Every motorist must have a jack – this is an indispensable device when changing a wheel and not only. It is necessary to select a jack strictly in accordance with your vehicle, otherwise you risk overpaying or buying an unsuitable tool. We will tell you more about all the subtleties in this material.
The whole variety of jacks can be classified into several groups: by type of construction, installation method, application of force. Ease of use, reliability, cost and other parameters depend on this.
So that you do not get confused in such a wide variety, we have prepared a separate material on the types of jacks. It describes in detail the advantages and disadvantages of each hotel type.
Maximum load capacity
This is the main parameter that should be correlated with the mass of your vehicle. Some models of hydraulic jacks are capable of lifting up to 100 tons. Screw and rack on average offer a load capacity of up to two tons, and more expensive hydraulic bottles – up to 6-15 tons.
When choosing the lifting capacity of the jack, you should take a parameter greater than the mass of your car. Although in most cases it is only necessary to raise one side of the machine, it is recommended to take a jack with a margin of 15-20% in terms of load capacity. This will compensate for things in the trunk and other transported goods. If you plan to use a jack for several cars, then focus on a car with a larger mass.
This parameter determines to what height from the ground (fulcrum) the jack is able to lift the load. For most models, this parameter varies in the range of 30–50 cm.
How to determine the required height – here it is enough to add the ride height and the height of the tire profile. In most cases, the result of this formula is sufficient to complete a tire change. If you are also going to repair the suspension, then add another 10-15 centimeters to this parameter.
Type Average maximum lifting height, mm
Screw rhombic up to 390
Bottle up to 515
Bottle two-rod up to 570
Rolling up to 680pickup height
This is the minimum distance from the ground that the grapple can drop. Similar calculations apply here – measure the ground clearance at the door sill (P1) and the wheel profile height (P2). Next, subtract the second from the first digit – and get the desired pickup height.
The subtraction must be carried out to take into account those cases when the punctured wheel is completely flat and the ground clearance of the car will decrease.
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In a sports car, the pickup height is usually less than 10 cm, for ordinary cars it is an average of 15 cm, for crossovers and minibuses – 20 cm, an SUV – 25 cm, trucks, buses and special equipment – from 30 cm or more.
All jacks are metal, but many manufacturers specify a specific material. For passenger cars, aluminum models are quite suitable – they are quite strong and light. For heavy equipment, you will need a steel jack, while paying attention to the presence of galvanized parts and anti-corrosion coating – these are additional advantages.
You can rarely find cast iron jacks – they are massive, heavy and more suitable for use in the garage, and not for transportation in the trunk.
Dimensions and weight
If you choose a jack for your car, it is important that it is light enough and does not take up much space in the trunk. The most compact are screw diamond-shaped and telescopic models – they fit easily in the luggage compartment and weigh an average of 1.5-4 kilograms. Bottled single and double rods are also compact, but weigh 2-8 kilograms, depending on the load capacity.
Rack and roll models are not the best choice – they are heavy, and some overall jacks, due to their length, will not even fit in the trunk of a car.
To increase safety and ease of use, it is recommended to pay attention to other features of the jack:
Rubber protective pad. Reduces the risk of damage to the car body.
Additional supports and wheel chocks – may be supplied with some expensive jack models.
Removable lever. The collapsible design is easier to fit in the trunk of a car.
Adapter for drill or screwdriver. Useful together with screw jacks, where rotational movements can be done with an electric tool.
Case. Another useful accessory that can be included.
For owners of passenger cars, crossovers and minivans, screw and bottle jacks are suitable. Do not forget to correctly calculate the load capacity, lifting height and pickup. In most cases, for cars, a model with a carrying capacity of up to two tons is enough , but if you have a large crossover or minivan, look for jacks with a margin of up to three tons.
For lovers of cross-country driving, a rack jack is suitable – it has a large lifting height, and will also help you get out of the rut, since you can even pick up a car through a power bumper.
Vans and trucks will need a hydraulic bottle jack capable of lifting five tons or more. If you are buying a jack for stationary use in a garage, service or tire shop, take a closer look at rolling models .
Do not forget about all kinds of useful accessories – they will significantly increase the convenience, safety of changing tires and more.