Purchasing and Using a Trolley Jack

At times when repairing or doing maintenance on a vehicle, you may have to go
underneath the car. Although it can be done with a creeper, it is much easier
to use a trolley jack. When working on an exhaust system or changing fluids
such as oil, you will be required to get underneath your car. Using a jack to
lift the car will make mechanical work much simpler.

Purchasing a Trolley Jack

When it comes to purchasing mechanical equipment, it
is best to do research on the item you are looking for. There are thousands of
jacks available on the market, ranging from 2-ton to 4-ton and beyond. It is
important to know how often and for what type of vehicles you will need the
jack. Websites such as JCWhintey.com, Sears.com, or Northerntools.com have a
wide selection of jacks. Whether a mechanic hobbyist or if you own a shop, one
of these sites should help you find what you are looking for. If not, it will
at least give an idea of what is out there and in your budget. Here are a few
examples of some models available:

•    The Craftsman 2 ½ ton jack has a low
profile design that enables it to be used on a larger variety of automobiles.
The top flange tolerates extra weight and provides more strength. It is
affordable at only $59.99. It can be purchased through Sears.com or at a local
Sears store.

•    For a professional garage or serious do-it-yourselfers, something like the
Black Hawk Jack is worth the $800 investment. It is a 30-ton hydraulic jack
that can lift from 11-18 inches and comes with a 12-month warranty. It is not
lightweight as it comes in at 120 lbs.

Instructions on How to Lift Cars Using a Trolley Jack

•    First you will want to park your car on a driveway, garage floor, or other
even surface. Trolley jacks will not work as well if placed on uneven or
unpaved ground, such as grass.
•    Be sure to set the parking, or emergency, brake. Then set thick, wooden
blocks behind the tires so it does not roll back and stays on the ground. Next,
place the jack under a safe location on the car such as the rear housing or
frame rails.

•    Once the jack is in place, turn the jack handle and start to pump. After
raising the car to the height desired, place the stands of the jack under the
rear or front axle. This will depend on which end of the car is being jacked

•    After the vehicle is jacked up, lower it onto the jack stands by turning
the jack handle the other way to release some of the pressure. You will need to
bring the vehicle down at a slow rate onto the jack stands. Check to make sure
the stands are in the correct place and then remove the jack.
•    Do this process for both sides of the car, jacking one side at a time. You
will need to lean your body weight into the lifted part of the vehicle after it
has been slowly lowered onto the stands to be sure it is safe to go underneath
the vehicle.

Once you have researched how to find the correct jack for your needs and learn
how to use it, you are one step closer to successfully working on your car.


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