Everyone who owns a vehicle would want to be able to take good care of it. There are so many things that go into the maintenance of a vehicle and having the best car jack will help you make headway in such tasks. There are so many times that you are forced to go to the mechanic for repairs and maintenance. However, when you have the best floor jack for the money, you will not need to go to the auto shop.
With a practical auto jack, you can change oil, change tires, bleed brakes and replace the filter among other things. As such, the garage jack is one of the best tools that you can have in your home or garage. However, it can be quite challenging to find the right jack if you do know how to go about it. There are so many different brands and models on the market. The purpose of this guide is to help you make an informed decision and choose the best automotive jack. We will look at all the details and basics that would help you in making an informed decision.
Different Types of Jacks:
When it comes to the search for the best floor jack, you should note that there are the different types. With the clear understanding of the different categories, you will be able to pick the right model to serve your needs in the best way possible. There are 3 main types:
- Hydraulic Floor Jack:
The hydraulic jacks are quite popular and would be the main type that you will find in most auto shops. These are known to have the capacity to lift huge loads and with minimal effort. They are easy to use and use the hydraulic system to be able to achieve this process of lifting.
In order to use the hydraulic garage jack, you will need to pull back the plunger, which will move the hydraulic oil to the chamber from the storage tank. When the hydraulic fluid fills up the chamber, the process of lifting the load is much easier as the pressure is increased. The increase in pressure is what will force the arm of the jack to raise and thereby lifting the load.
- Scissor Jack:
Most vehicle manufacturers will sell vehicles with this type of jack. This is a simple jack that has a mechanism that will require a whole lot of effort to be able to lift your load. This is highly recommended for simple tasks like changing a flat tire. It can only be used to lift the vehicle on one end at a time and will need quite some energy put into it. If you are looking for a cheap floor jack, then, this would be your ideal choice, but it is important to note that it will have a number of limitations.
The scissor jack has two metal bars on both sides and a screw in the middle. In order to lift the load, you will need to turn the screw and it will draw the two metal bars towards the center, which will lift the load. The scissor jack is not really stable and as such, you should use it with precaution. The lightweight is one the biggest advantages, as you can easily move around with it.
- Piston/Bottle Jack:
If you are in the business of lifting heavy loads, then this may be the best option for you. As you may realize, the name comes from the shape that it has as it is in the form of a bottle. This is a very stable jack and can be used to lift loads of up to 50 tons. The floor jack also uses the hydraulic mechanism and as such, you will not need to use a whole lot of effort to be able to lift the loads. The piston jack works effectively with high vehicles like trucks and SUVs and is known to be able to support the loads without a problem. The good news is that the bottle jack is quite durable and strong enough to serve your needs in the best way possible.
What’s the Quality Floor Jack for Your Garage?
In order to find a high-quality jack for your garage, there are a number of things that you should consider. You need to look at various factors as well as reviews of some of the best models so as to be able to choose the best floor jack. Here are some details that will help you in your decision.
Top 5 Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Jack
As indicated earlier, there are a number of factors that come into play when you need to choose the best jack. Floor jack reviews will give you a glimpse of what to expect from any particular auto jack that you are considering to buy. As a way of making the process much easier, we have put some key factors that you should consider before buying the best car jack.
- Maximum Weight:
The main objective of getting an automobile jack is to be able to lift loads without having to strain. One of the main factors that you need to consider is the maximum weight that the garage jack can be able to support. This should be advised by the weight of the vehicle. However, you should note that there is no point where you will lift the whole vehicle with the jack. In most cases, vehicle jacks with have lift capacities of 2 or 3 tons, and as such, you have a choice on one that suits you best. These would be ideal for most vehicle owners, but you can also find bottle jacks that have higher lifting capacities.
- Construction Material:
You need to find one that is strong and can last for a very long period of time. As such, you cannot be ignorant of the material used in making the auto jack. You need to inspect the garage jack thoroughly and ensure that it is built to last. The best floor jack is one that is either made of steel or aluminum. Steel jacks are quite heavy and stable and may be a perfect choice. However, if you intend to buy a jack that you can move around with, then you need to find one that is made of aluminum.
Some of the best models are made of aluminum and steel and they exhibit maximum strength and longevity. You should refrain from getting jacks that have plastic parts as they tend to break easily. Car jacks with an aluminum frame and a steel lifting arm are considered to be the best.
- Maximum and Minimum Height:
The other essential factor to consider is the lifting range that your car jack has. When you are going out to shop for a garage jack, it is important to consider the frame of the vehicle. Lowered vehicles have a very limited ground clearance and as such, you need to find a low profile jack that will be slide under the vehicle easily. Most of the common types will get to the maximum height of 18 -20 inches, which allows you to use them on different vehicles.
The high-performance vehicles and sports cars seem to have a low profile frame and this means that there are some that cannot work on these vehicles. You need to find the right one so that you can be able to place the jack without a problem and lift the vehicle off the ground. This will help you to access the components that underneath the vehicle and carry out the necessary repairs and maintenance services.
- Quick Lift Mechanism:
How fast can the jack rise to the maximum height? This is an essential factor to consider when choosing the floor jack to buy. This means that you will pay keen attention to the pump and pistons that are included. You should go for a car jack that has a quick lift system that allows you to be able to lift your vehicle in shortest time. A vehicle jack with a good lifting speed will also make the whole process easier and this is one of the benefits of jacks.
Ordinarily, an ideal jack will take about 12 pumps to get to the maximum height. If you are patient enough and committed to finding the best vehicle jack, you will find models that have dual piston pumps, getting to the maximum height in about 3 ½ strokes on the pump.
- Price Factor:
This guide would be incomplete if we did not talk about the price element. You need to have a budget in mind so as to find the top-rated jack. You will realize that the market has high-quality jacks that do not necessarily cost an arm and leg. What you need to be keen on, is the quality of the floor jack so as to get one that will not expose you to risks when in use.
When looking at the price, it is important to compare different models and see what each has to offer. Look at the warranty and what it has to offer. In most cases, you should be wary of models that have a limited warranty as it may spell danger. When considering the price factor, pay keen attention to consumer reviews as well.
How to Use a Floor Jack Safely?
Even if you have the best model on the market, it is worth noting that this is a mechanical device that may cause serious injuries when not used in a safe manner. Safety is one of the things that you should never compromise on and this is why we have put together this simple guide to help you in making use of the floor jack safely. You should follow this guide as well as the manual of your garage jack religiously:
- Before making any attempts to raise the vehicle, you need to ensure that the surface where the car is parked is even and solid. This is a safety measure that will ensure that vehicle will be stagnant when you start jacking it up. In addition, when you are working on a solid surface, you will not have to worry about it sinking into the ground, when the weight on the vehicle is supported by the garage jack.
- Secondly, ensure that the parking brake is engaged. This is an additional way to ensure that the vehicle is safe and will not move when you are working on it. It would be a serious disaster should the vehicle start moving when it is hoisted above the ground.
- Place wheel chocks on the opposite side of the place you intend to lift. This is another way to enhance the immobility of the vehicle. This ensures that there will be no movement on the wheels when you jack up the vehicle.
- You need to identify the jacking points that are in your vehicle and place the auto jack at the designated places. This is the only way that you can be sure that the jack will support the vehicle properly. Most vehicles have the jacking points marked, and if they are not clear, check on the vehicle’s owner’s manual.
- Place the automotive jack at the jacking point and starting lifting the vehicle in slow motions. Since this is a mechanical device, it can fail at any point and as such, you need to check for any oil leaks or cracks on the garage jack. In event that the jack is faulty stop using it right away.
- When you have raised the vehicle to the desired height, you should place floor jack stand. This is aimed at enhancing the stability of the vehicle and give you utmost safety. As soon as the vehicle rests on the jacks, you should give it a small push so as to ensure that it is stable enough. Only at this point, can you go to the underside of the vehicle, with an assurance of your safety?
Here An infographic is shown how to use a floor jack properly and safely
There are countless models and brands of jacks and each one claims to be the best. The process of choosing the best one can be a daunting task for most people. However, we sincerely hope that with this guide that we have put together you should be able to make an informed decision and choose the best-rated floor jack. Take into consideration all the factors that we have highlighted and the process should be easier. If this guide was of great help, please feel free to share it around and also leave a comment.