How to lift a car for repairs without an elevator and a pit

Ways to lift a car for repair without a pit or an elevator

A large number of car owners prefer to repair their vehicles on their own, using tool kits and an ordinary garage. Someone does it in the yard, although this option is not the most acceptable. But certain repairs require obligatory lifting of a part or the whole car, otherwise it will be impossible to reach the problematic assembly. If we are talking about car-care centers, there is specialized equipment in the form of powerful hoists, as well as equipped with inspection pits, from where the technician can easily get to the desired part, remove it, replace or repair. Few regular motorists own a service station, and therefore you need to look for alternative options for lifting your car, so as not to overpay for the car service only because of the lack of funds to lift the car. But if you decide to take up such work yourself, very strictly follow all safety rules. Not every method considered will be suitable for you. Carefully analyze, take into account your technical and physical capabilities. It is not worth the extra risk. Sometimes it is really better to go to a trusted car service.

How to raise the car for repair without an elevator and a pit

The question of safety

Quite often the car owners face a problem when they don’t have a special trestle, hoist or pit in their garage for repair-repair works. The only option for many is to use a jack. But it is hardly possible to call such method absolutely safe. Before you get to work and climb under a raised car in your own garage, consider a few things directly related to your safety.

  1. Before you begin any work that requires lifting your vehicle with a jack, be sure to check the jack to make sure it is in good working order. Jacks can gradually wear out and fail. Therefore, before each procedure of using a lifting device, make sure that nothing is broken and the jack is able to perform its tasks properly.
  2. Match the weight to be lifted to the jack’s capabilities. Each jack is designed to lift a certain weight. And this requirement is often violated by motorists, which leads to serious and dangerous consequences. Before you load the device with the weight of the car, make sure that it will withstand it. Therefore, it is very important to choose jacks with a reserve of carrying capacity.
  3. Supports. A simple but effective homemade means to increase your own safety. Wooden planks or bars are used as stands. Usually enough 2-4 pieces. First, the car is lifted with a jack, and then these supports are placed under the car. In this way, the car becomes much more stable.
  4. Wheel chocks. These are special structures that prevent the car from rolling away. Do not rely completely on the handbrake. Even with a perfectly flat surface during repair work, you can yank the car and it will roll. Just a few centimeters of displacement is enough to make the car roll off the jack. Think in advance how to block the wheels.
  5. Using several jacks at the same time. If the car is heavy, or you need to lift not a part but the whole car, you should use several jacks at once. Safety stands are used in parallel.
  6. Telephone availability for communication. Always keep it handy. Situations can be different. And if you suddenly get trapped under the car, which, hopefully, will never happen, you can call for help.

Safety first. Before carrying out any repair work in your garage, involving the need to lift the car, create all conditions for safe work. It is not so difficult to do, but it is extremely important for the safety of your health and life.

Ways to lift in the garage

If the repair work is planned to carry out in the garage, you need to think about how best to lift the car, when in the absence of a powerful elevator. There are several methods of lifting the vehicle in the garage. And sometimes you do not need to lift anything at all, since many of these rooms are present pit. They help car owners to carry out repair and preventive maintenance works on their own, without turning for help to specialists from car service center, thus saving their budget significantly. But the problem becomes relevant again when you do not know how you can lift the car in the garage without an inspection pit. It is not everywhere, so we have to look for alternative solutions. In the absence of a pit you can use:

  • a jack;
  • stands;
  • improvised means.

About each method should be described separately, so you can take into account important nuances and follow certain rules.

Using a jack

Almost every motorist has a jack. This device should go as a basic package when buying a car. If the car was taken on the secondary market, and the jack was not there, one of the primary tasks of the new car owner is to buy a good lifting device. The danger of the jack is mainly in the violation of the rules of its use. Some drivers simply overload the device, not calculating the load on the mechanism from too much car weight. Others buy low-quality models that cannot withstand even a few cycles of work under load. But there is another problem, when the jack is good, its quality is not questionable, the car is still torn off. This is due to improper installation of the device. There are 2 key rules to follow here.

  1. The supporting place, on which the jack is installed, must be hard and level. If the surface is crooked or loose, the stability of the lifting mechanism will be violated, and the machine may at any time collapse. When concrete or wooden floor is used in garages, there are no problems. But if there is earth under the wheels, it is necessary to put a pad of strong material under the jack itself. A sheet of metal or wooden boards will do.
  2. The jack should be placed against the car’s side members. The car sills are designed with special grooves where the jack is inserted. But here the metal is often quite soft, so after frequent use it begins to sag. Longer sills are much more stable, and therefore are able to withstand repeated load cycles.
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When the jack rests on the solid metal and stands on a level and hard surface, the work is much safer. Yes, you should not forget about securing the car itself, its wheels, and carefully performing all tasks to avoid a strong swaying of the car standing on the jack. The combination of these rules with the application of additional safety measures allows you to achieve excellent results.

Lift with a jack

Tools of the hand

Sometimes the driver finds himself in situations where there is no good jack at hand, or it is broken. And the car needs to be lifted for urgent repairs. Here your ingenuity will come to the rescue, as well as the materials that are around you. If possible, ask for help from several men from nearby garages. They will help you lift the car so that in the meantime you can put some planks or bricks under it. You can also use the wheel rims on which the car will stand, and this will allow you to make the necessary repairs. But you should not always count on help. In this situation, being in the garage, you can solve the problem on your own. And it is not as difficult as it may seem. You will need to find a meter-long wooden board of sufficient strength, as well as a few bricks. The bricks should be stacked on top of each other and the board itself should be placed on top. As a result, one edge of the board stands on the bricks, and the other touches the floor. In this way you have made a small slope.

Now it remains to carefully drive one side of the resulting structure. This will raise the car above the floor level in the garage. Next, get out of the car, place a wooden base under the spars. You can remove the bricks and the board. That’s it, the car is lifted and secured. Proceed to the planned repair work. But this is a method that is recommended to use in extreme situations, when there is no other way out, and it is necessary to deal with the restoration of the car as quickly as possible. It will be better if you go and buy a good jack to replace the one that failed.

Wooden jacks

This is a safety item that is definitely recommended to use when you do your own vehicle garage repair. But you still can’t do without a jack here. The point of the procedure is to make the car as stable as possible. To do this, you need to take strong wooden boards of sufficient thickness. Then the necessary part of the car is jacked up, and planks are put under it. The jack itself can safely be removed, because the boards have taken all the load on themselves, and their stability is much better than that of the lifting device. Pads in the form of a wooden board or a section are installed under the spars. If there is a need, the procedure is also carried out on the other side of the vehicle. This allows the vehicle to be fully suspended with all four wheels above the floor. The main thing is to have a sufficient number of stands. Therefore, it is worth taking care of this in advance.

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Lift with a jack

Methods of lifting on the street

Some will be surprised, but there are just as many opportunities to lift a car outdoors as there are in the garage. And some would argue that there are even more outside. The street gives you more space than a cramped garage. Plus, not everyone has one. That’s why you often have to work outside, in the yard of a private or multi-story house. The advantage of having other motorists in the neighborhood is that you can ask them for help, to borrow a serviceable jack for a while. If you need to lift the car, you can use a number of special devices or simply improvised means that will help in solving the problem. Some foresee the need for self-repair in advance, while others act according to the situation, and solve problems as they arise. And for these purposes you can use:

  • a mini trestle;
  • racks;
  • improvised means.

Having stopped on the street, it is possible to take out own jack from a trunk, which is obligatory to be in the car. But it so happens that it is not there, or it is in an unusable condition. Then you can ask for help from the neighbors-automobilists. Practice shows that quite a large number of people are willing to help. But some are banal shy to ask for help, and therefore try to solve their problem on their own.

Mini overpass

Prudent motorists make their own mini trestle in advance. It can be assembled with their own hands if you have the appropriate skills, or ask for help from professional welders. The procedure of making a mini-stage is quite complicated, requires a lot of time and effort. But often the result is worth it completely. The only question is what kind of trestle you will use. Designs conventionally divided into collapsible and one-piece. If you have a garage or a spacious back room in a private home where you can store sufficiently impressive in size structure, it is better to make a solid mini trestle. It is more reliable and durable, although it takes a lot of space. Collapsible also practical and functional, but for reliability and durability is somewhat inferior solid. Much more depends on what materials were used in the manufacture, and how well assembled trestle. All such compact trestles for personal use are divided into several categories:

  • Single-sided pyramids. The simplest designs, which will require a few sturdy wooden boards to build. The trestle is simple, but easy to use. It is assembled quickly, does not require a large financial investment;
  • Rectangular trapezes. These are two elements joined together, each of which is a half-trapezoid. To make such a trestle, you will need metal corners and a welding machine;
  • Demountable trestles. Here a metal profile is used, the elements of which are welded together. All you get a few parts connected by special mechanisms and mountings. It is convenient, practical and functional. But making a collapsible trestle is the most difficult.

Having even the simplest version of a mini trestle in your possession, you can take it at any time, install it in the street and conduct the planned or unscheduled repair work.

Lift with a mini trestle


There are other situations when the motorist’s capabilities are somewhat limited. That is, he can not afford to use the whole mini-stack for objective reasons. Therefore one of the options for lifting will be the use of special racks. These devices can be easily found in almost any store of automotive products. And more experienced motorists prefer to make such devices with their own hands. This saves a lot of money, and also allows you to get additional experience. Factory options can withstand a load of about 5 tons. But if you approach the issue of making a self-made rack competently, it will withstand no less. This is where each motorist decides for himself if he is going to make a stand, or give preference to prefabricated construction. The scheme of installation looks the same as in case of using wooden racks. That is, it is first necessary to raise the desired part of the vehicle with an ordinary car jack. And already under the spars are installed racks. Such a procedure can be performed on all four wheels. Thereby rack will hold the car above ground level, providing the necessary stability. With the help of struts the car can be raised by 60 centimeters at most. Often this is more than enough for repair, preventive or restorative work in street conditions.

Lifting with jacks

Alternative methods

Not so often the motorist has to lift the car, when there are no special devices at hand. At least the simplest jack must be at hand according to the rules. But let’s assume that the car owner is in a very difficult situation, he has no devices for lifting the car, and you can rely only on improvised means. Artisans offer several options for solving this problem in extreme situations.

  1. Curb. You do not need to look for lifting devices and overpasses in order to lift a part of the car. At times, if you need to remove one wheel, you can use the most common curb. The option is not the most ideal, but when there is no alternative, it also perfectly helps to cope with a difficult situation.
  2. Spare tire. Full-size spare tire or spare wheel is a must in every car. And it can be used not only as a substitute for a punctured tire. The spare tire will also serve as a means for raising the car. The spare tire is put on the ground, put a board or other material at hand. Next, the only thing left to do is to drive over the resulting structure.
  3. Lever method. If the car got stuck somewhere in the woods when you went fishing, hunting or recreation, you can use the lever method. You will need a pair of logs of sufficient strength. Moreover, one log is taken short and the other is longer. The shorter timber acts as a supporting structure, and the longer log will serve you as a powerful lever. Considering the laws of physics, to raise with a homemade device like this machine is much easier than you might imagine. It does not even need the help of other people. The motorist is quite possible to cope on their own.
  4. Road overpasses. Many roads have overpasses along the side of the road that are designed for free use. They are not always and everywhere, but you should not forget about this option.
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There are many methods of lifting a car. For some use special devices, and for others it is enough to find improvised means, and skillfully use them.

Literally a few tricks should always be in stock car owner. You never know exactly in what situation you will find yourself. Sometimes even the most reliable and quality jacks can fail. And therefore it is always necessary to know alternative ways and solutions to the arising problem. If you regularly service your own vehicle yourself, if you have a garage or a room for storing various tools and appliances, think in advance about equipping with the appropriate structures. The car must always have a camping jack, at least of the simplest design. And for the garage is better to provide a more reliable and powerful device. It will never be superfluous to keep a few bricks and wooden planks on hand. They do not take up much space in the garage, and can be used for a variety of purposes, including solving domestic problems.

Regardless of what method of lifting you use and what equipment you have at your disposal, always remember to keep safety precautions in mind. This is the first place to start for any work that directly involves having to climb under a heavy vehicle. The ideal solution for garage and private home owners would be to make an inspection pit. In cooperative garages it is not always possible to do this if the pit was not provided by the original design of your garage. But in the private house nobody forbids you to dig a hole, lick it and use it as a full-fledged observation deck during the repair, maintenance or during the replacement of consumables on your car.

Car repair without a jack and a pit: useful tips and ways to lift the car

To repair the underbody, replace the wheels or hubs, you may need to lift the car without a jack or an inspection pit. The procedure requires a minimum set of tools, handy devices and school knowledge of physics. Elevate the car above the ground or floor with the help of stands, drive up to the hill or kerb, make a mobile trestle.

Ways to lift a car

Repairing a car without a jack and a pit: useful tips and ways to lift your car

Car owners perform repair work on their own. To do this, the car is driven indoors so that the process is not impeded by precipitation. For safe repair use mechanical or electric lifting devices, driving transport on a trestle or an inspection pit, as well as jacks.

In garages without a pit, repairing the underside of the vehicle can be problematic. To get under the car, you need to lift the car completely or raise one of the axles. There are simple ways to lift your car without an elevator, jack and inspection pit.

You can do without a pit in a garage or in cases where there is no jack, you can lift your car on:

  • ropes car crane or a tower crane;
  • miniature trestle;
  • wooden logs;
  • metal poles;
  • homemade lever;
  • corral to an elevated position (curb, knoll, rail).

Use available devices to lift the vehicle. Choose sturdy elements and safe methods to eliminate the risk of lowering the vehicle, breakage of a makeshift device, or injury.

Lifting the vehicle with ropes

Repairing a car without a jack and a pit: useful tips and ways to lift your car

For repair work on the underbody or replacing wheels, you can lift the car with a crane. If you can involve special equipment for lifting the car, focus on the weight of the car.

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Involve a tow truck or truck crane, capable of lifting a load of up to 5 tons. Weight of the car:

  • cars – 1,5-2 tons;
  • SUVs – 3-5 tons;
  • vans, minivans – 2,5-3 tons.

For safe lifting by auto wrecker, tower crane or truck crane you will need a lifting beam or strong tarpaulin straps. Fixing devices are installed under the bottom or wheel pairs, the car is lifted on ropes to the required height, stop the mechanism for repair works. Do not attach hooks, belt straps to the roof. While the vehicle is being raised, the body structure may not hold, bend, or lose geometry.

Vehicle suspended from one or both sides shall be repaired in suspended condition or lowered to strong stable supports. When repairing the vehicle hanging in the air, ensure that the body is in a stationary position. It is safer to work with the vehicle only after it has been placed on the supports.

On a mobile trestle.

Repairing a car without a jack and a pit: useful tips and ways to lift your car

Repair work without a pit is done not only in garages, but also on the street. A passenger car or van can be driven on a miniature trestle. The method is suitable in cases where you need to lift a wheel or one of the axles.

The mobile trestle is made of durable materials:

  • metal. To install the device you will need a welder, a metal angle or a channel. From metal make a welded structure in the form of a trapezoid with a gentle approach;
  • wooden bar or boards. To assemble the trestle use a beam section of not less than 15 cm or unedged lumber not less than 7 cm thick. To protect against rot, the wood is treated with antiseptics or impregnated with machine waste oil. Parts are fastened to strong anchors or large bolts.

The main support is the platform, which is constructed in the form of a platform, where the car wheel will be located. It is made as a stable stool on 4 uprights. One of the ribs is welded or fastened to the skid. The design can be dismountable or solid.

Non-dismountable mobile trestles are assembled for spacious garages. Metal bolts and nuts are used to assemble collapsible structures. Fixtures are convenient for both urgent and unscheduled repairs. To repair a vehicle, make a one-wheel drive onto the mobile fixture. Put the vehicle on the handbrake before getting under the underside. Use the wheel chocks to stop the opposite wheel set.

On wooden blocks.

Repairing a car without a jack and a pit: useful tips and ways to lift your car

Without a jack, you can lift your car in a garage that has no inspection pit. Use sawn logs with a diameter of at least 50-60 cm and a height of 20-30 cm. Saw the wooden elements equal in size.

Lift the car with the help of:

  • lifting mechanism;
  • manual force (you will need at least four physically strong men);
  • drive over a thick, wide plank.

Use a wheel chock under each wheel with any method of lifting the car. Homemade devices can be made from a wooden bar or welded construction of a metal profile.

Repair the car on the chocks carried out as lifting one of the edges of the car, and setting the vehicle on 3-4 stands. After fixing the car on the stands, make sure that the handbrake is engaged. Place chocks under the tires.

On the boards

Repairing a car without a jack and a pit: useful tips and ways to lift your car

To elevate the bottom of the car above the floor or the ground use the staking of the car on several wide, thick boards. A foot of lumber is drilled and the elements are fastened to each other. The car is jacked up or lifted with the principle of a lever, an improvised wooden structure is placed under the body or axles.

The method of lifting without a pit and jack can be in the form of:

  • mounting on wooden uprights in the form of wide sawn off planks. The vehicle is lifted with a hoist, tow truck, crane, or using manual force;
  • corralling on stacked boards to which a loading platform is attached. Wide, thick lumber is stacked, secured together with nails or long screws. If you plan to raise the car completely above the floor or ground, make two plank piles under the right and left wheels. Secure the elements to each other with stiffening ribs.

Treat the wooden fixtures with antiseptic compositions or impregnations based on waste machine oil. After treatment the structure will last at least 15 years. Oiled wood becomes resistant to moisture, mold fungus, increased stress.

After placing the vehicle on the wooden boards, secure the machine with a stopper and wheel chocks. Make sure the vehicle is level on the structure. The wheels should stand strictly in the middle of the lumber. Shifting to one side can provoke a pullout or mechanical damage of the improvised support. Wooden supports are installed both under the wheel axles and under the spars. For the drive-in, assemble a brickwork driveway, on which a wide board with a thickness of at least 5 cm is placed.

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On the supports made of metal.

Repairing a car without a jack and a pit: useful tips and ways to lift your car

When independently suspending the car on homemade supports, choose sturdy material. The weight of a passenger car can be up to 2 tons. For long repairs without a jack and an inspection pit, use metal supports. The vehicle is safe and long can withstand wheel rims. They are capable of not losing their shape and strength under pressure of objects weighing up to 5 tons.

Algorithm of installing the car on metal rims:

  • Raise the edge of the car with a lever, jack or manually;
  • place the factory disk flat under the longitudinal member;
  • carefully lower the vehicle;
  • if necessary, repeat the procedure for the other ends of the car;
  • lock the handbrake;
  • secure wheels that are on the floor or the ground with wheel chocks.

You can use either one element to raise the car to a height of 30 cm or two at once. With the car suspended by 2 folded discs, at least 60 cm is formed under the bottom, which will allow for a full repair, preventive maintenance, replacement of parts or restoration.

Other non-standard ways

Repairing a car without a jack and a pit: useful tips and ways to lift your car

Use unusual methods to lift the vehicle without driving it on an overpass, jacking it up, or driving it over an inspection pit. The attachments must be able to support the weight of the car, and the car itself must be securely fastened and have a stable position.

Lifting a passenger vehicle can be accomplished by:

  • Driving onto a curb, a hill. This method is suitable when it is necessary to lift one wheel or the edge of the car. Drive the car on a hill, fix it in that position;
  • lifting with a forklift and placing supports under the longitudinal members;
  • lifting the bottom with a stop. The lever for lifting can be a metal channel, rail, bar section of 10 cm, a wide board with a thickness of at least 7 cm. Bricks or chocks are placed under the element. One lever edge is placed under the longitudinal member, the other is placed on the counterweight;
  • placing the vehicle on bars, bricks, cinder blocks, foam blocks, gas blocks. The car is lifted manually, with a jack or a lifting device. Put improvised stands under the axles;
  • install the car on the spare. For urgent repairs the spare wheel can be used as a support. Carefully climb up the element on a wide plank, secure the position;
  • drive onto a free-access ramp. The structures are located along public roads or near garage complexes.

For safe and quality car repairs, use only reliable means for lifting. Only use a jack or lifting device to raise the vehicle to a higher level.

Safety Precautions

Repairing a car without a jack and a pit: useful tips and ways to lift your car

Repair work involving raising the car to a higher height must be done safely. Lifting a car with a jack is done with a preliminary inspection of the device for the absence of mechanical damage, the ability to withstand the weight of the car.

When using non-standard methods of raising a passenger vehicle, observe the following conditions

  • carry out work on a level surface when storing the car for long repairs;
  • choose places with dense, stationary ground;
  • use supports and racks made of strong material – metal, stone, thick wood;
  • lift the vehicle with reliable devices or with at least 4 people;
  • Lift the floor of the body in the area of the longitudinal members so that the structure is not deformed;
  • When attaching the floor pan to the uprights, secure the components to each other to prevent the risk of the vehicle coming off;
  • ensure that the vehicle is in a stable position. Hang the body on 2 or 4 uprights to achieve balance;
  • mount homemade chocks or wheel chocks under the wheel elements;
  • apply the handbrake after securing the vehicle;
  • Use several jacks to lift the vehicle. Temporarily borrow devices to achieve a safe position of the body on the jacks;
  • keep a cell phone handy. During repairs, you should be able to call family or emergency services if the car suddenly falls off the makeshift jack;
  • Install supports on a flat, firm surface. Put a metal sheet, a wide board or thick plywood under the structure;
  • Lay a blanket under the workplace, use protective clothing, protective equipment when carrying out repairs.

Distribute the weight of the machine evenly on the supports. Skewing the weight on one side can upset the balance. Intelligent positioning of the vehicle on 2 or 4 uprights will prevent injury or mechanical damage.

You can easily and safely lift a car without a jack in different ways. Lift the car with a crane, drive it on a mini-stack, install it on supports made of wheel disks, planks, bricks or put it on the curb. It is important to follow safety rules when lifting heavy loads to a height.

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