i need to get under front of car for oil change and some exhaust work.

Do I just put front on axle stands and what do I do about back tyres?

The might roll either way right? so do I put chock behind and in front of both rear tyres or is just chocks required at back to prevent car from rolling backwards.


3 Answers 3


You need a level solid surface and chocks both sides of the rear wheels.

Soft ground, gravel etc can lead to problems so avoid that type of surface.


If you require full clearance for both front and rear, consider that a set of vehicle lift ramps will work well and provide appropriate safety for a bit of extra work.

As Solar Mike suggests, use a solid surface, paved, flat and level. If you can't get paved, flat and level, use a professional.

Drive the vehicle onto the lift ramps. The front wheels are the best choice for the ramps, as there is usually better body clearance ahead of the front wheels than behind the rears. Ramps usually have a lip to drive over at the top of the ramp and another lip to reduce (not prevent) you from driving off the ramps.

Secure the vehicle with the hand brake.

Use a suitable jack and elevate each rear wheel until the jack stand will fit. It may be necessary to lift the rear wheel only to the minimum height, move to the other rear wheel and increase the height a bit more, then place the jack stand and return to the first point. This will be dependent on the flexibility of your suspension. I had an older vehicle which would lift the front wheel when jacking the rear too high. This is to be avoided, as it places undue lateral forces on the ramp.

  • Are you basically saying using a ramps at front, axle at back setup is better than a front axles with back axles setup? And that the height of the rear axles should not exceed the height of the ramps? Jun 15, 2018 at 0:48
  • If you have sufficient body clearance to reverse up the ramps, a rear placement for the ramps should make no difference. I've had more than one vehicle in which rear placement was impossible without "pre-ramping" by using lumber. The height difference is less of an issue. It's possible to lift one corner of some vehicles (non-independent suspension) high enough to raise the opposite end (lift front axle, rear axle on same side goes up too!)
    – fred_dot_u
    Jun 15, 2018 at 9:37

For an oil change I'd use ramps under the front wheels, with the rear wheels chocked behind. Make sure the handbrake is fully applied and leave the car in gear (or in Park if it's an automatic). As Solar Mike says, make sure you're on a solid, level surface.

If I have to raise both ends of a car (which is very unusual, most jobs only need one end or the other - usually just the front), I use axle stands under all four corners, making sure to place them under known solid points of the car - either official jacking points or subframe/chassis rails depending on the car. Make sure all four are stable with all their feet firmly on the ground and that the car doesn't move, before going underneath. If I'm taking one or more wheels off I usually slide it under the sill as well, just to provide an additional 'buffer' in case the worst should happen.

  • Some cars have the sump plug at the front which if you raise only the front, causes more old oil to be trapped in the sump and not changed...
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 15, 2018 at 9:13

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