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Pelican Technical Article:

Jacking Up Your Vehicle

Nick Czerula

Time:

0.5 hours

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)
BMW M5 Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Jack pads

Hot Tip:

Work on a solid level surface

Performance Gain:

Ability to service components beneath vehicle

Complementary Modification:

Replace missing or broken jack pads

Repairing your own vehicle may be a satisfying way of learning about it and may also save you considerable money. When engaging in automotive repairs, learn certain basic procedures and safety protocols in order to be able to complete the repair tasks safely and efficiently. Among the routine safety procedures to learn are:

Shutting off the engine and removing the ignition key so that no one can accidentally start the vehicle while you are working on it.

Disconnecting the battery and insulating the battery cables so that they cannot accidentally reconnect to the battery. I explain this in a separate tech article on battery replacement.

Lifting the vehicle safely using a jack and jack stands. That is the topic I cover in this article.

Jacking and supporting your BMW E60 5-Series off the ground is required for many maintenance and repair tasks. A common but not so difficult job, it still creates a bit of anxiety in the mind of the experienced mechanic as well as the amateur. A repeatable process with safety in mind can ease the nerves. For example, always work on level solid ground. Use tools you trust and never rush the job. Remember to block the wheels to prevent unwanted vehicle movement. Use a good quality jack and jack stands and don't be afraid to add an additional jack stand or support under the vehicle.

Remember that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

When jacking the front of your vehicle, place the transmission in Park and apply the parking brake, along with blocking the wheels with a chock. When jacking the rear of your vehicle, you do not have the transmission or parking brake to keep the front wheels from rolling. Use wheel chocks on the right and left front wheels, (in front and behind the tires).

BMW E60 models have 4 solid plastic jacking pads, slightly behind the front wheels and slightly in front of the rear wheels (green arrows).
Figure 1

BMW E60 models have 4 solid plastic jacking pads, slightly behind the front wheels and slightly in front of the rear wheels (green arrows).

The jack pads are designed to support the vehicle from below when using a hoist, hydraulic jack, or when changing a tire in an emergency situation.
Figure 2

The jack pads are designed to support the vehicle from below when using a hoist, hydraulic jack, or when changing a tire in an emergency situation. This is where you will place a jack stand to support the vehicle when working with the vehicle raised (green arrows).

If a jack pad is missing, replace it before jacking the vehicle.
Figure 3

If a jack pad is missing, replace it before jacking the vehicle. Otherwise body damage can occur. This photo shows the jack pad area with a missing jack pad. The jack pad (yellow arrow) snaps into a hole (green arrow) in the body.

To replace an existing jack pad, lever the jack pad out of the body.
Figure 4

To replace an existing jack pad, lever the jack pad out of the body. If the jack pad is missing, push the new jack pad into the body until it snaps into place and is flush. If needed, tap it in using a soft-faced hammer.

To jack the vehicle, park the vehicle on level solid ground.
Figure 5

To jack the vehicle, park the vehicle on level solid ground. If removing a wheel, loosen the wheel studs before jacking the vehicle. Install wheel chocks to block the wheels that are not being jacked. This will help to keep the vehicle from unexpectedly rolling. Do not assume the parking brake or transmission will hold the vehicle. Wheel chocks are a must. When jacking the front of the vehicle, block the rear wheels. Then jack from the center square support (green arrows) on the front subframe. The main photo shows the square support with the engine splash shield and reinforcement plate removed. The inset with green arrow shows the square support with the engine splash shield and reinforcement plate installed. When jacking from this center support, it allows both wheels to be raised at the same time and provides the best jacking area. When jacking the rear of the vehicle, block the front wheels. Then jack on the control arm (red arrow) raising one side at a time. Once one side is raised, install a jack stand under the jack pad, then jack the opposite side and install a jack stand. If you need to jack the entire rear at the same time, you can use the subframe (green arrow). However, I would avoid this method unless absolutely necessary, as the subframe is narrow and does not allow a large contact area for the jack. Do not jack on the differential (yellow arrow), as the cooling fins will be damaged. If you are unsure of using the suggested jacking points, I suggest checking you owner's manual and the most current BMW repair information.

Jacking front of vehicle: When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift the front of the vehicle, place the hydraulic floor jack under the square subframe support (green arrow).
Figure 6

Jacking front of vehicle: When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift the front of the vehicle, place the hydraulic floor jack under the square subframe support (green arrow). Raise the vehicle slowly while monitoring the jack and vehicle position. Once you reach the desired height, install the jack stands at the proper jack pad locations to support the vehicle. Slowly lower the vehicle onto the jack stands until the full vehicle weight is supported. Check that the jack stand is not tilting or moving when the vehicle is lowered. When lowering your vehicle, raise it off the jack stands. Remove the jack stands from beneath the vehicle and slowly lower the vehicle to the ground. Make sure all tools and parts are clear before lowering your vehicle.

Jacking rear of vehicle: When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift the rear of the vehicle, place the hydraulic floor jack under a control arm (green arrow), raising one side at a time.
Figure 7

Jacking rear of vehicle: When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift the rear of the vehicle, place the hydraulic floor jack under a control arm (green arrow), raising one side at a time. Once one side is supported by a jack stand, raise the opposite side. Raise the vehicle slowly while monitoring the jack and vehicle position. Once you reach the desired height, install the jack stand at the jack pad locations to support the vehicle. Slowly lower the vehicle onto the jack stands until the full vehicle weight is supported. Check that the jack stand is not tilting or moving when the vehicle is lowered. When lowering your vehicle, raise it off the jack stands. Remove the jack stands from beneath the vehicle and slowly lower the vehicle to the ground. Make sure all tools and parts are clear before lowering your vehicle.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Patrick Comments: To jack up the front of the car, do you have to remove the engine splash shield? Also, do these instructions work with a 2008 M5, or will there be differences?
November 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, the splash shields can stay on. an M5 should be similar. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
raineman Comments: The error in referencing arrow colors in figure 5 was pointed out in Nov/14 and again in Sept/15 - both times the response was it would be fixed. It is now almost Sept/16 - another whole year passed and the error is still in place. Come on guys - it is a simple correction to do.
August 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I know it seems easy to fix these things. However we have a huge library of articles we are working on a keeping up to date. It is on the list and will be done in the order it was noticed. it will be done asap. We apologize for the delay. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
GinoQ Comments: I recently acquired an E60 and have a few questions about this operation. In the article I see the vehicle being lowered on the jack stands at the 4 factory jack points. I've read other places that there is a risk of damaging the plastic jack point. Is this indeed save or should I look to incorporate the use of the jack point adapters that are available online?
My vehicle has the sport package. Are there any differences with the center jack points?
August 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The jack pads can support the vehicle fine, on a hoist or a jack stand. They do fail and wear out, so if they become damaged from this, they were likely on the way out.

Buying a jack adapter is a good idea if you are concerned about using the described method. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mateo Comments: The rear axle carrier rear subframe on my new 340iX is fitted with a factory-installed vibration absorber. It is positioned under the subframe, smack dab in the center. It is attached to the subframe using one long torx bolt. Do I dare try to use the vibration absorber as a jack point or do I remove it when jacking the rear of the vehicle?
June 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, do not jack on the damper. The bolt may shear off. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
M sport Comments: I jacked the front of my car up from the front subframe on the jacking pad as mentioned above, but as I was jacking the car up the pad broke off and the jack slipped off the subframe and straight through the undertray cover.
Is there anywhere else I can jack the front of the car up from? like on the lower arms?, or will these bend?. I can use the front side jacking pad, but I'm still not going to have anywhere to put axle stands, and I'm not risking jacking from the front subframe again.
June 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The pad must have been damaged from impact or worn out. They should not slip. I have no other advice on how to raise the front. The front suspension should not be used to raise the vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BakoDan Comments: In Fig 5, when jacking the rear of the vehicle, you recommend against using the subframe due to the contact area being narrow and therefore not allowing for good contact with the jack. However, I find the subframe to be plenty wide enough to allow for good contact. Jacking the rear of the vehicle using the control arm seems riskier, in my opinion, due to the fact that the control arm will compress as the vehicle is raised thus allowing for the possibility that the contact with the jack could slip.
September 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: When the vehicle is on the ground, the control arm is compressed already, there isn't much more movement. Jacking at either place is fine as long as you are safe.

Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mike Comments: The article was never updated with the green/yellow arrow mistake. That's a big one since it basically points two yellow arrows at points you should and shouldn't jack.
September 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is on our agenda to update. Thanks for the note. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Aaron Comments: Can a regular jack stand be used, as shown in the pictures, to support the weight of the car under the jack pads without damaging the jack pads? I'm concerned the plastic will not hold as those pads are designed for the car's jack to fit inside of them as to reduce chances of tipping-correct?
April 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I use hockey pucks between the jack pads and the jack stands. They provide a nice slip resistant and semi cushy pad for the jack pads to rest on. If the jack pads are brittle they should be replaced. Don't risk having your car fall - Casey at Pelican Parts  
KiwiBMW Comments: Very useful, thanks. However, in Fig 5, jacking the rear using the subframe, reference is made to the yellow arrow, but I'm sure it means green. There was a time when I had no idea what a subframe looked like and I wouldn't have been aware of the error. Then for Fig 7, second sentence, "front" should read "rear".
November 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the catching the typo. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:48:29 AM