Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

How to properly jack you're car up

Was wondering how to properly jack up a car and if all cars are the same when doing this

What is this mystery car . … . ?


body on frame?

independent rear suspension?

solid rear axle?

The advice really depends on what you have

+1 to Db’s post… and here’s some more letters for the absurd minimum post size requirement. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

1 Like

Well for 2000 vw beetle and a 2010 vw jetta

Not to be the department of redundancy, check the owner manual, or look the manual up online.

1 Like

First place to look is in the owners manual for that vehicle. There are predetermined jacking points for the inadequate factory supplied jack. You can use these same points for a more robust jack.

If you are changing a flat and not getting under the car, the factory jack is OK. I cannot remember the last time I used the factory jack (30+years ago?), I use a hydraulic floor jack with a pump handle. If I am doing more than rotating tires, I always place supports under the frame and gently lower the car to just touch the supports before I get under.

1 Like

Well I’m trying to set it on cinder blocks so I can go under and to work on my brakes

That is a whole different question. Cinder blocks are not generally recommended. Jack stands are the norm, not familiar enough with the cars to make a recommendation.

Well Jack stands I will have to get one more then I only have 3

sounds like a suicide mission you are on, trying to work on a car while on cinder blocks. What’s wrong with doing one wheel at a time, instead of taking risks?

Well that’s what I’m using now for the beetle I just wanted to try something else because I was thinking the same thing was just checking for a faster way

There has been a lot of people killed or hurt badly by getting under a car supported by cinder blocks.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to use them. Lots of people will turn the block so that the smooth sides are on the top and bottom, and the holes are on the sides. This means a lot of the car’s weight is being supported by the small amount of material the tire is sitting on above the holes. That material collapses into the hole and the car falls. The correct way to use one of those blocks is to have the holes running up and down, and the smooth sides on the side.

Having said all that, there is no way I would ever, even for a moment, get under a car supported by cider blocks.

2 jackstands with a floor jack is my max. 4 jackstands is above my comfort level. Start with the rear on 2 with a floor jack because you need to bleed those first, my suggestion.

I strongly urge you NOT to use cinder blocks. They can and do crumble under the weight of a car concentrated on the small surface that’s in contact with the block.

Spend a few bucks and get a set of good quality jack stands, rated well above what you think you need. Use them on a level, hard surface, holding the car up at the lifting points designated in the owner’s manual.

Another thing to avoid is holding the car up using the jack. Never ever ever get under a car elevated by only the jack(s). People die that way. I use the jackstands and leave the jacks as backups.

And ALWAY ensure that the car is stable. If you’re not jacking up all the corners, use chocks on the wheels still on the ground.

And if you’re unsure, DON’T DO IT.

Thanks everyone i will look for better option which will be better quality jack stands I was just trying to get it up high enough and thought the cinder blocks was a better option only because I’ve seen my grandfather use in the past with no issues

It’s not faster putting 4 wheels on cinder blocks. I bet I can raise and lower all 4 wheels individually faster than you can put them up and take them off cinder blocks.

True lol I’m learning

I recommend at least Craftsman quality jack stands

Sears has particularly good deals on “club saver” days . . . it would also be a good time to pick up socket sets and wrench sets on sale

I would go there but for some reason they shut down

I had read that Sears has closed a LOT of their stores, the “Sears hometown” stores being particularly hard hit

I may be wrong about this . . . but I seem to remember the napa blue and yellow jack stands are acceptable quality

I would not trust my life to harbor fake jacks and/or jack stands, however