertical bars are much more stable and thus safer to use. When you are on the lookout for jack stands, make sure that you buy at least a pair of those that have the broadest base and the most load capacity.
  2. Practice correct placement. Setting the jack stands on an even and stable surface is important. It is highly recommended that you place the jack stands on even cement. If this is not available, then make sure you reinforce the surface with a wide, thick and sturdy piece of wood before setting the jack stand.
  3. Never overload your jack stands. Overloading your jack stands is a big no-no even if your jack stand is made from metal, because it can still break from too much weight. To avoid overloading your jack stands, make sure that you are familiar with their load ratings.
  4. Position the jack stands under the critical points of your car. Whenever you are jacking up your car, make sure that you position the jack stands under the car’s critical points. In most cases, the frame underneath the car should be sturdy enough.
  5. Never over-extend your jack stands. This applies to jack stands that are equipped with adjustable rods. Do not adjust the rods to their fullest extension, as this may cause the jack stand to become highly unstable. If this cannot be avoided, then make sure that you reinforce your jack stand with another one.

Before going underneath your car to start on your repairs, make sure that you test the jack stands’ stability first. Give it a good, solid shake to make sure that everything’s properly positioned. You do not want to end up crushed by your car, do you?


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