If you ever want to change a tire or safely work under a car and forgot a car jack, you might feel helpless.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which you can lift your car without needing a jack.
Using a jack has a lot of risks are associated with it, and has caused serious injuries and even death. [Source]
This guide will help you through some of these ways so that you can change your wheels on the fly or get under your car to do some car repairs even if you forget a car jack.
How to lift a car without a jack?
Using Natural slopes
In an area where you can find elevated ramps or even the curbs of the footpaths in an urban area, you don’t require a jack.
Drive your car at an angle to the ramp so that one wheel of your car gets elevated and you achieve the necessary height to work under the car.
Drive upward at an angle if you want the back wheels elevated or you can drive up the ramp in reverse at an angle so that the front wheels get elevated.
Watch the full video here:
Digging soil underneath
Another way is to go off-road where the ground is not concrete.
- Park your car, apply emergency brakes and chock the wheels as usual.
- For changing a tire, you can dig a hole under the tire to achieve the necessary elevation.
- A shovel can be used for digging the soil easily for this purpose.
- Keep digging until the axle rests solidly on the blocking materials.
This will allow you to get a satisfactory elevation to easily remove the tire. Remove the lug nuts and change your tire.
Using pieces of wood / bricks
A cheap and inexpensive way to lift your car high enough for access to an underneath portion of your car (without purchasing a jack) is using pieces of natural unprocessed wood.
You can stack up these pieces and make a wooden block. Avoid using nails to stack up the planks.
The reason is that nails break the wooden planks and create a weak point at the center which can cause the entire block to collapse under the weight of the car (you can use wooden glue which will have no effect on the strength of the wooden blocks).
Now drive the car up or push it manually onto the wooden block and you will get the desired elevation to change your tire.
In a similar fashion, you can use bricks or any other flat piece of rock to lift your car up. Be careful that you use a blocking/supporting material like bricks or wooden plank in order to prevent the tire from sliding off of the platform you created.
Necessary Precautions: After lifting the car, engage your emergency brakes or chock the wheels so that the wheels can’t roll. The recommended way is that you do both. The chock should be applied opposite to the side you’re lifting. People have lost lives getting crushed by their cars whilst working under them, so we recommend taking extra care to abide by all the necessary precautions.
Using a jack is still the most time-efficient and easiest way to lift your car up. Though not the safest for holding the car in place for working underneath it, it is still the easiest tool for getting the required height for changing a tire.
- Park your car, apply handbrakes, and chock/secure the wheels opposite to the ones being jacked up to prevent any rolling.
- Place the jack under the car’s frame nearest to the wheel being jacked up. There is a thin lip that runs along the side of the car and this is the place where the jack should be placed. If you’re still unsure of the safe positions to jack your car, we recommended reading your owner’s manual.
- When the jack is in place, insert the handle according to the directions on the jack and turn/lift according to the markings on the jack.
- Lower the jack when you’re finished. Be cautious and slow. Remove any car stands first if you’ve used them before lowering the car with the jack.
Also Read: How to Jack Up a Lifted Truck?
Other tools to lift a car
Following are some alternatives for a traditional car jack:
- Exhaust X-Jack
- Cattini Lifting Bags
- AMI Pneumatic Lift Jacks
- Safe Jack Rennstand
- Air Hydraulic Jacks
- Bladder Jacks
There are a number of ways to lift your car in absence of a traditional car jack.
You can use naturally elevated areas, slopes, curbs of footpaths as ramps in order to lift one side of your car. You can even dig the soil underneath the tire with a shovel or your bare hands to get the necessary height for replacing a tire.
Or if none of this is available, you can use flat pieces of rocks, bricks, or wood and make your own ramp to provide you the required space to work underneath a car. Always take care of the necessary precautions to avoid any fatal possibilities.