I need to jack up my car to take out the front driver side tire and change the p/s and alternator belt. I don't own a floor jack but I do have a scissor jack. I was wondering could I just use the scissor jack instead of the floor jack to raise the car up and lower it on the jack stand. I have a chock too. I know the floor jack adds more protection because it can be slightly raised up again so in case the jack stand gives out.

This is if it is my first time using a jack.

Thank you.

  • 3
    One suggestion. Since this site caters for a global audience, you might want to post up a few photos explaining what you mean by floor jack and scissor jack. I, for one, am not sure what you're referring to exactly (and there are a ton of jack solutions out there ;)
    – Zaid
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 7:31
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    Scissor jack is usually for emergencies only, but lots of people use it for repairs, no worries. It's just less convenient than a floor jack and there is a higher chance of dropping the car if misused. But if you take Ducati's safety advice - you should be fine. Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 8:15
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    Hey good luck....I don't mean to be your mom but be safe. Cheers. Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 8:21
  • Sometimes you can do this repair with the car sitting on the ground, sure access is easier if you jack it and take the wheel off, but maybe you don't need to.
    – Jasen
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 10:47
  • The type of vehicle will have a lot to do with it. I scissor jacked (onto jack stands) my little old '97 Civic hatch dozens of times for oil changes/tire rotations whathaveyou, but I have read about fatigue failures of the OEM scissor jack on heavier cars (Infiniti G35 in particular). Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 14:39

3 Answers 3


You can use either jack you want

For safety sake, don't get under the car unless you have some jackstands. It isn't the jack failing that kills you. It's the fact that you only used a jack and didn't have any backup. You NEVER use a jack alone if you are getting underneath the car. You ONLY use a jack to change a tire on the side of the road and

you never get underneath your car without jack stands in that situation...NEVER

you never get underneath your car without jack stands in that situation...NEVER

you never get underneath your car without jack stands in that situation...NEVER

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If you don't have access to jackstands, take the spare tire off your car and jam it up under the car. If it doesn't take up enough space, don't get under.

Do these things

  • Put the car in park

  • Use the emergency brake

  • Find anything you can to use as wheel chocks. 2x4 is better than a rock. A rock can skid along smooth concrete if you are on a slope.

  • Don't jack up the car if it's on a slope, no matter what. Especially since your are a 'jack your car up virgin'

  • Put the car on level ground

  • Use jack stands

  • Use jack stands

  • Use jack stands

  • If you don't have jackstands, use two of your wheels. The spare and another off the car. Jam them up in there. Make sure the car won't fall more than an inch

  • Make sure you jack your car up per your owners manual. Get it out of the glove box and open it. It will tell you where to place your jack.


If you feel uncertain, don't do it. Ask a neighbor who has done it before to help you. Call your friends. Have them come over and help you.

Have someone with you in case something happens and you need help. Do not do this alone since it is your first time. Don't do it alone. DO NOT DO IT ALONE. Have your GF/Wife there. Anybody. The moment you feel uncomfortable abandon the project and find someone to assist.

This post makes me incredibly nervous because you have not done this before.

Please be safe.


Your jack placement is very important. If you place your jack incorrectly it can damage your car. I already said this piece but get the owners manual out of your glovebox. It will tell you EXACTLY where to place your jack. There are points the manufacturer designed into the car for you to jack it up. You will want to use those hardened jack points.

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    Thank you for your kind words. It's meaningful. Jam a rock between your tire and the road. Both sides of the tire. Do two tires just be extra safe. Kick them in and get them jammed up in there good and you will be fine. Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 8:53
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    The dirt road is fine. it's slope you lean that you don't want. Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 8:57
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    I've pulled a car off a jack on a dirt driveway, trying to get the wheel off (and yes I had loosened the bolts with weight on the wheel). So I'd avoid jacking on dirt if possible
    – Chris H
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 13:37
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    You should visit Philippines and Philippine garages sometime. We usually ain't got time for that. We place the jack under something that looks sturdy, place some random slab of sturdy-looking concrete underneath it if it's on soil and lift away. Place cardboard on the ground, lie down on it, and start working under if required. I'm not saying that he should do the same. Just sharing :)
    – Aloha
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 14:11
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    jacks and floor jacks should be on a piece of plywood when on dirt. Car should be resting on floor stands; not jack. For a little amount of money and time; not worth the risks. Very easy for a jack to twist on dirt and fall over.
    – zerobane
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 16:19

You have a great answer but more to add than just a comment

Have jack stands and a plan

  1. Position the car on a flat surface solid surface and give yourself work room
  2. Lay out the tools and parts
  3. Emergency brake, park or reverse, and chock(s)
  4. Have a plan for exactly where you are going to jack and place the stands
    The owner's manual should have in instructions for both
  5. If you have room then place stand(s) - then raise them more later
  6. Loosen the lug nuts
  7. Jack the car enough to get the wheel off the ground
  8. Raise / place the jack stands
  9. Slowly lower the vehicle onto the jack stands
  10. Give the car a good push
    Is it stable?
  11. Remove the wheel
  12. Even with all those precautions only go under the vehicle when you need to
    Don't sit cross legged with your legs under the brake
  13. Reverse the order to bring the vehicle back down
  • 1
    Yes down votes are so much more effective than comments
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 19:14

When I was doing drag racing, one guy on our bulletin board died because his jack failed. This stuff does happen and the risk is real. As everyone said before: Use jack stands, and if you don't have any: go buy some. They're cheap and your life is worth a lot more.

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