Can You Start a Car on Jack Stands: Safety Tips and Precautions to Know

Have you ever found yourself needing to do some work on the underside of your car, but didn’t have access to a garage lift? Don’t fret, you can still get the job done by using some good old-fashioned jack stands. These handy tools allow you to elevate your car just enough to work on the undercarriage, without having to worry about it rolling away or falling off the jack. But, there’s a proper way to use jack stands and a wrong way, which can be extremely dangerous.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to safely start your car when it’s on jack stands. We’ll cover everything from finding the proper spot to place the stands, to double-checking the stability of the car as you crank the engine. Think of this process as similar to building a tower of blocks.

If you don’t place the blocks correctly, the tower will topple over. The same goes for using jack stands – if you don’t follow the proper steps, you run the risk of seriously injuring yourself or damaging your car. So, let’s get started and learn how to properly start your car on jack stands.


Can You Start a Car on Jack Stands? If you’re wondering whether you can start your car while it’s on jack stands, the answer is yes – but it’s not recommended. While it’s technically possible to do so, it’s not the safest option, as a car on jack stands can be unstable and can easily tip over. Starting a car on jack stands can put you at risk of serious injury.

Jack stands are designed to support the weight of a car only when it’s at rest and not in motion. Therefore, it’s better to wait until the car is lowered back down to the ground before starting it. This way, you can ensure that the car is stable and you are safe to start the engine.

It’s always better to err on the side of caution when working on your car. Remember, safety first!

Explaining the Purpose and Safety Concerns of Using Jack Stands for Car Maintenance

If you’re planning to do some car maintenance at home, it’s important to know the purpose and safety concerns of using jack stands. Jack stands are designed to support your car while you’re working underneath it, allowing you to access areas that are difficult to reach. The purpose of using them is to ensure your safety while working on the vehicle.

It’s essential to use them correctly to prevent accidents and injuries that could result from the car falling on you. Before starting any work on your vehicle, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment, including a good quality set of jack stands that are sturdy and capable of safely supporting your car’s weight. Using them properly is critical to ensuring your safety, so it’s important to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using them.

Remember, always err on the side of caution when it comes to your safety, and don’t take any unnecessary risks.

can you start a car on jack stands

Preparing Your Car for Jack Stand Use

Yes, it is possible to start a car while it is on jack stands. However, it is important to properly prepare the car to ensure safety and prevent any accidents. Before lifting the car with the jack stands, make sure to check the brakes, transmission, and steering fluid.

It is also crucial to secure the car by chocking the wheels and ensuring that the jack stands are placed in the appropriate spots on the car’s frame. Once the car is in place and secure, you can start the engine and let it run to check that everything is working properly before getting underneath the car. Remember to always use caution when working with a car on jack stands and follow all safety guidelines to prevent injury.

Checking Your Car’s Manual for Specific Jack Stand Instructions

When it comes to safely using jack stands on your car, it’s crucial to start by consulting your car’s manual. This important document will provide specific instructions on the proper jack points for lifting your car and where to place the jack stands. Typically, there are designated areas on the car’s underside where jacks and stands can be safely positioned without damaging the vehicle.

It’s important to follow these guidelines to avoid causing harm to your car or, worse, putting yourself in danger. Once you’ve located the right points to jack up the car and secure the stands, it’s important to ensure that the car’s weight is evenly distributed on the jack stands before proceeding with any repairs or maintenance. So always check your manual before setting out to use jack stands, and remember to double-check the placement of the stands to avoid any potential issues.

Gathering Proper Equipment: Jack Stands, Wheel Chocks, and the Proper Wrench

One of the most important steps when preparing your car for jack stand use is gathering the proper equipment. This includes jack stands, wheel chocks, and the proper wrench. Firstly, you’ll need good quality jack stands to keep your car lifted steadily and safely off the ground while you work on it.

Before using the jack stands, it’s essential to find a flat and stable surface to set them on to ensure they won’t topple over while in use. Additionally, always use wheel chocks, which are wedge-shaped blocks that prevent your car’s wheels from rolling, especially when you’re working on an incline. Lastly, you need a wrench that’s the right size for your car’s lug nuts to remove the wheels for access to the brakes.

Before beginning any work, double-check that you have all the necessary equipment and that it’s in good, reliable condition. Safety should always be the top priority when working with cars.

Lifting the Car with Jack Stands

If you’re wondering whether you can start a car on jack stands, the answer is no, you can’t. Jack stands are designed to support the car’s weight while it’s parked, not while it’s running. You need the full weight of the car on the ground for the brakes to work correctly and for the engine to run smoothly.

Attempting to start your car while it’s on jack stands could cause serious damage to the engine or even lead to a dangerous situation if the car were to fall off the stand. So, if you need to work on your car while it’s running, make sure to have it parked on a flat, level surface with all four wheels on the ground. And always remember to use jack stands properly to ensure your safety.

Locating the Proper Jack Points on Your Car

When it comes to lifting your car with jack stands, it’s essential to locate the proper jack points. These are the areas on your vehicle designed to support the weight of the car without causing damage to the undercarriage. Typically, you can find them in your car’s owner manual or online.

Once you’ve located the jack points, you’ll need to position the jack stands correctly. Each stand should be placed on a flat surface, and the height should be adjusted to match the car’s weight evenly. It’s crucial to use high-quality jack stands and inspect them thoroughly before use to avoid any potential safety hazards.

Always check for stability when lifting your vehicle, and double-check that the stands have locked into place before proceeding with any work. Remember, safety should always come first when working on your car, and proper lifting techniques are no exception.

Placing Jack Stands Under the Vehicle and Lowering the Car onto Them

Lifting the car with jack stands is an essential skill every vehicle owner should possess. This process involves placing the jack stands under the vehicle’s jacking points and lowering the car onto them. The first step is to park the car on a flat and even surface and put the car in park or first gear.

Find the manufacturer’s recommended jacking points on the vehicle, usually marked with an arrow or notch. Then, position the jack stands just outside the jacking point and ensure the stand’s saddle is directly underneath it. Slowly raise the jack stands using the jack until they are firmly in place.

Before lowering the car onto the stands, ensure everything is aligned and stable. Lower the vehicle onto the stands carefully, keeping your feet out of the way. The jack stands will now hold the weight of the car instead of the suspension system, which is a safer alternative during maintenance.

Always take precautionary measures to ensure a successful jacking and lowering process without causing any damages.

Double Checking the Stability and Balance of the Car on Jack Stands

Lifting the car with jack stands is an essential step for any DIY mechanic. However, it is equally important to double-check the stability and balance of the car on jack stands to ensure the safety of the person working on it. Before beginning any maintenance or repairs, make sure you have the right size jack stands for your vehicle, and that they are placed in the correct locations.

Once you have lifted your car and secured it on the jack stands, give it a gentle shake to make sure it is secure. If your car teeters even slightly, it’s time to re-adjust the placement of the jack stands before proceeding with your work. Additionally, double-check that the car’s weight is evenly distributed on all four jack stands.

Placing all the weight on one stand could cause it to fail, leading to dangerous situations. Remember, safety comes first, and taking the extra time to double-check the stability and balance of your car on jack stands could save you from serious injury or death.

Starting the Car While on Jack Stands

If you’re wondering whether you can start a car on jack stands, the answer is yes, you can. But it’s important to do it correctly to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. Before starting your car on jack stands, make sure the vehicle is secure and stable.

Make sure the jack stands are positioned correctly under the designated support points and that they are locked in place. Additionally, ensure that the vehicle is not in gear, the handbrake is on and that the keys are removed from the ignition. Once these pre-checks are done, you can proceed with starting the car.

However, it’s important to remember that jack stands are not designed to hold the weight of a running vehicle for an extended period. Therefore, the car should be taken off the jack stands immediately after starting it. Overall, if you are unsure about whether you can start your car on jack stands, it’s best to consult a mechanic or professional to ensure proper safety measures are taken.

Making Sure the Emergency Brake is Engaged and Gear is in Neutral or Park

When it comes to working on a car that is on jack stands, it is imperative to take every safety precaution available to prevent any accident or injury. One of these safety measures includes making sure that the emergency brake is engaged and the gear is in neutral or park. The emergency brake serves as an extra layer of protection in case the car slips off the jack stands.

This ensures that the car remains stationary and lessens the chance of any accidents. Also, setting the gear to neutral or park ensures that the wheels won’t turn while starting the car, preventing any incident. Failing to engage the emergency brake or putting the gear in drive or reverse can result in disastrous consequences, even if it seems like a minor oversight at the time.

Ultimately, taking the time to properly set the emergency brake and gear in neutral will give you peace of mind while working on the car.

Turning the Ignition and Checking the Car’s Response

Starting the car while it’s on jack stands might seem a bit daunting at first, but it’s a good way to check for any issues before taking your ride out on the road. To begin, make sure that the car is in neutral, the parking brake is engaged, and the wheels are securely chocked. With those safety measures in place, turn the key in the ignition and listen for the sound of the engine roaring to life.

Check the RPM gauge to ensure that it’s running smoothly and not experiencing any misfires or unusual idling. You can also rev the engine a bit to get a sense of how it fires up and responds to pressure. If everything checks out and sounds good, you’re good to go.

However, if anything seems off, be sure to investigate further before taking your ride out for a spin. Starting the car on jack stands is a straightforward way to identify issues before they become major problems.


In conclusion, while it may technically be possible to start a car on jack stands, it’s not a particularly wise idea. Sure, you’ll be able to rev the engine and feel the power, but without the support of all four tires on the ground, you run the risk of tipping over like Humpty Dumpty. So, unless you want to see your beloved ride go SPLAT, it’s best to leave the car on solid ground before hitting the ignition.

Recapping Important Safety Measures for Using Jack Stands for Car Maintenance

When it comes to car maintenance safety, using jack stands is crucial. However, starting your car while on jack stands can be dangerous if not done correctly. Before starting your car, make sure all four wheels are securely on the ground and that the jack stands are in good condition and locked in place.

Double-check that the transmission is in neutral and the emergency brake is engaged. Also, never rev the engine while it is on the jack stands as it can cause the car to move. Remember, safety comes first when working on your car, and taking the necessary precautions when using jack stands can prevent accidents and injuries.


What are jack stands?
Jack stands are support devices used to raise vehicles off the ground and provide stability while performing maintenance or repairs.

Is it safe to start a car on jack stands?
No, it is not safe to start a car on jack stands. Jack stands are only meant to provide support while the vehicle is stationary.

How do you properly position jack stands on a car?
Always refer to the vehicle owner’s manual for the proper jack stand placement. Generally, jack stands should be positioned under sturdy support points such as the vehicle frame or suspension components.

Can jack stands fail or collapse while supporting a car?
Yes, jack stands can fail or collapse if they are not properly rated for the weight of the vehicle or if they are used improperly. Always use high-quality jack stands rated for the weight of the car and follow proper safety precautions.

What should you do if a jack stand fails while supporting a car?
If a jack stand fails while supporting a car, immediately stop working on the vehicle and assess the situation for any injuries or damage. Use additional jack stands or support devices to safely lower the vehicle and remove the failed jack stand.

Are there any alternative ways to raise a car off the ground besides using jack stands?
Yes, there are alternative ways to raise a car off the ground such as using ramps or a hydraulic floor jack. Always use proper safety precautions and refer to the vehicle owner’s manual for the recommended methods.

Can you perform all maintenance or repairs on a car while it’s on jack stands?
No, not all maintenance or repairs can be performed while the car is on jack stands. In some cases, the car may need to be lowered onto its wheels to properly perform the task at hand. Always refer to the vehicle owner’s manual or a trained mechanic for guidance.

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