Different types of car jacks

Updated April 17, 2017

A car jack is a necessary item to keep in a vehicle in case of an emergency, such as a flat tire. Jacks are available in a variety of styles and sizes, however, and can be utilised for vehicle tune-ups, bodywork and mechanics. For optimum safety, follow instructions and do not deviate from the guidelines for each car jack.

Scissor Jack

Most car manufacturers provide the scissor jack in the boot of the vehicle. Specific to the car, the jack's platform design fits the auto body or at the axle of the car. The user cranks the scissor jack, which tightens the two ends of the centre screw bar that, in turn, forces the arms to straighten. This scissor mechanism lifts the car slowly and easily. The jack is small, simple to use, and can lift a car in emergency situations, such as changing a flat tire or wheel.

Trolley Floor Jack

A trolley jack is a small, hydraulic mechanism that can be wheeled around and underneath the vehicle. This type allows you to work underneath the vehicle, for example, to change the oil. Pump the handle of the trolley jack and the fluid pressure builds within the liquid chamber of the jack. The pressure escapes through the top of the jack platform and the vehicle raises with little effort. Trolley jacks, common in auto body and mechanic shops, are accompanied by axle stands, which support the weight of the car in case the vehicle falls. They can lift weights up to 4 tons, according to I Need to Know.

Hi Lift Jack

A Hi-Lift Jack is versatile and strong, and can lift a vehicle much higher than a standard scissor or trolley jack. Farm workers use these jacks for vehicles that need a tire or wheel change, are stuck in deep mud, or need to be moved sideways or lifted on one end. The Hi-Lift Jack can lift up to 3175 Kilogram and to a height of nearly 60 inches, which is the height of the jack itself, according to Off-Road Adventures.

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After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast television, Kasey Jones went to work for MTV, VH1, CBS, TVG, among others, as a producer, writer and editor. She's also a certified yoga instructor. Currently Jones is pursuing her passion for screenwriting, while living in Los Angeles.