The 5 Types of Transmission Jacks for Easy and Safe Vehicle Maintenance

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types of transmission jacks

If you’re someone who loves tinkering with cars and doing your own repairs, then you know how important it is to have the right tools in your arsenal. One tool that you definitely don’t want to overlook is your transmission jack.

But what are the 5 types of transmission jacks that will help you in your garage?

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into everything you need to know about transmission jacks. We’ll cover the different types of jacks available, how to choose the right one for your needs, and how to use it safely and effectively. So, buckle up and let’s get started!

What is a Transmission Jack?

First things first, what exactly is a transmission jack? Well, simply put, it’s a tool that’s used to lift and support a vehicle’s transmission during repairs or replacements. Without a transmission jack, working on a transmission can be a real pain in the neck (and back!). That’s why having one in your garage or workshop is a must for any serious DIY mechanic.

Types of Transmission Jacks

There are four main types of transmission jacks: hydraulic, pneumatic, manual, and electric. Each type has its own unique features and benefits, making it important to choose the right type for your specific needs. Here’s a closer look at each type of transmission jack, along with who it’s best suited for:

Hydraulic Transmission Jacks

Hydraulic transmission jacks are powerful and reliable, making them a great choice for heavy-duty jobs. They’re ideal for mechanics who work on larger vehicles and need to lift heavier transmissions. They’re also a good choice for home mechanics who want a reliable jack that can handle a variety of jobs.

Who should buy this?

  • Mechanics who work on larger vehicles
  • Home mechanics who want a reliable jack for heavy-duty jobs

Popular brands that manufacture hydraulic transmission jacks include:

  • OTC
  • Sunex
  • Torin
  • Big Red
  • Blackhawk.

Pneumatic Transmission Jacks

Pneumatic transmission jacks are fast and easy to maneuver, making them a popular choice for auto shops and DIY enthusiasts alike. They’re ideal for those who need to lift transmissions quickly and easily, but they do require an air compressor to operate.

Who should buy this?

  • Auto shops and DIY enthusiasts who need to lift transmissions quickly and easily
  • Those who value portability and maneuverability

Popular brands that manufacture pneumatic transmission jacks include:

  • ATD Tools
  • AFF
  • Sunex
  • Omega

Manual Transmission Jacks

Manual transmission jacks are affordable and easy to use, making them a good choice for those who don’t need to lift heavy transmissions. They’re ideal for home mechanics who work on smaller vehicles or need a jack for lighter jobs.

Who should buy this?

  • Home mechanics who work on smaller vehicles
  • Those who need a jack for lighter jobs

Popular brands that manufacture manual transmission jacks include:

  • Powerbuilt
  • Torin
  • Blackhawk
  • Sunex

Electric Transmission Jacks

Electric transmission jacks are easy to use and require less physical effort than manual jacks. They’re ideal for those who want the convenience of an electric jack and have the budget for it. They’re also a good choice for mechanics who work on a variety of vehicles and need a jack that’s easy to use.

Who should buy this?

  • Mechanics who work on a variety of vehicles
  • Those who want the convenience of an electric jack and have the budget for it

Popular brands that manufacture electric transmission jacks include:

  • ACDelco
  • Sunex
  • Omega
  • Strongway

When choosing between types of transmission jacks, it’s important to consider factors such as weight capacity, lifting range, and the type of vehicle you’ll be working on. By understanding the differences between each type of transmission jacks and choosing the one that best suits your needs, you can ensure a safe and effective transmission removal or installation.

How to Choose the Right Transmission Jack

types of transmission - mechanic swapping out a transmission

Choosing the right transmission jack for your needs can be a bit daunting, but it’s an important decision. Here are some factors to consider:

Vehicle type and weight

Different jacks have different weight capacities, so it’s important to choose one that can handle the weight of your vehicle and transmission.

Transmission weight and size

Some transmissions are larger and heavier than others, so make sure you choose a jack that’s appropriate for your specific transmission.

Lifting capacity and range

Consider the lifting capacity and range of the jack to ensure that it will be able to lift your transmission to the height you need it to be.

Material and construction quality

Choose a jack that’s made from high-quality materials and is well-constructed to ensure that it will be durable and long-lasting.

Budget considerations

Of course, you’ll also want to consider your budget when choosing a transmission jack. While it’s important to invest in a quality jack, you don’t necessarily need to break the bank.

How to Use a Transmission Jack

Using a transmission jack isn’t rocket science, but it does require some care and attention to ensure that you do it safely and effectively. Here are the basic steps:

Preparations before lifting

If you need to remove or install a transmission in your car or truck, a transmission jack can make the job easier. Follow these steps to safely and effectively use a transmission jack:

Step 1: Determine the Center of Gravity

The first step is to figure out where the center of gravity is on your transmission. Look at the size and shape of the transmission and make a logical assumption. You want to get the center of gravity in the center of the jack. You can use the tools on the jack to adjust your transmission.

Step 2: Center the Transmission on the Jack

Once you’ve determined the center of gravity, center the transmission on the jack. Use the jack’s hooks to strap it down, or if it sits nicely with just gravity, you’ll be fine. Adjust the plate by turning the lever forward and aft, and side to side by turning the lever.

Step 3: Position the Transmission

Use the handle on the bottom of the jack to position the transmission as you’re installing it in the car. You’ll use your foot to jack the transmission up and another lever to let it back down. Make sure to hit all axes well to get the transmission in or out of your vehicle.

Step 4: Use the Jack for Suspension Work

Another thing you can use the transmission jack for is suspension work. If you put the jack under one of your tires, you can jack the tire, release the pressure on the suspension, and work on your shock absorbers, coil springs, and more.

Safety Guidelines for Using all Types of Transmission Jacks

Using a transmission jack can be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Last month, a man in Dandridge was severely injured when the car he was working under slipped off the jack holding it up and crushed him. This is why it’s crucial to prioritize safety when working with tools like transmission jacks, and to ensure that the jack is in proper working condition before use.

According to Forbes, more than 10,000 people become seriously injured each year when using a car jack or similar type of hoist. A study by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis showed that 40 percent of car jack failures occur while the jack is being used to fully lift the body off the ground, while only 19 percent of car jack failures occurred when the car was only partially being lifted for tire changes. Unfortunately, 18 percent of these failures were linked to pressure loss in the jack, which means the jack could no longer support the vehicle. More often than not, injuries include amputations, disfigurement, and crushing of internal organs.

To prevent accidents and injuries when using a transmission jack, it’s important to follow proper safety guidelines and take the necessary precautions. This section outlines some key safety guidelines to keep in mind when using a transmission jack. [4]

Wear protective gear

It’s important to wear protective gear when using a transmission jack, including eye protection, gloves, and steel-toed boots. This can help to prevent injuries in case of accidents or unexpected events. You should also avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry that could get caught in the jack or other machinery.

Inspect the jack before use

Before using a transmission jack, you should inspect it carefully to make sure it is in good working condition. Check the jack for any signs of damage, such as cracks or dents, and make sure that all parts are securely attached. If you notice any issues or defects, do not use the jack until it has been repaired or replaced.

Properly secure the vehicle and transmission

When using a transmission jack, it’s crucial to properly secure the vehicle and transmission to prevent accidents. Make sure the vehicle is parked on a level surface and the wheels are blocked to prevent movement. Also, make sure the emergency brake is engaged and the transmission is properly supported and balanced.

Use the jack on a level surface

Using a transmission jack on an uneven or sloping surface can be dangerous and can increase the risk of accidents. Always use the jack on a level surface, and if necessary, use shims or other equipment to level the surface before lifting the vehicle.

Do not exceed the weight limit

Each transmission jack has a specific weight limit, and it’s crucial to never exceed this limit. Overloading the jack can cause it to fail, leading to serious accidents and injuries. Always check the weight limit of the jack and make sure that the vehicle and transmission are within this limit before using the jack.

Avoid working alone

Working alone can be dangerous, especially when using heavy machinery like a transmission jack. Always try to work with a partner who can assist you and keep an eye on the situation. If you must work alone, make sure that someone is aware of what you are doing and can check on you periodically.

Keep children and pets away from the work area

When using a transmission jack or other heavy machinery, it’s crucial to keep children and pets away from the work area. Make sure the area is clearly marked and that children and pets are not allowed near the vehicle or machinery. This can help to prevent accidents and injuries.

Remember to always prioritize safety when using a transmission jack or any other heavy machinery. By following these guidelines and taking the necessary precautions, you can help to prevent accidents and ensure that your repairs and replacements go smoothly.

Maintenance and Storage of all types of Transmission Jacks

Taking care of your transmission jack is important to ensure that it lasts a long time and continues to function properly. Here are some maintenance and storage tips:

  • Cleaning the jack after use – After using the jack, clean it thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris that could cause damage.
  • Lubricating the moving parts – Lubricate the moving parts of the jack regularly to ensure that it operates smoothly.
  • Regular inspection and maintenance – Inspect the jack regularly for any signs of wear or damage, and perform any necessary repairs or maintenance.
  • Proper storage to prevent damage – Store the jack in a dry, cool place to prevent damage from moisture or extreme temperatures.


In conclusion, any of the types of transmission jacks are an essential tool for any professional or DIY mechanic alike who wants to work on their own vehicle. By understanding the different types of transmission jacks available, how to choose the right one for your needs, and how to use it safely and effectively, you can make sure that your transmission repairs and replacements go smoothly.

So, invest in a quality transmission jack, follow the safety guidelines, and happy wrenching!


  1. “How to Use a Transmission Jack” by It Still Runs. Retrieved from
  2. “Transmission Jacks: What They Are and How to Use Them” by Car Bibles. Retrieved from
  3. “The Best Transmission Jacks (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021” by The Drive. Retrieved from
  4. Stanley A. Davis. (2016, May 25). How Did a Car Jack Cause Serious Injuries to a Young Man in Dandridge? Retrieved from
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