Here, we evaluate the merits of two unique approaches to changing your own car oil. Specifically, we evaluate the pros and cons of both the car ramp and the jack stand, in order to help determine which option is right for your needs like oil change. To help you reach your own conclusion, we will examine the safety and efficiency factors involved in both approaches. Read on!
Situation 1: The Car Ramp
Car ramps can be used with any type of automobile, but they’re particularly popular among classic or sports car enthusiasts. The reason for this is simple: since these types of cars generally have lower frames, a ramp is often needed just to safely take a peek underneath them.
Loading a car onto a ramp is usually pretty easy (you just drive up to it), but best practices dictate that you do it with a partner, so they can help you guide your tires where they need to go.
It is best that the car is loaded in one fluid motion, as opposed to a series of stops and starts. This approach is better for the car’s clutch, and it is also simply safer.
Ramps can be found in steel or in plastic, though metals are generally favored for their stability and durability.
In terms of stability, you can’t really beat the car ramp. Once properly loaded, the possibility of serious errors or dangerous misfires is very low.
However, there is something of a catch. The loading itself can be somewhat dangerous. If tires slip off the ramp, it can cause mild to moderate damage to the car, and also be hazardous to the driver.
Situation 2: The Jack
Using a car jack requires both the lift itself and several jack stands to stabilize the car and make it safe to work with. Lifts are great for changing tires or car oil, and for a variety of other projects.
Jack stands come into play for many types of automotive repair work, but the small margin of error makes them very dangerous for use by beginners. If the jack is not properly situated, the car can come crashing down, resulting in fatal consequences.
If all that needs to be done is an oil change, the car ramp is probably going to be the smart choice. Ramps are really easy to use, they’re fairly safe, and they are very effective as well.
If you have additional things that need to be done, such as a tire change, the car jack will be the tool for you.
The truth of the matter is that often, it’s not an “either-or” scenario. Professional shops are likely to have both options on hand, and some amateur do-it-yourselfers may be similarly advised to do the same. It all comes down to how much work you plan on doing on your own.