How to Safely Use Car Trolley Jacks
Car trolley jacks are used to lift your vehicle to access the engine or any part under your car. They are especially useful for mechanical jobs that can be done at home, such as changing the oil or struts. Car trolley jacks usually come with a pump lever to raise the supporting base of the jack. They come in either manual or hydraulic types for heavier vehicles; even though they come equipped with wheels for increased mobility, they have still been proven to be steady enough to support a vehicle. Although car trolley jacks are a bit different from other types of jacks on the market, one aspect that remains unchanged are the safety precautions that must be followed to ensure a safe and successful job.
The first step to safely using a car trolley jack is to make sure that all parts and equipment are available! Cutting corners is risky and can end up causing you a lot more time in the long run; there’s no being lazy when it comes to safety. You can get all kinds of car trolley jacks in automotive shops, but if you have a question specifically regarding your vehicle, it’s always smart to consult the owner’s manual. This handy book can answer a lot of questions or at least provide the right information to make sure you buy the right car jack to get the job done.
Once you’re sure you have everything you need, such as making sure your car jack is sturdy enough to support your vehicle, and have decided to start working, you’ll need a working surface that is level. The last thing you want is your car to be on a downhill surface while you’re working under it – for obvious reasons. Once that’s taken care of, you have to know the strong supporting areas under your vehicle for which to place the trolley jack under. This very important information can almost always be found in the owner’s manual. If you jack the car up without knowing, you risk damaging your vehicle or even worse, your own safety under it, as it the incorrect jack may not support it well enough.
Now to the main part, actually lifting the vehicle. After you have set the jack in the correct spot, turn the handle and begin to pump (if it’s a manual jack) the vehicle to any height for the job at hand.
After you have raised the vehicle, you’ll need either some concrete, brick, or wooden blocks to position behind the wheels on the ground. This is to add some support and prevent the car from sliding off, should some unforeseen complication occur. Once this is done, some people prefer to take an additional safety precaution, you can use jack stands to support the vehicle in case of the jack failing mid-job. To do this, you simply raise the vehicle, place the jack stands, and lower the vehicle unto them; although a great idea, this is, ultimately, an optional safety step.
The vehicle should be put in reverse if you raise the rear wheels. If it’s a manual transmission and you raise the front wheels, the vehicle should be put in first gear. Always use the emergency brake, regardless of the type of transmission.
Finally, once you have finished doing your job under the vehicle and have made sure everything is in its correct spot, it’s time to bring it down. Slowly turn the handle to release pressure and lower the vehicle. After this you should be finished! Every step is crucial, especially when working under any vehicle, so take all these safety precautions to avoid hurting either yourself or your vehicle.