Is it OK to prop a car up on bricks?

I know it’s a cliché to see a car propped up on bricks after the wheels have been stolen, but I was just wondering if it does any damage to the car?

The reason I ask is that my house was broken into last night and my girlfriend’s car keys stolen. We can’t get into the car to move it, but whoever’s got the keys might want to come back and move it themselves. So I decided to “disable” it by removing a wheel. Is it likely to damage the wheel hub if I lower it onto a stack of bricks? I don’t particularly want to leave my jack outside either… :dubious:

You could always put the wheel back and yank the battery. How long will it need to be disabled?

Put said stack of bricks under the frame, and that should be fine. This isn’t recommended for performing service work, as gravity is a dependable entity.

Under the frame as in the jacking point? Not the wheel?

And Contrapuntal, removing the battery or spark plugs would be my first choice, but I have no key so I can’t get into the engine compartment…

Put a pice of wood between the bricks and the car (I’d use the jacking point, yeah). The wood helps distribute the weight of the car more evenly. Without the wood, you run the risk of the bricks shattering without warning.

Definitely not. You can warp rotors and distort drums that way. Besides, the car is less likely to roll off the blocks if you have them under the frame.

Even easier then pulling the battery or plugs would be to pull the fuse for the starter.

Unless is stick shift, then you’ll have to do something else.

And he should get to the fuse panel how? By smashing a window?

And you might want to take two wheels. They have access to the spare. :slight_smile:

Oh, I also should have mentioned that jack stands are pretty cheap and handy to have around anyway. They’re generally a better choice than a pile of bricks, partly because they’re easy to adjust to the correct height, they’re designed to not shatter, and their tops are shaped such that they’re conducive to setting a load on top without worrying about it rolling off.

Most cars have designated jacking points.

In most monocoque cars you can simply use the seams that run the length of the car underneath each side as a jacking point. Usually there are some marks or arrows to indicate the points.

Premium cars like BMW and Mercedes have rubber padded points so it is impossible to miss them.

Some cars that have sideskirts made of plastic will have the jacking points hidden behind removable covers.

If the car has a ladder frame (some SUVs and most pickup trucks) then you can jack it from anyplace on the subframe.

Also blocks of wood are far superior to bricks. Not only wood is way stronger, but it is relatively soft so it won’t make any scrathes to the metal. Just make sure that the grain is perpendicular to the load, else the wood might split.

Galt’s point about jack stands is vitally important. Jacking a car up to change a tire is only moderately risky, but you can avoid putting any part of yourself between the car and the ground. In an emergency, yes, you can lower your car onto a stack of bricks or wood, or even a concrete block. Don’t risk any body parts on the strength of such a makeshift prop, though.

At NHRA drag strips, where many competitors are backyard mechanics, anyone caught using blocks instead of jack stands in the pits is immediately disqualified.

I worked with a guy whose car fell on him while he was working on it. It crushed his skull, and he spent most of a year in the hospital. He was lucky to have survived at all.

A spare key.

On preview, missed the part about not being able to get in, which renders all the battery and spark plug ideas useless. Unless it’s an older care where you can pop the hood from the outside.

Right. Bad thinking on my part.

Getting into the car is still a good first choice. If it’s an older car, try this:

Since you apparently have no access to any other keys for the car, why don’t you just call a repair shop, have the car towed, and have the locks and ignition changed? While it’ll cost you cash, at least it’ll let you use the car again. If you can’t afford getting the locks changed now, you can call a locksmith and they’ll be able to unlock the door so you may be able to do something more permanent than removing a wheel or two.

By “brick” do you mean the little red clay bricks put on the outside of buildings, or used as pavers? I wouldn’t put my car up on those, they’re too small to be stable. Concrete blocks and wood will work a lot better, set the blocks with the holes pointing up/down, that’s their strongest position, the wood (don’t use anything thin here) spans the holes for a solid surface. A cheap set of jack stands is even better, then you can take two tires off and set the stands easily under something good and strong.

Can you tow a car with the handbrake still on, and not damage it? I’m just wondering 'cos I was thinking of how they would be able to remove the car unless they’ve got one of those flatbeds where you can hoist the car up on top, like the police have…

There are way to get into a locked car without having a key. Most repair shops would be able to do this without damaging the car.