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What Are the Common Types of Car Jacks?

Jun. 06, 2023

There are several types of car jack to choose from. Although they may look different, each has a similar function: to lift your vehicle to a certain height so that you can remove tyres or perform other tasks. Here we will explore the different types of jacks, their functions and the precautions you should take when using them. Learning this important maintenance information now will allow you to be better equipped when you need to use a jack, freeing you from worry.

Your vehicle needs a jack that fits it. The lifting height of the jack is important, perhaps even more so if you are using a larger vehicle (e.g. a truck). The load-bearing capacity of the jack must exceed the overall mass of the vehicle. These types of jacks usually range from 1 to 10 tonnes and the material used to construct the jack is important, with the strongest models often made of steel.

In all cases, the type of jack you need depends on what you are doing. Let Autotools depot lead you to take a look at a few types. 

Jack stands

Once a vehicle has been lifted, what is the best way to secure it in place? Most people would agree that jack stands are the solution. Simply slide one or more of these pyramid-shaped heavy steel structures under your car, then gradually lower the vehicle to sit on the saddle and secure it in place. Jack stands are the minimum required to support any vehicle under which you will be working.


Scissor jacks

Often found next to the spare tyre that comes with your car, a scissor jack in a compressed state is easy to install in tight places. This type of jack uses hand crank screws to pull the two opposing corners of the diamond-shaped structure together, forcing the head and bottom of the jack apart to create lift. These are good for changing tyres and, in a pinch, placing your car on jack stands.

Floor jacks

The floor jack represents the best of the automotive lifting tool crop. After all, who wouldn't want a tool that can easily turn underneath a vehicle and provide a lift? As a rule, floor jacks and jack trolleys are lighter and easier to handle than other jack constructions. Garages use these jacks to lift vehicles quickly. They are expensive and can usually hold up to three tonnes.


High lift jacks

When off-roading, you need sufficient vehicle clearance or breakout height to get over boulders, logs or ledges. Otherwise, a high-lift jack, also known as a utility jack, can be used to lift the chassis to clear an obstacle.

Bottle jacks

Also known as whisky jacks, bottle jacks are popular for their many uses, including levelling houses and straightening door frames. The body of the jack is a sturdy cylinder with a hydraulic cylinder that extends vertically to lift the weight as the arm is pumped. These can be very strong, the most powerful being able to withstand weights of up to 100 tonnes.


Please note that you should never use a jack or stand that is not suitable for the weight of your vehicle. Do not work on your vehicle if the jack and stand are not on a firm, level surface and never go underneath the vehicle. If the jack or stand fails, you could damage the vehicle and possibly injure yourself. 

For more information on jacks, contact us today and talk to one of our knowledgeable experts.

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