Change the Oil Without a Jack

Most DIY car mechanics find themselves at some point that they would like to/ need to do an oil change but do not have a car jack. I found myself in this situation recently and led me to explore options for an oil change without a jack.

Most cars are equipped with an emergency jack, but they can require so much time to use, are best saved for an emergency and leave a couple better options.

Four ways that you can change the oil without using a car jack:

1. Drive One Tire Onto a Curb

Back up your car carefully aligning one tire on the curb at a driveway entrance. As you drive and the wheel rolls up onto the curb, this will raise the car off the ground enough for you to access the oil drain plug.

A rolling creeper is ideal to slide under the car but if it is a low curb or your creeper is inaccessible just like your car jack, I recommend laying cardboard or a towel down so you can lay under the car without getting completely filthy.

2. Park Over a Dip in Driveway or Gutter

Just like rolling up onto the curb, parking the car at the low portion of the driveway or any other area where more space can be created under the car will do the job. Finding a bit of ground that creates just a few more inches of space will allow you to remove the oil pan drain plug which is all you need.

The oil filter doesn’t need to be changed every oil change. You may consider saving the oil filter change for later, depending on the amount of space you have underneath the car.

3. Car Tire Ramps

Car tire ramps are so fast and easy and are a great way to change the oil without a jack.

Car tire ramps are simple to use, set them up in front of your car the exact width of the car tires and drive the front tire up on them. It is a good idea to have a friend keep an eye out as you drive up the ramps to help make sure the tires are securely set on the ramps.

Here is the best set of car ramps I recommend from Amazon:

Best Value Car Ramp

Rhino Gear Car Ramps on Amazon

This is an ultra strong, durable easy way to change the oil without a car jack. This low profile ramp of bumper is close to the ground for a very low profile car. Be aware that it will only give you a few inches of clearance, but should be enough to get under to change the oil!

This is by far the easiest, quickest way to change the oil without a jack.

4. Park Tire on Wood Planks to Gain Clearance

Driving the two front wheels or even one tire up onto large blocks of wood, or something else solid and a few inches thick can you the space that you need to be able to reach under the car to access the drain plug and oil filter.

Parking on a set of 2x4s will get you a couple inches. If you can manage to stack them so they act like a stepped ramp, the car will easily roll onto it.

Change Car Tire Without a Jack

You may need to raise the car without a jack for something like a flat tire change and yes it is possible to change a tire without a jack.

On a double axle car or trailer, it is possible to roll one tire up onto a ramp to take the weight off the outside tire that needs to be replaced, but for most cars changing the tire is extremely difficult without a jack.

Driving the car onto uneven terrain to take the weight off of two of the tires is the best way to jack up a car to change the tire without a jack. By positioning two opposite corners of the vehicle in a low spot on a hill or similar terrain, the tire will raise itself high enough off the ground to remove it.

Change the car tire without a jack by rolling the car onto uneven ground.

Digging a hole under the tire once the car supported under the frame is technically a possible solution to be able to raise the car without a jack but is not reasonable due to the amount of effort required.

Don’t forget to loosen the lug nuts before taking weight off the wheels. It is always easier with the resistance of the weight of the car!

This video shows the perfect demonstration of how to change a car tire without having a jack and can be useful if you get a flat tire on the road and don’t have a working jack.

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