Browsing what size jack do I need for my car? Well, this article is a complete guide that will answer what size jack you need for your car.
Let’s get started.
What Size Jack Do I Need For My Car?
The size of your car jack depends on your car’s weight and ground clearance. If you found the answer to how much your vehicle weighs, you’ve found the answer for the jack’s size. With that, you should also know about the car’s ride height so you can find a product that easily fits underneath.
Jacks have limited capacity. And they should not be overloaded for safety purposes. A car’s jack cannot be used for a heavy-duty truck. Yes, you can use a truck’s jack for lifting your car. The weight capacity of a jack – be it a floor jack, bottle jack, scissor jack, or electric jack – is mentioned on it.
In fact, jacks are named based on their load capacity. They would either be a 2-ton jack, 3-ton jack, 4 ton jack, and so on. This means that the mentioned capacity is the maximum weight capacity the jack can lift. One should not raise more load than their capacities.
Say, your car weighs 3000 lb (1.5 tons), you’ll need to look for a jack that has enough capacity for lifting the car. In this case, the jack’s capacity should be from 1.5 – 2 tons. The more the capacity the better. Because a 2-ton jack means it can lift up to 4000 lb (2 tons), where your car comes under the range.
This is how you will decide what size jack do I need for my car. Since cars like Sedans and SUVs weigh less than trucks, and most jacks have the capacity for lifting them, there’s no need to explain when your car weighs more than the jack’s capacity, then what’s the safety limit?
The Jack’s lift Range
With the jack’s height, another feature is the lift range that must be noted after deciding the jack’s size. Jacks have minimum height and extended height.
As we’ve mentioned earlier that you’ll need to know about the car’s clearance along with the weight, here’s why. A jack should have less minimum height than the ground clearance. Because only in this case you will be able to put the jack under the jack point.
Let’s say your car has 4 inches of clearance, which low-profile vehicles like sports cars have, will you be able to install a 5-inch minimum height car underneath?
Nope. That’s why the lift range is essential. Do the manufacturers design a jack that doesn’t fit under a car? Yes, they do. Only if you picked the wrong jack. We’ll explain ahead what type of jack you need for your car so that you don’t even check this jack’s height.
Extended height is the maximum height. Or in other words, this is the clearance you will get if you install the jack and pump it to its max height. The max height should be more than the jack stand’s height. Find more about jack stands below. But we’ll quickly mention that the stand holds the load after it’s lifted with the jack.
Type of Jack You Should Prefer for Lifting Your Car
A floor jack is the best option for raising a car. It has a minimum height that is less than the car’s clearance unless you have a low-profile vehicle. You will need a low-profile floor jack for a low-profile car.
With that, floor jacks mostly have a 3 – 4 tons capacity, which is enough for cars. They also feature quick-rise pumps that save you time and energy. So look no further when you can have a floor jack for your car.
Bottle jacks are used for lifting heavy machinery, and trucks. They’re handy in construction, and industrial work. Fewer mechanics use bottle jacks for lifting a car. And only in the case when it can be installed underneath. Bottle jacks are tall and cars don’t have enough clearance.
This is used for emergency purposes. It fits under the jack points and can raise one wheel of a car at a time. A scissor jack is not even a competent floor jack. Besides, it’s hard to operate.
As you need that a floor jack wins over other hydraulic jacks, you should also notice that there are further two types of floor jacks based on their hydraulic pump. They will either have a dual-piston pump or a single-piston pump.
A dual-piston floor jack helps you lift the load quickly. It saves you time, and energy, and does not allow you to stroke more. They’re expensive and heavy, yet they’re well worth the expenditure. A single-piston floor jack is the other way around.
Aluminum jacks are lighter than steel jacks. They’re pricey though. Aluminum floor jacks almost weigh half of the weight of a steel jack. You can easily pick them up and carry them from one place to another. You don’t even need this because they feature four wheels that roll over the ground. The aluminum floor jacks weigh around 50 lb, which might be heavier for you.
We hope this article would have answered what size jack I need for my car. Just to give you a quick overview, always prefer a jack that has more load capacity than your car’s weight. And it should have less minimum height than the car’s ground clearance.
You can find some of the best jacks for your car in the article below.