Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Jack stands dropping car on you

I saw a video where a guy talks about jack stands releasing themselves and dropping the car on you. How much of a concern is this do you think? I bought a pair of torin 3 ton jack stands from walmart today and set them in position and then gave them a good wack and they dropped several inches and it concerns me. It did it a few more times and it held but it shouldn’t drop ever in my opinion. It seems crazy there is no back up mechanism to jack stands like a pin. I have looked around for jack stands with pins and can’t find any locally. It almost seems safer to leave the car on the jack and use the jack stands as backup then to put the car directly on the jack stands.

For starters . . .

Torin products are not what I would consider high quality

I would never get under a vehicle held up by Torin jack stands

I recommend Craftsman or better

Ideally, you would get Lincoln jack stands . . . I think they’re called “Hein Werner” nowadays. They’re still blue and yellow, and built in the USA

They had great reviews online that’s why I got the torin ones.

Ratcheted jackstand, yikes! Who could have seen the potential disaster, Oh yeah, not osha approved.

What kind of jack stands do you use?

I have the ones with the pins, and also ramps. Old stuff 3k lb capacity if I recall these

1 Like

Where did you get the ones with the pins?

Probably NAPA but do not recall for sure, at least 30 years ago.

I’ve never seen a ratcheting jack stand fail.

And I don’t see evidence of failure of the jack stand in the video.

But i have seen the jack stands where they take a metal tube and slit it into three legs, and then weld a brace at the bottom fail.


1 Like

He said it didn’t fail or break it released itself.

@tester am glad you have never seen them fail, imagine a guy inder a car reconnoitering and happened to kick it loose, but I am not under cars much any more, but the video did state non OSHA approved. Guess they MIGHT be okay as NAPA has a bunch of them for sale, but I am set for now.

When you hit the jackstands and they fell, was there a vehicle on them or were they freestanding? If there wasn’t a load on them, that is not a valid test.

I have had one pair fail on me. They were very much like the ones in Testers picture. They were rated for 2 tons each so I thought they would be OK for the rear of a car whose rear end weighed about 1 ton. The jack started dropping the rear a little too fast and when it hit the jackstands the legs just splayed out like they were made from wet noodles.

Went back and got 3 ton rated stands.

1 Like

I don’t see how that can happen.

When you lift up on a ratchet jack stand, the pawl hooks onto the rack. Then when the weight of the vehicle is placed on the rack, it forces the pawl against the rack preventing rack from dropping. And there’s no way to move the handle for the pawl.

Only when the weight is removed from rack, can the handle be moved for the pawl to lower the jack stand.



If I had a jack stand that dropped a few inches when I whacked it all that would concern me is how fast can I return them.

I don’t see how this can happen unless the jack stand was defective or not properly placed under the car. In which case it doesn’t matter whether or not it is OSHA approved. The weight of the car will prevent the jack from collapsing.

I have a couple pair of the ratcheting kind, never had them drop a mm. Once they are loaded up with the weight of the car I mean. I I’ve never tried whacking them to see what happened though. The kind I have are more sturdy looking than the ones in the photos in this thread. Legs and parts seem like they are all made of thicker steel in mine than the photos. The downside is they are really heavy.

Edit: I have a third pair, the kind where you put a pin through them, which I seldom use b/c the ratcheting kind are much easier to adjust.

Ratcheting jack stands are pretty much the norm

And good ones do not just crumple and/or fail in some other way


I watched the video to see if there was something in it that refutes my numerous decades of using ratcheting jack stands. NOPE. I heard a story once…is not evidence that they can/will fail under normal use. It’s some hearsay rumor about it and, from my experience, completely unfounded. Once engaged, the weight of the load actually forces them to engage even harder. Unless you bought some pot metal hunk of junk at a flea market, I doubt you’ll ever see one fail…

There are good Jack stands and bad jack stands. I’ve owned both over the years. One cheap set I owned lasted almost an hour.

1 Like

I’ve got a total of 10 2 ton ratchet stands that I’ve collected over 35 years or so. I have never ever had a problem with any of them and they were cheap. Had 2 of the through-pin-type and pitched them years ago. But then I use lots of stands. Usually 4 to hold up a 1.75 ton car and sometimes 6 under a 2.25 ton truck.

I rock the car to look for instability before I get under it. I’m still alive. Never had one fail. Floor jacks, now THOSE have failed. 2 of mine were leakers. A buddy had one pop and drop the car while he was jacking it. I use double support, jack and stands when I need to use the cheater pipe to bust a nut loose.