A Scissor Jack Overview

A jack is a tool that lifts and supports heavier weights, such as that from a
vehicle. Jacks are the main piece of equipment used when changing out a flat
tire on the side of the road. The original equipment used in newer cars is the
scissor jack. These are designed to raise the weight from the wheel that needs
service such as changing a tire.

Elements of a Scissor Jack

Scissor jacks consist of a base and load support plate, a couple of upper
channel members that have opposite sides that consist of an upper and lower
end. The lower channel members on the jack are attached to the base plate,
while the upper channel members are attached to the load support plate. Mounted
between the first and second trunnions are drive screws that enable the
jack to rotate on a longitudinal axis.

Cars that are equipped with scissor jacks can be raised at reinforced notches
on the body of the vehicle. If the car came with the jack, the notches were
specifically designed for the jack when the car was built. If the vehicle has
these notches, this is the only place where a jack can be placed without
risking damage to the car or injury to oneself. These notches are made to hold
the car’s weight.

Floor jacks are most common today because with today’s lightweight vehicles,
the car bumpers are unable to support the weight of the car. Scissor jacks have
a wider base and have either a notched or flat top. The notches are
specifically designed for each particular vehicle.

Because most cars are equipped with these jacks, car manufacturer’s make them
easy and convenient to store. The jack folds up neatly and will fit in the
trunk of one’s vehicle without taking up much room. It can usually be found
under the spare tire secured to the floor of the trunk.

How to Use a Scissor Jack Safely

•  Jacking Points.  Vehicles that have these types of jacks will have the
notched and reinforced jacking points where the jack head will be placed. It is
important to know and use these points because the rest of the vehicle may not
be able to handle the car’s weight. Be sure the jack head is always secure in
the jack point before raising.

•  Jack Stands.  It is dangerous to get underneath any vehicle that is only
held up by a floor jack. There is a risk of the car falling. Therefore, jack
stands are used to reinforce the stability of the car while working under it.
After raising the car to the desired height, then place the jack stands
underneath the car frame to support the weight evenly

Many vehicles today use this type of jack because it is easily accessible and
easy to use in case of an emergency on the side of the road. Car manuals
will generally provide instructions on how to use the jack that comes with
one’s vehicle properly.


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