UNREASONABLE: I fear getting under a car on a lift, or even on jack stands.

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Mar 2, 2011
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New YOrk
I avoid getting under a car except for something "real quick," it's an unreasonable fear I think. If there are statistics about "accidents" of this type, they will surely prove how safe it is to get under a car if you have jack stands or a properly installed lift system.

Even so, I won't do it. It's an irrational fear but I just don't feel comfortable, it's part of my primitive limbic system up in the noggin'. No amount of reason or fact will fully conquer this fear.

It's a good thing I'm not a mechanic and can never be one.

Of course, I have done oil changes on ramps but there's always this fear: what if the subframe, motor mounts holding the transmission and engine fails? What if whatever is holding the vehicle up should break? The coil springs can fail (I've never heard of it happening.)

If the car is on jack stands, what if that area is a sink hole? etc. etc. you get the idea.
 
Every second of every day this is a possibility. You could be hit by a car, a roof could cave in, health issues or any other risk. This is the logic I use to avoid paranoia and what-ifs.
 
It’s not unreasonable… it’s something I’m always wary of, and I use 6 ton jack stands under my cars. Even my brothers wife’s Mini.

I want to be sure that it’s absolutely safe. I don’t spend a lot of time under there - in, do what I need to do, then get out.

In fact, I’m looking at a set of even heavier duty jack stands. You never know. 😎
 
It’s not unreasonable… it’s something I’m always wary of, and I use 6 ton jack stands under my cars. Even my brothers wife’s Mini.

I want to be sure that it’s absolutely safe. I don’t spend a lot of time under there - in, do what I need to do, then get out.

In fact, I’m looking at a set of even heavier duty jack stands. You never know. 😎
I agree. It's scary under a car. I use normal duty jack stands as heavier duty ones won't ease my feelings. I squeeze under to change the oil.
 
use a jack to lift, put stand(s)
under as well.
some say throw the tire/wheel combo under too once it's removed - that way the firemen will consider it a 'rescue' versus 'recovery'.
meaning your ribs will be broken but you will still be breathing when they lift it off you.....
^^hope this helps!^^
 
I was never afraid to get under a properly lifted and supported vehicle until about 2 years ago. I had our 08 Liberty jacked up, and when I went to get the jack stands to place them the jack shifted slightly and the Liberty fell off the jack. All I can say is the good Lord was with me that morning. Two things happened as a result, I was scared ****less, and now I am a bit gun shy and overly cautious. I recently greased my E-150 and had to get under it to grease the split driveshaft U-joints. Extra care in jacking and supporting it would be an understatement.
 
How about jacking up a 24,000lb mobile home? I set up my own mobile by my absolute self with 20 ton heavy duty bottle jacks. It was nerve wracking for sure, but I went through with it and had very little problems.
If you’re too afraid, pay guys like me to get under for you. If not, do the studying to make sure your confidence is backed up by sound understanding of jacking points and weight ratings!
 

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You're far from the only person with that fear. You learn to trust the jacks, stands, ramps, etc. over time as you do more and more work under a vehicle.
 
I once lived in an old house that had a detached garage around the back of the property.It had a full on mechanic's pit in the concrete floor with iron rungs to climb down and a dirt floor. I never used it, I think I was more scared of the black widows that inhabited it plus I would need the aid of a friend to drive the car over me once I hunkered down in the pit like a GI in a foxhole during the Battle Of the Bulge. And hope they wouldn't think it funny to leave me there for a while.
 
How about jacking up a 24,000lb mobile home? I set up my own mobile by my absolute self with 20 ton heavy duty bottle jacks. It was nerve wracking for sure, but I went through with it and had very little problems.
If you’re too afraid, pay guys like me to get under for you. If not, do the studying to make sure your confidence is backed up by sound understanding of jacking points and weight ratings!
One of my scariest experiences on jacking my house was when I was sitting under the load bearing wall jacking it up and I blew out a 20 ton jack and snapped a beam under a 2 story load bearing wall. Luckily as I was going up I was constantly adding wood pilings for it to sit on! I got a bit too ambitious with that one.

As for going under vehicles I used to trust jack stands. I have a set of the recalled HF stands but didn't quite understand the failure mode on them. Until I did it myself. I make sure they're locked in100% now. But I'm a belt and suspenders guy. Leave the hydraulic jacks in place to catch the car and use wood blocks as a last ditch effort.
 
Gotta know your limits. Personally I don't do roofs anymore. I don't care if they are flat.

I will climb up one story on a ladder, but I think i'm done doing two stories, thank you very much. Don't care if anyone laughs at me.

I don't care much for being under a car. I stopped using jack stands and went to cribbing instead, too many stories of failed cheapo jack stands, accidents, and the like. TBH it probably won't be long before I don't get under anymore, cars are complicated and good mechanics can do it right the first time & in less time.

Lots of things in life I'm ok with leaving to the pros.
 
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