Car Lifting

How To Lift A Car With A Floor Jack


How To Lift A Car With A Floor Jack: Lifting a car with a floor jack is a fundamental skill that every vehicle owner should familiarize themselves with. Whether you’re performing routine maintenance or handling emergency repairs, knowing how to safely elevate your vehicle is essential for both your safety and the preservation of your vehicle. A floor jack, also known as a trolley jack or hydraulic jack, is a versatile tool designed to effortlessly lift vehicles of various sizes.


In this guide, we will delve into the step-by-step process of properly lifting a car with a floor jack, ensuring that you have the knowledge and confidence to execute the task efficiently and securely. We’ll cover everything from selecting the appropriate floor jack for your vehicle’s weight and clearance to positioning the jack and lifting points correctly. Additionally, safety precautions will be emphasized throughout to minimize the risk of accidents or damage to both you and your vehicle.


Whether you’re a seasoned automotive enthusiast or a novice do-it-yourselfer, mastering the art of using a floor jack will empower you to tackle automotive tasks with confidence and precision. So, let’s delve into the intricacies of lifting a car with a floor jack and equip ourselves with the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain our vehicles effectively.

How To Lift A Car With A Floor Jack How high can a floor jack lift a car?

For most cars, a jack lift height of 20 inches is adequate. Unless of course, you’re into lifted off-roaders with huge tires—then you’ll definitely need something with higher lifting capabilities. Platform Size: The width of the jack at the platform, along with the width of the jack at its lifting arms is important.

Floor Jack Lift Capacity

Floor jacks vary in lifting capacity, typically ranging from 1.5 tons to 3 tons for consumer-grade models. Professional-grade jacks can lift even heavier vehicles. The lifting capacity determines the maximum weight a floor jack can safely raise off the ground. Exceeding this limit can lead to structural damage or, worse, catastrophic failure. It’s crucial to consult the jack’s specifications to ensure it’s suitable for the vehicle’s weight before attempting to lift.

Factors Affecting Lifting Height

Aside from weight capacity, the lifting height also plays a crucial role. Floor jacks commonly offer a lifting range of 8 to 20 inches. However, this range can vary depending on the jack’s design and intended use. Lower-profile jacks are ideal for vehicles with minimal ground clearance, while higher-profile jacks offer increased lifting height for trucks or SUVs. Understanding the lifting height of a floor jack is essential to ensure it can adequately raise the vehicle to perform maintenance or repairs.

Can you move a car with a floor jack?

yea it’ll do that. As long as all casters are on the floor, you’re fine. Always make sure you have a piece of plywood under the jack when using a floor jack on soft ground. The wheels will dig in, not let the jack roll like it needs to, and you can drop the vehicle off of the pad!

Using a Floor Jack to Move a Car

Using a floor jack to move a car is feasible, but it’s not its intended purpose. Floor jacks are primarily designed for lifting vehicles to access the undercarriage for maintenance or repairs. However, in emergencies or tight spaces, they can be utilized to shift a car short distances. To do so, first, ensure the car is in neutral with the parking brake disengaged. Then, place the floor jack under a sturdy part of the car’s frame and slowly lift it, ensuring stability. Once lifted, gently push or pull the car to the desired location.

Considerations and Safety Measures

Before attempting to move a car with a floor jack, it’s crucial to consider several factors. Firstly, ensure the floor jack is rated for the weight of the vehicle to prevent accidents. Additionally, always work on a flat, stable surface to prevent the jack from tipping over. Avoid using the floor jack to move the car over long distances or on uneven terrain, as it can compromise stability and safety. Lastly, never place any body part underneath the car while it’s lifted to prevent injuries in case of accidents.

Is a 2 ton floor jack enough?

A 2-ton jack has about a 4000lb weight limit. So it’s fine for lifting up a single tire on most cars.

Weight Capacity Considerations

When deciding if a 2-ton floor jack is sufficient, it’s crucial to evaluate the weight of the vehicle you intend to lift. Typically, a 2-ton floor jack is suitable for most compact cars, sedans, and some mid-sized SUVs. However, if you own larger vehicles such as trucks or SUVs, or if you plan on performing heavier tasks like lifting the vehicle’s entire front or rear end, you may require a floor jack with a higher weight capacity.

Usage and Safety Precautions

Besides weight capacity, consider your usage frequency and the intended tasks. If you’re a DIY enthusiast who occasionally performs light maintenance tasks, a 2-ton floor jack may suffice. However, if you’re a professional mechanic or frequently work on heavier vehicles, investing in a higher capacity floor jack ensures safety and efficiency. Regardless of the weight capacity, always adhere to safety precautions, such as properly positioning the jack, using jack stands for support, and never exceeding the jack’s rated capacity to prevent accidents or injuries.

What is the last step when lifting a vehicle with a floor jack?

Raise and lower

 The last thing you’re going to do, of course, is lower the vehicle. To do this, roll the floor jack under a jacking point, raise the vehicle just above the stand, and remove the stand. Lower the vehicle as slowly as you can.

Positioning and Securing the Vehicle

When lifting a vehicle with a floor jack, the last step is crucial for safety and stability. After ensuring the vehicle is raised to the desired height, the final step involves placing jack stands underneath the vehicle’s designated lift points. These jack stands act as a secondary support system, preventing the vehicle from falling in case the floor jack fails or loses pressure. It’s essential to position the jack stands on a stable and level surface, ensuring they are securely locked in place before lowering the vehicle onto them.

Lowering the Vehicle Safely

Once the jack stands are securely in place, the last step involves carefully lowering the vehicle onto them. This should be done slowly and steadily, ensuring that the vehicle’s weight is evenly distributed on the jack stands. It’s crucial to double-check that the vehicle is stable and securely supported by the jack stands before removing the floor jack. After confirming the stability of the vehicle, the floor jack can be removed and stored properly. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommended procedures for lifting and supporting a vehicle to ensure safety.

What size jack is needed to lift a car?

For example, a full-size family saloon will probably only need a jack with a 2-ton capacity to lift it. The best car jack for an SUV or 4×4, meanwhile, may need a capacity of at least 3 tons. One of the most important factors to consider is how much your trolley jack can lift.

Determining the Correct Jack Size

When selecting a jack to lift a car, it’s crucial to consider the vehicle’s weight and clearance. For smaller cars, a 2-ton hydraulic floor jack is generally sufficient. These jacks offer a good balance of lifting capacity and maneuverability, making them suitable for compact and mid-sized vehicles. However, for larger trucks or SUVs, a 3-ton or even a 3.5-ton jack might be necessary to safely lift the heavier load. Always refer to the vehicle’s manual for specific weight information and choose a jack that exceeds the car’s weight to ensure safety during lifting.

Considering Clearance and Stability

Beyond weight capacity, clearance and stability are also vital factors when selecting a jack. Low-profile jacks are ideal for vehicles with minimal ground clearance, such as sports cars, as they can slide easily beneath the car. Additionally, opting for a jack with a wide base and sturdy construction enhances stability, reducing the risk of accidents during lifting. Prioritize safety features like overload protection and locking mechanisms to prevent sudden drops while the vehicle is elevated.

How strong of a floor jack do I need?

For most simple jobs, a 2-ton jack will work; however, investing in one with more capability is never a bad idea. The selected jack’s ideal capacity should reach about three quarters of the vehicle’s overall weight. More often than not, weight ratings are indicated on a sticker located in the driver’s side door jam.

Factors to Consider

When selecting a floor jack, several factors come into play to determine the necessary strength. The primary consideration is the weight of the vehicle you intend to lift. Different vehicles have varying weights, so it’s crucial to check the manufacturer’s specifications. Additionally, consider the distribution of weight across the vehicle; heavier loads on one side might require a more robust jack. Another aspect is the height clearance needed to lift your vehicle adequately. Ensure the jack’s lifting range accommodates the clearance required to perform maintenance or repairs comfortably.

Jack Capacity and Safety

The capacity of a floor jack indicates the maximum weight it can safely lift. It’s essential to choose a jack with a capacity slightly higher than your vehicle’s weight to ensure safety and stability. Moreover, consider the quality of materials and construction of the jack. A sturdy build with durable components enhances safety and longevity. Look for features like overload protection and safety valves to prevent accidents or damage. Remember to adhere to proper usage guidelines, such as placing the jack on a stable surface and using jack stands for added support when working under the vehicle, to ensure a secure lifting experience.

How To Lift A Car With A Floor Jack

What are the safety precautions for floor jacks?

Never straddle a jack handle and always remove the handle when it is not being used. Support the load that is being jacked with blocks or stands. Never allow raised equipment to remain supported by jacks alone. Jacks can fail and tip, causing the equipment to fall unexpectedly.

Inspecting the Floor Jack

Before each use, thoroughly examine your floor jack for any signs of damage or wear. Check the hydraulic system for leaks and ensure all moving parts are properly lubricated. Inspect the handle, wheels, and lifting pad for any cracks or defects that could compromise safety. Additionally, verify that the jack is rated for the weight of the vehicle you intend to lift, and never exceed its maximum capacity. Regular maintenance and inspection are crucial for ensuring the safe operation of your floor jack and preventing accidents or injuries.

Proper Usage Guidelines

When operating a floor jack, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Position the jack on a level, stable surface to prevent tipping or sliding during use. Before lifting the vehicle, engage the parking brake and chock the wheels to prevent any unintended movement. Place the jack under the designated lifting points on the vehicle frame or recommended lifting areas specified in the owner’s manual. Slowly pump the handle to raise the vehicle, making sure to keep body parts clear of moving components. Once the vehicle is lifted to the desired height, use jack stands to support it securely before performing any maintenance or repairs.

What are the risks of using a jack?

The most common hazard associated with jack use is collapse from trying to lift beyond the capacity of the jack; jack placement on uneven surfaces; and load slipping off the jack.

Potential Hazards

When operating a jack, several risks should be taken into consideration. One significant danger is the possibility of the vehicle falling off the jack, especially if it’s not properly secured. This could lead to severe injuries or even fatalities, especially if the car lands on someone. Additionally, using a jack on uneven or unstable ground increases the risk of accidents, such as the jack tipping over or the vehicle slipping off.

Health Risks

Beyond the immediate physical dangers, using a jack can also pose health risks due to the strain it puts on the body. Improper lifting techniques or attempting to lift objects that are too heavy can result in muscle strains, sprains, or even more serious injuries like hernias. Prolonged use of jacks without proper breaks can exacerbate these risks, leading to chronic pain or long-term health issues for those involved in frequent automotive maintenance or repair work.

How To Lift A Car With A Floor Jack Conclusion

Mastering the art of lifting a car with a floor jack is not only a matter of technique but also one of safety and precision. By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this guide, you can ensure that the process is executed smoothly and securely, minimizing the risk of accidents or damage to the vehicle.


First and foremost, it is crucial to choose the right type of floor jack for the job and to ensure that it is in proper working condition. Additionally, identifying the proper lifting points on the vehicle and positioning the floor jack correctly are essential steps in the process.


Lastly, safety should always be prioritized by wearing appropriate protective gear and double-checking the stability of the setup before working underneath the car. By adhering to these guidelines and exercising caution throughout the process, you can safely lift a car with a floor jack and perform maintenance or repairs with confidence.

Vaishnavi vaish

Vaishnavi is an automotive enthusiast and writer with a passion for all things cars. With years of experience in the automotive industry, Vaishnavi brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Vroom's platform. Whether it's dissecting the latest car models, exploring industry trends, or delving into the intricacies of automotive technology, Vaishnavi is dedicated to providing readers with comprehensive and insightful content. From performance reviews to in-depth car comparisons, Vaishnavi strives to deliver accurate and engaging information to help readers make informed decisions about their next vehicle purchase. Explore the world of automobiles with Vaishnavi on Vroom and stay updated on the latest developments in the automotive world.

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