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Raising vehicle at pinch weld

Maybe '09 Hyundai Elantra

I need to raise car at pinch weld. Read/seen a lot about this, never done it. Haynes/Hyundai manuals say to look for the tabs/indents on the rocker. Having matched the scissor jack to various indents/tabs/undersurface depressions it is unclear if:

  • force is applied directly at the vertical edge of the weld OR it goes along for the ride, untouched
  • parts of the undersurface carry all force
  • some combination of the above
  • how jack is supposed to align

For instance, should the scissor jack nestle into a cavity? This scissor mating surface has a slot for the weld and two unequal surfaces on either side of the slot. Best I can tell, there’s a flat spot under and inside where the weld will ride in the scissor, the inner car surface gets pushed up on the one side of the scissor, and the outer scissor doesn’t touch anything.

I plan to make a cushion out of a hockey puck and use it in the cup of a 2-1/4 ton jack. I have pics but they are not clear enough. I know I might find a cushion commercially if I look hard enough.

the car jack has a vee. the shape pushes on pinch weld and touches the adjacent metal. when rust weakens area you will see the entire area start to compress and deform. but a new car should have no visible deformation. using a rubber pad with a notch is a good idea if you use an aftermarket jack. but over time, even this jack will cause to area to deform due to rust. using any jack on 1 load point is a road side emergency situation. shops lift at the frame rails. which is where i lift at my house. i do not like to lift using any suspension points

@Cavell I intended to support the car at the frame rails - raising from the frame rail means finding a spot out of the way so the jack stand can be slid into place - do-able, but - also means raising the entire side at once, I think, if accessibility were being maximized.

I had a 91 Buick that was designed like that - the v-groove in the jack was supposed to lift the pinch weld strip. First time I used it, the strip folded over. Bought a floor jack and put it under the frame instead.

yeah, I always use small floor jacks, life s too short to use the ones supplied with the vehicle

+1 for @wesw as I do not use those scissors jacks either. I remove them as soon as I buy a vehicle that has one. I have a collection of them just rusting in my garage.

I have no problem using the scissors jack for emergencies, but for regular maintenance at home, I cut a slot in a short piece of 2x4 to fit over the pinch weld and set it on top of the floor jack. Then I support the vehicle with jack stands on a strong point on the body/frame or subframe/engine cradle.

Thank you citizens - I would emphasize that the question is not about the scissor jack, which I will sub with a floor jack, but the surface on the car that any jack has to press into. The scissor jack was used only to ascertain where the car has to be lifted.

I was shoeing horses on Saturday at a farm and they had a flat on their car.

As I watched them raise the car (didn’t note the make/model), I could see this little scissors jack twisting and bending out of shape. I made them stop, pointed out the problem, and went and got my jack out of my Dakota. Even though it’s still a scissors jack, it kept it’s shape and lifted the car with ease.
Seeing as how the car was already off the ground, I went ahead and found the leak and plugged it.

This was a pretty new little car and I can’t believe how poor of a jack they put in these things.

It’s just ax shame that they put such junk for people to use in the way of a jack. Most people don’t know how to correctly jack up their car…so the manufacturers are really putting peoples lives in danger.

As for the OP goes. Look at the owners manual and it will show the jacking points. There also may be a large sticker on the panel that covers the spare tire. Or it could be in the glove box or on the trunk lid. Possibly right next to where you got the jack out from!!!


Correct me if I’m wrong but on a unibody, I don’t think there is any other place to jack on the side except for the pinch weld areas? There is no frame really. On my old Riv, rust took its toll and the jack went through the pinch weld area. I carried a 2x4 just in case I had to jack it up on the road but it was clear its days were numbered. I watch for any indication of rust now. I just cleaned some surface rust and did the por 15 treatment on my 09. I wish there was something solider than the pinch welds but think that is is.

You can jack up just about any place if you spread the load out enough. My normal mode of operation is to use a 12" or so length of scrap 2x4 on top of my hydraulic jack saddle. That board is positioned so it runs parallel to the length of the rail that comprises the pinch weld but back far enough so that the jack stand can sit under the pinch weld. Never had any deformation occur at all on any of my cars using this approach.

You can purchase/fabricate a jack adapter for pinch welds.

My lift comes with four hard rubber pads for each arm. Each pad has a groove for the pinch weld so the vehicle can be lifted in that area.


I use a common floor jack to jack at the pinch weld on my uni-body cars. It lifts both wheels at the same time if you choose the jack point properly. It allows the parking brake to hold the car while until I put jack stands under the jacking points on the pinch weld. I then go to the other side and jack that the came way.

It is the only way to jack up my S2000 as it is too low to jack the front and the exhaust hangs under the differential, the only jacking point, at the rear.

But this is with a 1.5 ton floor jack and not a screw-type scissors jack. I never recommend using the jack that came with the car if you have an alternative.

update : been raising the car a lot by now, using that pinch weld. If you care careful, it works ok in the front. Seems not to bend the metal as judged with a straightedge. I use a hockey puck with a slice 1/2-way through the face to go between the jack and the pinch-weld. the rear seems the same, but I’m being careful. ETCG had a thing raising from the tow hook - originally thought it was stupid, but coming around now… Not sure where to put a jackstand in the rear, except for the pinch weld.

I didn’t notice this was 2 years old… sheese, where is the “cancel post” button??

I agree @Mustangman.
By bringing all these old posts to the top, all they are doing is burying the new posts where people need help now.

Besides…here in Wisconsin and the rest of the rust belt…after 10 years there is no pinch weld. At least not solid enough to put the lift arm under. I’ve crushed a few that were just a mass of rust. Thats why I like it quiet in the shop when I lift a car…listen for any crunching sounds.


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Click on the “Normal” or “Tracking” box below and select “Muted”.


JuniorMint revived a discussion that he himself started

Nevada545 is right, but you can also click up top and filter by “New” to see the new discussions. “Latest” is all recent comments, whether on a new discussion or an existing one.

Well THAT is intuitively obvious, now isn’t it! :wink: Thanks, I never would have guessed that.