All motorists in the trunk must have a jack along with other necessary for quick repair parts. It will be able to help the driver in case of a sudden flat tire and have to change it for the spare.
Since the jack often has to carry with him, it must be compact and relatively lightweight to be able to use it quickly and in any condition. That is why before choosing it is necessary to carefully consider what types of jacks exist and what are their technological features.
Types of jacks
Now in car stores there are several types of car jacks, which differ from each other constructively and have a different principle of operation. It is up to you to decide which one to choose and buy, but we will consider the features of each type.
This is one of the most popular types. Hydraulic devices have a good capacity, able to lift a variety of loads within the weight range of 2-200 tons. They work on the basis of a special liquid (most often oil) and a moving piston. Elevators of this type can be different: manual and electric. They are considered one of the most convenient to work with, they are stable and at the same time quite compact, as well as smooth-running. Another advantage of hydraulic elevators is that it is not necessary to apply much effort to the driving handle while lifting the car.
They come in classic bottle and movable jack, each type has its own design features. The Bottle is suitable for a variety of works and tasks of any complexity.
The movable jack is designed so that the piston extends the lever, which has a lifting heel. As a rule, such models have wheels, which facilitate operation. There is a handy drive handle to make sure that you do not have to exert a lot of effort when lifting loads. Do not forget one important condition – a smooth and hard surface, in other conditions with the use of movable jack can be a problem. They are ideal for lifting cars from low heights.
Hydraulic models also have a few disadvantages: they are quite slow in operation, and since they can only be transported vertically, there can be problems with storage and transportation. They also do not allow you to set the exact height of the load lowering.
Rack and pinion jacks
Their design includes a rack with teeth and a special handle or lever, by turning which the car is lifted. The device can move both horizontally and vertically. It is very easy to work with these elevators. The presence of an elongated handle allows you to achieve a result with little effort. The rack and pinion jacks are designed to be used also as a winch. And this increases efficiency, because the car can be pulled backward or forwards and even moved sideways.
Jacks of this design are characterized by compactness, safety, reliability, and smooth operation without jerks. They are often used for lifting cars with low stroke. Rack and pinion models can vary in size, and manufacturers offer a variety of models designed to work with different types of vehicles.
Their use does not allow you to adjust the height of the lift accurately enough, they do not give the opportunity to board the wheels. They have some other disadvantages. For example, before lifting a car, the structure should be carefully secured so that the weight of the load does not cause the structure to fall, since its support area is usually small. Also, in order to use a rack jack, additional notches must be provided on the car, into which the end of the jack or the foot of the rail is placed.
They are characterized by a fairly simple design, which includes a clamp and two arms on hinges. Screw jacks are divided into: vertical and horizontal (rhombus). The main element of the design is a screw, through its rotation, and is carried out by lifting the load. The thread pitch determines the capacity of the device. The pattern here is simple: the greater the step, the weight of the lifting machine will be greater. In operation, the screw elevators are simple enough. They have a special handle, which should be twisted until the machine rises to the desired height. This type of device is characterized by its small size and low lifting heights. The handle is usually easy to turn without much effort. Just like rack-and-pinion jacks, screw jacks have small footprints, so stability can be a problem. It is necessary to choose as level a surface as possible. The most common is the scissor jacks.
They got their name because their design is very similar to a rhombus, formed of four arms, which are connected to each other by a hinge method. They act as support, which holds the weight of the machine during lifting. Are convenient and easy to work, suitable for lifting cars with low clearance.
Using a pneumatic jack is relevant if the task is to lift the car on a loose, sandy, swampy, or very uneven surface. Easily cope with a load of 2-80 tons. Externally, such an elevator resembles elastic pneumatic cushions made of durable rubber with the addition of reinforced material. Also, the design necessarily includes a pump or piston. Such an elevator is ideal for situations where there is very little clearance between the load and the surface. Since initially, the cushion is almost flat, it will be easy to place it under the bottom of the vehicle, even if the space is minimal.
If we talk about the principle of operation of pneumatic models of car jacks, they involve the use of compressed air for lifting, pressurized by a compressor or pump in a special cushion. It is worth saying that this option is very rarely used by motorists in domestic conditions. Most often they are used by employees of the service stations. They have one important advantage – a large pick-up area.
What parameters should be considered when choosing a jack?
- Road capacity is the maximum weight of the car that this jack model will be able to lift.
- Height of lift – the maximum height to which, using this model of jack, you will be able to lift your car.
- The lifting height is the value that characterizes the minimum possible height at which the device can begin to lift the car.
Before you purchase a jack, it is important to choose a model that will be able to lift the necessary weight and can be easily placed under the bottom. Be sure to take into account the fact that the car can sag. Therefore, it is also important to determine such a parameter as ground clearance. For example, diamond-type jacks are not the best choice if you need to lift the front of the car, since even in the folded state they are a bit high. If the car’s clearance does not exceed 15 cm, it is better to take the movable jack or screw models. They have a lower lifting height.
Also, you should always look at the quality of components and materials of which it is made. Pneumatic and hydraulic models are recommended before buying to further check for oil or gas leaks. With mechanical models, special attention should be paid to the smoothness of the device when lifting loads.
And, of course, the overall dimensions. This is also a very important factor, especially if you plan to carry the device constantly in the trunk. The ideal jack is compact, but powerful and easy to work with.