Although a tire can be replaced with just a car jack, jack stands should be used when doing any work under the vehicle. Jack stands provide a more solid base and support the weight of a vehicle more easily. When using jack stands, be sure to place them at the contact points on the vehicle or on the chassis to prevent slipping. Once the job is done, raise the vehicle, remove the stands, and you're ready to hit the road again!
Part 1 of 3: Raise the Vehicle
Step 1. Find a flat, level surface to park the vehicle
Work in a clean, paved area so the vehicle is on level ground. Avoid lifting the vehicle in a place near heavy traffic, that has potholes, or is covered in gravel. Make sure each side of the vehicle is level so that the jack or jack stands cannot slide under it.
The garage or flat driveway is the best place to lift and work the vehicle
Step 2. Activate the vehicle's parking brake
Find the lever that controls the vehicle's parking brake and pull it until it engages. The parking brake, also called the parking brake, will ensure that the vehicle does not roll forward or backward while you lift it.
Place tire chocks around each of the wheels if you are raising the rear of the car. If you don't have tire chocks, you can use 2 x 4-inch boards in front of and behind the wheels
Step 3. Find an area under the vehicle to place the floor jack
Use a hydraulic floor jack to raise the vehicle in the safest way. Slide the floor jack under the vehicle so that the arm is under the vehicle's chassis or at a lifting point.
- Do not use a scissor jack as they are less stable and are only intended for emergency situations, such as changing a tire.
- Consult your vehicle's manual to determine the best place to lift it.
Common points to raise the vehicle
Seeks tow hooks in the front or rear of the vehicle.
Use the stabilizer bars that are directly behind the wheels of the vehicle.
Step 4. Raise the vehicle until the tires are about 2 to 3 inches (5-7.5 cm) off the ground
Raise and lower the lever to raise the vehicle off the ground. Continue raising it until the tire (s) closest to the jack are completely off the ground.
Don't raise the car higher than necessary or the jack could become unstable
Part 2 of 3: Attaching the jack stands
Step 1. Place the jack stand under the vehicle's contact points
The contact points are located on the sides of the vehicle behind the front wheels or in front of the rear wheels. Slide the mount from the side of the vehicle and align the mount collar with the part of the contact point that extends downward.
- If the vehicle does not have contact points, place the brackets under the chassis of the vehicle.
- Do not get under the jack-up vehicle until it has the supports properly secured.
Find out the weight of the vehicle in the user manual or online. Make sure jack stands can support that amount of weight before using them.
Step 2. Adjust the height of the jack stand, if necessary
If you have an adjustable jack stand, lift the top until it reaches the contact point of the vehicle. Once you have adjusted the height of the stand, activate the safety lock through the hole in the base to fix it properly. That way, it won't sag when it takes the weight of the vehicle.
- Always place the locking handle on the jack stand or else the vehicle may fall on you while you are below.
- Some jack stands are not adjustable. If the one you have doesn't change in height, you can skip this step.
Step 3. Lower the vehicle slowly onto the jack stand
Slowly turn the floor jack lever counterclockwise to lower the vehicle. The jack stand will support the weight on the side of the vehicle so you can safely work under it. Remove the jack from under the vehicle.
If you have room to work under the vehicle, leave the jack in place to reinforce safety
Step 4. Push the vehicle a little to make sure it is firm
Give the vehicle a little push to see if it moves or shifts its weight. When pushing the vehicle, both the jack stand and the vehicle must be held steady, not allowing movement. If there is movement, avoid going under the vehicle and try placing the mount in a new area.
Step 5. Attach additional jack stands to raise the vehicle completely off the ground
Continue using the floor jack to raise each side of the vehicle and place the supports below the contact points. Make sure the supports on the opposite sides are straight across from each other to make the vehicle sturdy. Once you've attached the jack stands you need, you can begin working under the vehicle.
Make sure the adjustable jack stands are the same height so the vehicle is not skewed
Part 3 of 3: Remove the brackets
Step 1. Raise the vehicle about 2.5 cm (1 inch) above the jack stand
When you're done working, reposition the floor jack under the vehicle in line with the lift point used. Raise and lower the lever to raise the vehicle so you can easily remove the stand.
Step 2. Pull the jack stand from the side of the vehicle
Grab the bracket from the side of the vehicle and slide it out. Do not get under the front or rear of the vehicle while removing the bracket, as it will only be being supported by the jack.
Do not adjust the height of the jack stand until it is out of the vehicle
Step 3. Lower the jack until the vehicle is back on the ground
Turn the lever on the floor jack counterclockwise to lower the vehicle slowly. Once the tires are back on the ground, lift the jack from under the vehicle.
Keep the ground jack lever down so it doesn't collide with the underside of the vehicle
Step 4. Continue to raise the vehicle and remove the brackets until you have removed all of them
Place the jack under the lifting points and raise the vehicle on either side if you need to remove any additional support. If you raised the vehicle completely off the ground, remove the two front jack stands before removing the rear ones.
- Never get under the vehicle without jack stands. You run the risk that the car jack could slip and the vehicle fall on you.
- Make sure you set the parking brake and that the wheels are chocked so the vehicle won't move when you start to lift it.