What is a Floor Jack?
The floor jack happens to be one of the tools every auto mechanic needs. It can assist you in practically raising your car from the floor, so you can efficiently work up and effect repairs on the underneath of your vehicle, replace flat tires, and a lot more.
The floor jack, also known as car jack or automobile jack is a manually-operated machine built to deliver incredible load advantage to raise hefty load using little effort. Albeit, there are myriads of uses to which the floor jack can be put, most of the applications relate directly to raising automobiles. Floor jacks use many methods to deliver lifting effort: in most cases, these techniques involve fluid pressure and lead screws.
Types of Floor Jack
At the mention of floor jacks, you tend to think of just one type that you have always known. Nonetheless, it is essential to understand the various types of floor jacks that we have to select the most appropriate one for you.
The various types of floor jacks are available so that different individuals from diverse fields of life with varying skills and abilities can select the most suitable jack for them and fit the nature of their job perfectly. Here are the main types of floor jacks.
Scissor Floor Jack
This floor jack is a hand-operated machine with which little effort can be applied at an end to raising the car at the lifting point. It is designed for contemporary cars, and the contact point fits perfectly to the jack point of the vehicle. Some types come with a surface to raise the car’s axle.
There is an electricity-powered scissor floor jack that can be plugged into the car battery to work the jack in lifting the car up and down as well. These do not get to stress you before they work.
The house jack, which is as well known as screw jack is a machine built primarily to raise apartments from the ground to carry out repairs or move off to another location. Different types of studs are used, and a wooden structure tentatively holds the home. The process is carried out until a level wanted is attained. This Jack can be used to lift beams in home construction work.
These are jacks used for working in construction workshop and not the typical jack to be used to fix car tires. When using it on your car for which it is not built for, you have to be very careful in choosing how hard the ground is, the contact point on the vehicle, and make sure that the jack is stable while using it. Hydraulic jacks, more often than not are used in raising elevators on high-rise towers.
They consist of a parallel piston that presses on the short side of a crank, and the long arm offers the vertical movement to a lifting point maintained in a horizontal position with a linkage. It can be used in lifting low heights when pressed, for smooth manipulation while offering reasonable length.
The bottle jack is also referred to as piston jack. It works on fluid mechanics, just like the floor jack. The significant difference lies in their fabrication, and they can raise the vehicle to higher levels, as such, they might not work with the contemporary low-base cars in vogue today.
How To Use Floor Jacks
The floor jack can lift a vehicle of any sort from the ground depending on the type and specification. You can start this by parking the car where the jack is set and lock it down using the clock wheel to prevent the other tires from rolling while jacking the car. You can use a wooden wedge as well or a cinder block.
After that, you set the floor jack under the vehicle and balance it in such a manner that the jack touches the car’s coupling point. You can check the car’s repair manual to determine the lifting position.
Subsequently, you can then jack the handle of the device until the contact point is raised to the desired height. Should it be that you would want to do some repairs or fix beneath the car, you can use the jack to support the vehicle and gently unwind the jack till the car balances on the jack stand. Note that you need to use car stands when working underneath a car. Never leave the car up on the jack without stands.
Benefits of Floor Jacks
A quality floor jack has several advantages. For instance, it is simple to use and delivers immense lifting power with minimum effort to lift the vehicle off the ground. They can raise the car to an impressive height depending on the particular type of the floor jack.
By lifting your vehicle high above the ground, jacks allow you to be able to do necessary repairs and maintenance of the car. More so, floor jacks are easily manipulated under and around the vehicle to lift it with ease. This gives the leverage of jacking even when there is little space.
Again, floor jacks are excellent in creeping under the car in low-lying spaces. It could be a lifesaver if you have to work on lowered cars where a typical lift won’t fit under the rockers.
A floor jack will swiftly lift your car and safely so. They are quite affordable, at least relatively, given their performance and material of build. They are easy to clean when they get dirty with oil and grease.
Taking Care of Floor Jacks
Ordinarily, floor jacks ought to last for years; this, however, depends on your maintenance culture and how much you care for it. These are some of the ways you can take good care of your floor jack.
Ensure you know your jack well enough by regularly checking for fissures, loose bolts, and any dents that could reduce the liability of your floor jack.
Ensure that it is always clean
More often than not, your jack will be in contact with grease, dust particles, and such things. You will do well to wipe it frequently with a damp cloth to clean it up.
Replace the Oil
While the floor jack operates in an enclosed container, it is yet sensed to change the oil at intervals. Refer to your jack’s operating manual for the recommended oil change interval.
Alway free-up every pressure in the jack cylinder before storing it. Also, make sure you don’t store your jack when it’s all wet. Water brings rust and rust will reduce the lifespan of your jack.
Floor jacks are an incredible piece of tools, indispensable to mechanics and motorists when it comes to fixing faults beneath the vehicle. Nonetheless, successfully using the floor jack with no harm to yourself or your vehicle takes an adept knowledge of the exact type to use, how to use it, and what safety precautions are recommended for safe usage.