What Size Jack Do I Need for My Car?
What size jack do I need for my car? This is one of the most common questions asked by new car owners, especially if it’s their first time buying a jack. The size will depend on several factors, and you cannot simply buy any type of jack on the market. Jacks have different weight capacities, so you need to be very meticulous when choosing one, else risk wasting your money.
If you are planning to get a car jack, allow us to help you out. Listed below are the different types of car jack options you have as well as the factors to consider when choosing the size of car jack for your arsenal.
Different Types of Car Jack
Car jacks are available in four different types: scissor jacks, floor jacks, bottle jacks, and hi-lift jacks. These all have the same job, which is to lift cars and trucks so that it will be possible to work on their repairs or maintenance.
Even though they all work the same, finding the right jack for your car can be a bit difficult because different circumstances call for a specific jack. Here are your options:
1. Scissor Jack
This is probably the most common type of jack as it usually comes with the purchase of a new car. This is designed to help you change a flat tire, especially when you experience one while on the road. This jack is usually stored in the car’s trunk, along with the spare tire.
Scissor jacks are very small and lightweight, so they are not too hard to fit in the trunk of your car. As a matter of fact, they won’t even take too much space as they are very compact.
Scissor jacks are only used for tire replacement since it is not strong enough to hold the car for a very long time. For safety purposes, you cannot use a scissor jack if you want to check something under your car.
2. Floor Jack
Floor jacks are commonly known as garage jacks, trolley jacks, or service jacks because they are only suited for the garage or the workshop. They are too big and too heavy to be placed at the back of your car, so it won’t be a good idea to bring them anywhere. If you want something that you can take with you, a scissor jack would fit perfectly.
Unlike scissor jacks, a floor jack is used by wheeling and sliding it under your car. Once the jack is already in the right position, you will have to pump the arm of the unit until the saddle arm of the jack pushes the car upward. This type of jack has a valve that you just need to release to bring your car down slowly.
3. Bottle Jack
A bottle jack or whiskey jack is a type of hydraulic jack, and it is also one of the most popular in the market. It is called a bottle jack because it resembles a whiskey jug or bottle. It is completely different from a regular jack because it only has a single lift rod that would act as the piston.
This jack is very easy to use. You just put the jack on the right position and pump the arm of the jack. These jacks usually have a lift capacity of 50 tons, so they are definitely made for trucks and other vehicles that are quite heavy.
4. High-Lift Jacks
High-lift jacks are not very common since they are only used for off-road or farming vehicles. They are made from a pair of climbing pins. To use this, you simply need to pump the mechanism, and it will lift the vehicle.
What Size Jack Do I Need for My Car?
The size of the jack will depend solely on the type of car you are using and its ground clearance. We already discussed the different types of jacks, and it will help you understand the best size of jack that you need for your car.
Weight of the Car
The weight of your car would help you choose the right car jack. If you are using a sedan, the best choice would be a car jack with a weight capacity of four tons. Most sedans only have a weight of about two to three tons, so getting a four-ton car jack is a good choice.
As for the type of jack, you should opt for a floor jack, especially if the car has a lowered suspension. Bottle jacks won’t fit sedans, so you will just waste your money if you buy something like this.
Make and Model of Your Vehicle
You need to consider the type of car that you are using because buying a car jack would depend on this as well. Again, for sedans, floor jacks would be a good choice. For trucks, though, the better and more appropriate choice would be a bottle jack. On the other hand, if you are going to use one for off-road vehicles, a high-lift jack is the best option.
If you own many different kinds of vehicles, then you should also invest in different types of jacks. In this way, you will always have a handy jack within reach in case you need to work on your vehicle.
Where do you plan to use the car jack? If you need to bring it with you in case you need to replace a flat tire, you should go with a scissor jack. Different brands usually have jacks in the same size, so choosing one won’t be that difficult.
If you plan to use it for repairs and maintenance, floor jacks and bottle jacks are your best bet as they are actually made for these kinds of tasks.
What size jack do I need for my car? It will depend on the car that you are using and its weight. You don’t need to spend a lot of time thinking about this because if you know the main uses of the car jacks, you can easily make a decision.
The only thing that you have to pay attention to would be the quality of the car jack you’re buying and, of course, the price. Make sure that you don’t buy a car jack that is meant for heavier vehicles if you only have a lighter one.