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Going on a long trip with family or friends and suddenly finding the minivan with a flat tire, horrible right? Well, there should be a spare tire in the van and suppose there is a person with us who can change the tires. There is also one more thing that you will need, a jack.
Of course your minivan will come with a jack from the factory but if you are wanting a more stable jack or lost or damaged the original one then it is important to know what size jack that you should get for your minivan.
You should at minimum get a 2 ton jack to lift one corner of your minivan. If you are wanting to lift up the whole side then you will want to get a 3 ton jack.
Jacks will also come with different sizing in regards to the max amount that it will lift the vehicle off the ground. Since most minivans will sit higher off the ground anyway then you should be fine getting a 12-15 inch jack height as the larger ones are really just overkill and not needed in most situations.
Naturally, there are different types of jacks available on the market for many purposes. I will discuss those different types of jacks in the next section. However, if you are working on a vehicle and doing anything underneath it, you should also get some jack stands to hold the weight of the vehicle in multiple places so you don’t risk it falling on top of you.
What size jack do I need for a minivan?
Generally, the common types of jacks are bottle and floor jacks. Each of them come in a variety of sizes and use hydraulic fluids to lift the minivan. They can be easily stored in the van in the space specifically designed for them (in the case of bucks he bottle jack) or in your garage (for a floor jack).
When you are working on your vehicle at your house, a floor jack is the ideal choice for lifting your minivan. It is much easier to use and typically can handle more weight and is safer than a small bottle jack. However, for changing a tire on the side of the road, a bottle jack works perfectly.
Each vehicle, be it a minivan or a car or truck, will need a different sized jack that will depend on the vehicle’s weight. As typically you will only need to lift one corner of the minivan, a jack that can lift up to ¼ of the minivan’s weight should be sufficient.
However, it is always better to get a jack that can handle more weight than you need than to get a jack that can’t handle enough.
Similarly, every jack is designed to lift a specific weight in tons, i.e., it comes with a maximum limit. Picking up your vehicle with a jack that is below the required specifications can cause imbalance and other damages.
Check with the minivan’s weight from the manufacturer’s guide and then choose the jack based on the next size up for ¼ of that weight. .
What are the different types of jacks available for a minivan?
As a whole, there are two types of jacks – hydraulic and non-hydraulic. Non-hydraulic jacks are commonly known to be scissor jacks, and most of the minivans that you will have are equipped with them.
- Scissor jacks – These jacks typically come with the spare tire and are operated manually. They are designed to easily fit in the trunks and are an easy-to-go option to change a flat tire.
Hydraulic jacks are narrowed down to two subtypes – bottle jacks and floor jacks.
- Bottle Jacks:
These are definitely an upgrade to the scissor jacks. These are suitable for heavier vehicles like trucks, minivans, SUVs, etc. With a massive lifting range, these are normally made of either aluminum or steel.
Composed of a hydraulic lifting mechanism, these jacks can easily lift up a vehicle pretty quickly. Bottle jacks are cheaper than the other jack varieties. To operate it, all you will need to plug is a tire iron and pump the jack up.
- Floor Jacks
These are the expensive and robust jack types among all the available ones. With a hydraulic operation, they are also known as trolley jacks. Floor jacks are very fast and reliable.
These are a part of heavy-duty equipment.
Floor jacks are specially designed for frequent garage uses. These can lift heavy weights like 2-3 tons with little to no effort on your part and are best suited for large vehicles like minivans, trucks, and SUVs.
These are comparatively larger and wider than the other jack types. Due to this feature, these jacks offer a relatively sturdy base and firm support but they aren’t ideal for keeping in your vehicle all of the time.
Why do I need a jack for my minivan?
There are many reasons why you might need a jack for your minivan. The most prominent and the basic one is to change a flat tire effortlessly. The others are as follows:
- The jack is easier to use than lifting a heavy vehicle manually.
- The jacks, hydraulic, especially are non-toxic, long-lasting, and reliable.
- The hydraulic jacks are entirely free of toxins, as they use hydraulic fluids.
- As the process is totally mechanical, no manual efforts are required in lifting.
- The jacks are the most convenient option available for these purposes.
- The use of a jack increases safety and saves a lot of time.
What should you consider when buying a jack for a minivan?
There are a few different things that you should think about when you are going to be purchasing a jack for your minivan. Those things are:
The most crucial thing to consider while picking a jack is the size. Miscalculations in this aspect can cost you dearly. So it is always better to consider a jack of a size that has plenty of lifting capacity and that is a little above the required value.
For example, if you require a 1.5-ton capacity jack, it is best to go for a jack with 2 tons of capacity.
When we are investing in something, it is natural that we search for a choice that has more lifetime compared to others. Malfunctions and defects have become a common thing now and since you will be using a jack for emergencies like changing flat tires, a manufacturer’s warranty is essential to ensure a jack’s long lifetime.
This warranty is also helpful in replacing or repairing any defective parts that the jack might have.
Another thing to consider before picking a jack is its speed of lifting a vehicle. This is also one among the must-consider feature as time and effort are involved.
Often people don’t I’ll overlook this but when you find yourself working on your minivan, the extra hassle of having to crank or pump up the jack slowly can be annoying.
A jack capable of lifting a car quickly while requiring less pumps is obviously better than a jack with the opposite features. Ideally, a hydraulic jack requires 3-4 pumps only to entirely lift the minivan is ideal which means you will want to look at a hydraulic floor jack.
There are a variety of different jack types and sizes on the market but for any work done at your home a hydraulic floor jack that can lift 3 or more tons is the best option.
If you are looking for a more portable jack then you will want one that can lift 2 tons or more.