Don’t be slack with your jack: 8 tips to raise your car safely

The weekend can be the perfect time to take care of some maintenance on the car, but you need to make sure you take proper safety precautions.

Every year Australians are killed or injured from cars falling off jacks, crushing the person underneath.

It is important to know the jack that comes with your car serves only one purpose – to raise the vehicle while a wheel is changed and they are perfectly safe if used in accordance with instructions.

The following are a few basic jack safety precautions:

  1. Only use a jack on a hard level surface – anything other than a sturdy base can cause the vehicle to become unbalanced
  2. Do not exceed the jack’s specified lifting capacity – if the correct weight is not adhered to then the jack could buckle, or at worst, collapse under the pressure
  3. Jack only under the designated lifting areas – if not this can cause damage to the vehicle and could lead to the jack slipping
  4. Wedge chocks under the vehicle’s wheels that remain on the ground – a simple but effective tip that will prevent the car from rolling when lifted
  5. Trolley jacks should be allowed to roll freely as the car is raised – failure to do this may cause the vehicle to slip off the jack
  6. Never go under a vehicle that is supported only by a jack. Place jack stands under correct parts of the vehicle and lower on to the stands before going under the vehicle Always make sure the car is secure and settled before going underneath
  7. Don’t use concrete blocks, wood or bricks to support a vehicle – the only safe form of doing this is to use the correct safety stands
  8. No one should remain in or get into a car that’s only supported by a jack – the extra weight can cause the car to become unstable.

For more information, head to RACQ’s jack safety page.