Axle stands have sturdy tripod legs and can be adjusted to different heights.

They enable you to support the car off the ground safely, with sufficient clearance for working underneath.

Axle stand

Axle stand

Position stands under axles or structural members, not under unsupported sheet metal. It is unsafe to fit them under a car that is tilted.

Axle stands that give maximum ground clearance of about 370 mm and will support a weight of up to 1.5 tonnes are usually sufficient.

Buy stands that are securely welded all round at load-bearing points, not just spot welded in a few places. Make sure the platform fits firmly in the stand and cannot be rocked from side to side.

On some axle stands the height is adjusted by means of pins, on others by a ratchet system, which is easier to operate.

Guides that use

Bleeding the brakes

Most car manufacturers recommend renewing the hydraulic brake fluid every 18 to 24 months. The fl...

Applying underbody sealant

On a fairly new car, covering the underbody with sealing compound will discourage corrosion. It c...

Renewing hinge pins and hinges

Many hinges are welded to the car bodywork and cannot be adjusted or renewed. But if a door or...

Adjusting the brakes

A typical braking system uses disc brakes at the front of the car and drum brakes at the rear....

Adjusting the handbrake

If you have tightened the brake shoes so that there is no excess travel before they come on, yet...

Renewing drum-brake shoes

Check drum brakes at least every six months, 6,000 miles or 10,000 km, or as recommended in the ...

Removing wheel bearings

Non-driven wheel bearings - the front-wheel bearings of rear-wheel-drive cars and rear-wheel bea...

Replacing wheel bearings on driven wheels

Driven wheels - independent suspension Cars with front-wheel drive have front-wheel bearings that...

Cleaning and checking leaf springs

Leaf springs are likely to wear because they have several moving parts. They should be inspected...

How to drain engine oil and remove filter

Check the engine oil level weekly more often if the engine is consuming some oil, and always bef...

Replacing a drum-brake wheel cylinder

Brake fluid is generally renewed when a leaking or sticking wheel cylinder on a drum brake is re...

Engine oil pump replacement

If the oil pump is fitted to the outside of the engine, you may be able to reach it...

Coil springs replacement

If you have to replace a coil spring on the front suspension, the replacement spring must be of ...

Checking rack and pinion steering

Part of a steering rack check involves raising the front of the car but retaining its weight on ...

Checking the gearbox oil level, draining and refilling

A gearbox contains a great many moving parts. Some of them are submerged in oil and some of them...

Renewing MacPherson-strut inserts

When the damper inside a MacPherson strut wears out, you can buy a replacement cartridge which —...

How to replace dampers

Modern telescopic dampers cannot be overhauled at home. The only servicing possible is to replac...

How to replace anti-roll-bar bushes

The forces imposed on the anti-roll bar subject it to constant twisting and flexing, which in tu...

Checking suspension joints and pivots

Almost all joints and pivots in a modern suspension system have rubber or plastic bushes, with t...

Replacing track-rod-end ball joints

Track-rod-end ball joints are not adjustable on later cars. If they wear, you must replace them....

Replacing steering-rack gaiters

If a check of the rack gaiters reveals that the rubber is starting to crack, split or perish, rep...

Checking fuel pipes

Any fuel leak, however small, can cause a fire. Do not drive a car with a suspected leak until yo...

Lubricating steering swivel joints

Either or both of the upper and lower swivels may have grease nipples; ball joints have them on ...

Checking for wheel and tyre damage

Tyres are put under tremendous strains when a car is being driven. There are only four relativel...

Replacing lever-arm dampers

Front lever-arm damper A lever-arm damper on the front often acts as part of the suspension unit....

Fitting a new speedometer cable

Speedometer failure is likely to be caused by a fault in the cable that runs from the gearbox to...

Checking a clutch cable

The clutch cable has a steel-wire inner core sliding inside an outer sheath. It should last at l...

Adjusting wheel bearings

Wheel bearings need periodic checking - and adjusting if necessary - usually at 12,000 mile serv...

Replacing transmission oil seals

There are two main types of oil seal: static and dynamic. A static oil seal fits between two non...

Checking the half shafts

Half shafts, otherwise known as axle shafts, are fitted in rear-wheel-drive cars only. They give...