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Last updated: September 16, 2020

How Many Jack Stands do I need?

By Herbert Dorman

How Many Jack Stands do I need?

When you are doing any repair or maintenance of your car, the majority of the time, the car needs to be off the ground.

When you are removing a wheel, the tires need to be at least 1” off from the ground. And when it comes to changing the oil, the car needs to be lifted a minimum of 1 foot from the earth.

Lifting a car is a challenging task, and you can’t do it by yourself only. And at this point, a jack stand is a tool that can assist you, undoubtedly.

If you don’t take any assistance from a jack stand, you will lead yourself to a dangerous situation. In this article, I am going to discuss how many jack stands do I need and other things that you need to keep in consideration when you are repairing your car.

 

Take Assist from Your Friend

When you are repairing your car, ask one of your friends to give you a hand. If s/he has any knowledge about automotive, that would be best, but it is not mandatory. If you need to give them any bribe, don’t hesitate. Without thinking, give them.

They can give you company, assist you by handing over tools, or can call 911 if any emergency is there.

 

Park the Car on Level Ground

Jack stands are able to work vertically. And the similar gravity that retains your vehicle gently fixed on the pavement will as effortlessly pull your vehicle off a jack stand on an angle. So, it is inevitable to park the vehicle on level ground.

 

Follow the Instruction Manual

Take the instruction manual and read them out intently. This is required for the vehicle and the vehicle lifting equipment.

Each vehicle contains the recommended jack point, as well as solid suspension and frame point. Unfortunately, if you don’t own an instruction manual, don’t hesitate to google or purchase it. From Google, you may get a chance to download without cost.

Same way, read the jack stands instruction manual. Learn about capacity and safety recommendations. The thumb rule is, purchase jack stands that have 50% capacity of the weight of the vehicle.

 

Gear Assembling

Based on the job, you may need to lift only one side of your vehicle or front end or back end or the whole vehicle. You need to keep all the lifting and helping gears at your hand distance. A quality jack stand will allow you to lift your vehicle. If lifting requires at the one end of the vehicle, you will need 2 jack stands. If you need to raise the whole vehicle, you will need a total of 4 jack stands.

If the ground is soft, use thick plywood so that it can prevent the vehicle from downing. 

 

Block the Wheel

The transmission needs to put in gear, wedge the wheel against where you are uplifting. Using 2 wheels’ blocks will be significantly useful and put them in the front portion or behind part of the wheel. This way, the vehicle can’t move either forward or backward. You can choose the block that is made of plastic, wood, metal, or rubber. Don’t select large-sized rock or stone, because these may slide.

 

Uplift the Vehicle 

Use a robust jack stand to uplift the vehicle. Remember to keep adequate free space so that the jack stand can support the car. If you need to lift only one wheel, it will be an excellent idea to uplift only one corner of the vehicle. If you require to uplift the whole front side, place a jack point in the middle of the front suspension.

 

Support the Vehicle

Using the jack stands, support the vehicle. If the vehicle needs support at one side, place the jack stand below the jacking point and alter the height. It would be best if you can lock it using any pin. If the supporting requires for the entire vehicle, use a pair of jack stands. Set the height and lock it too.

When lifting the whole car, choose a pair of jack stands that can take the maximum weight of the vehicle and uplift the front portion first. Then use the 2nd pair of jack stands to uplift the balance part of the vehicle.

 

how many jack stands do i need

 

Inspect Every Jack Stand

Inspect whether every jack stands are supporting the car or not – if you wiggle it, it shouldn’t move. If you find any movement at any portion, jack up that angle again and stand the jack one notch.

 

Shake the Vehicle

Give a gentle shake to the vehicle to check whether it is secured or not. Be sure all jack stands have taken their place on the ground tightly, and they are not moving once you are shaking the vehicle.

Remember, not to choose a tilted jack stands. They are not designed to take substantial weight at an angle. Once you get sure your vehicle is well-secured, and it will not fall suddenly, then you can start working.

 

Start Working

As you are now confirmed, your vehicle is well-set, and everything is secured, it is time to start working. Before you start working, don’t forget to give a pat to your back.

WARNING

    • It is prohibited to go at the underneath of the vehicle without taking support from jack stands. Car jacks may slide, and the vehicle may fall on top of you.
    • Make sure you have activated your parking brake. Also, the vehicle wheels are adequately blocked so that the vehicle doesn’t roll away when you start jacking it.

 

 

Final Words

While you are working with a jack stand to support your vehicle, never do hurry. Mechanics, DIY enthusiasts, and people forget to take a look at the safety features. Don’t make this mistake. It will lead you to serious injury. Even if you are well-experienced and skilled to do the task quickly, don’t forget to take support from jack stands.