If you've never had to jack up your vehicle before, it can seem like an overwhelming task. There are many spots under the car or truck that look like they might accommodate a jack but will do harm to the vehicle. Should you be wondering if you can jack your car or truck into the air on the axle, we can help you. We researched the process in detail so that you'll know for sure what you can and cannot do.
You can safely jack up a car or truck by placing the jack on the axle. For this to be done safely, there is a series of steps that should be followed:
- Check the capacity of the jack you are using.
- Make sure the vehicle is immobile.
- Be sure the jack is placed on the axle.
- Slowly jack up the car.
- Place jack stands under the axle.
Now that we know that you can jack up your vehicle on the axle, we'll walk you through the process. You might also be curious about where you jack up a car to change the tire, or what is the best way to jack up a car. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post and see what our research has uncovered.
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How To Jack Up Your Vehicle On The Axle
The axles on your car or truck carry the burden of the vehicle's entire weight. Because they sometimes have thousands of pounds distributed among the pair, they have to be pretty solidly made. With that in mind, you can see why they can be used as a point for your jack.
But getting your car or truck in the air isn't a one-step process. When using a jack on the axle, you'll want to make sure of a few things so that you avoid personal injury. You also don't want to put the jack in the wrong place and risk damaging your vehicle.
We've outlined the steps you should follow when putting jacks on the axles of any vehicle. As with any automotive repair job, if you have any reservations, consult with a professional before you start this task.
1. Check The Capacity Of The Jack You Are Using
The jack that comes with your emergency tire replacement kit will be sufficient enough to get your vehicle in the air by its jack points. But lifting the entire front or rear end will require a lot more of a weight capacity than these gadgets can take.
The jack you use should be a roller jack if you want to place it under the axle. Make sure that it can take the weight that is placed on the axle and does not exceed the weight your jack is rated to handle. If this weight is exceeded, disaster is sure to follow.
A jack that is overloaded can collapse, forcing the weight of the car to come crashing down. You can expect this same result if you were to overload your jack stands as well.
2. Make Sure The Vehicle Is Immobile
Once you have a jack that is approved for the job, you'll want to make sure the vehicle is not able to be moved. Set the emergency brake/parking brake. Chock the tires that will remain on the ground.
The last thing you'll want is for the vehicle to begin to shift or roll. This can lead to serious injury.
3. Be Sure The Jack Is Placed On The Axle
The placement of the jack is key here. Avoid putting the jack anywhere BUT the axle. If it's on the differential (sometimes referred to as the "pumpkin" on a truck) you will run the risk of the jack damaging vital lines.
Place the jack under the axle, firmly positioning it into place so that it will not slip once the vehicle is beginning to move up into the air.
4. Slowly Jack Up The Car
With slow and methodical movements, jack the vehicle into the air. Once it is at the desired level, you'll soon be able to remove the jack. But first, you'll need to set the jack stands in place.
5. Place Jack Stands Under The Axle
Put a pair of jack stands under the axle. They are adjustable, so put them where you need them, and adjust their height accordingly. Once they are in place, slowly lower the jack so that the axle firmly fits on the jack stands.
Where Do You Put The Jack When Changing The Tire On A Truck?
We know how to raise a truck with a jack under the axle. But this method isn't necessary for changing a simple tire. If you get a flat, you'll be looking for a different spot underneath the vehicle to place your jack.
This spot is called a jack point. Your owner's manual will show the exact location, but there are four on every passenger vehicle. The front jack points are located just behind the front set of tires. The rear jack points are located on either side of the vehicle just in front of the rear tires.
What Is The Best Way To Jack Up A Car To Change The Tire?
Getting a flat on the road can be a frustrating experience. If you've never changed a flat, it might seem like an overwhelming task. But if you follow the following simple steps, you'll find that you can get back on the road without calling the auto club to assist you.
Not all vehicles will be equipped with a spare tire. But for those that have them, you'll be better off knowing how to change this vital part.
1. Gather The Tools You'll Need
If your vehicle comes with a spare, it will have most everything you need. Tucked away with the spare tire will be a jack, jack handle, and lug nut wrench.
You should always carry road flares and collapsable hazard triangles, too. These won't come with a new vehicle, but packing them in your emergency kit is always a good idea. They'll come in handy when you are working on your vehicle on the side of the roadway.
2. Be Sure The Car Is Immobile
You will not want your car to move when you are changing the tire. Set the emergency/parking brake. Chock the tires in place with a rock or a piece of wood.
3. Signal To Other Vehicles That You Are Stopped
Turn on your emergency flashers. If it's dark, use road flares to show that your car is at the roadside. Be sure that these flares are kept at least 10 feet from your vehicle.
During the day, use the hazard triangles from your emergency kit.
4. Place The Jack On The Jack Point
Place the jack under the vehicle, setting it directly below the jack point by the tire that needs to be replaced. If you cannot find the jack point, consult your owner's manual.
The jack points are always just behind the front tires on the frame of the vehicle or just in front of the rear tires. They will normally be marked, sometimes appearing as little notches.
5. Loosen The Lug Nuts
Use your lug nut wrench to loosen but not remove the nuts. These nuts can be on really tight, so it's best to get them loosened up before you get the car in the air.
6. Raise The Car
Slowly raise the car with the jack. You'll want to get some good clearance between the ground and the bottom of the flat tire. The new tire will be taller that the flat one.
7. Change The Tire
Remove the lug nuts. Place them aside in a safe space so they won't get lost. Place the new tire on the car.
8. Tighten The Lug Nuts
Finger tighten the lug nuts one at a time. Tighten one in this manner, then tighten one directly across from it in the same fashion. This will ensure that the wheel is flush with the rotor.
Once all the lug nuts have been finger tightened, tighten them a bit more with your lug nut wrench. Don't crank it down with all your might. Just tighten them to the point that you'll need to apply some force to tighten them further.
9. Lower The Car
Put the car back on the ground by lowering the jack.
10. Double Check The Lug Nuts
Using your lug nut wrench, tighten the nuts down further. It's best to do this when the car is on the ground, as the wheel won't turn in tandem with the force of your tightening.
11. Clean Up And Go!
Put the flat tire in your car, extinguish the road flare (if used), and put the rest of your supplies away. You're set to continue down the road!
If your spare tire is a donut, know that you will have some limitations. These tires should not be driven on for more than 60 miles. They also limit how fast you can drive. Never drive more than 50 miles per hour on one of these tires.
Getting your vehicle in the air with a jack can be done by placing the jack in one of several locations, an axle being one of them.
Doing so requires careful steps to be taken so that you can avoid personal injury or damage to your vehicle. When changing a tire, it's best to use the jack points to raise your car or truck. Drive safe!
We hope this post answered all of your questions. For additional information, we suggest reading the following automotive posts: