Update: More noticeable trouble v Harbor Freight jack stands, follow to the owner the a replacement set for his recalled units, together reported by The Drive. according to the owner, one jack was standing failed dramatically at the welded seam under the weight of a Volkswagen Golf (as checked out in the facebook photos below). Harbor Freight told The Drive that the firm is investigate the issue. Now, likewise per The Drive, port Freight is recalling part three-ton jack stand that some customers purchased together replacements for the formerly recalled items. Apparently, the units that autumn under the brand-new recall likewise suffer from insufficient welds that can fail. Please be for sure while working under your car. Customers can verify i m sorry jack stands autumn under the broadened recall here. The original post continues below.


The terrifying port Freight recall of jack stand that could fail as result of a production defect is in the news best now, and also it is as an excellent a time as any to review the procedures and equipment we"re all using to lift ours cars. Yet first, let"s take a look in ~ the problems facing those particular Harbor Freight jack stands therefore you have an idea of why this is every so troubling.

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Harbor Freight"s recall covers some 3-ton and 6-ton "Pittsburgh" brand jack stands with item numbers 56371, 61196, and also 61197. (View the PDF of the recall record here for an ext details.) These are pawl-type jack stands, with a pawl that engages through teeth top top the lifting eight of the jack stand. A architecture flaw caused by old tooling in the factory that created them could cause the pawl to disengage, letting the jack (and the vehicle on top of it) suddenly and unexpectedly drop.


This is dramatically shown by a couple of photos indigenous a Reddit user, who common it with us anonymously and we"re reprinting below with permission. They applied some repaint to the pawl the a unit in question and also let it carry onto the this of the jack stand, which gives a sense of specifically how little the pawl is meshing through the teeth. Watch the mark on the pawl below:


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There"s just a sliver of paint transferred onto the tooth, a graphics illustration the how little holding strength this particular collection of recalled jack stands can muster. You have the right to see the mark, below:


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Without knowing around the recall, this kind of defect would be very hard (if no impossible) for a user come notice—until the vehicle came crashing down, with potentially tragic consequences. Because that reference, the very same user took a photo of an enlarge Harbor Freight jack stand that"s not connected in the recall, making use of the exact same technique. The larger paint mark way the pawl ordered a lot an ext of the tooth. View below:


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If you have actually jack stands indigenous Harbor Freight, please take a minute prior to reading top top to view if they"re influenced by the recall. It could save your life.


Working underneath a lifted vehicle is inherently incredibly dangerous, and it"s straightforward to it is in cavalier or ar too lot trust in tools that can not worthy it. Ours guide listed below is intended no as a how-to, because every car and truck is different, but rather as an summary of some best practices the will gain you reasoning critically about your methods.


As always, carefully read the manual—for her vehicle, for your floor jack, and also for your jack stands—before starting. And also if girlfriend have any type of concerns about your situation, or equipment, don"t gain under the vehicle.


Before starting, make sure you"ve acquired the right equipment for the job. You"ll require a jack and also at the very least two jack was standing to work-related under her vehicle. First, certain they"re rated for her vehicle"s weight. Relying on when it to be manufactured and also the details model, jack stands could be weight rated individually or together a pair.  Check your specific jack stands" manual or label to confirm the weight rating to make sure that you"ve actually acquired the right equipment to support your vehicle.


Also remember that jack stands are intended to be provided in pairs, i m sorry partially explains the mutual weight rating. It"s no recommended come use just one jack stand to support a part of the vehicle, nor to use two sets to assistance both ends of the auto at the very same time (although elevating both ends and supporting them with jack was standing is common, in practice). Describe the owner"s hand-operated if you"re unsure.


What load rating should you choose? identify your vehicle"s curb load (it"s normally in the owner"s manual) and also pick jack stands through a similar rating. Ring up fairly than down. If your auto weighs 5,500 pounds, choose 3-ton jack was standing (or more) fairly than 2-ton. Likewise, make sure your lifting maker is up to the job. Lastly, inspect the lifting dimensions—will the jack lift sufficient to obtain the jack stands underneath? are the jack was standing long sufficient to adequately lift the vehicle?


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If you have to lift both ends of the vehicle, there are various other devices, such together the QuickJack hydraulic scissor jack (shown above), that are a safer (albeit an ext expensive) solution. Quality auto ramps are likewise a safe, sturdy, and also less expensive alternate for elevating two or 4 wheels turn off the soil for details repairs, and they"re fast and also convenient when provided properly. In many circumstances, these can be safer and also quicker alternatives to the floor jack and jack stand method, detailed you"re not working on tasks that call for the wheel to come off.


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Regardless that what you"ll be lifting or supporting the car with, examine the condition of all of them. Make certain the jack is stable and in an excellent working order. Research your jack stands—whether the pawl, pin, or screw type. If any kind of of this tools is bent, damaged, or shows up questionable, don"t usage it. Try to usage high-quality tools from a trustworthy manufacturer.


We don"t recommend making use of the jack the came v your vehicle, commonly a scissor or party jack, for constant maintenance. They"re emergency items because that occasional use, like changing a tire on the side of the road.


Whenever possible, a flat, hard, level surface-like a concrete garage floor—is by far the ideal surface come lift a vehicle from. This isn"t always possible, specifically for a tire change. Carry out what you deserve to to level the vehicle, and ensure the jack stands rest on a difficult surface. A soft surface could cause the jack stands to shift, possibly dropping the vehicle.


There are commodities called jack stabilizer pads that have the right to be used to assistance a jack or jack stand. A sturdy item of hardwood can additionally be supplied in a pinch. However the best option is a hard, level surface.


Chocks are simple wedge-like devices that stop the car from rolling. Location two behind the wheels of the finish you space not lifting up. In a pinch, a sturdy block of lumber or a brick have the right to be used, detailed you certain it"s sufficient to prevent the vehicle from rolling. Make sure to collection the parking brake, and also put the auto in "park" or in gear to aid ensure it won"t roll as friend lift increase one end. But additionally remember that the parking brake usually only works on the behind axle. Make making use of chocks a habit no matter which finish you"re lifting.


Where you lift from, and also where you ar your jack stands under the vehicle, is going come vary depending upon the car in question. Above the owner"s manual to determine just how to lift. Many vehicles have actually sturdy lift point out intended because that this purpose—but make certain the shape and also style the the lifting suggest is a an excellent match for your jack and jack stands. Part vehicles deserve to be lifted by the axle or differential, yet this could likewise damage other vehicles. Don"t make assumptions; above the manual. If the jack points room damaged or friend can"t find one, don"t background the vehicle and consult your dealer or reliable mechanic.


Ensure that wherever you jack from, there"s enough clearance to the jack was standing support allude to obtain the jack stand in and also squared up underneath the point.


Start with the jack stands on a lower setting. Friend can always raise them more later. Make certain they"re set to the same height on both sides. Just raise the automobile as lot as you have to do the job safely—more height way more potential instability.


Once the auto is chocked, the jack is located safely, and the car is lifted, it"s time to place the jack stands at the indicated points. Ensure the jack stands are vertical and also not relaxing on any type of debris. Make sure no one is under the vehicle, and also it won"t call anything comes down. Ar the jack stands and change the elevation as close come the support suggest as possible. Progressively release the jack to work out the car onto the jack stands.


As the vehicle settles, make sure the jack stands stay vertical and also make an excellent contact v the jack points. Watch carefully, because the vehicle may come under at a slight angle, and you may have to move the jack was standing slightly prior to the automobile rests ~ above them so they are lined increase properly. As soon as down, and also before obtaining underneath, twin check the vehicle"s stability. That shouldn"t rock and also the jack stands shouldn"t shift. If it doesn"t feeling solid and secure, double-check her setup and perhaps jack the car ago up to reset everything.


Before obtaining underneath, think about what might happen if a jack stand (or the jacking point) stops working or shifts, dropping the vehicle. How are girlfriend going to protect yourself, and also how space you going to acquire out from under the vehicle? It"s no a poor idea to location a 3rd jack stand, the floor jack, or even a tires underneath in a convenient spot to help protect girlfriend if the worst happens. Make sure this back-up maker doesn"t inhibit your ability to the end from under the automobile quickly.


It"s also not a negative idea come let someone know you"ll it is in under the car, or have actually a call handy. We"ve heard of disastrous instances whereby a person, pinned by a vehicle, would have survived if assist came in time.


It doesn"t take long to for sure you"ve gained an to escape path, or much added equipment to give develop a back-up support, for this reason there"s no reason why friend can"t incorporate these potential live-savers right into your regular automobile lifting routine.


Getting bad vibes? obtain out, or much better yet, don"t obtain under in the an initial place. Your life isn"t worth acquisition a faster way or making use of questionable equipment. Stop and make certain you"ve gained the appropriate tools because that the job, and also you know just how to usage them properly—or take the task to a professional.

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Working on your auto or truck you yourself is rewarding, fun, and also can likewise save friend a lot of money, so use safe lifting techniques, usual sense—and have actually fun.


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