Selecting a jack. How to choose and what to look for?
Types of jacks
There are many types of jacks that can be divided into groups based on features such as design, installation method, required effort. Accordingly, not only the cost of equipment differs, but also the features of operation, reliability and other characteristics. It is necessary to have an idea of all these parameters, since it will not be possible to choose a jack for a passenger car correctly without this.
Types of jacks
There are three large groups of jacks:
When choosing equipment, it is enough to determine the basic needs for lifting capacity, lifting height and lifting height. Such jacks are able to work with loads from 1 to 2 tons, lift them to a height of 30-39 cm. The pick-up height is 8-12 cm. A jack with a minimum load capacity (1 t) and a lifting height of 35 cm is quite suitable for passenger cars. For larger cars such as crossovers, it is better to purchase a more powerful device with a 1.5 t and a 39 cm lift.
When choosing a car jack, it should be borne in mind that its load capacity should not be equal to the weight of the car itself. Most often, the driver has to use a jack to lift one side when replacing the wheel.
When buying a jack, make sure that the model you like fits your car. To do this, you need to inspect the place to install the lift under the bottom. There should be a rubber protective gasket on the jack so as not to dent the body.
Hydraulic jacks come in several types (the simplest is a bottle), they can have one or two rods in the design. The capacity of these lifts can be up to 50 tons, so they are suitable for working with trucks, construction and agricultural machinery.
Such jacks are easy to use, which is their essential advantage. To lift, you need to pump the lever several times, which is much easier than turning the handle of a screw jack. Before choosing a hydraulic bottle jack, you need to find out what is the own weight of your car. This data is in the technical passport. The jack can have a load capacity of 75% of this parameter.
The clearance of the car also matters. Some large machines with a large mass have a low landing, but at the same time, a rise to a sufficient height is required to repair the wheel. In this case, you will have to choose a two-rod (bottle or rolling) jack for your SUV. This telescopic design is compact in size. Even a 4-ton lift when folded has a lower height than a 2-ton one-rod lift. At the same time, the first one is able to lift the load to a greater height than a single-rod one with a similar power.
Pay attention! The jack is able to cope with an increased load, by about a quarter. But this does not mean that the equipment can be overloaded all the time. The jack with a lifting capacity of 2 tons is not designed for servicing trucks, although it will pull 2.5. But in such a situation, the probability of triggering the protection mechanism is high. It may happen that the lifted load will simply break.
To choose the right bottle or jack, you need to assess your needs. If you plan not only to change the wheels with it, but also to carry out repairs under the car from time to time, then you also need to buy special stands that insure the car from falling.
This type of equipment is used in any car repair shop. This is a hydraulic lift mounted on a platform with wheels. The design is quite large and heavy, so it is used only as a stationary option. Car owners who independently carry out most of the repair work in their garage can choose a hydraulic jack of suitable capacity, as there are models with a lifting capacity from 2 to 20 tons on sale.
Products from the category
6 main criteria for choosing a jack
Maximum load capacity
The main parameter from which the choice of a jack or any other jack for a car / truck begins is its power. The equipment must correspond to the mass of the serviced equipment. There are models that work with a load of up to 100 tons. Hydraulic bottle jacks lift 6-15 tons. For the repair of passenger cars, you can choose a rack or screw jack – their load capacity is limited to 2 tons, but they cost the least.
Most owners of vehicles use a lift to repair wheels when it is necessary to lift only one side of the car. But even under this condition, the power of the jack should not be less than the mass of the vehicle. And it is better to increase by 15-20%. In this case, you do not have to worry about weight gain due to a loaded trunk, for example.
If you service several machines, then focus on the weight of the heaviest. So, having a subcompact and a jeep in the garage and choosing a jack, take into account the mass of the crossover.
Jacks also differ in the height to which they can lift equipment. Basically , it is 30-50 cm.
This parameter must be taken into account, since it is one thing to choose a jack for a car center, and another is the simplest device that can be carried in the trunk. In the second case, it is assumed that it is necessary to jack only the wheel for repair. Then the lifting height consists of the clearance and the height of the tire – this will be enough. If more serious work is needed, it is necessary to add at least another 10cm.
Average maximum lifting height, mm:
Screw rhombic jack — up to 390;
Bottle jack — up to 515;
Bottle double—rod jack - up to 570;
Jack — up to 680.
This parameter characterizes how close to the road/floor surface the gripper can be lowered. The distance is the difference between the ground clearance at the door threshold (P1) and the height of the wheel profile (P2).
The parameter P2 is taken into account so that the jack can be used even when the wheel is completely lowered and the car will sag heavily.
If the task is to choose a jack for a passenger car, then take the pick-up height equal to 15 cm. In the case of a sports model, it will be 10 cm, for crossovers and minibuses, a lift with a pick—up height of 20 cm is needed, for SUVs — 25 cm, trucks, buses and special equipment - more than 30 cm.
Metal is used for the production of all jacks. But the alloy may be different, manufacturers indicate this information in the technical documentation. Aluminum devices are suitable for working with passenger cars – they do not weigh much and are durable. With the lifting of heavy machines, a steel jack will cope better. Preference should be given to equipment made of galvanized parts and having an anti-corrosion coating.
Sometimes there are heavy and oversized jacks made of cast iron – these are stationary models, they are not carried in the trunk.
Dimensions and weight
If you want to choose a car jack that you will keep in the trunk, then an important requirement is compactness and light weight. The smallest devices are diamond–shaped screw and telescopic. You can find models weighing up to 1.5 kg, more powerful – 4kg. A little bigger and heavier will be bottles with one or two rods. Their weight is from 2 to 8 kg, depending on the power.
The most bulky jacks are rack and pinion jacks. They are purchased mainly for stationary use.
The equipment of proven manufacturers is of high quality. You can be sure that its actual characteristics correspond to those stated. All branded devices are tested by manufacturers, so if it is indicated that the load capacity is 1.5 tons, then it is. In addition, manufacturers with a reputation take care of the quality of materials and assembly. This all affects the performance indicators – branded jacks are smooth running, resistant to corrosion, do not bend under load.
Masters working with such equipment will tell many stories about how the nouname devices broke down for the second time, their parts bent and cracked. Therefore, it is better not to save money and immediately purchase high-quality equipment that will work as it should. Well-known manufacturers guarantee trouble-free operation of equipment for 1-3 years.
Stores offer an extensive range of branded jacks of different price segments. You can find very simple lifts for several hundred rubles, as well as powerful, reliable devices for any requests for several thousand rubles.
When choosing a jack, you should pay attention to its structural elements that will make use safer and more comfortable:
A protective rubber gasket. Its presence allows you to avoid scratches on the body.
Additional supports and anti-rollback shoes. These devices are sometimes attached to expensive models.
Removable lever. This design is more compact, fits comfortably in the trunk.
Adapter for a drill or screwdriver. This supplement is used together with screw jacks and allows you to mechanize rotation.
Case. Convenient for storage, attached to some models.
Let's summarize the above information on how to choose a jack:
Screw or bottle jack is suitable for small cars – passenger cars, minivans, crossovers.
A hydraulic jack will be required for an SUV, truck, bus, special equipment.
The jack is needed for a repair shop.
A wide range of jacks from domestic and foreign manufacturers can be found on our website. There is also a convenient form that will facilitate the selection of suitable equipment according to the parameters. You can also use the help of a manager.