Do You Need Jack Stands To Change Oil?

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Do you need jack stands to change oil? Find your answer in this article.

Yes, you do need jack stands to change the oil of your car, SUV, or truck. Jack stands are essential for holding the load when you raise the vehicle with a floor jack. Installing them under the designated jack points allows you to work underneath your car without fearing that it might come down accidentally.

Let’s go into more detail about using jack stands to change the oil.

Do You Need Jack Stands To Change Oil?

Jack stands are handy in supporting the load by the time you’re changing the oil. You will need to get under your car to access the oil reservoir. If you have a vehicle inspection pit like you can find one in the automotive workshop, you don’t need to lift the car. You can change the oil without lifting it.

However, if you’re doing the task in your garage where you don’t have the trench, you need to raise the vehicle and then install some jack stands underneath. That’s where you need jack stands to change the oil. They hold the car after being lifted by a floor jack.

Hydraulic jacks are only handy in raising the car. They are away from supporting the load for a longer time. They give you enough space to place the stands so the load rests on them, not the jack. The jack could lose the air and come down if the car relies on it for a long time period. 

After all, they are hydraulic systems. They come down by just rotating the handle. The jack stands, on the other hand, are designed for bearing the weight for a long time without being operated by a hydraulic system.

Now that you know you need jack stands for changing oil, let’s find out how to choose the right size jack stands so they can support the load, have sufficient lift range, and are sturdy enough to withstand the capacity.

How many Jack Stands Do You Need to Change Oil

The number of jack stands you need to change the oil depends on the position of the engine. If your car’s engine is to the front, you need to raise the front two tires. Thus, you need two jack stands to place under the jack points.

Since some vehicles like sports cars have engines at the back, the rear tires should be raised. For which, the two jacks are required. However, if you want to lift the whole car, all four wheels, you need four jack stands. Each should be installed near each wheel. 

Regardless of lifting the front or rear end of the car, ensure that you get enough space to easily creep in under the car to access the pan. Check out this article if you want to put a car on 4 jack stands. Or if you want to put the car on 2 jack stands, click this article.

The Load Capacity of the Jack Stands to Change Oil

Stand’s bearing capacity is not a headache when changing the oil. Because you’re going to use at least 2 or 4 jack stands. Combining their load capacity, they will be sufficient for supporting your car.

If each jack has a two-ton capacity, and you install two of them, their capacity becomes 4 tons, which is way more than holding only the front or rear end of a car, SUV, or truck. If the stands are four, that’s enough capacity. 

Lift Range

This is something that needs caution. Jack stands have minimum and extended heights. You cannot place them under a car unless you first raise it with a jack. Because the stands have more than 10 inches minimum height. Most cars have clearance near or less than the mentioned height. The remaining clearance is provided by the jack when it lifts. 

Decide in the first place, how much space you need to get under the car. The room should include your height when you lay, and the creeper’s height, and add a few inches to have sufficient space for renewing the oil. 

Say, you need 16 inches of clearance, you will need to raise the car with a jack at 17 – 18 inches. Then extend the jacks to the mentioned height, and install them. Install wheel chocks to the tires that stay on the ground. For added safety, people also place some wood blocks under the raised tires besides installing the stands. The lower the lifted car’s clearance, the safer it is.


If you are changing the oil of your car, SUV, or truck, you do need jack stands. Hydraulic jacks are not enough to hold the load for an extended period, and using them alone can be dangerous. Jack stands to provide sturdy and safe support for your vehicle, allowing you to access the oil reservoir without any fear of accidents. 

However, it is crucial to choose the right size jack stands with sufficient load capacity and lift range. Remember to always install them under the recommended jack points, use wheel chocks, and add wood blocks under the raised tires for added safety. With proper use of jack stands, changing the oil of your vehicle can be a safe and easy task.

Related: 4 Best 6 Ton Jack Stands for Heavy Vehicle Support

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