Aug 10, 2023
The Best Car Jacks For DIY Auto Maintenance And Repair
Some people drive their cars and forget about them the rest of the day. Others pay their cars a little more mind, doing some detailing here and a little work there when they have some free time. Then,
Some people drive their cars and forget about them the rest of the day. Others pay their cars a little more mind, doing some detailing here and a little work there when they have some free time. Then, there are those who like to spend a little more time and energy in the garage working on their cars, whether for repairs, general maintenance, or adding full-on upgrades.
If you’re thinking of doing more DIY work on your car, then you’ll have stock up on some tools in the garage. And one of the first tools you should be looking at getting is a good car jack. Sure, you can access the undercarriage of your car with the old scissor jack you’ve been using to change tires, but you have to admit, those things are slow, cumbersome, and even potentially dangerous. If you want faster, safer, and easier access under the car, a proper floor jack is a thing you should invest in.
These are the best car jacks for doing DIY auto maintenance and repair in your garage.
If you want something better than your scissor jack, but not too keen on spending over $100, maybe this entry-level option from Pro-Lift can tide you over in the meantime. A low-profile jack, it can get into spaces as narrow as 3.5 inches, with wheels that let you slide it into position easily. It has a maximum lift of 15 inches, which is good enough to let you get your jack stands in place, along with a maximum capacity of 4,000 pounds. If there are any complaints, it’s that everything about this feels entry-level. As in, it’s something you get now, but will likely upgrade later once you have the budget for a better one. Even the handle is pretty short at just 18 inches, requiring to put in a bit more elbow grease than most floor jacks with their longer handles. Still, it’s a good car jack at an even better price, making it perfect for people looking to outfit their garages for the first time.
Do note, this car jack requires a compressor to operate, since it lifts the car using pressurized air. If you do have access to a compressor, you’ll love this pneumatic air jack, which is rated to lift loads of up to 6,600 pounds. To use, simply attach the compressor, open the green valve to let the pressurized air in, and watch the darn thing lift your car in as little as three seconds. A thick rubber pad on top of solid steel plates at the top of the inflatable section is the only thing that comes in contact with the car, too, ensuring no damage to any part of the undercarriage. It can raise the car a maximum height of 15.75 inches, which it will automatically do if you leave the green valve open. If you want a lower height, you can let out some air by opening the red valve until you get the height you want. It’s a bit tricky, but you should be able to figure it out with a few tries. This one has two short handles and no wheels, which we like for its compact size, although they also offer this car jack with long and adjustable handles, as well as integrated wheels.
We love the low profile of this car jack, which allows it to slip under just 3.7 inches of clearance, as well as its heavy duty steel construction, which should absolutely put you at ease when working under your car. This hydraulic floor jack is incredibly easy to use – just pump the handle and watch the car rise with each one, with very little effort required on your part. It has a comfortable grip that ensures an easy time getting the car to your desired height, while the twist release valve on the same handle makes lowering the car back even easier. According to the outfit, the jack is rated for up to 6,000 pounds, so it should lift most any car with ease, although it also integrates an overload valve bypass system that prevents the jack from lifting beyond its capacity, so there’s no risk of the tool giving out in the middle of a repair job.
We love how easy to use this car jack is. Seriously, the dual-piston design lifts the car to the full height of 22 inches before you even finish the second pump. It has a longer body than many jacks we’ve used, too, allowing it to reach farther on the undercarriage, while the swivel saddle allows for easy positioning, so you can really find the perfect spot. It’s rated to lift up to 7,000 pounds, by the way, so it should handle most cars with ease, with a built-in safety valve and vent plug ensuring safe operation. There are no fancy bells and whistles here – just a straightforward heavy-duty steel floor jack that gets the job done, which is what most of us need.
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Not all car jacks work with lowered sports cars. And not all floors jacks work with lifted off-roaders. Most of the time, you need separate tools to work with both of those extremes. This versatile car jack changes that, as it’s able to take on a low 3.9-inch profile when working with lowered vehicles and raise up to 30.1 inches to handle lifted trucks, making it extremely handy for folks who have a wide variety of cars in their fleet. It uses a dual-piston hydraulic system to lift any vehicle up to 6,600 pounds, while a thick u-channel frame and side plates provide stability. Features include 360-degree rear casters for easy maneuverability, adjustable safety pins on lifting arm, extendable saddle bar, a two-piece grip for comfortable handling, and a safety overload system to prevent going over the maximum weight.
If you own big trucks and want a car jack that has a somewhat professional feel to it, this pricey dual pump hydraulic lift should be what gets you there. At 105 pounds, this thing is a heavyweight of a tool, so it’s not something you’re going to toss around the garage. For the hassle of dealing with a 100-pound tool, though, you get a floor jack that can lift up to 8,000 pounds, while promising effortless strokes and the maximum lifting speed you’ll ever get from any hydraulic system, courtesy of its dual cylinders. It can raise cars anywhere from 4.3 inches to 20.5 inches in a literal jiffy, with a pinned and padded rubber saddle that should keep those heavy trucks and SUVs from slipping despite their weight. Features include a universal joint technology that enables controlled descent, ball-bearing swivel casters for easy maneuverability, and a collapsible handle for easier storage.
This car jack comes with a saddle extension that allows it to raise cars by up to 28 inches, making it an ideal tool for working with lifted off-road vehicles, like trucks and SUVs. It can handle maximum weights of up to 6,000 pounds, which should be enough to work with all but the biggest off-roaders, while being pretty light itself with its all-aluminum chassis keeping its weight down to just 68 pounds. Since this is designed for off-road vehicles, it’s been equipped to handle similarly off-road working conditions. As such, it comes with composite wheels with sealed ball bearings and a full-length steel skid plate that should prevent sinking when working on soft surfaces like sand. Do note, this has a large profile and requires six inches of clearance to slide under the ride, making it unusable for sports cars and similarly lowered vehicles.
What the heck is that? Yes, we asked the same question when we first saw these things. Turns out, it’s an electric car jack designed to lift all four corners of your car, so get full unfettered access to everything on the undercarriage. It consists of two frames with hydraulic lifts that can flatten to 3 inches thick when not in use, allowing you to slide them anywhere under the vehicle. Hook them up to the included motor to pump the pistons hands-free, allowing you to sit back and watch the car get raised automatically. Maximum lifting height is 24 inches, so you get a whole lot of room to work underneath, with automatic safety locks at mid-rise and full-rise, which you simply have to flip when you want to lower the car back down. It can lift a maximum weight of 5,000 pounds.
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