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Pelican Technical Article:

Jacking Up Your Mercedes-Benz

Steve Vernon


20 minutes20 mins






2-ton jack, jack stands, wheel chocks

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W123 (1977-85)
Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)
Mercedes-Benz W126 (1981-91)
Mercedes-Benz W201 (1984-93)

Hot Tip:

Stack the wheels under the car as an added safety measure

Performance Gain:

First step for all work underneath the car

Complementary Modification:

Check front & rear suspension bushings

About one-third of all tasks that you need to perform on your Mercedes-Benz require it to be raised off of the ground. While simple enough for the experienced mechanic, the procedure of lifting a 3,000-pound car can be a bit unnerving for the amateur. In this project, I'll start out by showing you the best places to jack your car up and how to support it while you're working on it.

First, let's talk a bit about safety. Haphazard use of a floor jack can result in some pretty significant and expensive damage to you or your car. Before you begin raising the car, make sure that you have the wheels of the car blocked so it can't roll. It's also wise to have your parking brake on as well and the car placed in first gear. You should always use jack stands in pairs to support the car--not simply the floor jack. Even if you are only lifting the car up for a few minutes, make sure that you place an emergency jack stand loosely underneath the car on a frame rail just in case the floor jack fails.

Before you attempt to begin jacking up the car, make sure that all four wheels are carefully chocked and that the car is on a level surface. Keep in mind that if you raise up the rear of the car, the emergency brake no longer works (it works only on the two rearmost wheels of the car). If you place the car in park (automatic transmissions), it will only lock the rear wheels, so place a few 2x4 pieces of wood in front of each of the wheels to make sure that the car will not roll anywhere when you lift it up off of the ground.

The ideal place for jack stand supports is right underneath the four standard factory jack supports. I don't recommend that you place the jack stands underneath the engine or transmission, as this can lead to instability.

Mercedes-Benz has built-in jack points on the sides of the car. The plug and jack that goes in the plug are mainly for emergency purposes. If you are going to be working on your car I recommend you do not use the Mercedes-Benz supplied jack but invest in a proper garage jack. The best jack I have ever found is the DK13HLQ from AC Hydraulics available at Pelican Parts. While I don't recommend using the factory jack of hole, the pad under the factory hole is the perfect place for lifting your car. If you don't have a soft rubber pad or spare hockey puck for your jack, then fit a rolled up newspaper in between the jack and the car to avoid damage to the undercarriage.

Lift the car up slowly. It's perfectly okay if the car tilts while the wheels on the opposite side are still on the ground. Lifting from this point will cause both the front and rear wheels on one side of the car to rise. Lift the car up only enough to get the jack stand underneath while it's set at its minimum height. Place the jack stand securely under the factory jack support area, and slowly lower the car. If your car is spotless, I recommend to placing a little bit of newspaper between the jack stand and the car to avoid scratching or scraping the underside of the chassis.

If you are lifting the front of the car, then place a jack stand under the front frame rail, lower the car onto the jack stand, and then repeat for the opposite side of the car. If you only want to raise the rear of the car, place the jack under the car on the frame rail and lift from there. This will allow you to put your jack stand under the factory jack point. Make sure you always place your jack stands on one of the cars frame rails if you are not using the factory points. With the car supported on all four jack stands, you can carefully repeat the whole process to raise the car higher if needed.

A lot of mechanics also lift the car from the front or rear. You can place a jack under the front cross member and the rear differential depending on the type of jack you have. If you lift your car in this manner just make sure the jack is securely on the differential or front cross member as there are a lot of valuable parts under you car that can be damaged by improper jack placement.

Safety is of paramount importance here. Never work under the car with it suspended simply by the jack--always use jack stands. Always use a backup jack stand wherever you place your primary jack stands. One tiny flaw located in the casting process can lead to a jack stand breaking and having the car fall on top of you. If you are going to remove the wheels from the car, be sure that you loosen the lug nuts before you lift the car off the ground, otherwise the wheels will spin and you will have a difficult time getting the lug nuts off. Take the wheels and stack them in pairs underneath the car--this is an added measure of safety in case something fails.

Once you have the car up in the air and supported on the jack stands, position the jack under the engine without lifting it, and push on the car and see if it is unstable on the jack stands. If the car moves at all, you do not have it properly supported. It is far better for the car to fall off the jack stands while you are pushing on it than when you are underneath it. Really try to knock it off the jack stands--you want to make sure that it's perfectly stable. Set the floor jack underneath the engine or transmission while you're working as yet another backup support. Again, it's a wise idea to set up a spare jack stand or two as a precautionary measure against one of them failing.

When you are ready to lower the car, be aware of where you are placing your floor jack. Sometimes you will not be able to easily remove the jack when the car is lowered, or the jack handle may crush or damage part of the chassis something else on the way down. Proceed very slowly and also be aware that some floor jacks release very quickly. Also be careful to place the car in gear, or to engage the parking brake before you lower it. The car may have a tendency to roll away right after making contact with the ground.

Before you begin lifting the car make sure the parking brake is on, the car is in first gear or park, and the wheels are chocked.
Figure 1

Before you begin lifting the car make sure the parking brake is on, the car is in first gear or park, and the wheels are chocked.

There is a reinforced area of the front chassis that makes for an excellent point to jack the car up with (red arrow).
Figure 2

There is a reinforced area of the front chassis that makes for an excellent point to jack the car up with (red arrow). If you place your floor jack under this section, then you will be able to fit your jack stands in the standard factory jack support areas in the rear and under the frame rail in the front. The yellow arrow shows the body plug that needs to be removed to use the factory supplied jack. We recommend you only use the factory jack in emergency situations.

Here you can see the factory lift point on the rear of the car.
Figure 3

Here you can see the factory lift point on the rear of the car. These are used for lifting the car on a shop lift but make a great place to put your jack stands.

Here is a properly supported car.
Figure 4

Here is a properly supported car. The car is on four jack stands and the front tires have been placed under the car for additional safety. Always make sure the car is good and stable before getting under it.

Based upon my extensive search for the perfect jack, I must recommend the DK13HLQ from AC Hydraulics.
Figure 5

Based upon my extensive search for the perfect jack, I must recommend the DK13HLQ from AC Hydraulics. This jack is the best that I have ever seen and is exclusively available at Manufactured with the highest quality in Denmark, this floor jack satisfies all of my requirements and has more than earned its place in my garage. With a minimum height of only 80mm (3.1 inches), the jack will easily fit under any of my lowered Porsches. On the other end, the jack has an unusually high lift of 735mm (29 inches) that enables you to raise your car up onto floor jacks in one swift motion. Combine that with the easy-to-use lift foot pedal, and you have a superior jack that's perfect for any car enthusiast, regardless of which car they happen to own.

Comments and Suggestions:
Doug Comments: Ok, guys, you got a sissy here. I have read the above posts and looked at the LARGE pictures. Still nervous. How about a picture of the floor jack in place and the jack stand in place just before you let the floor jack down, both front and rear. Want to change the shocks and struts I got from you, but am nervous. Thanks Doug
September 18, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have any additional photos to share. If nervous, check your owner's manual or a Mercedes-Benz repair manual for more info. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Neal Rolon Comments: Hello new owner would like to hook up 85benz 190 d with a body kit can you help me locate one my name is neal 407 496 7151 call me or tex me thank you
December 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Fred Comments: I own a 06 S500 conv. Want to jack up for winter. Could you please send me some guide lines. Thank you.
December 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
benz_Fan Comments: On the front there is only one rubber jacking point. When I use this for the floor jack, I can´t use it for the jackstand than. So where do I have to put the floor jack in the front?
December 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Use the pinch weld of the body, the reinforced section to jack, then place the jack stand on the lift point. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
casey Comments: in figure 4 where were the jack stands placed in the front of the car? They are not at the designed MB jacking point for the front. Thanks. my 87 300D W124 does not have a full frame and I do not want to mess up the rocker panels.
December 11, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Then you will have to use the factory jack points for your vehicle. Check your owner's manual. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 2/16/2018 02:56:14 AM