Whether you’re a regular motorist or drive a vehicle for a living, you need to know how to change a flat tire. Every vehicle should have a spare tire, a tool kit, and a car jack on hand. Without these three basic tools, you wouldn’t be able to perform basic repairs and you would have to wait for roadside assistance.
Most people identify car jacks with tire changes, but they’re more versatile than that. Car jacks are indispensable tools in auto maintenance. With a selection of jacks and a good four-post vehicle lift for sale, you can turn your home garage into a professional workshop. Auto hobbyists do this all the time, so they can perform complex maintenance and upgrades in their own homes.
There are many jacks available on the market, each one suited for a specific vehicle type. As long as you choose the right type for the vehicle, it should be safe to use. Here are a few jacks every motorist or auto enthusiast needs to have in their arsenal.
1. Floor jack
Floor jacks are the type you most often see in auto repair shops. An essential tool in auto repair and servicing, the jack’s portable design allows users to position it wherever the vehicle needs to be lifted.
It’s composed of two basic pieces: the long handle and the four-wheeled ground unit. Users engage the long handle to enable the hydraulic lift. The lift, in turn, lifts the saddle which then causes the vehicle to rise.
Many car jacks are floor jacks, which is why many car owners and mechanics have one in their toolkit. If you’re interested in auto repair, you need to have one to perform most repair work.
2. Scissor jack
The scissor jack is one of the most popular jack types. It’s what most people are familiar with. Since it’s light and portable, many car owners keep one in their trunks. The design is centered around a screw mechanism that is responsible for creating the lifting power.
In many cases, jacks that come with the vehicle are designed to neatly fit in the designated spots for lifting. If the time comes that you have to replace the jack, make ensure that the replacement is compatible with your vehicle, and has a lifting capacity that meets or exceeds the vehicle’s weight.
3. Hydraulic bottle jack
The hydraulic bottle jack is shaped like a bottle and relies on hydraulic pressure to lift large equipment and heavy automobiles. The jack’s design allows it to lift large and heavy loads. However, it can only be used on hard and stable surfaces. To lift the load, a lever is inserted into the jack and the user pumps the lever to create pressure.
While hydraulic bottle jacks have a high lifting capacity, they’re not as portable as other jack types and can only be used on a level surface, limiting their use to commercial settings.
4. Hi-lift jack
Hi-lift jacks are specialized jacks that are only used with off-road and customized vehicles. This type of jack is usually used in rugged terrain and off-road settings. Motorists also rely on hi-lift jacks if the terrain doesn’t allow for the use of other jack types.
This design allows for high lifting capacity. However, they are bulky and heavy. The average hi-lift jack weighs around 29 lbs and is around 1.22 m long.