Best Electric Car Jacks: Top Picks for Safe & Easy Car Lifting
Make tire-changing a breeze with our picks for the best electric car jack
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BY Rebecca Henderson / LAST UPDATED ON March 21, 2019
Having a car jack in your vehicle in case of an emergency can mean the difference between 20 minutes to change a flat tire and being stranded on the road for hours, waiting for help. Whether you go off-road with your vehicle and need to lift it frequently, or just want something in case of an emergency, we’re here to help you find the best electric car jack for your needs.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy an Electric Car Jack?
- Add to your tool collection. No matter what skill level you have when it comes to vehicle maintenance, having an automatic electric car jack can be handy to have around. As part of a basic set of automotive tools, the power car jack can be used on most cars, boats, trailers, and off-road vehicles.
- Prepare for an emergency. Just like an LED road flare kit, a flashlight, some spare water bottles, and non-perishable food items, an electric car jack could be a great way to round out your emergency preparedness kit. If you can purchase a carrying case with everything inside, it’s as simple as placing the unit in your car’s trunk.
- Replace your old/manual jack. Electric car jacks relieve the physical strain of cranking a manual jack and shorten the overall repair time dramatically. If it’s time to invest in a new model that will do the job right and get you home safe, check out the electric car jack as an option.
- At-home auto repair. Whether it’s early in your mechanic career or you’re a weekend wrencher, having an electric car jack on hand means you can spend more of your time tooling around on the rest of the car and less time cranking a manual jack.
Electric Car Jack Types
This type of jack is usually hydraulic-powered and resembles the shape of a short and stubby bottle. Because of this compact design, they’re desirable for larger vehicles where clearance isn’t necessarily an issue. Though they’re not ergonomically shaped for easy storage, they do often have a higher weight limit than your typical electric floor jack.
You’ll likely see a lot of mechanics using—and owning—this type of car jack. Though it’s manually operated, it works on the same basic principle as all jacks; it uses a mounting point and a lifting system to hold the car during a lift. Floor jacks typically roll on four wheels and come with a detachable handle that pivots up and down to lift the car.
Scissor jacks are the typical design of most standard equipment units that come installed in your car directly from the factory. These specific jacks can either be manually operated or electric. Most scissor jacks place the weight in the center of the jack itself while the arms extend to lift the weight, creating a triangular or diamond-like shape when extended. These units are typically very heavy and durable.
Off-Road Air Jack
You may or may not be familiar with the use of large air bags to lift a vehicle “in the field,” as they say. Many enthusiasts who off-road use these inflatable air bags to buoy the weight of the car onto what is basically a large air mattress or pillow. Many of these units are even inflatable via the car’s own exhaust, so there’s no power directly involved.
This type of jack is almost exclusively used for trailers. Sometimes, it’s difficult to raise the trailer high enough to get the hitch ball into position, especially when the trailer is loaded down. Having a tongue jack on hand means you can raise the trailer height and keep it in position as you back up to couple them together. This is a great electric jack to have for any kind of trailer out there.
Top Electric Car Jack Brands
Headquartered in Wilsonville, Oregon, Husky Towing Products has been in the truck accessory business for over seven years. Their 3,000-pound capacity power jack is a viable option for those looking to invest in an electric trailer jack for all their towing needs.
Founded in 1996 by Wang’s International, Pilot Automotive’s mission has been to serve the DIY auto enthusiast in a variety of ways. Though the company is headquartered in California, anyone can find their products online, including this 12-volt electric scissor car jack.
Auto Body Now (ABN) might still be new to the aftermarket auto accessory game, but they’re a family-owned company based out of South Dakota that’s dedicated to an above-average experience. They manufacture quite a variety of tools for the automotive industry, but we think you should check out their three-in-one hydraulic power floor jack kit.
Electric Car Jack Pricing
- $30-$60: At the lower end of this range, you’ll find electric car jacks that will work in a pinch, but at the higher end, you’ll get more for your money. If you only plan on using the jack for emergencies, units in this price range should suffice.
- $65-$85: If you’re serious about getting underneath your car a lot and want a reliable electric jack, budget about this much for a solid unit. We recommend you use jack stands in conjunction with an electric jack, but in this price range, you’ll be getting a decent unit you can use a few times a year.
- $90-$150: Give yourself more height and weight capacity by going with an electric car jack that costs around $100. If you own a larger vehicle, such as a pickup or three-row SUV, the electric car jacks you should consider are in this price range.
- $190-$300: Lots of lifting power means you’ll be spending closer to $200 for a decent electric jack. Own a diesel or large truck? We recommend you search out electric car jacks at this price point to safely lift that ol’ hunk of metal you drive. You’ll likely end up paying this much in replacement costs if you don’t.
Key Features of an Electric Car Jack
Ease of Use
The point of buying a motorized car jack is to remove as much physical labor from the equation as possible to minimize the amount of time and effort you have to put into the work you’re doing. The unit should be easy to use and require only a handful of steps to set up and take down.
Electric car jacks that are portable weigh less and take up less space. An ideal weight for an electric car jack would be anything less than the weight of your spare tire. That way, you can easily handle the car jack during use without tiring your muscles before you even get started on the hard work.
Cargo space is often at a premium in most cars, so buying an electric car jack that is designed to fit beneath your front seats or in a corner of your trunk minimizes the space you’ll lose carrying it around with you. Carrying cases are a great way to bundle everything together for ease of access and use.
A lot of people don’t know how much their car weighs. That’s understandable, but it’s a key factor in deciding which electric car jack to buy. You almost always want to go with a jack rated for more weight than your current vehicle, especially if you plan on changing vehicles in the future.
- Power source. Most electric car jacks are powered by a 12-volt cable that plugs into the cigarette lighter outlet in your vehicle.
- Cord length. Most 12-volt outlets in a vehicle are near the center console, so it’s important to have enough cord to reach from inside the car to the lifting point on your vehicle’s exterior. Any length over 10 feet is ideal since you’ll want to have more cord to work with than less.
Best Electric Car Jack Reviews & Recommendations 2021
Electric Car Jack Tips
- Operate a manual carjack at least once before you buy an electric jack. It may sound silly, but experiencing the manual procedure will help you understand the processes at work when lifting a vehicle. Knowing how a car jack operates is key to investing in the proper unit.
- Experiment with different types of car jacks. Ask family and friends to let you borrow their jacks to see which one(s) fit you best.
- Know both your vehicle’s weight and the best lifting points before you need to lift the car. You’ll have to choose between car jacks based on how much weight they can handle.
- Don’t just buy a car jack and stow it in your trunk. Take the unit out and perform a dry run. Make sure you can safely lift the car, crawl under it and/or remove the “flat” tire, and lower the car slowly in a cautious manner. This will save a lot of confusion when it comes to the real thing.
Electric Car Jack FAQs
Q: How do I know where to safely lift my vehicle?
A: A good place to start is your owner’s manual. It should show via a diagram where the best spot is to place a jack. Generally, you’ll want to locate part of the vehicle’s frame as a lifting point since the weight of the vehicle is already resting on it. A flat, rough surface is best for a solid grip, too.
Q: Where can I find out how much my vehicle weighs?
A: The owner’s manual will list this information. Many manufacturers will also list the vehicle’s weight on a sticker near the door jamb between the driver’s seat and the passenger seat directly behind it. Always go with the “gross vehicle weight,” as it represents the weight of your car with fluids, passengers, and cargo factored in.
Q: If I want to lift the entire front/back end of my car, should/can I use two jacks?
A: It really depends on what type of car you’re talking about. If you can find a cross-bracing section of the frame in the front/back that will hold the car’s weight as you lift with the jack, it’s doable, provided you place wheel chocks behind both front/rear tires to stop the car from rolling away. If you’re raising more than one corner of the car, however, we strongly recommend you use jack stands.
Q: Do I need to maintain an electric car jack?
A: Like anything else electrical, you don’t want to immerse the jack in water or let the components get wet. You should test the unit periodically to make sure it is still working properly and replace it immediately if it’s not. Otherwise, keeping it in a dry, room-temperature environment within a sealed case is all the upkeep it should need.
Q: How do I know the vehicle is secure on the jack?
A: If you’re on the side of the road and don’t have access to jack stands, simply shake the vehicle back and forth to make sure it is properly seated on the lifting plate of the jack. Otherwise, it’s best to lift the car with the jack and then place jack stands underneath it on the vehicle’s frame. It’s never a good idea to rely on the jack itself, whatever its type.
Our pick for the best electric car jack is the BestEquip 5,500-Pound Capacity Electric Scissor Jack for its ability to strike the right balance between value, capabilities, and quality construction.
For the best value overall, choose the ABN Three-Ton Electric Hydraulic Jack. It’s worth the money to have on hand in case of roadside emergency.