How to choose a jack for the car?
All motorists in the trunk must have a jack together with other parts necessary for quick repair. It is he who will be able to help the driver out in a situation if he suddenly lowers the wheel and has to change it to a spare wheel. Since the jack often has to be carried with it, it must be compact and relatively light so that it can be used quickly and in any conditions. That is why, before choosing, you need to carefully consider what types of jacks exist and what their technological features are.
Types of Jacks
Now in car shops there are several types of car jacks that differ structurally and have different working principles. 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 are characterized by good load capacity, capable of lifting a variety of loads within a mass of 2-200 tons. They work on the basis of a special fluid (most often oil) and a movable piston. Lifts of this type can be different: manual and electric. They are considered one of the most convenient in operation, stable and at the same time quite compact, and also have a smooth ride. The advantage of hydraulic lifts is the fact that you do not need to exert much effort on the drive handle in the process of lifting a car.
They come in classic bottle and roll-up, each type has its own design features.
- Bottle is suitable for a wide variety of work and tasks of any complexity.
- The trolley is designed so that the piston extends the lever on which the lifting heel is mounted. As a rule, such models have wheels that facilitate operation. So that when lifting goods it is not required to make great efforts, there is a convenient drive handle. However, do not forget about one important condition-a smooth and hard surface, in other conditions using rolling jacks can be a problem. They are ideal for lifting cars from low heights.
There are several drawbacks to hydraulic models: they are rather slow in operation, since they can only be transported vertically, problems with storage and transportation can occur. Also, they do not allow you to accurately set the height of the lowering load.
rack and pinion
Its design includes a rack with teeth and a special handle or lever, by rotation of which the vehicle is lifted. The device can move both horizontally and vertically. It’s very easy to work with such lifts, no big efforts are required here. The presence of an elongated handle allows you to achieve results with little effort. Rack jacks are designed to be used as a winch. Moreover, it increases efficiency, because the machine can be pulled back or forward and even move sideways.
Jacks of this design are compact, safe, reliable, smooth running without jerking. They are often used to raise machines with low speed. Rack models can vary in size, 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 give the opportunity to skate wheels. They have some other disadvantages. For example, before lifting the car, the structure should be specially carefully fixed so that under the weight of the load the structure does not fall then, since their bearing area is usually small. Also, to use the rack jack on the machine, additional recesses must be provided in which the end of the pickup or the foot of the rack is placed.
They differ in a rather simple design, which includes a clamp and two hinged shoulders. Screw jacks are divided into: vertical and horizontal (rhombic). The main structural element is the screw, by rotating it I carry out the lifting of the load. The thread pitch determines the capacity of the device. The pattern here is simple: the larger the step, the more weight the machine will be lifted. In operation, screw lifts are quite simple. They have a special handle that must be turned until the machine rises to the desired height. This type of device is characterized by small dimensions and low pickup height. The handle usually spins easily, without much effort. However, as with the rack and pinion, the support area of the screw jacks is small, so there can be problems with stability. Be sure to choose the most even surface possible.
The most common are diamond jacks. They got their name, because their design looks very much like a rhombus, formed of four levers that are interconnected by a hinge method. They act as a support, which holds the weight of the machine when lifting. They are convenient and easy to use, suitable for raising cars with low clearance.
The use of a pneumatic jack is relevant if the task is to lift the machine on a loose, sandy, marshy or very uneven surface. Easily cope with a load of 2-80 tons. Externally, such a lift resembles elastic air bags made of durable rubber with the addition of reinforced material. Also, the design necessarily includes a pump or piston. Such a lift is ideal for situations where there is a very small gap between the load and the surface. Since initially the pillow is almost flat, it will be easy to place it under the bottom of the vehicle, even if there is very little space.
If we talk about the principle of operation of pneumatic models of car jacks, they provide for the use for lifting compressed air pumped by a compressor or pump into a special pillow. It is worth saying that this option is very rarely used by motorists in domestic conditions. Most often they are used by service workers. They have one big advantage-a large pickup area.
What parameters should I look at when choosing a jack?
- Load capacity is the maximum weight of the machine that this model of jack will be able to lift.
- Lifting height-the maximum height to which, using this model of jack, it will be possible to raise a car.
- Pickup height-a value characterizing the minimum possible height with which the device can start to raise the car.
Before you purchase a jack, it is important to choose a model that can lift the necessary weight and can easily be placed under the bottom. Be sure to consider that the machine may sag. Therefore, it is also important to decide on a parameter such as clearance. For example, “rhombus” type jacks of the form are not the best choice if you need to lift them in front of the car, since even when folded they are tall. If the vehicle clearance does not exceed 15 cm, it is preferable to take the rolling or screw models. They have a lower pickup height.
You should also always look at the quality of components and the materials from which it is made. Pneumatic and hydraulic models are recommended to be checked for leaks of oil or gas before purchase. In mechanical models, special attention should be paid to the smooth operation of the device when lifting a load. Well and, of course, overall dimensions. This is also a very important indicator, especially if you plan to carry the device constantly in the trunk. The ideal jack is compact, but powerful and easy to use.
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