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Electric jacks are an interesting idea: Have your car jack itself up so you can save some sweat and knuckle busting. We’ve seen a few on the market that advertise a two ton lift capacity, and they plug right into your 12V power outlet.

To be honest, we haven’t heard any horror stories about electric jacks that crapped out and left the motorist digging for the stock jack — we also haven’t heard any stories of the powered version saving the day with it’s wondrous motorized lifting action.

So what do you Toolmonger readers think? Is the motorized car jack destined to become standard equipment on motor vehicles, or is it just a passing fad of little interest? Let us know in comments.

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28 Responses to Hot or Not? Motorized Car Jack

  1. Sean says:

    This is one of those things I really can’t see an overwhelming reason to buy.

    Typically you only use the jack in an emergency roadside repair. How much time will this jack really save you? Is it worth the risk of the electric part crapping out half way through the repair?

    I’d rather spend an extra minute jacking up the car with a traditional jack than worry about this jack draining my battery or crapping out in the middle of the repair.

  2. There is NO reason to replace the reliable, compact, easy to use factory jack with this. How many times do you use these things? Once every few years unless you live somewhere where the roads are paved in nails.

    You’re already going to be filthy and sweaty trying to get those over-torqued lug nuts off with the factory lug wrench, so what’s the point? Unless this comes with an impact wrench, in which case I’m SO there.

  3. George K. says:

    Not…
    Sure, it’s a power tool, so it has some coolness to it. But, as mentioned, what if it craps out during a repair? Can it still be operated manually? At first glance, I thought this might be good for people of limited strength (young frail girls, the elderly, men who act like frail girls…), but this will not help them to get the lug nuts off or lift the flat/spare.

  4. JorgeF says:

    I think is better a 12v impact wrench and your old jack that will be a better duo

  5. Tom says:

    Until i got a good jack i used an old screw type jack and a 12v impact driver. The impact driver was really loud and slow so I tried an 18v drill and that went faster.

  6. SlowJoeCrow says:

    Not, just another point of failure on a tool you only need in an emergency. Which would you rather have on your parachute, a ripcord you just pull, or an electric motor you have to plug in before use?

  7. While I can see the benefit in this, people who run into difficulty with the mini-jack that lives with the donut or spare are also often the type to call AAA.

    Heck, I’ve called AAA in the past as well.

    I’m gonna say NOT on this one.

  8. Eric G. says:

    NOT

    I’m not going to buy an electric jack to replace my reliable factory jack (why would you carry both? that’s extra weight and space for unnecessary redundancy) i want an emergency tool that will function when i need it.

  9. Stitch says:

    I can think of one OEM jack that could be replaced by this. The standard VW/Audi (maybe all the VAG marks) jack, or as it’s commonly known, the widowmaker. Just about anything could improve on it though, so that’s not really saying much.

  10. Yuppers says:

    I could see maybe for an older person or one with limited strength, but if you are limited in strength, why are you changing a tire anyway? Maybe if the person had an electric impact wrench to go along with the electric jack. That is the only way I could see to validate the purchase.

  11. Not!

    Why not just buy a small hydraulic floor jack, they take up about the same amount of space, and they are much easier to use. Better yet I can pick one up for $20 rather than the $100 this thing costs.

  12. Still_Bill says:

    I’ll add to the long list of “not”s… I can’t say I’ve tried one, but it strikes me as a solution looking for a problem that doesn’t exist.

  13. Still_Bill says:

    Also, doesn’t it look like a pretty good way to crush or pinch a finger? (“Honey, Ill hold the jack under the car, you press the switch…”) Seems like a lot of pinch points for this type of powered device.

  14. Jim K. says:

    Another “NOT” vote here. But I have to admit that for a moment I started to day dream about taking a few of these and welding them to the frame of my truck so that I could lift any of the 4 corners at the push of a button. OK, so I was avoiding work, sue me.

  15. PutnamEco says:

    Not. Carry your cordless impact wrench. Tough lug nuts, No problem. Just weld a bolt (preferably the same size as your lug nuts) to your scissor jack, and use the impact wrench for power.

  16. Jim K, I think RVs have electric levelers that do what you describe.

    Persons of limited strength? The jack doesn’t take much strength, just stamina. I’m fairly sure my grandparents could jack up a car by hand, it’d just take a few minutes.

    The lugnuts, on the other hand, thwart even the best of us sometimes. But that’s largely due to the craptastic L-shaped wrench included with most cars. Throw a big four-way wrench in there so you can get some decent leverage, and the playing field gets a lot more level.

    I’d invest in a long-handled lug wrench before an electric anything.

    And a wheel chock before any of that.

  17. tmib_seattle says:

    I gotta agree with PutnamEco. This gadget probably isn’t worth it for carrying as an emergency jack.

    However I do have an impact wrench that plugs into a cigarettle lighter (or alligator clips to a battery). It’s pretty handy for taking lugnuts off, and as he noted above, it would be a simple matter to run my existing jack with it.

    I do see quite a bit of potential in these jacks for more creative uses: maybe weld one into use as the lifting portion of a motorcycle table lift?

    As an electronically controlled servo with a pretty hefty capacity I would guess there would be some interesting uses you could find for it. Maybe use it to raise/lower a flat-panel TV from a hidden spot behind your couch?

  18. SuperJdynamite says:

    Another NOT. It adds a point of failure to an emergency tool. The money would be better spent on a AAA membership so you can totally avoid using those crappy jacks.

  19. Pete Judd says:

    Not, I carry a cheap bottle jack in each one of the rigs the wife and I drive. And a couple of pieces of wood to stableize the jacks. I have found that the OEM jacks to be junk for the most part, and it seems that whenever I have to change a tire it’s not on level and firm ground.

  20. Hank says:

    Not.Not.Who dare?

  21. Brau says:

    I’d say hot, but only because I know my wife can’t turn a standard jack. It seems so easy to use guys but they struggle. That said, would she use it or just call AAA? My instincts tell me she’d just make a call, and the next time we went to use it the electric motor would be rusted making it useless. The KISS principle is always best.

  22. Andrew says:

    not, its not hard to crank a screw jack

  23. Chris says:

    @tmib_seattle: now that’s the kind of thinking I can get on board with, especially turning a motorcycle lift into an electric lift. 🙂

    cl

  24. Joec says:

    How about lukewarm? I have one and it works. BUT, what I use it for is not for what it was designed. I use it as an electric wedge when removing my Olympic reversa bars (rock rails) from the jeep. The rails insert into square receptacles on the side of the jeep and tend to become stuck over time. There is sufficient clearance to get the jack between the frame and the rail. A push of the button and in a few seconds the rails pop out of the sockets (albeit slowly). It is easy to hold up with one hand and operate the switch with the other.

    Ok, I would not have one of these if it hadn’t been on closeout at Walmart for $30. For that price it was too cool to pass up. But, as a jack, it is too underrated for any serious work on anything but toy cars (like Honda CVCC or some such). But for the occasional electric wedge I need it works fine.

  25. Colorful Numbers says:

    Not. I completely agree with K.I.S.S..

    The most embarrassing part of changing your tire is when the fella at the oil change place has tightened your lugs. (Free tire rotation, y’know.) On two different occasions, I tried to swap out a flat but I couldn’t budge the lug nuts (with either the dinky L-shaped manufacturer’s wrench or a big tire spider I bought). I’m no Hercules, but I thought I could remove lug nuts. I was stripping the lugs into paste but they just wouldn’t move. Standing on a tire spider isn’t recommended, I guess.

    I took my car to a trusted mechanic who told me the lugs were insanely tight. He reattached them using a torque wrench. He says he’s actually seen wheel damage from overtightened lugs.

    A bottle jack is also fun on the coldest night of the year. I lost the air in my front tires. The air temp lowered the pressure enough that the tires didn’t seal on the wheels. My bottle jack (which was full of fluid that summer) didn’t have enough ‘oomph’ to lift my tiny hatchback. Dratted Charles’ Law!
    I was able to get the lugs loosened by myself, though, for what good it did me :).

    I took my wife’s SUV to the same mechanic to get its lug nuts torqued properly. And I’m getting a scissor jack.

  26. Jerry Boyd says:

    I spent three bucks on an eyebolt, and made into an adapter handle so I can run the scissor jack from my Toyota with a VSR drill. Sure is nice!

  27. Harv says:

    Got one of these about a year ago and use it all the time, in fact found this site while looking to buy a second one. With three performance cars, always removing wheels and having a need to get under the car (still use jack stands once car has been lifted). Sure is nice in the 100+ degrees in Houston in the summer. Keep jack and electric impact in wife’s car. If you can’t change a tire, you shouldn’t be driving, in many areas now days you’ll be dead before AAA can get there.

  28. jonmarch says:

    ive owned these – they work fine if you dont overload them – as in keep it to sedans – not suv’s , maybe not minivans

    the reduction and spur gears under the silver painted geabox cover are primarily made of plastic, with metal “reinforcements” pressed into the hubs.

    there are 12 volt hydraulic-piston type jacks now and im not sure what their capacits is, oe where their weak spot is.

    PS – dont bother going to the cig liter jack – clip high current things like this direct to the battery.

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