Working on your car brings a lot of satisfaction. You get lots of enjoyment seeing your dream become real in front of your own eyes. However, it might be challenging for those who do not have a lot of experience in mechanics. In fact, some might to costly mistakes while performing the most basic tasks.
Jacking up your car is not that difficult. You have to park on level ground, engage parking brake, use chocks to prevent rolling and find a suitable jacking point. Car manufacturers provide several of these points. However, you have to own a good floor jack. That one that you use to mount a spare wheel is not suitable for working on your car – it is just not stable enough. Therefore, get yourself a floor jack, couple of oversized jack stands and make sure you are as safe as possible. If you are not confident in your skills and your car doesn’t seem to be completely stable, do not go under it. Your life is more valuable than whatever the appropriate car shop is going to ask for the job.
If you are not using factory jacking points, you are doing it wrong and you may pay the price. On one hand, you may be jacking a weak point of the body of the car. This could result in a bent or broken floorpan. You can also break or bend suspension components, which is not a good thing either. And in more extreme cases you can even bend your door.
Bullets Garage channel on Youtube had lots of videos about modifying a white Lexus GSF. It’s a great sporty sedan, which a roaring V8. Pretty good stock, if you ask us, but the owner decided to modify it. He made it louder, made some cosmetic changes and then decided to make it even louder still. This required jacking it up and deleting some exhaust system components.
And so GSF slowly reversed onto some ramps and the owner began jacking it up with a floor jack. However, the problem was that his jack was too short (or not low enough profile) to avoid touching the sideskirts. And so the guy used a couple of hockey pucks stacked on top of each other. He started jacking up his car and then BAM! Lexus slid of the jack.
Jack’s arm broke through the sideskirt and bent the passenger side door. Ouch. Man didn’t have anything else to do, except repeat “Oh my god” over and over again as his heart was falling in pieces. But what went wrong?
Well, the tools weren’t the best. But also he didn’t look to make sure the jack is under a jacking point. And it wasn’t. The car was cracking and crumbling until one of the pucks, which was only partially on the jack pad, slid of and the disaster happened.
Lessons learned? Hopefully. Not a big deal – you can fix your car, but you cannot fix yourself. So next time look to make sure you are jacking in a correct place. Use the best tools you can afford. And always check twice before getting yourself under a car.