A good floor jack is a vital tool that anyone who often works on their car should have, though everyone should have one for changing the occasional flat tire. It helps you work on your car fast, whether it’s changing a tire or anything on the car’s under-surface. If you’re new to buying car tools, getting the right floor jack may be a daunting task. There are a few factors you should consider to get the right one for your needs. In this article, we are going to look at a buyers guide to floor jacks so that you can buy the right jack for you and your car.
Type of Floor Jack
You may not have known this, but floor jacks are available in three types. There are hydraulic floor jacks, scissor jacks, and bottle jacks. A hydraulic jack is easy to use and has four wheels attached on it. When it comes to using it, you just need to slide the pump under your car, use the handle to pump and the hydraulic cylinder will do the lifting. A bottle jack is operated hydraulically just like a hydraulic jack, on that it looks different. It has a bottle-like shape, with concentric cylinders such that when they’re pumped, they help to lift a load. Bottle jacks lift heavy loads and are preferred for trucks and 4WDs.
Most car owners have scissor jacks because they’re commonly included when buying an automobile. These jacks operate using a lead screw mechanism, whereby a lead screw compresses the linkage in order to lift the load. Height is one of the key issues with this jack but generally, its good for emergencies and other light tasks.
Whether you’re buying a hydraulic jack, bottle jack or scissor jack, weight is a critical consideration. All floor jacks are manufactured to lift specific weights. Therefore, know your average car weight before rushing and buying the first jack you find. As a safety precaution, it’s advised that you buy a jack that exceeds your load’s weight capacity. If you’re lifting a 1-ton load, then a 2-ton lifting capacity jack is excellent. If your load is 2 tons, then it’s advisable to buy a jack with 3-ton lifting capacity. If you’re working on a wide range of cars or loads, then you’re better off with the highest weight capacity jack you can find.
Quality of the Floor Jack
This is another crucial factor that you shouldn’t overlook. Quality is very critical. You don’t want a jack that will break easily when lifting your first load. Many people make the mistake of buying the cheapest jack not knowing that if it’s of poor quality, it will only cost more in terms of replacements. To know if the jack you’re buying is of good quality, inspect it thoroughly and see whether it has been made using quality parts. If you don’t know how to inspect the parts, then ensure that you buy from reputable sellers. These reputable dealers only deal with functional, high-quality and you’ll get the best investment for your money.
Your Car Type
Your car type and its specifications should also be considered. How low or high is your car? You should choose a jack that can go to a high point such that it can lift your vehicle. If your car is high, then a bottle jack may be an excellent choice. If you just want a jack to cater for any emergencies on your personal car, then a scissor jack is a preferable choice. If you’re working on a wide range of cars with different specifications, then you’re better off with a hydraulic floor jack.
Balancing between the features you need and the price is vital. By taking the above considerations in mind, you won’t have any difficulties choosing the right one for you.