Car Fell off Jack? What to Do: Quick and Friendly Guide

A car falling off a jack can give you a bad experience, leading to damages and potential injuries. Knowing what to do in such a situation is crucial to ensure the safety of everyone involved. This way, you can also minimize potential damage to the vehicle.

In this article, you will get to know the right course of action when your car falls off a jack. This comprehensive guide also highlights the importance of selecting the right equipment and taking necessary precautions.

Car Fell off Jack? What to Do: Quick and Friendly Guide

 

Importance of Proper Jack Selection

Selecting the right car jack is crucial for safety and efficiency. Different types of jacks serve different purposes and have their pros and cons.

Low-Profile Floor Jack

A low-profile floor jack is ideal for cars with minimal ground clearance. It has a long handle, allowing for easy access under the vehicle.

  • Pros
    • Fits under cars with low ground clearance
    • Large, stable base
    • Easy to maneuver
  • Cons
    • Heavier than other jack types
    • More expensive

Examples of low-profile floor jacks include the Big Red jack stand.

Scissor Jack

A scissor jack is a compact, portable car jack suitable for emergency tire changes.

  • Pros
    • Lightweight and easy to store
    • Affordable
  • Cons
    • Limited lifting height
    • Small base, potentially less stable

Examples of scissor jacks include the Torin Big Red scissor jack.

Bottle Jack

Bottle jacks use hydraulic pressure to lift heavy loads, such as trucks or SUVs, and are not suitable for cars with low ground clearance.

  • Pros
    • High lifting capacity
    • Compact size
  • Cons
    • Not suitable for low-clearance vehicles
    • Small base, potentially less stable

Examples of bottle jacks include the Pro-Lift bottle jack.

Comparison Table Showing The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Jacks

Jack TypeProsConsExample
Low-Profile FloorFits under low cars, stableHeavier, more expensiveBig Red jack stand
ScissorLightweight, easy to storeLimited height, small baseTorin Big Red scissor jack
BottleHigh capacity, compact sizeNot for low cars, small basePro-Lift bottle jack

How to Ensure Proper Jack Placement and Stability?

Use The Right Jack Lift Points

When jacking up your car, use the jack lift points specified in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. These points provide the best support and stability when raising your car, ensuring a safe lifting process.

Stabilize The Car

After raising your vehicle with a quality jack, place jack stands under the car to provide support and stability. It is essential to position these stands on an even, flat surface to reduce the risk of tipping or other accidents.

Car Fell off Jack? What to Do: Quick and Friendly Guide

 

Park Gear and Emergency Brake

Before lifting your vehicle, make sure it is in park gear (if automatic) and that the emergency brake is engaged. This prevents the car from rolling during the lifting process, ensuring safety during your repairs.

Avoid Soft Ground Issues

Avoid jacking your car on soft ground, such as grass or gravel. Soft ground can cause uneven weight distribution, leading to instability and potential accidents.

If necessary, use a sturdy surface, like a 2-foot square piece of 3/4-inch plywood, to create a stable lift point.

Use Wheel Chocks

Wheel chocks provide extra stability when a car is on a jack. Place them behind the tires to prevent rolling.

If you’re lifting the front of the car, place chocks behind the rear tires. If you’re lifting the rear, place them in front of the front tires.

Loosen Lug Nuts

Loosen lug nuts before lifting the car, but don’t remove them entirely. This ensures the wheel won’t rotate when suspended. Use a lug nut wrench or impact wrench for loosening. Tighten lug nuts once the car is back on the ground.

Inspect Brake Rotors

Inspect brake rotors when the wheel is off. Check for any signs of damage or uneven wear. To ensure safety, look for cracks, grooves, or rust buildup. Replace the brake rotors if any issues are found.

Car Fell off Jack? What to Do: Quick and Friendly Guide

 

Potential Damage When Car Falls Off Jack

Damage to the control arm

A car falling off the jack can cause damage to the control arm, a vital component of the suspension system. If damaged, it can affect the steering and handling of your car, potentially leading to unsafe driving conditions.

Wrong Wheel Alignment

If a car falls off the jack, the wheel alignment could be affected. Misalignment may result in uneven tire wear and poor handling.

Damage at the Front End

The front end of the car may suffer damage when it falls off the jack. This can also lead to dents and cracks on the body, or damage thebrake components.

Damaged shock absorbers

Lastly, the car’s shocks could be damaged too. Damaged shock absorbers can significantly decrease the drive comfort and control of the vehicle.

Also read: How Long Do Bilstein Shocks Last?

Table showing the consequence of damage to different components of your car

ComponentPotential DamageConsequence
Control ArmBent or brokenUnsafe steering and handling
Wheel AlignmentMisalignmentUneven tire wear, poor handling
Front EndDents, cracks, brake damageCosmetic and functional issues
ShocksDamagedReduced drive comfort and control

What To Do After the Incident?

In case your car falls off the jack, you should:

  • Contact your insurance provider immediately
  • Check if your policy covers such incidents
  • File a claim as needed and call a tow truck

Having a comprehensive coverage may help you cover damages caused by mishaps like a car falling off a jack.

Also Read: Can a Car Be Totaled Twice? Uncovering the Surprising Facts

Before driving your car after it has fallen off a jack, it is essential to ensure that it is safe to do so. You may need to call a tow truck to transport your car to a repair shop.

Car Fell off Jack? What to Do: Quick and Friendly Guide

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I safely lift my car after it has fallen off the jack?

  1. Ensure the vehicle is on level ground.
  2. Use a low-profile floor jack to get underneath the car.
  3. Position the jack at the appropriate lifting point.

What are the potential damages when a car falls off the jack?

  • Damage to the vehicle’s frame or bodywork
  • Damage to suspension or undercarriage components
  • Damage to components like the exhaust system or oil pan

How can I prevent my car from falling off the jack in the future

  • Use a sturdy, vehicle-specific jack
  • Ensure the jack and jack stands are rated for your car’s weight
  • Chock wheels to prevent movement

What safety measures should I take while using a jack?

  • Never work under a car supported only by a jack
  • Use jack stands rated for your car’s weight
  • Ensure even weight distribution during lifting

What are the best types of jack stands for added security?

  • Ratchet-style jack stands
  • Pin-type jack stands
  • Tripod stands with a locking mechanism
TypeProsCons
Ratchet-styleEasy-to-use, adjustable heightMay have less weight capacity
Pin-typeHigh weight capacity, very stableLess convenient height adjustment
Tripod with lockingProvides added stability and securityBulkier, may be less portable

Conclusion

Understanding the correct procedures for using car jacks and the importance of proper jack selection is crucial for ensuring the safety of both your vehicle and yourself.
Taking necessary precautions, such as using appropriate jack lift points, stabilizing the car with jack stands, and performing regular maintenance, can prevent potential damages and accidents.

With these guidelines in mind, car owners can confidently handle car jack incidents and prioritize safety on the road.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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