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How to Use a Car Jack

Safely change tiresWe all know that jacks are helpful for changing a tire. But they can also be great to use when changing your oil and performing other repairs and maintenance items. You can save money by performing your own basic repairs and maintenance items and only taking your vehicle to a Utah auto repair shop for major repairs.

The reliability of vehicles has drastically improved over the years, meaning you probably won’t be getting under your car very often. Oil changes can now last 7,000 miles or greater. Tune ups aren’t generally required for 100,000 miles or more.

Still, it’s important to know how to properly use a jack in case of a flat tire and so that you can keep yourself safe when you occasionally do need to perform a repair or a maintenance item under the vehicle. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

Before using your jack make sure you know where its proper placement is. You can find this information in your user’s manual and some vehicles will have instructions near your spare tire, such as on the jack or the backside of the spare tire cover. If you cannot find where to put it you can also run down to your Utah auto repair shop and ask them to show you.

Where and how you put the jack depends on the type of the vehicle. The majority of vehicles have a spot right behind the front tires and a little in front of the rear tires. For cars it is usually a thicker portion of the weld that you should be able to clearly see.

The first thing to do once you know where to place the jack is to park your vehicle on a flat surface. Second the vehicle needs to be secured with jack stands or blocks. Don’t ever trust your jack to stay in place without them.

Before raising your vehicle chock the wheels if at all possible. Check for possible hazards under and around your vehicle that you need to know about. When you do raise your vehicle make sure you are not jacking up on anything that may break or bend such as a drive shaft.

The undercarriage of a vehicle is very dirty so keep the dirt and grime out of your eyes by wearing safety glasses. Also take the tools you need with you while you work under the vehicle as it may be hard and time consuming to crawl around under a vehicle. By following these tips you can stay safe and also save some money by not having to take your vehicle to your Utah auto repair garage.

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16 Jun, 2010

Preventative Maintenance

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