This is a friendly reminder that, when using a car jack you should always use jack stands as well. Chocking the wheels is also a good idea.
Seriously, use jack stands. People have been crushed and killed by their vehicles.
Most jacks are designed to be used to lift a vehicle high enough so that jack stands can be placed at support locations.
The only exception would be if you’re changing a flat on the side of the road with the emergency scissor jack that came with your vehicle. Even then, work on level and hard ground, don’t stick your body under any part of the car, chock the opposite wheels if you can, follow the instructions to the letter, and use common sense.
Even the best automotive jacks in the world can fail. A falling car can be fatal if not severely damaging to someone working beneath it. Cars can also roll or shift position, even with the parking brake engaged.
So don’t try to save money, time, or effort by working without jack stands. They don’t even cost that much to begin with – you can get a pair of 2-ton stands starting at about $25.
Here’s what I would buy:
When buying jack stands, remember to buy stands with higher load ratings than your vehicle’s weight. Also keep in mind that stands can have different height ranges.
Jeff commented about how cheaper stands that don’t have flat gussets or feet can sink into asphalt and softer materials.
Jerry mentioned about how some jack stands have notches sized for 2×6 or 2×8 lumber. That way, the stands will dig into the wood rather than asphalt or soft flooring.