Where to Put the Jack When Changing a Tire

Where to Put the Jack When Changing a Tire

So, you’re driving and suddenly hear that dreaded sound, the one that means there’s something wrong with one of your tires. You feel vibration through the steering wheel and realize that you’ve got a flat. You’ve got to change the tire, and you’ll need to place the jack correctly. But you’re wondering where to put the jack when changing a tire. That’s what you’ll discover today.

For many people, correctly placing the jack is one of the trickiest parts of changing a tire. Let’s find out how to get this done right!

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways of the Article
  • Don’t take chances with your safety. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find out the jack points on your car.
  • The most common places for jacks are on each side behind the front wheels, as well as in front of the back wheels.
  • Engage the parking brake before you even get out of the car to change your tire.

Where Should I Put the Jack to Change the Tire? (Answered)

You must find the jack point on your vehicle before placing the jack. On most vehicles, this will be on each side behind the front wheels and in front of the back wheels. There could also be two central jack points located behind the bumpers of the car as well, at both the front and the back.

Where Should I Put the Jack to Change the Tire?

You may have to search to find the right place to put the jack, and if you’re unsure then open the glove box and consult your vehicle’s manual.

If you lift the car at an inappropriate part, the car’s weight could damage the frame. Even more alarmingly, the vehicle could slip off the jack while you’re under it!

Don’t take any chances! Take a careful look at your owner’s manual if you have any doubt about where you should put the jack. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable, call AAA for roadside assistance and wait for help to arrive.

Identifying the Jack Location

The first place to look for is on each side of the car behind the front wheels and in front of the back wheels, as well.

You’ll often find this next to the rocker panels, which are the metal or plastic strips that are found beneath the doors.

Another place to look for a jack point is around the bumpers. There are often two or more of these jack points located just behind the rear and front bumpers.

This will help you to lift the car up from those angles if you need to.

You will have to take the time to see which spot is going to be the best based on which tire has a flat and how your jack will work.

In some cases, it’s hard to see where the jack point will be on your car. If this is the case for you, it’s a good idea to look along the vehicle for a flat metal area along the pinch weld.

There could also be a notch that will match the shape of the top of the jack, a cutout in the plastic skirt that will expose the metal, or a plastic block that goes on the frame.

What If I Can’t Find the Jack Point?

The jack points for your vehicle are usually easy to find. You just have to know where to look.

What If I Can’t Find the Jack Point?

If you have trouble finding them or they’re not working as they should, check the owner’s manual. This will help you to find the exact location where you should place the jacks.

How to Change a Tire: Step by Step

Here are the steps for changing a tire.

1. Find a place to pull over

You want to be as far from the traffic as possible, but avoid soft ground that the jack could sink in.

Make sure to set the parking break so the car will not move.

2. Find the spare tire, the jack, and the lug wrench

Find the spare tire, the jack, and the lug wrench in the trunk.

The Spare Tire, The Jack, and The Lug Wrench

You can use the wrench to loosen the nuts hat are holding the wheels in place. You only want them slightly loosened at this point, not all the way.

3. Find the jacking points

Find the jacking points using the steps above to put the jack underneath.

Finding the Jacking Points Tire Replacement

You should also put something sturdy on the other side to make sure that the car will not roll over on you when you use the jack.

4. Remove the lug nuts

Remove the lug nuts and place them somewhere secure so they won’t get lost. Pull the flat off and then slide the tire onto the studs.

When putting the new tire on, make sure that the valve stem is facing towards you. Screw the nuts back in and tighten by hand, using the wrench to get them on a bit more securely.

5. Lower the jack

Lower the jack so that the tire is just touching the ground, and then snug the bolts up some more.

Car Tire Replacement

6. Lower the car

Lower the car all the way and remove the jack. Give the lug nuts one more tightening to make sure they’re in place.

If you did all of the steps the right way, you should be ready to hit the road and have a safe trip with the new or spare tire in place.

How Much Can You Drive on a Spare Tire?

Your spare tire, no matter the type you have, is not meant for long-distance driving. Usually, you shouldn’t drive more than 75 miles on it.

How Much Can You Drive on a Spare Tire?

Your spare tire is just meant to get you to a tire repair shop, so you can get a new full-size tire put on professionally.

Most spare tires that we keep in our cars are donut tires. This type of tire is made exclusively for temporary, emergency use, but if you’re not in the habit of maintaining air pressure on your spare tire, it may be flat.

Once you have the spare tire in place (and confirm there is enough air in it visually – you’ll know right away if you’ve got a flat spare on your hands), immediately make your way to an auto repair shop.

Spare tires are not designed for long-distance driving – they are to get you off the road, out of danger, and to a mechanic.

Put On the Parking Brake

You must ensure your parking brake is on before you jack up the vehicle. Put on this brake before you even get out of your car.

Parking Brake

This will ensure that the car (and more importantly, you) stay safe. You don’t want the car starting to roll away when you’re working on it!

Make sure that the vehicle is as steady and secure as possible before you start to use the jack to raise it up.

If possible, add some wood or another sturdy item to the other side of the vehicle right before you start to lift it up with the jack.

This will ensure the car won’t be able to roll over in the other direction.

Final Thoughts: Where to Put the Jack When Changing a Tire

No one wants to end up stranded on the side of a road because of a flat tire.

Luckily, with the right tools and a good understanding of where to place the jack under your vehicle, you’ll be able to take off the damaged tire and put on a replacement one quickly and easily.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to drive to a mechanic.

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