Everything you need to know about the use of hydraulic jacks
If your car came with a mechanical screw jack and you’re having difficulty working with the tool, you’re not alone. Most homes have traded in their manual jacks for something better: hydraulic jacks. These jacks work with liquid pressure which makes use of Pascal’s rule: when a container is compressed, the force at all points in the container is equal.
This way, when you’re changing your tire, you won’t have to wind up the jack handle as many times. You only need to pump the jacks handle. A couple of times and voila! You can reduce up to 75% of the work during a tire change because these mechanisms distribute pressure more efficiently. You will be amazed at how easily you can lift a vehicle that is probably 20 times its own weight.
If car owners have any concerns about jacks, it’s the fact that they can take up a lot of trunk space. It is certainly much larger than normal automotive jacks, and will even require you to bring wooden or metal boards with you when you use them. Flat boards are necessary to ensure that the base of these hydraulic jacks is stable. If you are stranded in the desert, or even on the road where the ground is already concrete, the base may not be stable enough. While concrete is a hard surface, most of the time it isn’t even. You can break this if you place them on any surface.
So would you give up luggage space just to make it easier for you to change tires? Some would and some wouldn’t. People who own small cars won’t really give up what little space they have in the trunk. This is fine because it is much easier to change tires on a small car compared to a four-wheel drive vehicle or truck.
However, if you have large vehicles and have extra room in the rear, you won’t regret bringing hydraulic jacks instead of manual ones. Most four-wheel drive vehicles have luggage compartments that can fit two people’s luggage, so a jack and its floor stand shouldn’t take up too much space. Spare tires for large vehicles like these are also placed in a separate compartment outside the trunk. Buy a hydraulic jack only if you think your vehicle is heavy enough to need the power of this type of jack. Don’t buy one if you think your vehicle is too small to carry the extra weight.