How to get the car up?

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Jul 15, 2006
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Rochester, NY
Hey. A quick noobie question. I kinda figured I could just slide under the car to do an oil change...today I realized that'd prob unlikely. Anyway, i'm doing my 1st oil change on my dad's 1999 Buick Park Ave. What should I use to get it up, ramps or stands? I'm looking to spend less than $30. There is always the possibility when I get it in the driveway (it's in the street now) i'll be able to wiggle under but i'm not looking to get caught in a flood of hot oil with no way out [Freak] . Thanks for the help and sorry for the very noobie question. P.S. - I'm using Maxlife I found out about bc of bitog and the deal I found on here ($7.50 @ walmart).
 
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Blitz rhino ramps and a set of chocks are fine for most vehicles. I like the 12,000s, but get what is safest and affordable to you.
 
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Ramps are the best way to go for oil changes, and Rhino ramps are very popular on this site. I've just got steel ones with extensions to allow for lower-clearance vehicles.
 
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San Antonio,TX
Do you have a floor jack? On the Park Avenue there should be a steel channel going underneith the front end just aft of the big plastic splash guard; put your jackpad there and just raise the front end a little ways without taking the front wheels off the ground. That should give you plenty of room to reach the drain plug and filter. You don't need any jack stands unless the wheels are leaving the ground.
 

Pat M.

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Ok, plus ramps seem more fool proof. I'ma fashion sometype of little wooden thing that will be higher up then my head because I don't feel like playing with my life. Thanks for the recommendations.
 
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I own both. Both work fine. It's more work to do stands (bust out the jack) but some cars can't get up on ramps, even with the extensions. Do whatever you feel is right. I would recommend the rachet stands, not the pin version, but that's my opinion.
 

Pat M.

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quote:
Originally posted by Clyde65: Do you have a floor jack? On the Park Avenue there should be a steel channel going underneith the front end just aft of the big plastic splash guard; put your jackpad there and just raise the front a little ways without taking the front wheels off the ground. That should give you plenty of room to reach the drain plug and filter. You don't need any jack stands unless the wheels are leaving the ground.
I actually don't have a jack, if I got stands I was going to get a whole package set from pepboys or something. Honestly even if the tires dont leave the ground I don't want to risk it dropping and me breaking my nose or cracking my head in a kneejerk reaction to get out of the way. Thats too risky for me as a noobie, I appreciate the insight though.
 
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San Antonio,TX
Well in that case, you could go ahead and get the Rhino ramps that everybody is telling you about. Make sure they clear the front bumper though. If you ever do get a floor jack someday, I would advise you to get one with at least a 5 inch diameter pad. That way you eliminate the chance of denting the undercarriage.
 

Pat M.

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Rhino Ramps sure does convince me with this picture from their site. I figure my car has better clearance then that sports car :-P http://www.rhinoramps.com/images/HomeImage.jpg [Roll Eyes] Edit - Also the gross weight of a 99 Buick Park Ave is ~5000lb so i'd prob need some 3000lb jackstands (more like 4000lb, I'm a gambler, but I don't play roulette)
 
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Houston
I've used ramps for over ten years - no problems ever, except with VERY LOW ground clearance cars. To me, ramps are the easiest way to go. I always call them the "best investment" I ever made.
 
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Pat, I use the 8000 lb capacity Rhino Ramps for my 4000 lb SUV with wheel chocks in the rear to block the tires. They work great together.
 
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I got ramps a few years ago and they were a PITA. If you doing this by yourself, you'll always be nervous about pulling yourself up and then hope you don't roll off the other end. The tires have to be positioned just right on top. All you need is a floor jack. The oil drain is located more on the passenger side than in the middle. If that is the 3.8 or 3.3 liter engine, you can take the oil filter off through the top. Just jack up the passenger side about 4 inches to access the drainplug and you'll be good to go. When taking off the oil filter from the top, save some of those gallon size used ziplock bags. Once you break the filter free, slide the bag over the filter and then twist from outside. Oil and filter will stay in the back and prevent you from having a Valdez type of spill.
 
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Metro Detroit
quote:
Originally posted by Clyde65: Do you have a floor jack? On the Park Avenue there should be a steel channel going underneith the front end just aft of the big plastic splash guard; put your jackpad there and just raise the front end a little ways without taking the front wheels off the ground. That should give you plenty of room to reach the drain plug and filter. You don't need any jack stands unless the wheels are leaving the ground.
Clyde, with all due respect, this is bad advice. If the jack fails, you could still get crushed. The jack doesn't need all of the car's weight on it to have a problem. You should never get under a car supported solely by a jack. Stands are a must. IMHO, Rhino Ramps are the way to go. They're lightweight, inexpensive and have a nice, big stop block at the front that virtually eliminates the possibility of driving off the front.
 
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"just raise the front end a little ways without taking the front wheels off the ground. That should give you plenty of room to reach the drain plug and filter. You don't need any jack stands unless the wheels are leaving the ground." "Just jack up the passenger side about 4 inches to access the drainplug and you'll be good to go." Bad idea. You should never trust a jack to keep a vehicle held up when you're under it. Any expert at how to hold up a vehicle while working under it will tell you that. There have been too many documented jack failures to trust a jack. And even it no tire is off the ground you can still be injured when the rest of the vehicle falls lower due to a jack failure. If you've raised the frame and other underparts 4-6", giving you, say, 2" of clearance for your body, and the jack fails, the underpart that was 2" above your body is going to press down 4-6" on your body. I recommend ramps.
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2006
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Roanoke, Texas
I have old metal ramps and a floor jack and stands.I always use the ramps unless I am doing something else and need the stands for clearance or whatever. Ramps are great especially the new rhino style ones. I had to use all of them to do the tranny on the wifes malibu. Car has to be level all the way around to check fluid underneath. What a pain. I backed the rear up the ramps and jack and stands in the front.
 

dek

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Jul 31, 2006
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California
Get some cheap plastic ramps at Wal-Mart. They work just fine for me. You'll eventually get over the fear that the plastic will fail while you're under the car. They also sell plastic truck ramps that will hold more if you want overkill.
 

Pat M.

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Rochester, NY
I ended up picking up 8000lb Rhino Ramps and some Chocks. Total cost, $40. I'm happy with the purchase, it was very simple to get the cars up and I felt relativly safe under them. I put some cinder blocks under the frame on both sides for a little adder protection...although I bet they would have just pulverized had the 5000LB Park Ave fallen. Thanks for all the help guys.
 
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Cinder blocks are worthless, even dangerous. I can crumble one with one hammer blow. They are not intended to bear the weight of a car. You have been warned.
 
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Jan 16, 2003
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Southern California
quote:
Originally posted by Matt_S: [Re: Rhino Ramps] They're lightweight, inexpensive and have a nice, big stop block at the front that virtually eliminates the possibility of driving off the front.
With my Sonata's somewhat sensitive accelerator, I wish that were true. (Don't ask.)
 
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