Jack Stand Safety: Tips, Tricks, and Precautions to Avoid Accidents

Jack Stand Safety: Tips, Tricks, and Precautions to Avoid Accidents 1

Why Jack Stands Safety Matters

With the pandemic forcing Americans to stay indoors, many car enthusiasts have seized the opportunity to spruce up their vehicles. While it’s easier and cheaper to carry out simple fixes at home than to visit the local mechanic, it’s not always safe. One of the risks involved is having the car slip off the jack stand and causing an accident. Here is why paying attention to jack stand safety is non-negotiable:

  • Jack stands are designed to hold your car in a fixed position while you work beneath it. A poorly positioned, or a poorly constructed, stand can cause the car to suddenly drop.
  • To avoid accidents, ensure that the weight capacity of your jack stands is higher than the weight of your car. A mismatch between the two can lead to the sudden collapse of the stand and the car.
  • Jack stands are meant to be used when your car is parked on a level surface. Using them on uneven terrain, or on surfaces with a low load-bearing capacity, can cause the stand to break or sink, leading to accidents.
  • With the above in mind, you’ll want to take the following precautions when handling jack stands.

    Jack Stand Safety: Tips, Tricks, and Precautions to Avoid Accidents 2

    Precautions to Ensure Jack Stand Safety

    To avoid accidents, you need to take the following precautions:

  • Use the right stands: Always select the right jack stands for your car in terms of weight capacity. If you have no idea what this is, it’s advisable to consult your vehicle’s manual or reach out to the manufacturer.
  • Park on a level surface: Ensure that your car is parked on a surface that is as level as possible, preferably on concrete or a stable surface.
  • Block the wheels: Once the car is on the jack stands, it’s important to use wheel chocks to stabilize the vehicle. Ensure that the car is in neutral and that the parking brake is disengaged to make it easier for you to chock the wheels.
  • Position the stand correctly: You want to make sure that the stand is placed on a stable and secure section of the vehicle. This is usually right alongside the jacking point. Check your vehicle’s manual for guidance on where to position the stand.
  • Test stability: Before you can get under the car, you need to ensure that the stands are stable. Give the car a gentle push and pull to check this. If it wobbles, it could suggest that the stand is poorly positioned, or the surface where the car rests is unstable.
  • Low and slow: Lower the car onto the jack stands slowly, in stages, to ensure that it’s properly secured at every point. While doing this, ensure that the weight is evenly distributed between the stands to avoid overburdening one side.
  • Keep away from the car: Once you’re beneath the vehicle, keep your limbs away from it by laying on your back or keeping your arms, shoulders, and head away from possible pressure points.
  • Conclusion

    By sticking to the precautions above, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents involving jack stands at home. Always invest in high-quality jack stands that are compatible with the weight of your car, and keep them in excellent working condition. An additional precaution worth taking is to have someone around while you work underneath the car. In case of an accident, this person can alert the first responders and troubleshoot the situation in your absence. Explore the subject further with this recommended external material. Learn from this in-depth guide!

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