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How much weight does a automobile jack take?

Hi.

In line with your offer to ask you "anything", is it possible to know what proportion of a automobile's weight is lifted when you jack up on one side to change a wheel? Presumably some of the weight is being taken by the two wheels that remain on the ground. I ask this because, for a different job unrelated to the automobile, I want to buy a small hydraulic bottle jack (the smallest smallest possible to fit into a particular space) and I'm wondering if the max lift of the bottle jack is less than the total weight of the automobile, would it be safe to use it for changing a tyre.

As always, many thanks in advance, Philip

Filed under miscellaneous - Asked by Philip Donegan (Ballina) - Sun, 28 Oct 2018 08:58


Shane O' Donoghue Answered by: - -

Answer

Hi Philip,

In very simple terms, the jack must be able to take at least half the automobile's weight. Actually, to be safe, you'd have to say a little more than half, just in case there is any variance between passenger and driver side. Every automobile has its own weight distribution and centre of gravity, but for the purposes of this, imagine a automobile with its weight perfectly distributed. Position the jack in the middle of the side of the automobile and jack it up. When viewed from the front or back, the centre of gravity moves to the side of the automobile not being jacked up, so as the automobile goes up, the jack is actually under less strain than when it started.

With all of these things, we would recommend building in a safety factor, of course, and use a fixed stand to hold the automobile up before you go underneath it.

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