Danger
Potentially Dangerous
Injury may result if this procedure is not followed properly. Use caution and follow all warnings.
Danger

Introduction

Used properly, ramps can be a safer alternative to raising your vehicle with a jack and jack stands. Ramps can also be easier and faster, especially if your car sits low to the ground where it's difficult to see the jack points.

Keep in mind that your vehicle won't be level when using ramps, since you can only use ramps at one axle. Therefore, ramps aren't advised for changing fluids (such as motor oil) because having the vehicle tipped up at an angle can prevent fluids from draining fully.

This guide can be completed by a single person, but it's helpful to have a friend spot you from outside the vehicle as you drive it up the ramps.

If you'd rather raise your car or truck using a hydraulic jack and jack stands, follow this guide instead.

Tools

Parts

No parts required.

Image 1/1: Never try to raise your vehicle on soft or uneven terrain. If the ground shifts or the ramp changes position unexpectedly, you could be seriously injured or killed.
  • To begin, park your vehicle on a firm, level surface such as concrete or asphalt.

    • Never try to raise your vehicle on soft or uneven terrain. If the ground shifts or the ramp changes position unexpectedly, you could be seriously injured or killed.

  • Center the steering wheel so that the front wheels point exactly straight ahead.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Slide the first ramp directly in front of the vehicle's front, driver-side wheel, until it touches the rubber of the tire.

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Image 1/1:
  • Put the second ramp into position directly in front of the vehicle's front, passenger-side wheel.

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Image 1/1:
  • Make sure each ramp is centered in the path of the tire so that once the vehicle moves forward, both wheels will stay completely supported by the ramps.

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Image 1/2: Due to the steep incline of the ramps, you'll need to give it more gas than you might expect. At first, the vehicle may not move forward at all. Image 2/2: Slowly and steadily apply more throttle until the vehicle begins creeping up the ramps.
  • With the motor running and your vehicle in gear, begin slowly driving it straight forward onto the ramps.

  • Due to the steep incline of the ramps, you'll need to give it more gas than you might expect. At first, the vehicle may not move forward at all.

    • Slowly and steadily apply more throttle until the vehicle begins creeping up the ramps.

    • When doing this for the first time, be prepared to stop quickly in case you accidentally apply too much throttle. Either keep one foot on the brake pedal, or one hand on the e-brake lever. If your car has a manual transmission, use your left foot to feather the clutch pedal.

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Image 1/2: You can either find the correct place to stop purely by feel, or you can have a friend spot you from outside the vehicle. Image 2/2: Most automotive ramps have a slight dip at the top, or a bump stop, or both, to help stabilize the vehicle with the wheels in the correct position.
  • Continue driving slowly up the ramps until your vehicle levels out, and then stop immediately.

    • You can either find the correct place to stop purely by feel, or you can have a friend spot you from outside the vehicle.

    • Most automotive ramps have a slight dip at the top, or a bump stop, or both, to help stabilize the vehicle with the wheels in the correct position.

  • If you don't make it all the way up the ramps on the first try, that's okay—it can take several tries to get a feel for how the vehicle responds on the ramps. Let it roll back down, stop at the bottom, reposition the ramps and try again.

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Image 1/3: Turn '''off''' the ignition. Image 2/3: Put the vehicle in Park (or first gear if you have a vehicle with a manual gearbox). Image 3/3: Set the parking brake.
  • With the front wheels in final position at the tops of the ramps:

    • Turn off the ignition.

    • Put the vehicle in Park (or first gear if you have a vehicle with a manual gearbox).

    • Set the parking brake.

    • Remove the ignition key.

  • Use extra care when exiting the vehicle, which is now raised much further from the ground then when you entered.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Chock the rear wheels to prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards down the ramps.

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Conclusion

When your repair is complete, remove the wheel chocks and any other tools/obstructions before carefully backing your vehicle down and off the ramps.

Jeff Suovanen

Member since: 08/06/2013

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