A cutaway view of a car final drive unit which contains the differential
A cutaway view of a car final drive unit which contains the differential

I watched the funny scene the other day. My neighbor minivan fell off the jack. It fell hard on its belly when the guy removed the flat tire. It could ended up very bad if somebody got hurt. Luckily just van’s belly had  couple of scratches and that was it.

So guess why it fell off the jack?

You guessed it right – the human error. Or I’d call it stupidity in this case. The owner of the minivan did not engage the parking break nor he ensured by any other means that the car would not roll.

The guy was changing one of the front tires of  front wheel drive Toyota Sienna. Once the flat tire was off the ground, lugs were  removed and he shook the tire the minivan rolled back a little bit, just enough to fell off the jack.

The lesson there for owner was that the differential lets one wheel roll freely once another wheel is off the ground even if transmission is in “P” (Park).

[image credit: wikipedia]

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