What kind of jack should I buy?

John Paul, AAA Northeast's Car Doctor, answers a question from a reader who's upgrading from an antique car jack.

The 2012 Mazda3.
The 2012 Mazda3. –Mazda

Q. A while back, maybe over a year ago, you told your readers about your favorite floor jack. Would you please remind me which one it is? I remember it had “quiet” wheels, and I’m hoping it has a very low profile to fit under my 2012 Mazda3. I’m in my late 60s, and I’ve relied on the dealership for all vehicle work for the past 15 years. I’ve always considered myself a gifted amateur, and lately I’ve been taking on odd jobs again. I’ve reverted to using the antique scissors jack that was old when I first started using it back in my teens. My budget for a new jack is about $200.

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A. The jack that replaced my heavy-duty and almost antique Hein-Werner jack is from Mychanic. The jack has combination urethane and steel front wheels, and it lifts from 3 1/2 inches to 18 inches. It is easy to maneuver, weighs about 60 pounds, and it’s a good jack for DIYers. Other jacks with good reviews are from Harbor-Freight. Their aluminum racing jack and the three-ton Daytona jack fit in your budget. No matter what type of jack you use, always use safety stands.

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to jpaul@aaanortheast.com.