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Lift jacks for passenger cars/van

I would like to know - what lift jack is ideal for passenger cars for changing oil and flat tires. My son who is 18 would like to have one in his car. He has little knowledge of the basics - he took classes in his school.

Please advise - thanks


You don’t EVER use a jack by itself for changing oil; that’s a quick way to get yourself killed. To change oil you either use ramps that you drive the car on to get the front higher, or you jack up the car and put JACKSTANDS under neath.

The ramps are strongly preferred; they are much quicker and stable; I have used them for years.

To change a tire, use the one that came with the car; if it’s missing the best thing is to go to a wrecking yard and pick one up for that model car. It’s important to use the jacking points on the underside of the car; that’s why I recommned one that is the same as the original.

Please advise your son on the dangers of improperly raising a car for any underside work.

Hi Docknick
Thanks for your quick reply - Did have a long talk with him re the danger of improperly raising the car. He uses the ramps at home to change oil for all our cars (3)regularly - Re the jack we don’t have one in his car- was thinking of getting a Torin 2 ton trolley jack which is on sale at Advance Auto parts for $ 20.
He wont have to go under a car for changing the tire if needed -
Yes you are right - kids dont think of taking chances.

In that case, any floor jack for sale at Walmart or an auto parts store should be fine. Some of them come packaged with jack stands and a creeper.

I have seen people carry a small floor jack in the trunk. It can make changing a flat a lot easier than using a stock jack, and in fact, safer if you also carry a jack stand to use. Just make sure everything is secured so it doesn’t become a projectile in a collision.

Thanks Ron; It’s important to use the designated jacking points on the car’s underbody. Those are reinforced areas. The jack has to match these areas. If not you could do damage to the underbody.

Agree that a heavy hydraulic jack needs to be SECURED in the trunk; in case of a collison the jack will go right through the backseat and cause severe injury.