How to Use a Scissor Car Jack

by Gemma Craig

The basic jack found in the trunk of your car, called the scissor jack, will likely come in handy one day. The jack is useless without its crank handle, so before you head out on the road, check to make sure that you have the jack, the crank handle and a spare tire. If you end up with a flat tire, drive your vehicle to a safe area with a flat surface.

Park the vehicle on level ground. Set the parking brake and put the vehicle in "Park."

Remove the scissor jack, the crank handle and the spare tire from the trunk of your car and take them to the flat tire.

Find the jack point on the car. This is the part of the frame that is reinforced and able to support the weight of the car as you jack it up. It is usually near the tire.

Take the jack and set it under the car. The large flat part should be on top and facing you lengthwise.

Set the crank handle into the bolt in the middle and begin the cranking process.

Watch the jack's position as it gets closer to the jacking point on the car. You want it to fit securely to avoid an accident.

Lift the car with the jack just enough to create space between the tire and the ground.

Remove the flat tire and put on the spare. Crank the jack down. Place the jack, the crank and the flat tire in the trunk.

Tip

  • check Read your car's owner manual to know exactly where the jacking points are on your car.

Warning

  • close Work on as flat a surface as possible. Do not get any part of your body underneath the car while it is jacked.

Items you will need

About the Author

Gemma Craig began writing in 1993, expanding to various websites in 2007. She writes about interior decorating and design, travel, film, literature, technology and consumer electronics. Craig's work has been published in "Spinner," "USA Today" and numerous regional newspapers.