Car fell off of jack... Don't do this....

Joined
Jul 14, 2020
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South of Metro Atlanta
I was replacing the high pressure power steering hose on my Daughter's 2008 Honda CR-V. I jacked the front end up to get under the car. I was using a HF Floor jack and put a scrap piece of 2x6 on the jack and was using the center of the front cross member on the framing to jack the car up. This is a rounded piece of frame....


I was not on a level spot in the driveway, not a bad slope but not level. The jack slipped, the car fell and the piece of wood got jammed up in the engine bay. Well it dented the sheet metal cover on the flex plate ("Flywheel") just enough so that when you started the car, it produced a racket (that's terrible noise to you city folks) that sounded like the engine was blown up. Let's back up...

In order to efficiently and properly remove the &%*$($()$* line-bolt on the bottom of the car where the PS hose connects to the rack, you really need to remove the driver's side wheel/tire and have a 21mm and 19mm flare nut crow's foot wrench, 20"+ long extension and ratchet. Possibly a u-joint will help also. You're just not getting this loose or tight trying to work from the top or bottom with a wrench.

So I get the proper tools, get everything buttoned back up and even turn the wheels back and forth while car is still jacked up and air bled out. Then I crank it up and all heck breaks loose with the noise. I freak out. Bump it a couple more times to see if it magically fixed itself and nope....

I start looking for loose tools I may have dropped in the belt/etc. Nothing.

I looked at the flex plate cover and didn't see anything that looked like a major dent. I dolly'ed it to a shop and they said I was dead on with the diagnosis. They got the cover off, beat on it a little and it's good to go. $110.

So every dime I saved by DIY this repair, I lost in shop labor and flare nut crows foot wrenches.

Lesson learned.
 

Hillbilly Deluxe

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The price you paid is NOTHING compared to if you had been under the car. Thank God you weren't and you're here to tell us your story. ;)🙏

Trust me, I am very careful. I use jackstands or ramps. I am never under a car with just a jack. I don't even leave the jack on the car, I rest it on jackstands and move the jack out.
 

Hillbilly Deluxe

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I hear ya.....I quit doing those job's that I cannot do correctly. If there is even a slight chance that I might screw it up I pay to have it done by a professional.

I used to be that way. Now I try to do everything. Heck, if the engine was gone in this thing, I was contemplating going to HF, getting an engine crane, engine stand/etc., another floor jack and looking for a replacement engine and swapping it myself.

The shop I took it to (and use) told me that labor alone for an engine swap would be over $2500 for a CR-V! They said they just finished replacing a Hemi in a 2013 Ram truck and the bill was $12,000. Who puts $12k in a ~ 10 year old Ram?
 
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New Bedford, MA
Trust me, I am very careful. I use jackstands or ramps. I am never under a car with just a jack. I don't even leave the jack on the car, I rest it on jackstands and move the jack out.
I will lower it onto jack stands and then put pressure on the jack so if the stand fails hopefully the jack will hold it up or vice versa. But I am never under the vehicle
 
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Southern Illinois
My cousin was under a station wagon putting on a muffler a long time ago with just a floor jack. I told him to get out. He said it was ok. I drug him out from under the car and let the jack down. He was pissed and wouldn't talk to me for a couple of weeks. His boss (my friend) heard about it and chewed him out pretty good. Didn't fire him though. From then on jack stands were used "anytime" someone got under a car, worked on brakes etc. Back in the shop by his self yet.
 

BlueOvalFitter

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Something my dad taught my brother and I a very long time ago. If you're R&R the differential oil that has a screw in plug to fill it, ALWAYS REMOVE THE PLUG FIRST!
My brother was changing the oil in his Mustangs 8.8 differential. He removed the cover, let it drain, and bolted it back up. He went to remove the plug to fill it and it wouldn't come out. Long story short, he bought a new cover with a rubber grommet at the top of the cover to fill the differential.
Lesson learned.
 
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Aug 5, 2021
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Kingman, Arizona
My wife's Civic and My Jetta both require ramps to change the oil. I made mine out of three pieces of 1x6 with 45 degree cuts so I can drive up progressively. When the car in up, a chock the rear wheel. So yesterday I was changing the oil on the Civic. My wife wanted to load some stuff into the car, but only did it when I was not under the car. Not taking chances. I knew a guy, a professional mechanic, who died when the jack failed while he was under the car.

An oil observation: The last oil change was one year and 5,000 miles ago. I was surprised at how dirty brown the oil looked. I guess Mobil 1 0w-20 doing the job it is supposed to do.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
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TX, USA
Sorry to hear this. Mistakes happened and what do you learn from it?
It happened to me similar to yours jacking a car on an incline for oil change.
Basically, I forgot to put chock to the rear wheel on the ground and surely enough it started rolling.
The neighbor fence stop the car from rolling further.
So, now I know I have to put chock on the rear wheel regardless of incline or not to prevent it from rolling.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
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13,487
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Suburban Washington DC
Something my dad taught my brother and I a very long time ago. If you're R&R the differential oil that has a screw in plug to fill it, ALWAYS REMOVE THE PLUG FIRST!
My brother was changing the oil in his Mustangs 8.8 differential. He removed the cover, let it drain, and bolted it back up. He went to remove the plug to fill it and it wouldn't come out. Long story short, he bought a new cover with a rubber grommet at the top of the cover to fill the differential.
Lesson learned.
Wrong thread?
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
2,586
Location
Tracy, CA
I dropped a '68 Pontiac LeMans at my father's shop.

I had the rear supported on stands under the rear axle tubes. When I was jacking up the front, the jack was on a deteriorated portion of the concrete floor. I failed to notice that the jack was not rolling forward (towards the rear of the car) as the car was raised. Instead, the car was getting pulled forward. The stands fell forward dropping the rear of the car.

The stands were vintage, triangular leg, pin-in-hole adjustables. One survived, the other got crushed flat. No damage to the car or my underwear.

Post incident assessment:
  • I was in a hurry.
  • I wasn't paying attention.
 
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