How To Use Jack/Axle Stands

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When I first jacked up my car, I had no idea where to put the axle stands.

Even a Haynes manual wasn’t very clear!

So I’ve put this guide together to save you the headache I had.

If you have any questions. Don’t hesitate to send me a message or comment down below.

Requirements:

  • Jack – The jack needs to be able to lift your vehicle high enough to fit the axle stands under. It must also be rated for the weight of your car.
  • Axle Stands – Ensure the jack/axle stands are rated to greater than the weight of your car.
  • Chocks – Only needed if you are jacking up one end of the car or the rear end only.

Step 1: Find a solid, even surface

Jacking up your car on an uneven surface is asking for trouble.

Don’t do it.

Step 2: Check your owners manual

Every car should come with an owners manual. If not, you may be able to find it online.

Your owners manual should provide you with all the information needed to raise your car.

Step 3: Apply the handbrake

Before you begin to jack up your car, ensure you firmly apply your handbrake.

This will prevent the car from rolling whilst you are jacking it up.

Warning: Chocks are essential when lifting the rear of the car. There is a chance that the car could roll forward even with the handbrake on.

Step 4: Jack up the vehicle

Many cars come with a jack but I guarantee it will not raise the car high enough to fit an axle stand under.

Assuming you already have a trolley jack. Begin to jack up the car following the guidance of the owners manual.

If you are having a hard time finding the jacking points, they are usually indicated by a notch under the sill.

Keep in mind that your car will move whilst being lifted, so make sure the jack isn’t in a position where it can slide off.

Step 5: Position the axle/jack stand

Now you’ve got the car on the jack, it’s time to place the axle stand.

Depending on what work you’re doing, you have a few options of where to place them.

  • Sill
  • Chassis rails
  • Wishbone bushing
  • Subframe

I would recommend avoiding the sill if possible as it is not the strongest place to put them.

Warning: Do not place the axle stands under weak places like the floorpan. You won’t like the outcome, I promise.

Step 6: Lower & remove the jack

Once axle stands are positioned under the car, slowly lower the jack until the car is resting on the stands.

The key here is to lower the jack as slow as you can.

Step 7: Check the axle/jack stands

Ensure the axle stands are sitting correctly.

Feel free to give the car a nudge, it shouldn’t budge. But if it does, jack it back up again and reposition the stands.

Step 8: Use chocks

If you are only jacking up one end of the car, use chocks as an extra precaution.

I definitely recommend using chocks if you are only jacking up the rear end.

TL;DR

Step 1: Find an even, solid surface to jack up your car

Step 2: Check your owners manual for a guide on raising the vehicle

Step 3: Apply the handbrake and use chocks if you’re only raising the rear

Step 4: Using the jacking points found in your owner’s manual, jack up the car

Step 5: Position the axle stands on either the sill, chassis rail, wishbone bushings or subframe

Step 6: Slowly lower and remove the jack

Step 7: Ensure the axle stands are positioned correctly and the car is stable

Step 8: Use chocks if you are only jacking up one end of the vehicle

Conclusion

There’s not a lot to it. If you are still struggling to find where to put the stands or where to put the jack, send me a message. I’ll be happy to help.

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