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Jacking Up Your Vehicle
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Jacking Up Your Vehicle

Nick Czerula

Time:

30 minutes30 mins

Tab:

$0 to $50

Talent:

**

Tools:

Floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks

Applicable Models:

BMW X3 Sport Utility (2004-10)

Parts Required:

Jack pads, if needed

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 a considerable amount of 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 up and supporting your BMW X3 is required for many maintenance and repair tasks. A common but not so difficult job, still creates a bit of anxiousness 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. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

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

To jack vehicle, park vehicle on level solid ground. If removing a wheel, loosen wheel studs before jacking vehicle. Install wheel chocks to block wheels that are not being jacked. This will help to keep vehicle from unexpectedly rolling. Do not assume the parking brake or transmission will hold vehicle, wheel chocks are a MUST.

BMW X3 models have 4 solid plastic jacking pads, slightly behind front wheels and slightly in front of rear wheels (red arrows).
Figure 1

BMW X3 models have 4 solid plastic jacking pads, slightly behind front wheels and slightly in front of rear wheels (red 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. This is where you will place a jack stand to support vehicle when working with vehicle raised.

If a jack pad is missing, replace it before jacking vehicle, otherwise body damage can occur.
Figure 2

If a jack pad is missing, replace it before jacking vehicle, otherwise body damage can occur. This photo shows a good jack pad. To replace, remove the center rivet (red arrow), then gently lever the jack pad out of the body (blue arrow)

Press the new pad into the body by hand.
Figure 3

Press the new pad into the body by hand. Tap the center rivet in using a small hammer (red arrow).

Front: When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift the front of the vehicle, place the hydraulic floor jack under the subframe support (red arrow).
Figure 4

Front: When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift the front of the vehicle, place the hydraulic floor jack under the subframe support (red arrow). Raise the vehicle slowly while monitoring the jack and vehicle position.

Front: Once you reach the desired height, install the jack stands (red arrows) at the proper jack pad locations to support the vehicle.
Figure 5

Front: Once you reach the desired height, install the jack stands (red arrows) at the proper jack pad locations to support the vehicle. Slowly lower the vehicle onto the jack stands until full the vehicle weight is supported. Leave the jack in place for added support, gently resting on the jacking point. 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 one side: I get asked a lot how to jack just one side of BMW vehicles.
Figure 6

Jacking one side: I get asked a lot how to jack just one side of BMW vehicles. On the X3 this can be done, but work carefully and monitor the vehicle for any potential damage during jacking. This method is not mentioned by BMW anywhere, so do not consider it official information. Jack the center metal body box section (blue arrow), use a wood block between the jack and the body (red arrow).

Jacking one side: Raise the vehicle slowly while monitoring the jack (red arrow) and vehicle position.
Figure 7

Jacking one side: Raise the vehicle slowly while monitoring the jack (red arrow) and vehicle position. Once you reach the desired height, install the jack stands (blue arrows) at the proper jack pad locations to support the vehicle. Slowly lower the vehicle onto the jack stands, until full the vehicle weight is supported. Leave the jack in place for added support, gently resting on the jacking point. 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.

Rear: When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift the rear of the vehicle, place the hydraulic floor jack under the rear subframe (red arrow).
Figure 8

Rear: When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift the rear of the vehicle, place the hydraulic floor jack under the rear subframe (red arrow). Be sure your jack has the correct pad to safely grab the subframe without slipping. Do not jack on the rear differential (blue 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 full the vehicle weight is supported. Leave the jack in place for added support, gently resting on the jacking point. 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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Page last updated: Tue 9/19/2017 03:32:26 AM