Though not often recommended, sometimes you have to get under your car in order to be able to repair it, especially at times when professional help is not easily accessible, or there is a time constraint to get your car fixed and running.
That is when you need to elevate your vehicle using a jack stand; specifically, no fewer than four jack stands.
This article will be walking you through the steps of how to put a car on 4 jack stands so that you can fix your car and do it safely.
Things You Will Need for Putting Your Car on Four Jack Stands
Before you attempt to elevate your car, you need to have a few supplies handy to make the process safe and easy for you.
- Four Jack Stands
Of course, you will need four jack stands. Try to get ones which are at least 2 tonnes each, preferably with a flat top for better support.
- Wheel Chocks
You need at least two wheel chocks to keep one end of your car stationary while you lift the other end.
- Floor Jack
This is an essential component when trying to lift your car by yourself. A floor jack is what will help you get under your car and lift it up so that the vehicle rests on the jack stands properly.
- A Friend
Although working under your car while it is fully supported by four jack stands is relatively safe, it is still recommended that you have a trusted friend with you while you work.
They can not only assist you by handing you tools but can also get emergency services if an accident does occur.
How to Put Your Car on Four Jack Stands
To start, you want to have the above-mentioned supplies with you. Also, try to do this in an area that is not cramped (unlike a garage).
Once you are fully ready, you can get on with lifting up your car on four jack stands.
- Make Sure Your Car Is on Level Ground
Your car needs to be parked on level ground. If there is even a slight slope, there is a possibility that, when only one end of the car has been lifted, the car might slide off the two jack stands that have been placed.
- Immobilize Your Car
Apply the parking brake on your car and use wheel chocks to keep your car stationary. Lock the rear two wheels when lifting up the front end and lock the front two wheels when you are lifting up the car’s rear end.
To be extra careful, you can also put an object (such as wood blocks) under the lifted wheels to make the car even more securely lifted.
- Loosen the Wheels’ Nuts
If the task you are trying to perform requires your tires to be off, then you need to loosen the nuts on the wheel before you lift up your car.
- Locate Jacking Points
Almost all cars have a jacking point behind each front wheel and in front of each rear wheel, or one jacking point at the front and one at the rear end. Locate these jacking points so that you know exactly where the floor jack needs to be to lift up your car efficiently.
If you think your car does not have jacking points, or if you cannot properly locate the jacking points, you can either refer to your car’s manual or try to wait until you can have a professional assist you.
- Elevate Your Car via the Floor Jack and Place the Jack Stands
To put one end of your car on jack stands, you need to lift up the opposite end first and then place the jack stands under your desired end.
So, if you want to put the front of your car on jack stands first, then you need to lift up the rear end with the help of the floor jack. During this, make sure the front wheels are secured in place with wheel chocks.
Once the car has lifted high enough, place a jack stand under the front of the car one side at a time.
And to put the jack stands at the rear end of the car, get the floor jack under the car’s rear jacking point (in the middle) and lift it up. While it is elevated, go ahead and place the two jack stands in front of the two rear wheels of the car, then lower the car.
- Adjusting the Lifting Height
Remember to gradually increase the height of the lift to what you need.
Start lifting at the lowest setting on the jack stand and then work your way up to the height your work requires. This will ensure that you can still access the rear jacking point and also that the jack stands do not tip over.
Needless to say, you should make sure that all four jack stands are at the same height so that the car is fully level and stable.
- Make Sure the Car Will Not Budge
Once the car is on all four jack stands and you are satisfied with the height, place both hands on one side of your car and push to see if it shakes.
If it does, then you need to either readjust the height of one or more jack stands so that all four jack stands are of the same height.
Now that your car is stably lifted, you can repair whatever needs repairing. Of course, be careful while you are working on your car with your body under it, and ask your companion to remain alert in case you are hurt.
As mentioned already, it is not likely that you will be hurt when your car is resting on all four jack stands. However, you can never be too safe, so try to put something stable (like wood blocks) under the four wheels so that, even if the jack stands seize, your car will not collapse onto you.
Once your repair task is complete, you can use the floor jacks to lift your car one end at a time and remove the four jack stands.