Car jacks can be very dangerous if you don’t use them correctly. Car jacks are involved in about 160 serious injuries every year. These include amputations, crash injuries and fractures.
Your car could fall on top of you if you use a jack incorrectly. Falling cars have crushed and killed at least 46 people in the past 10 years.
Find out what not to do when using a car jack.
Car jacks could be either vehicle jacks or trolley jacks. Both types of jack must comply with legal safety standards.
Find out more about vehicle jack safety standards
Find out more about trolley jack safety standards
Steps to follow
Always follow these safety steps when using a car jack:
- Park the vehicle on a hard, level surface. Never park on a slope or on grass.
- Chock the wheels (such as with bricks) before raising the car. Always apply the hand brake.
- Use the right jack for the job. Not all jacks are the same—they have different functions and weight capacities.
- Read the safety warnings on the jack. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions—they are there for a reason. Check the weight capacity of the jack and don’t try to lift more than the recommended weight.
- Read your car’s workshop manual to find the correct place to position the jack. Only use the jack at one of these points. Using the wrong lifting point might make the jack could slip or tip and the car may fall on you.
Working under the car
Never put any part of your body, especially your head, underneath the car while it's supported by a jack. Never let anybody stay inside the car while you lift it with a jack.