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Pascal's Law

A change in pressure at any point in an enclosed fluid is transmitted equally throughout the fluid.

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Jack It Up

Jack It Up


Credit: Bull Doser
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:'95-'98_Ford_Explorer_With_Flat_Tire.JPG
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

You’re excited about your new purchases at the mall. But when you get back to your car in the parking lot, you’re faced with a flat tire. Oh no! Now what do you do?

News You Can Use

  • If you have free roadside assistance from your car insurance company or auto club, calling them to change your tire is probably your best bet. However, it’s good to know how to change a tire yourself in case you are in a hurry or roadside assistance isn’t available.
  • Before you can change a tire on a car, the car has to be lifted up so it is no longer resting on the flat tire. A car generally weighs well over a ton, but you don’t have to be superman to lift it. Raising a car is easy if you have a hydraulic jack.
  • Credit: Alisha Vargas
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alishav/3259542640/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    If you drive a car regularly, then you should learn how to operate a jack [Figure2]

  • Watch this video to learn how to lift a car with a hydraulic jack. Warning: Do not try this yourself!


Can You Apply It?

At the links below, learn in greater detail how a hydraulic jack works. Then answer the questions that follow.

  1. Describe the basic components of a hydraulic jack.
  2. What fluid is usually used as the hydraulic fluid in a jack? Why is this fluid used?
  3. To lift a car safely, you need other equipment in addition to a jack. What other equipment do you need?
  4. Before you start to jack up a car, what should you do first?
  5. Outline the steps you would go through to operate a hydraulic jack and raise a car.
  6. What is Pascal’s law? How does it apply to the operation of a hydraulic jack?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Bull Doser; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:'95-'98_Ford_Explorer_With_Flat_Tire.JPG; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Alisha Vargas; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alishav/3259542640/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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