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Types of Car Jacks & Their Uses Explained with Pictures [PDF]

In this article, you will learn what are the different types of car jacks? How to use them? its precautions, safety tips, and more explained with pictures. 

Moreover, you can also download the PDF file of the article at the end of it.

What is a Car Jack?

A jack is a mechanical device that is used to lift the car by its hydraulic power so that you can change the tire to perform any maintenance work.

Basic of Car Jack

In today’s world, we can get car spare parts and tools easily in any shop. As the DIY methods grow, it is equally important to discuss the efficient way of doing the work. Eventually, a car is a piece of complex machinery and needs to be handled just as efficiently.

A car jack is also an essential tool that is needed most of the time when it comes to repairing situations. One of the most reasons people use car jacks is to replace tires. But really, if you want to put any part of the car down, you’ll need a car jack.

These are designed to lift the weight of a vehicle, so you can get a true view of what’s going on under the body. Working under a vehicle also expects that you will need durable, high-quality car jack parts and axle stands to ensure safety.

It always comes in handy to have a car jack in your garage. But, there is a lot of confusion about how car jack works, why they need, and when they are employed. Before knowing how to use a car jack, you should first know what the different types of jacks are available.

How Car Jack Works? Its Mechanism

The car jacks basically work on the three mechanisms, which is the mechanical and hydraulic mechanism. Let’s discuss them briefly below.

1. Mechanical Jacks

Mechanical Jacks
Image: IndiaMart

These types of car jacks use a simple mechanical method to a vehicle. A mechanical car may have a lifting screw or a ratcheting system to slowly lift the vehicle.

To clarify, when a screw jack unit is operated, the rotation of the worm shaft also makes the worm gear rotate. The lead screw is attached to the worm gear to rotate the screw jack and they rotate at the same speed. As the worm gear rotates, the friction forces on the screw thread act to turn the nut as well.

2. Hydraulic Jacks

Hydraulic Jacks

It uses hydraulic cylinders, placed horizontally or vertically to lift large objects. The hydraulic jack is made up of a reservoir filled with oil, where the pressure pushes the cylinder to move it upwards.

3. Pneumatic Jacks

Pneumatic Jacks
Image: Amazon

Pneumatic jacks are heavy equipment, which is powered by compressed air and are used to easily lift and place heavy materials and machinery. This pneumatic power converts electrical power into mechanical power via compressed air.

This type of car jack is also known as a telescope jack. They are commonly found in many heavy machinery maintenance industries for lifting buses, trucks, and construction vehicles. Pneumatic jacks are not used for small vehicles.

Types of Car Jacks

Following are the types of car jacks:

  1. Floor jacks
  2. Bottle jacks
  3. Farm jacks
  4. Scrissor jacks
  5. Trolley jack

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#1 Floor Jacks

Floor Jacks - Types of Car Jacks
Image: Flickr

This type of car jack is considered the most common and popular type and is ideal to use for car repair due to its low-profile design. The floor jack is designed to help you lift the vehicle when you are working under the car. These are works on the principle of hydraulic jacks.

It has heavy steel wheels to roll under the car. The hydraulic pressure of the jack allows you to lift a part of the vehicle with a hand lever. Some models of this type may have a release valve on the top of the handle.

These tools are very robust and don’t require a lot of experience to use them. Because of the simplest design, they are useful for some light construction projects.

2. Bottle Jacks

Bottle Jacks - Types of Car Jacks
Image: 123rf

In these types of hydraulic jacks, the appearance of which is almost similar to a bottle with an elongated cylindrical body. Compared to an average floor jack, a bottle jack is able to hold more weight. Hence, they can lift the vehicle higher.

Bottle jacks are available with a pump handle and/or an air compressor attachment. According to the model type, these can lift between 4 and 50 tonnes. Since it has a high initial clearance, that can make them more difficult to use on smaller vehicles. Bottle jacks are more economical than floor jacks.

3. Farm Jacks

Farm Jacks - Types of Car Jacks

These are commonly used as farming tools, however, you do not need to be a farmer or work on a tractor to use them. Actually, many people use them for off-roading vehicles and high-clearance trucks.

They are used when there is a need to lift a vehicle out of the mud. Basically, they can lift the car up to 5 feet off the ground. You can easily place them on the back of a large vehicle and are also known as high-lift jacks. Farm jacks can also be used as a pulley or clamp, making them an all-purpose tool in certain situations.

4. Scissor Jacks

Scissor Jacks - Types of Car Jacks

Since they are the common and simple type, as a result, they are generally used on smaller cars. It is small and portable, able to fit in a small space. As they work on the principle of mechanical jacks, it uses a screw mechanism to lif the car.

Depending on the model you have, their lift height is relatively short, ranging from 15-inches to 30-inches. The advantage of a scissor jack is its safety, especially when compared to high-lift jacks and farm jacks, which require more care and expertise. In addition, they are also lighter and cheaper than floor jacks.

5. Trolley Jack

Trolley Jack

They are capable of lifting up to 4 tons, and can roll in dirt and gravel, have a braking mechanism, and are one of the safest and easiest jacks to use in various applications.

It pumps oil into the pump cylinder by lifting the jack handle, and as you lower the jack handle, it pushes the pressurized oil toward the main cylinder. This action causes the main piston to lift. These are generally used for automotive repairs.

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How To Use Car Jacks

Following are the important steps to use car jacks properly:

1. Park and Secure the Car

Initially, you need to park your car on the ground on a firm surface. And block the bottom wheels with wheel wedges, blocks of wood, or bricks to prevent the wheels from rolling accidentally. In addition, you can also apply the emergency brake to avoid rolling.

2. Place and Raise the Jack

Now, use car jacks, make sure that they have enough weight capacity for your vehicle. If you have a mechanical-type car jack, insert the rod and crank, raising the jack until it connects the lift point of the car. But, if you have a hydraulic type car jack, place the handle in the body of the jack and lightly pump the handle to lift the jack until it contacts the car frame.

3. Place the Jack Stands

Place the jack stand on the underside of the car frame where the jack is placed. When using a jack stand, place it under the jacking point, adjust the height of the stand and use a pin or screw to lock it in place according to the instructions. Once the jack stand is placed, slowly lower the car to rest on the stand. 

4. Lower the Car

As the vehicle is in place, remove the jack and provide a light push to ensure that the jack stands up and securely holds the car. If you’re done with your work, use the jack to raise the car an inch or two to remove the jack stand.

Turn the jack handle or crank counterclockwise to lower the car slowly. Finally, remove the wheel chocks or wedges.

Safety Precautions of Car Jacks

  1. Be assured that you are only using the car jack to lift the car off the ground, not to use it for long periods of time.
  2. Remember to use a jack stand when you are working under the vehicle. If you are only using one jack, this is not enough. The car jack is only secure when turning the wheel.
  3. Be sure to use bricks, wooden wedges, or metal wheel chocks to keep the wheels from rolling.
  4. Park your car on flat ground, and use the handbrake before lifting the car. This minimizes the risk of rolling.
  5. Keep in mind that never change tires on the highway.
  6. Choose a car jack and jack stand according to the weight of the car.

Wrapping It Up

As I said above, a car jack is an essential tool that requires when working under a car. When choosing one, the jack capacity must match the vehicle you are servicing. Instructions vary, but you need a jack rated for at least three-quarters of your vehicle’s weight.

That’s it for now. If you have any queries regarding this topic then feel free to ask in the comment section. So now, I hope you have liked our look at the “types of car jacks”. If you found this article helpful, then share it with your friends.

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About Yousef

He is a mechanical engineering student, he likes to write about engineering stuff and he is really interested in learning about new technology in machines.

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