How Exhaust Air Jacks Work

Using Exhaust Air Jacks

Using exhaust air jacks is easier than you may think. They are available in two- or three-ton sizes, and the one for your vehicle depends on how large and heavy it is. No matter how big the vehicle, exhaust jacks lift it up the same way:

  • Air jacks come with a hose about 15 feet long. One end attaches to the exhaust pipe and the other to the inflatable sack.
  • The sack is placed anywhere under the chassis, so no jack points are necessary. Since the gadget is basically a big balloon, there's no need to center it under a particular spot on the car.
  • About 30 seconds later, the exhaust air jack will be inflated and one side of the car will be off the ground. A one-way valve holds the air inside.
  • Release the valve to deflate the sack and lower the car.


The bottom of the automotive gadget's balloonlike sack is protected from sharp stones, sticks or whatever debris may lurk under your car by a PVC coating. Manufacturers say there's no danger of pressure buildup in the engine because it takes very little pressure to lift the car.

Common uses of exhaust air jacks go beyond changing a tire on the side of the road. They can also be used to lift the front or rear tires so that you can put tire chains on two wheels at once. These automotive gadgets can even be used to lift trailers, boat trailers or basically anything with a frame and a couple of wheels.

You shouldn't do heavy work while underneath a car lifted on an exhaust jack, but, then again, it's not recommended that you crawl under a car lifted on a regular jack, either. Those situations call for a set of ramps or a sturdy floor jack, while emergencies call for a lift you can keep in the trunk, like an air jack.

Read on to find out what other uses these gadgets have.