Tips on Buying Jack Pads
Your car's jack pads is one of the little-known parts of your car that, despite its relative obscurity, actually helps make your vehicle safer and more convenient but not in the way you would expect. Mounted on strategic areas of your vehicle, the jack pads serve as the specified lifting point for the floor jack and hydraulic lift. The pad is also designed to compress, helping cushion the weight of the vehicle against the jack. And because it is placed on an area where it is constantly exposed to the elements, the jack pads would eventually deteriorate and fall out of the vehicle. And when it does happen to your car, the pads have to be replaced as soon as possible.
Choose the best material
Jack pads are usually made from the following materials:
- Rubber: The most commonly used material in jack pads, rubber is highly flexible and can serve as an effective cushion for the car to rest on. However, it is easily affected by the weather, and it can be damaged by excessive heat and frozen by the cold. Most rubber jack pads are also combined with a plastic backing for additional strength and support.
- Silicone: Silicone jack pads have the same flexibility as rubber, but they are more resilient against extreme temperatures. However, they are not as common as their rubber counterparts. They tend to be more expensive.
Make sure that it's the right fit
The biggest consideration you need to make when buying a replacement jack pad for your vehicle is its compatibility with your car. This is because jack pads available in the market today are made to conform to a specific car make and model and are not interchangeable. So before you purchase a jack pad to replace the missing or worn-out one in your car, make sure that it is actually compatible first. You can use the old jack pads as reference, but if that is not possible, you can also check the part and manufacturing number often found on the product description page of the replacement part.
How to Fix your Car's Jack Pads
Located at four specially designed stress points underneath the car, jack pads are rubber cushions that serve as the designated lift point for floor jacks and hydraulic lifts. Because of their position in the vehicle, jack pads are prone to deterioration and falling out. When a car is missing a single jack pad, it is dangerous to use a factory jack to lift the car, as the jack may slip off and dent the floor sheet metal or, even worse, fall on while you are working underneath the chassis. What's more, a missing jack pad can cause air pressure to build up via airflow up the vacant jackpad holes, leading to wind noise or damage on the headliner. So if you notice that one or more of your jack pads are missing or heavily worn out, they should be replaced as quickly as possible.
Difficulty level: Easy
- A can of undercoating spray
- Lubricant or soapy water
Step 1: Slide underneath your car and find the mounting locations of the jack pads. The jack pads are either round or rectangular in shape and are found near the front and rear door of the vehicle. If the pads have fallen off, you should be able to see the hole where the pads are plugged into instead.
Step 2: If the worn or damaged jack pad is still mounted onto the underside of your car, use the flat screwdriver to pry the pad out of its mounting hole. If the pad is covered by a protective plastic plug, push the screwdriver under the edge of the covers, to the edge of the holes and then push down in order to free the cover. The pads should become loose halfway, so all you have to do is to grab them and pull the pads out.
Step 3: Once the old pads are removed, spray around the mounting holes with undercoating spray and wide it from the inner lip of the hole and let it dry. This will make it easier for you to insert the jack pads later.
Step 4: Apply soapy water or rubber lubricant on the rubber insert of the jack pad and press it into the mount hole. We recommend using a floor hack to help press the pad firmly onto the hole. Once the pad slides in flush with the underside of the car, the installation is complete.