How to Put Your Car on 4 Jack Stands

Written by russell wood
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How to Put Your Car on 4 Jack Stands
Dropped jack stand (fallen jack stand image by Joyce Wilkes from Fotolia.com)

The first step to many automotive projects is to get the vehicle up in the air on jack stands so that you can crawl underneath it. Problem is, getting the car up on four stands can be a bit confusing, and you don't want it to fall over on top of you. If you know the right steps and the correct way to lift your vehicle, you'll be all right. In this case, the project vehicle is a 2008 Scion xB, but the process is similar for other vehicles as well.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Hydraulic floor jack
  • Jack stands

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Park the vehicle on a flat, level surface and set the emergency brake. Lie down on your side and look at the rocker panel between the two side wheels. There are two arrows pointing towards the bottom of the vehicle on the rockers. These are the jack points for the vehicle, and it's where you want to set the jack stands, so keep these points in mind.

  2. 2

    Slide the floor jack underneath the front bumper. There is a small metal bubble that comes out around the middle of the chassis, which is not a part of the engine. Set the pad of the hydraulic jack onto the bubble, then pump up the jack to lift the front of the car in the air. Pump until the front of the car is 10 to 14 inches in the air.

  3. 3

    Slide the jack stands underneath the rocker on each side, so that the heads of the stands are centred underneath the arrow on the rocker panel. If you want to raise the car higher and lift the stands higher, simply jack the car up more, then lift the head of the stands up until they lock in place.

  4. 4

    Turn the handle on the jack to the left slowly, to lower the jack onto the jack stands. Once you hear the body of the car contact the jack stands, turn the handle to the right again to tighten it in place, then walk to the stands to verify that the stand is still centred on the arrow. If you're sure it is, then lower the jack down all the way.

  5. 5

    Slide the floor jack underneath the rear of the car and place the head of the jack underneath the rear axle. Pump up the jack until the rear of the car is approximately level with the front.

  6. 6

    Slide the jack stands underneath the car, at the jack points on the rear section of the rockers. Lower the jack down to set the car on the stands. Once you're sure it's set, remove the jack and the job is complete.

Tips and warnings

  • Always double check that your vehicle is secure on the stands before crawling underneath it. If you have any doubt, you can also place the jack underneath the body as well, so that it's tight on the body, but not lifting the car above the stands.

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