The brake pad caper



I have seen many jacks “settle down” as you call it

And they’ve ALWAYS been cheapo jacks

Just imagine you got the cheapo jack stands to go along with that jack . . . I’m mentioning that, because there are many kits out there that consist of a jack and 4 jack stands

I would NOT get under a vehicle supported with those kinds of jack stands

I just wouldn’t feel safe


I find it amusing that my dad paid $600 for a (real) 2 ton floor jack, which wouldn’t fit in anyone’s trunk, and yet you can buy a (supposed) 2 ton floor jack for under $50 nowdays. Me thinks 2 ton doesn’t quite translate in Chinese.


The jack stands I bought were Duralast from Autozone (as is the torque wrench I just bought.). Box says 3 ton, and also says Manufactured to American National Standards Institute specifications, which means nothing to me.

I did note in the manual which came with it it says that the warranty is not valid in Mexico. That is strange. I am sure there is a reason for that, but I can’t even guess why. I also find it strange that Autozone would sell a product that is not warrantied by the manufacturer, in the country where they sell it.

All these different opinions, but I am at this point solidly on the side of getting a higher quality floor jack as a community/family long term investment.

I just had a horrible memory flash back. In the mid-70’s,. I lived for a while in a mobile home park. A neighbor girl’s boy friend was working on his car. He had both rear tires off, two old-fashioned bumper jacks back there, and he was under it tugging and grunting away. The car was swinging back and forth on those bumper jacks as he tugged and grunted. it was such a scary sight I had to walk away and go back in my house and turn up the radio so I couldn’t hear the screams when it fell on him. It has been written that God takes care of fools and drunks; he must have been both because he survived. One boon from God just was not enough to keep that car off him. I am sure y’all can tell similar stories.


This may sound a little strange . . . but these are a few of the things I look at, as far as jack stands go

But besides the price . . . meaning if it’s super dooper cheap, it may not be high quality . . . I also look at the welds and compare the weight

If you have two sets of 3 ton jack stands, for example, and one set weighs considerably less, that’s the one I’ll be more worried about

As for the welds, that should be self-explanatory. I’m not a welder, but on some jack stands, I can clearly recognize low quality and insubstantial welding, and I’m not going to trust my safety to that

Occasionally, NAPA sells some high quality jacks and jack stands. I’d take them, over the typical Duralast stuff


I want to live in Mexico the rest of my life. But, that does not mean there are no negatives. One of those is limited choices of products of any type. So, we are lucky to have even Autozone Duralast stuff.

I realize that really knowledgeable people might know of resources that I am unaware of, but Duralast was the only practical choice.

I have not welded since 1960. I was a Vocational Agriculture student in high school. The instructor, a WWII veteran who died with Japanese steel in his body and not that long ago, hammered every year on welding. He said a successful farmer would need to do a lot of welding. He demanded perfect welds.

He also did not expect us to memorize all sorts of feeding ratios and fertilizer rules. He said he wanted us to know where to research for ourselves, because we could expect to see everything changing every generation. And, so it has been.

I think his training was good. I remember once in the ole’ radio factory a person in management having me do some microfilm research for him. He said it would take a week. I noted when he was showing me how to do it that he was doing something really st***d, so it took me only a day and a half. :smiley:

So, back to the welding, I went out to our Big Room (approximately 1/3 of our 2850 square feet house is in one room, plenty of room for visitors and activities and a nice fireplace) and looked at them. I have seen bad welds and there were none on the one jack stand I looked at. They were probably not robot perfect, but there were no visible imperfections that I could see. And, they are heavy, made of thick steel. So, the advertised three tons may well be correct.

Thanks for tips.


I have a nice 2 ton jack i got from Auto zone a year ago under 50 bucks and i have a nice 2 and a half ton jack i got a few years ago at fleet farm. You can now get a Craftsman 2.5 ton jack on ebay for under 50 bucks shipped to your door for that price. Its not like a good jack should cost a few weeks pay.


Unless you’re talking like the jacks that raise the entire car up in the air like the service stations.



Sorry, buddy

A new good jack costs considerably more than 50 bucks



That depends on what you think a good jack is. If it raised the car up and down like it should and the wheels move like should its a good jack. What is it that makes the Craftsman jack a poor jack from the ebay ad for under 50 bucks.


I have some old screwdrivers and wrenches that are cheap garbage. I think I got them when I didn’t have much money, and I just hung onto them, over the years

Even at the time I got them, I knew they were cheap garbage. But I couldn’t afford better, at the time

They’re in my garage, in a drawer, and don’t see much use anymore

They get the job done, on the few occasions I use them

But it doesn’t change the fact they’re cheap garbage

You could buy a Chevy Aveo, and just because it gets you from point A to point B, does NOT mean it’s a good car


That’s not an answer to the question. That is a deflection. The question was

That seems to me like a direct question that deserves a direct metaphor-free answer.


My floor jack and jack stands aren’t Craftsman brand, but they’re the same style as these:

I am quite satisfied with them. The jack is small enough to fit in my Civic’s trunk next to the spare tire. It sure does speed up the process when I have to use a spare. I left it at home once and had to use the stock scissor jack, and it took me nearly 45 minutes to change a flat. When I have the floor jack and use a jack stand, it takes me less than ten minutes.


I think, given the kind of use that @irlandes expects from a jack, he is probably looking at one that will cost 2-3 weeks income. I have two of those $50 jacks, which I use at home, but if I am lucky enough to be able to do my work in town, I’ll use my dads, which has a 12" x 48" footprint, and about an 18" lift, and can easily lift the side of a car - great for rotating tires. I still back it up with jack stands, even though it’s far superior to the budget ones. I don’t think @db4690 is cutting anyone down for buying one of the less expensive, he’s just pointing out there are better options out there. It just depends how much of a workout one is going to get.


OldCars nails it. That is exactly what I am thinking. I want a floor jack that has little statistical odds of simply letting the car settle down while you are putting in the jack stands, as is reported on many cheaper jacks. And, hopefully will give service for considerable time, since I expect it to go to my heirs (or fastest neighbor.)

I do like the idea of Whitey’s jack, small and light enough to carry with me, for emergency use on the highway. I do not like the scissors jack very much. As he says, they are very slow. And, they are definitely not highly stable nor safe. So, a low quality floor jack is not a bad option for changing tires. But, it is not in the category for working on a vehicle. And, based on reviews, I am not even sure they are safe for changing tires on the highway. But, in over 50 years of driving, I have never had a scissors or bumper jack let the car down without warning.

But. I do not know about 2 - 3 weeks pay. I make more than that, heh, heh. I have not yet shopped for a floor jack, except two days ago. I had to go back to Tehuacan, and walked over to Autozone to buy a car syringe. AZ floor jacks were Duralast and maxxed out around $130. I am thinking in the $200-300 price range, not the $1000 price range. I am going to look for the brand DB recommended in McAllen when I go back to renew my d/l in March. I might go a big higher, but not over $1000.

I do not consider myself the Great White Savior as too many North Americans do in Mexico. But, as a retired Senior Electronics tech and diagnostician, there are some things I can and do teach them.

House wiring in rural Mexico has been a pair of light gray wires, no identification of current or return. I had them wire my house using US wire codes, and discovered later Mexico has its own color code, but out here in the boonies no one ever heard of such a thing. I bought most, not all, of the devices at Home Depot in McAllen and imported them, so I have very close to American quality wiring. The cousin has learned the importance of grounded devices, and preserving polarity. He even asked me for a GFI (ground fault interruptor) for his kitchen when he re -wired his house to make it safer.

When we started out, we had around 40 volts on our ground wire, and the other one was over 160 volts. Now we have 126 and 0 volts.

I also loaned them my Stihl 210 chain saw and after some months, the son in Chicago sent them money to buy their own. And, I taught them basic techniques to fix problems when it failed. Now, they are better at it than I am.

In general these are clever people albeit with minimal resources. But when they see a better way within their resources, they adapt very fast. And, that is what I hope to accomplish with a good floor jack, a safer way to work on their cars. With me supplying the long-term resources. One each floor jack of quality good enough to be shared by all. Thanks


I am hoping your question was answered. If not, the point is those cheaper jacks are statistically much more likely to fail and put the user at risk. Period.


Hey, Whitey

Let’s just forget it

This is going nowhere

But I’m not changing my position


A diy’er question about floor jacks I’ve wondered about: What is the chances one will fail completely and the car will come crashing down unexpectedly? I’ve heard that when they start to wear out, the symptom is that the car may slowly lower after jacking it up, but never have I heard of one completely failing and the car come crashing down. Is that something that happens sometimes?


I like your style



Depends on the type of jack. Your comment about the car lowering slowly applies to hydraulic jacks. Scissor jacks can fall over and come crashing down. The difference is that with a hydraulic jack it lowers slowly onto your chest until you can no longer breath and suffocate slowly. A scissor jack falls over and breaks your sternum. You die more quickly.

NEVER get under a vehicle supported only by ANY type of jack. Use good quality jack stands and be certain that the car is stable and solidly supported. People die every year from getting under cars supported only by jacks. By the time you realize you’re being crushed/suffocated, you’re screwed. IT AIN’T WORTH THE RISK!!! I use ramps for most jobs, and if I use jack stands I leave the jacks there as backups only. I believe the molded ramps to be safer, as I’ve heard of metal jacks collapsing. Use ramps rated at at least twice the weight you expect to put on them.