Floor Jack - safe to use at an angle?

Joined
Mar 30, 2020
Messages
50
Location
SF Bay Area, CA
I have very limited floor space on either side of my parking spot, so I cannot position the floor jack perpendicular to the side of the car. However, I can fit it under the pinch weld at an angle. And there is room for the jack to move on its wheels as the arm is raised. For the handle, I may have to remove the top half and just use the bottom half.

I read somewhere that you should not use the floor jack at an angle because it won't be "balanced with the load", but that doesn't make sense to me and I'm guessing I may have misread what I recall. Is it OK to use the floor jack at an angle as I've described?

I'm considering purchasing the HF Daytona 2 ton Aluminum model.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
976
Location
Canadia
If I understand correctly, OP is talking about the yaw of the jack, so it would be at (for example) 45° to the vehicle.

The only concern would be if you were making a compromise as to how well the jack mates with the jacking point.
 

TCL

Joined
Nov 13, 2020
Messages
293
I have very limited floor space on either side of my parking spot, so I cannot position the floor jack perpendicular to the side of the car. However, I can fit it under the pinch weld at an angle. And there is room for the jack to move on its wheels as the arm is raised. For the handle, I may have to remove the top half and just use the bottom half.

I read somewhere that you should not use the floor jack at an angle because it won't be "balanced with the load", but that doesn't make sense to me and I'm guessing I may have misread what I recall. Is it OK to use the floor jack at an angle as I've described?

I'm considering purchasing the HF Daytona 2 ton Aluminum model.
It'll be fine as long as you have the wheels chocked.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Messages
1,312
Location
PA
The issue is that the arm of the jack, as it extends, would be 45* from the weight, in the direction of the wheels of the car. This could be dangerous, even more pronounced if the jack has wheels so it can roll.

I found out a few summers ago, even a tiny imbalance in a jack can cause instant catastrophic failure. I jacked up my vehicle on a small inclined driveway. The vehicle rolled a little and the entire thing fell. Thankfully there was no injury or damage since I had not yet removed the tire.

I would not do it. Jack should be 90* and flat level hard surface, tires chalked, e-brake engaged, etc.
 

DIY4quality

Thread starter
Joined
Mar 30, 2020
Messages
50
Location
SF Bay Area, CA
Here is a diagram I just made in PPT. The jack would be pushed in a bit to mate with the pinch weld (not shown quite like that in this diagram, but you get the idea).

Floor Jack angle.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
970
Location
KY, USA
I've done it a few times when I had no other choice but don't expose any part of your body to a crush zone in case the jack would tip over/roll/etc.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
13,606
Location
Los Gatos, CA
MAYBE if you have a heavy duty jack, light car, etc. If it binds, stop.
If the driveway slopes down, this is actually a good way to lift it as the jack is less prone to bind.
Make sure the car cannot shift back!
Can't you lift it from the ftont and use jack stands?

Make sure Superman is around...
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
3,316
Location
near Cincinnati, OH
First, it depends on the size jack, as that determines its footprint size.

Second, it depends on how high you lift the load. The higher you go with it less than perpendicular, the less stable it is.

Third, it depends on you only using the jack to lift the vehicle, then not being in harm's way under it, until you have put jack stands in place. Jack tips over, no biggie if nobody is under it... but you still have to use common sense about where you're putting your arm/head/etc to position the jack stands.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
18,962
Location
NE,Ohio
i do this all the time.. only way to rotate tires on the elantra without buying a 300$ long reach very low profile jack or running it up onto some 2x12's for clearance in the front.
I am never under the car. and i set the ebrake.

or you can get a cheapo trolley jack that would fit straight in.. or use jack that came with car.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2018
Messages
1,532
Location
South Carolina
I have used them at an angle when necessary. But as others said, put a jack stand under it before you remove a wheel or get under it, and chock the car wheels. You should always do this anyway.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2002
Messages
9,051
Location
MI
I cannot think of any logic that explains why you cannot do that, assuming we are talking about following standard jacking proceedures. I.E., never rely on only the jack while underneath the car no matter the jack's orientation. I assume we're talking about a decent quality floor jack, not a trolley jack, etc..
 
Last edited:
Top