Leaving Car Jacked Up Overnight: Will It Cause Any Damage?

By November 12, 2022Common Questions

Having a jack is necessary, and people must learn more about using one. For instance, people tend to leave their vehicles jacked up overnight and do not realize that not all jacks are built for that. The regular jacks with our vehicles are not built to carry so much weight for long. 

A lot of damage can occur to your vehicle when you lift one side of your vehicle with scissors or a hydraulic jack overnight. 

Personally, I have had my car jacked up overnight, and I made use of a jack stand. I placed two jack stands to lift one side of my car, and it was safe.  

Can You Leave a Car on the Jack Overnight?

Leaving your car jacked overnight could be dangerous and cause serious damage. Any slight movement in the vehicle can send it crashing to the ground causing it. 

A car jack is a less powerful tool when compared to those seen in mechanical workshops. A car jack is used to lift your vehicle for a short while, just enough to allow you to change the tire and lower your vehicle back into position. 

When you leave your vehicle on the jack for so long, it is not balanced, and many things can happen that could cause the jack to slip. 

There are different types of jacks that vehicle users make use of. Below are some of the common ones.

1. Scissor jacks 

The scissor jack is one of the most popular jacks used by vehicle owners. It makes use of a screw system. You will have to use a comprehensive tool to rotate the jack until your vehicle is properly lifted.

The jack is quite difficult to use because it needs a lot of energy to make it work. You should not use scissors jacks overnight because it provides a less stable type of lift for your vehicle. 

Scissors jacks have lesser weight, size, and support. You can only use this type of jack for a short time, and not overnight.

2. Bottle Jacks

The bottle jack is shaped like a bottle and uses a hydraulic forced lever pump to lift the vehicle. Unlike the scissor jacks, it is easier to use and can lift heavier loads. 

The bottle jack can lift many loads but is unstable and can only be used for a short period – definitely not overnight. Its short footprints and design only make it suitable for smooth roads.

3. Trolley Jacks   

The trolley jack is stable and more reliable than the other jacks mentioned above; the trolley jack uses the same lifting system as the bottle jack, the hydraulic pressure lift. By just pumping a lever, you can easily raise the vehicle. 

This type of jack uses trolleys or casters, making it even easier to place and remove. It is used in workshops because it is more stable, and your vehicle, depending on the weight, can be left on it for a while. 

The trolley jack is a more trusted and stable lift for your vehicle. It is larger than the scissors and bottle jack and provides better support. However, I recommend leaving your vehicle on for only a short time because it could still be quite unstable. Don’t use trolley jacks overnight.

4. HI-Lift jack 

A more stable type of jack is the vehicle jack used by professionals. This type of jack provides the best lifting and can allow people to get underneath the vehicle to make repairs. 

The hi-lift jack uses two prong levers, which allows you to lift the vehicle higher than all other jacks. Because of its weight and size, it can carry larger vehicles for longer – even overnight.

The hi-lift jack is more reliable as It is bigger, more stable, and can lift higher. If you are to leave your vehicle lifted on this equipment, then there will be no problem. The problems with this jack are that it is not Portable,  accessible, and can be expensive. 

How Long Can a Car Stay Jacked Up?

How long your vehicle can stay jacked depends on what type of jack you use. If you use a scissor or bottle jack, it should stay within a couple of hours. With a jack stand or hi-lift jack, you can leave your vehicle on the jack for days, weeks, or even months.

Many of the jacks available in your trunk are designed to be used quickly. They are very unstable and are meant for changing tires only. You can not lift your vehicle on them for long because anything can shift it and send your vehicle crashing. 

However, jack equipment in mechanical workshops, such as jack stands, trolley jacks, and Hi-Lift, are more trusted. They provide a more balanced lift for your vehicle. You can leave your vehicle jacked on this equipment for days. 

Can You Damage a Car by Jacking It Up?

Jacks are designed to not damage your vehicle. However if you use them incorrectly, they can still cause damage. There are some essential parts of the vehicle that the jack needs to be placed to avoid damage to your vehicle. 

When placing your jack, ensure it is placed on the reinforced metal ribs, which are particularly made for lifting purposes. If the jack is placed anywhere there, then that part will be severely damaged, and your vehicle, if it does lift, will not be raised properly. 


Q: Can You Jack Stand One Side of a Car?

It is possible to jack one side of your vehicle as long as a necessary precaution is taken. When jacking the side of your vehicle, you must ensure that it is on a flat surface to avoid slipping from the jack. Also, you will have to use wheel blocks to avoid movement with other tires.  

Q: Is It Ok to Leave a Car Jacked Up on One Side?

Leaving your vehicle jacked up on one side can be dangerous and cause the vehicle to crash. When a car is jacked up on one side, the vehicle is unstable, and any factor in the surrounding can cause the vehicle to lose balance and fall.

When you jack up your car on one side, fix whatever is damaged immediately and get the vehicle lowered.   

Q: How Many Jack Stands Do I Need to Change a Tire?

You will need two jack stands to change a tire, but one could be good but would be less safe. You may need more than one jack stand to give you the freedom and time to change the tire. When using one jack stand, you will have to be more careful. Also, one jack is used for only a short period. 

If you lift one side of the vehicle, you will need 2 jack stands. If it is going to be the two sides of the vehicle, you will need 4-jack stands.

Ifandi L.

Ifandi L.

Passionate about everything mechanical. Ifandi has been involved with motorcycles and cars since the old days - in his family's auto parts shop. Want to keep in touch? Scream "STRAIGHT PIPEEEEE" at the top of your lungs and Ifandi will show up.

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