Lifting your car: a guide

Whether you’re a seasoned mechanic or a DIY enthusiast, having the right tools to lift your car is essential for performing routine maintenance, inspections, and repairs. Lifting your car provides access to vital components and makes certain tasks easier and safer.

But in order to carry out these tasks, you’ll need the right tools to elevate your motor.

Why do we need to lift our cars?

By taking the time to thoroughly run checks, you can ensure your motor is running smoothly. Proper maintenance prolongs its lifespan and prevent you having to shop around for a new model.

Lifting a car is a key part of the car maintenance and repair process. Here’s why:

  1. Accessibility: Many critical components of a car, such as the engine, transmission, exhaust system, and suspension, are located beneath the vehicle. Lifting the car allows you to access these components without contorting yourself into uncomfortable positions.
  2. Safety: Working under a lifted car provides a safer environment compared to crawling underneath a vehicle that’s resting on the ground. Lifting the car with the right tools reduces the risk of accidents and injuries.
  3. Efficiency: Lifting your car can save you time and effort when performing tasks like changing brakes, inspecting the chassis, or working on the exhaust system. It allows for better visibility and easier manoeuvrability.

Types of repairs that require car lifting

There are different repairs and inspections that require the lifting of the vehicle, including:

  1. Oil changes: Lifting the car makes it easier to access the oil pan and oil filter, allowing for a cleaner and more efficient oil change.
  2. Tyre maintenance: Rotating or changing tyres is easier when the car is lifted. It also helps during tyre inspections for signs of wear or damage.
  3. Brakes: Replacing brake pads, rotors, or callipers typically requires lifting the car to access the brake assembly.
  4. Suspension work: Whether it’s replacing shocks, struts, or control arms, lifting the car ensures you have enough clearance to work on the suspension system.
  5. Exhaust repairs: Fixing exhaust leaks, replacing mufflers, or installing new exhaust components is much easier with the car raised.

Top tools for lifting your car

Now that we understand the importance of lifting a car for maintenance and repair work, let’s explore some of the top tools for the job:

  1. Hydraulic floor jack: A hydraulic floor jack is a versatile tool that can lift the entire vehicle off the ground. It’s suitable for a wide range of maintenance tasks and is easy to use.
  2. Jack stands: Always pair a hydraulic floor jack with jack stands for added safety. Once you’ve lifted the car with the jack, lower it onto the jack stands for support.
  3. Scissor jack: These compact jacks are often provided with vehicles as part of the emergency kit. While not ideal for major repairs, they can be handy for quick tire changes.
  4. Bottle jack: Bottle jacks are powerful and compact, making them suitable for lifting heavier vehicles. They are commonly used for larger trucks and SUVs.
  5. Ramp-style lifts: These are great for tasks like oil changes and inspections. Simply drive your car up the ramps, and you’ll have ample space to work underneath.

Whether you’re changing oil, inspecting the undercarriage, or tackling more significant repairs, having the right tools is essential.