Auto Service: Why You Need to Maintain Your Car

Welcome to my blog. My name is Ken. One day, I was driving home from work when the engine in my car failed. While I waited for the recovery truck to arrive, I realised I didn’t have a clue what went on underneath the bonnet of my car. I signed up for an auto service course at my local community college, so I could gain the skills I needed to properly maintain my car and repair it if something when wrong while I was on the road. I wanted to start a blog to pass on these skills to other people so that they can look after their automobiles.

Safety Tips for Using Hydraulic Jacks During Home Car Repairs


If you're using a hydraulic jack to lift your car up so you can do a repair, you need to exercise caution. Wondering what tips can keep you safe? Take a look at these tips.

1. Use the Right Size Jack

Safety starts with choosing the correct size of jack. Make sure that the jack is designed to work with your model of vehicle and to accommodate your vehicle's weight. If you plan to climb under the car or even just reach your hands under a tyre to change it, the wrong jack could drop the car, crushing your body or your hand.

2. Check for Leaking Hydraulic Fluid

Before using the jack, look it over to make sure that it doesn't have any visible issues. In particular, with hydraulic jacks, make sure that they are not leaking any hydraulic fluid. Without the correct levels of fluid in the chamber, the jack won't work.

3. Only Use Jacks on Smooth Surfaces

To reduce the risk of the jack tipping over or not balancing the weight of the car correctly, it needs to be on a stable surface. Ideally, that means a smooth concrete driveway or the floor of a garage. If you have to work on your car on a gravel driveway or another not-so-smooth surface, consider stabilising the jack with a board.

A square piece of plywood can work perfectly if you're just doing a little job like changing a tyre. If you are using jack stands, use a long piece of timber, and place it under the vehicle so that it runs from side to side. The board should be longer than the car is wide, and the edges should stick out either side. Then, put two jack stands equidistant from each other, on the board. The extra length will help dissipate the weight so the board doesn't sink into the gravel.

3. Use Jack Stands for Major Repairs

When you are changing a flat tyre, a small scissor jack can work perfectly. However, if you are doing major repairs under the vehicle, you should not rely on a hydraulic jack to hold the vehicle in place. Instead, jack up the car.

Then, slide under a few jack stands. You will have to initially raise the car higher than the jack stands to accommodate them. After the jack stands are in the correct position, lower your hydraulic jack so that the vehicle is resting on the jack stands. Then, you can move the jack out of the way so you have more room to access the vehicle.


28 April 2017