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If you ever need to work or inspect underneath a vehicle then you must follow the correct procedure for safely raising your vehicle. Failure to follow the safe procedure could result in serious personal injury or even death.

Jacking a car


  • A strong reliable jack that has a safety rating greater than the vehicle you intend to lift. This may be the jack that was supplied with the car, but it is a far better option to buy a good quality hydraulic trolley jack.

  • A wedge or thin piece of wood that you can use as a wheel chock. (to stop the vehicle rolling)

  • A set of axle stands. (You will require at least 2 axle stands to go under a vehicle).

  • Someone to supervise you. You should not go under a car without having someone standing close by. They may be required if something goes wrong. When it comes to working under a car you can never to to careful.

Never use bricks as a substitute for axle stands. As you work on the vehicle the shocks are passed to the brick and the brick can crack or split with no warning. Only use a BSS approved axle stand with a safe weight rating greater than the weight it will be required to support.
  1. Locate a safe working area where you wish to jack the vehicle. This should be a smooth flat area. of hard level ground. Never attempt to jack up a car on grass or other soft ground.

  2. Drive the vehicle into position. apply the handbrake and put the car into gear.

  3. Locate the safe jacking points on the vehicle. If you are unsure if this always consult your owners hand book /manual or contact your car's dealer for more information. If you intend to remove the vehicles road wheels when the vehicle is jacked up you should now "crack" the wheel nuts. this generally involves giving each wheel nut or wheel bolt about a 1/4 turn. It is a lot easier and safer to do this when the vehicle is fully on the ground. Do not under any circumstanced remove or attempt to remove a wheel nut or bolt whilst the vehicle is still on the ground.

  4. Make sure you fully understand how to use your jack. If you are using the jack that came with the car, please consult your owners hand book. If you are using a trolley jack, or other third party jack then please read the relevant instructions. Once you are sure about using your jack place the jack into it's correct jacking point. At this point raise the jack very slightly until you see the vehicle begin to rise. Now (without putting any part of your body under the vehicle) double check to make sure the jack has remained in the correct jacking point. If you are not sure please lower the jack and place it again. You need to be 100% sure that you have the jack placed correctly. Only when you are certain that the jack is positioned correctly should you continue.

  5. As you are raising the vehicle it is important to pay close attention at all times. Listen for noises that do not sound right. When jacking a car it is fairly common to hear the occasional creaking noise. if you believe the creaking to be excessive. Or if you hear any other undesirable noises lower the car as soon as possible. never place any part of your body under the vehicle to check. You should have make all your observational checks before you began to actually jack the vehicle up. If in doubt lower the car and start again.

  6. You should be aiming to get the car high enough to be able to place an axle stand under the car and onto a suitable supporting point. Usually the only suitable supporting Pont is a jacking point. Again you should have located the jacking points before you began jacking the car. As soon as the car it high enough to gain access with an axle stand you should stop raising the car. You are now ready to position your axle stand. When doing this you need to be very careful. I recommend you lie down with your head facing the car and you feet away from the car. keep your head just short of an arms distance away from the vehicle. You should now begin to slide the axle stand along the ground and under the vehicle. only your hand should be under the car. Keep your hand as close to the ground as possible. Never place your head or shoulders under the car. Your arm is very thin. If the car was to collapse now it would land on it's wheels you have enough room to safely place your hand there, but nothing else. If you believe the car is going to fall remove your hand right away. Always be very aware and alert.

  7. When you have managed to place the axle stand into position you should remove your hand from under the vehicle. Lie close to the vehicle and just visually make a double check to ensure is it in the correct position. If you are satisfied you can them slowly begin to lower the vehicle onto the axle stand. You should never leave the weight on the jack and use the axle stand as a safety net. All the weight should be firmly on the axle stand. Once the weight is fully placed on the stand you can now remove the jack. you should now give the car a gentle shake to make absolutely sure that it is safe. If you hear any creaking noises then there may be something wrong. You need to be 100% sure a vehicle is safely supported before you can work safely. If the job you are doing only requires one corner of the vehicle to be jacked then you can how safely continue with the task at hand. If you require more than 1/4 of the vehicle to be jacked then you will need to proceed with caution.

  8. move to the opposite side of the vehicle and carry out the same detailed and careful jacking procedure as described in number 3 onwards. the safe jacking and supporting points on the vehicle will be symmetrical. you should choose the same points on both sides of the car. You should only ever jack "rear right and/or rear left" or "front right and/or front left". or "front and rear right" or "front and rear left". you should never under any circumstances jack up opposite corners. Jacking a vehicle on opposite corners is very dangerous and can cause serious damage to the vehicle.

  9. To lower the vehicle you basically place the jacks back into their jacking points and take the weight from the axle stands. Again you need to proceed with caution, never rush!. Make sure everything is done properly. You should remove the axle stands using the same method you used to place them. Lie down and place only your hand under the vehicle. When you have removed the axle stand you can now begin to lower the jack. The vehicle is only 100% safe when it's fully on the ground. Do not venture under the vehicle now that you have removed the axle stands.

  10. If you had the wheel(s) off when the vehicle was supported then you should fully tighten then once the vehicle is on the ground., this is the only way you can be sure they are as tight as required. You should never attempt to fully tighten road wheel nuts or bolts when the vehicles wheels are not fully on the ground.


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