Can You Jack Up A Car On A Hill?

Last Updated on February 5, 2023 by Paul S.

While driving short or long distances it typically never occurs to most people that you may have car problems. Typically most car problems are due to a flat tire. This will require you to jack up a car if you know how to change a tire. The worst possible spot to jack up a car is on a hill because they need to be set up in a vertical position.

But yes, it is possible to jack up a car on a hill or slope but it will depend on the degree of the slope and the type of jack you are using. 

How to Jack Up A Car On An Incline 

Here are some steps on how to jack up your car on a slope. Again if the slope is too much then this should be avoided for safety and damage to your vehicle. 

  • If at all possible get your car somewhere flat to avoid this situation and have a lot fewer worries. Check out our post on will a flat tire damage the rim
  • If you are on a public road try to get the vehicle as far away from traffic as possible and put out road warning triangles a few hundred feet away from your to signal to other drivers that there is a hazard coming up on the shoulder. Placing the warning triangles feet away from your vehicle doesn’t give a vehicle going at speed much time to react to something on the road. 
  • If you cannot move the car far try and get it to the flattest spot in the vicinity. If it helps adjust the angle of the car compared to the slope to see if it will help the jack position. 
  • Ensure your car is in park with the emergency brake on. 
  • If the jack is from the car manufacturer then read the owner’s manual in your glove box. If you don’t have the owner’s manual anymore look it up online. Here is a list of some popular vehicle websites if you need quick access to their manuals. 

Owner Manual Links:Mopar (Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram, Wagoneer), Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet, Subaru, Honda

  • If you don’t have service and no manual sometimes the jack itself will provide instructions on how to use it. 
  • The biggest takeaway from the owner’s manual is to know where to place the jack. Placing the jack in the wrong spot could cause the failure of the jack, damage to the car, and personal injury to yourself!
  • Start to jack up the car following the instructions. If you notice that the jack is at too much of an angle then stop and try and get help from a professional. It is recommended to make sure the jack is not at more than a 3 degree angle from 90 degrees from the surface. 
Car Jack Angles
Blue represents the jack in a 90-degree position. The red arrow represents the jack at an angle and the force that is created to slip out from under the vehicle.
  • While jacking it up in the beginning it may seem fine when you start to lift the car the position from 90 degrees will be more noticeable and failure will increase. If you decide to avoid this advice then just make sure no one is under the vehicle ever and that you may cause damage to your vehicle (this means to call a professional!!). 
  • Remember that car jacks provided by the manufacturer were never meant to be worked under while in use. Jack stands are required as well as flat ground. 

How High Can You Jack Up A Car

Most car jacks can lift a car up 5 to 10 inches. This is with the jack provided by the manufacturer. With other more expensive lifts or jacks, you can raise the vehicle much higher because you are using better tools. But if you are on the side of the road most likely you only have your manufacturer’s jack with you. 

Hydraulic Jack
Hydraulic Jack – Would take up a lot of space in any vehicle

The rule for using your car manufacturer’s jack is to only lift it as high as you need to!  Do not try to lift it as high as you can because these jacks are not meant to do anything other than change a spare tire. As mentioned above do not work under these types of jacks. If you have jack stands then you can replace your jack with them and provide a greater degree of safety working under the vehicle. 

Car Jack Stand
Vehicle Jack Stand

Are The Car Jacks That Come With Cars Any Good?

As mentioned above the manufacturer jacks are only used for tire changes. Any work under the vehicle while these jacks are in use should be avoided. 

To answer this question they are good for tire changes but not for anything else. Use with caution and always follow the owner’s manual and the jack’s directions. 

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