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I have a 2002 Ford Focus SE wagon. I want to place jack stands on the welds on the side of the car beneath the front and rear doors, but cannot fit both the jack and stands there. So I want to jack the car up from somewhere underneath so that I have room to put the jack stands on the side.

Can someone show me a picture of exactly which parts of the undercarriage are safe to jack from? Ideally I am looking for a point on the underside close to the center so I can lift both wheels at once.

I found a diagram on one of the answers to this question (about a much later version of the Focus) which the author says might apply to my model car, but the diagram looks different from what I'm seeing underneath and I don't want to make a mistake. So I would really appreciate it if someone who has a 200x Ford Focus could share a photo, or a very detailed verbal description that will help me understand exactly where I should put the jack.

Thanks!

  • Just to clarify - I am very inexperienced with cars, and although I've found some stuff on other forums that says things like "On the control arm" or "Underneath the transmission mount bolts", I need to know things like "Where on the control arm?" and "Where exactly are the transmission mount bolts?". This is where a photo or two would really help! – J. Taylor Jul 13 '16 at 5:23
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    About a month after I bought my car, I stuck the jack on the metal right next to the lift point so I could get the jack stand under there, and bent the heck out of the metal down there. That was 15 years ago and it haunts me to this day when I see it. So, +1 for asking this question, lol. – Jason C Jul 14 '16 at 1:41
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Here are the places that you can place the jack on:

Rear left wheel

Rear right wheel

Front left pic 1

Front left pic 2

Front right pic1

Front right pic2

Happy Motoring!!

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Jackstand points on that car should be placed on the pinch welds near the door. underneath the car toward the front.

Where to properly jack up and support a car

In that video he explains how to do it. NEVER under any circumstances should you place jackstands underneath suspension components, or anything that has the capacity to move around in any axial manner. The subframe if your car has one, is acceptable, but NEVER under a control arm. Unless you're feeling really lucky that day, just use the pinch weld which he explains. Since you're a newbie to this, I would also leave a jack resting on the underside of the car you're working on just in case something happens. Also put the wheels underneath the vehicle as well.

Sorry, I'd make a video but it's late here and I don't have light.

Please be very careful and use common sense, I've had a car dropped on my by someone that wasn't paying attention and still have issues with my sternum to this day. I would have been slowly suffocated and died if others weren't there. When people first start out doing this, they don't always get good advice. Which is scary, because this is serious stuff. I hope that video helps, and I suggest the pinch welds, and suggest following his advice. He's been doing it for 20+ years and I know him personally. Damn good technician!

Also, I'm considering this an answer since I provided professional advice, and I noticed that someone else recommended using suspension for jackstands...

I feel it's important to intervene when things like that are posted. You could get hurt.

  • Scary indeed. I've had a jack fail before luckily no one was under the car when it happened. – Ben Jul 13 '16 at 15:13
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It is safer to jack each corner of the car one at a time and rest it on a jack stand before doing the same to another corner. Raising close to centre makes the car "tipsy," and most people realize only too late how heavy a car really is. If you want the entire front, entire rear of the entire car on jack stands, do it one corner at a time.

Other answers have provided good information for location, and their safety tips must be listened to:

  • use jack stands
  • leave the jack under a jacking point near where you will be working so if something happens you can lift the car quickly. Do not let the jack support weight, just have it there in the correct spot raised most of the way up
  • when you remove wheels, place them under the rocker panels or pinch weld seams so if the car falls, it won't fall on the ground.
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    I disagree that one corner at a time is better. I've had cars slip off jackstands using that method, and OP stated he wasn't able to place the jack stands and jack on one corner at the same time. I believe this is why many manufacturers recommend jacking the car up using the center jacking point, then placing the jack stands at the corners. – MooseLucifer Jul 14 '16 at 23:22
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    I don't know about that. I've been doing this professionally for 10 years and only had a car slip once using that method. I tend to use the middle point, but I think it's more a common sense thing. Many physics come into play when doing that. I wouldn't say he's wrong, just a different way of doing things. Anything can be safe as long as you're smart. Hell, one of my lifts broke and dropped a Jeep. I couldn't help it. – cloudnyn3 Jul 18 '16 at 20:27

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