How To Jack A Car: A Guide To Lifting Your Vehicle

If you need to change a tire or perform maintenance on the underside of your car, you’ll need to know how to jack a car safely and effectively. In this article, we’ll cover the steps you need to take to lift your car off the ground and get the job done. Whether you’re a seasoned mechanic or a novice DIYer, this guide will help you get the job done right.

Choosing the Right Jack

Before you start, you need to make sure you have the right jack for the job. There are several types of jacks available, but the most common are hydraulic jacks and scissor jacks. Hydraulic jacks are more heavy-duty and can lift larger vehicles, while scissor jacks are typically used for smaller cars. Make sure you choose a jack that can handle the weight of your car.

Preparing Your Vehicle

Before you start lifting your car, you need to make sure it’s in a safe and stable position. Park your car on a flat surface and engage the parking brake. If you’re working on a slope, use wheel chocks to prevent the car from rolling. Also, make sure your car is in gear (or in park) and the engine is turned off.

Locating the Jacking Points

Every car has specific jacking points where the jack should be placed. These are usually marked in your owner’s manual or on the underside of the car. Make sure you locate these points before you start lifting your car. Placing the jack in the wrong spot can damage your car’s frame or suspension.

Positioning the Jack

Once you’ve located the jacking points, position the jack so that it’s in the correct spot. Make sure the jack is centered and straight before you start lifting. You can also use a piece of wood between the jack and your car’s frame to prevent damage.

Raising the Car

With the jack in position, use the handle to start raising the car. Make sure the jack is lifting straight up and not at an angle. Keep lifting until the car is high enough off the ground to perform the maintenance or change the tire.

Securing the Car

Once the car is lifted, you need to secure it in place using jack stands. Never rely on the jack alone to hold up your car. Place the jack stands under the jacking points and lower the car onto the stands. Double-check that the car is stable and secure before you start working.

Performing Maintenance

Now that your car is safely lifted and secured, you can perform the necessary maintenance or repairs. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual or repair guide to complete the job.

Lowering the Car

Once you’ve finished working, it’s time to lower the car back down to the ground. Use the jack handle to slowly lower the car until it’s resting on the ground. Remove the jack stands and lower the car the rest of the way.

Storing the Jack

After you’ve finished using your jack, make sure you store it properly. Clean any dirt or debris off the jack and store it in a dry, cool place. This will help prevent rust and other damage.


Q: Can I use a scissor jack to lift a larger vehicle?

A: No, scissor jacks are typically only designed for smaller cars. If you need to lift a larger vehicle, you’ll need to use a hydraulic jack or other heavy-duty jack.

Q: Do I need to use jack stands?

A: Yes, you should always use jack stands to secure your car when it’s lifted. Never rely on the jack alone to hold up your car.

Q: What if my car doesn’t have jacking points?

A: If your car doesn’t have designated jacking points, you’ll need to use a special adapter that’s designed for your vehicle.


Learning how to jack a car is an essential skill for any car owner. By following these simple steps, you can safely lift and secure your vehicle for maintenance or repairs. Make sure you choose the right jack for the job, locate the jacking points, and always use jack stands to keep your car stable and secure. With a little practice, you’ll be able to lift your car with confidence and get the job done right.