How to Jack a 2000 Cavalier

by Laurie Brenner

Introduced in 1981 and offered by General Motors' Chevrolet division from 1982 through 2005, the Cavalier enjoyed 24 years and three-generation models, outlasting similar offerings by Oldsmobile, Buick and Pontiac. Built on the J-body platform, Chevrolet originally provided four trim levels: coupe, hatchback, sedan and a wagon -- with a convertible thrown into the mix a few years later. A get-around-town car that offered little in the way of interior styling, the Cavalier provided a fuel consumption of 22 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, depending on engine size. To change a flat tire or do other repairs, the Chevrolet owner's manual outlines critical points for placing the jack on the 2000 Cavalier.

Drive the Cavalier to a flat surface. Set the emergency brake. Put the car in "Park," if it has an automatic transmission. For manual transmissions, shift into first gear or reverse. Turn the engine off.

Place wheel chocks or blocks in front of and behind wheels that stay on the ground, if you plan to jack the Cavalier off the ground.

Kneel down next to the front wheel well of the car, on the driver's side or the left side of the Cavalier. Gently run your fingers on the frame rail, from the front wheel well underneath the driver's side door toward the back of the vehicle. Don't press your fingers into the frame rail, in case there are any jagged edges.

Locate the jacking point for the front wheel on the frame rail, nine inches behind the front wheel well. Use your fingers to feel for the notch in the frame rail: This is the jacking point for the front wheel.

Look for the jacking point for the rear wheel in the same manner; kneel down next to the rear wheel well on the driver's side of the Cavalier. Run your fingers along the vehicle's frame rail, starting at the back wheel well and moving to the front of the vehicle. Feel for the notch in the frame rail, as you did for the front wheel well -- the rear jacking point is approximately eight inches forward of the rear wheel well.

Note whether your Cavalier comes equipped with flared side molding along the frame rail. If so, find the jacking positions 18 inches from the wheel wells.

Ensure that the jacking head of the scissor jack that comes with the vehicle fits snugly and securely into the jacking notches before jacking.

Lock the jack head into the notch. Insert the jack handle into the hole provided at the end of the scissor jack and turn the handle clockwise to raise the vehicle.


  • check If you plan to do any other work besides changing the tire, then use a 2-ton jack and jack stands to secure the vehicle properly. Place the jack with a 2-by-4, 6-inch long block of wood on the jack head and snug the jack head to the cross member before attempting to jack up the full weight of the Cavalier. Once the jack is snug and the cross member rests on the block of wood, raise the vehicle sufficiently to place the jack stand under the jacking point of the Cavalier. Ensure the jack stand conforms with the jacking point on the Cavalier before resting the weight of the vehicle on the jack stand. If the jack stand head does not conform with the jacking point, then place the jack stands in an appropriate place on the cross member subframe, underneath the front of the vehicle. For the rear of the vehicle, locate the rear cross member and repeat the process.

Items you will need

About the Author

As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.