If you need to change your tire but don’t have a jack, you may be concerned that you won’t be able to get the job done and get back on the road.
Therefore, if you’d like to learn how to change a tire without using a tire jack, keep reading to see what I learned on this subject!
Can You Change Tires Without A Jack?
You can change a tire without a jack using a block, ramp or natural slope nearby. However, you should only do so on a small vehicle or in an emergency, as substitute jacks are not stable enough for maintenance, meaning you shouldn’t get underneath the vehicle at any point to prevent more accidents.
Find out how to change a tire without a jack, including the tools you can use in its place, where to do it, if it can be done by hand and more by reading on!
What Can I Use If I Don’t Have A Jack?
To find a good substitute for a car jack, you should think of the jack in terms of what it’s meant to accomplish.
A standard scissor jack, which is the kind you’d use to change your tire, isn’t strong enough to hold the car up for too long.
In other words, you can get away with using something that isn’t as heavy-duty, as your only objective is holding the vehicle up long enough to switch tires.
Therefore, two easy alternatives you can use to raise the car without a jack are blocks and natural slopes or ramps.
How Can I Lift My Car Without A Jack?
As stated above, the two easiest methods to lift your car up without a jack are using blocks and slopes or ramps within the vicinity of your car.
However, note that these are methods to actually lift and hold your car up by creating a gap between the problem wheel and the ground, as opposed to just holding it up.
Nevertheless, to lift your car, consult one of the below methods:
For this method, you will have to move your car away from pavement to dirt or grass, or another location where the ground isn’t too hard (this should be doable if there’s only a problem with one tire).
If you choose to use wooden blocks, get natural, unprocessed wood that hasn’t been painted or treated to ensure that the wood is as strong as it can be, as the processes mentioned above could weaken its structure.
As well, untreated wood is rough and has more friction, meaning the pieces won’t slip when holding the car up, which could result in more damage to the vehicle or the driver.
To prevent the wood blocks from moving around, make sure to join them using wood glue as opposed to nailing them together, which could actually weaken the wood’s internal structure.
To use the woodblocks, consult the below method:
- First, Build the block into the same height as the distance from the ground to the chassis. Try to make the fit tight so the car doesn’t fall onto it all at once.
- When you have the block structure ready, place it underneath the area around the tire you want to change, in the same way you would place a jack or its stands.
- Dig around the wheel you want to change until it’s floating in mid air.
If you follow this process accurately, the tire should be suspended in the air above a hole and the block will be supporting the car like a jack stand.
Slopes Or Ramps:
This method is more straightforward and it works best when you need to change your tire away from home.
Find a raised surface (a very small but steep hill that’s about half the height of your shin, a rock of similar size and shape, or a curb that stands high enough) and drive the car onto this structure like a ramp to suspend the wheel in mid air.
For example, if you want to change the rear right tire, drive on the ramp with the front right tire and stop before the rear right tire climbs onto it.
By following this method, the tire you want to change will be in the air while the other three will be on the ground, allowing you to change it easily.
If you have successfully used one of the methods mentioned above, you can move ahead with the usual process of changing a tire.
Because these methods only get one tire in the air and the other three maintain contact with the ground, you should always ensure that you have engaged the handbrake so they don’t start rolling as you work.
As stated above, the methods replace a scissor jack and work the same way, so you shouldn’t expect them to hold for long. Therefore, change the tire as fast as possible without rocking the car too much.
Can You Use Cinder Blocks As Jack Stands?
As mentioned earlier, you can use cinder blocks as a jack, but note that there are certain risks involved using this method.
Therefore, you should use cinder blocks that are very strong so that they don’t crumble when the weight of the vehicle transfers to them (avoid short-wide cinder blocks because they’re likely to break under the strain).
If you’re stacking the cinder blocks on top of each other, get ones whose surfaces are rough to ensure that they have enough friction. Otherwise, they’ll slide across each other and collapse the structure.
If you want to learn more, you can also read our posts on whether or not new cards come with spare tires, what are tires plies, and how much does it cost to rotate tires.
You can lift your car up without a jack using very strong wood or cinder blocks to support the vehicle as you dig a hole around the problem wheel.
As well, you can drive the car up a ramp or curb to suspend the wheel in mid air. In any case, ensure the handbrake is activated so that the vehicle is stable as you work.