When it comes to working on cars, safety is very important and it’s important you do it right.
If you’re lifting the rear end of a car you should always chock the front wheels. This is because the front wheels rotate freely.
Using wheel chocks when lifting the front is often a step that’s overlooked. This is because applying the handbrake or leaving it in gear is normally enough… especially if you’re lifting the car on a flat surface.
The right wheel chocks (when applied correctly) offer an extra measure of safety.
When used properly, they will prevent the vehicle from rolling. This means you don’t have to worry about being run over or the car moving while you’re working on it.
While DIY wheel chocks can do the job, I’d recommend getting yourself a high-quality pair. It could cost you your life, money or motor at the end of the day.
That said, I understand that not everyone is able or willing to spend the money on wheel chocks. It’s better that you use DIY wheel chocks over not using anything.
Here’s everything you need to know about making your own wheel chocks or as well as other items you could use as wheel chocks.
What Is A Wheel Chock
Properly manufactured wheel chocks are often Heavy Duty Rubber wedges or blocks that you can wedge under your wheels to stop the car from moving.
You can get various different shapes and sizes of wheel chock based on the type of vehicle you’re lifting and how big the wheels are.
Wheel Chocks are a necessity when lifting the back of a car. This is because the handbrake only locks up the rear wheels on most cars.
Alternatively, to stop the car rolling you could lift all 4 corners, but it’s much easier and quicker to apply wheel chocks.
When it comes to DIY Wheel chocks, they can be made of absolutely anything. As long as they work.
What to use as wheel chocks
When it comes to safety, I’d always recommend using the right equipment. This is why I’ve written an article recommending the best car wheel chocks.
I’m realistic in the fact that not everyone wants to protect themselves in the best way possible and will use other items as wheel chocks. After all, you’re reading an article which is telling you how to make your own.
In reality, any object that prevents the car from moving could be used as a wheel chock. I’ve seen various people use bricks, wood, and even rocks.
The general theory is that a wheel chock needs to be 25% of the diameter of the wheel. Keep this rule in mind when using a random object or are making your own.
How To Make Your Own DIY Wheel Chocks
Fortunately, creating your own wheel chocks is super simple and very cost-effective. You don’t need an insane amount of materials or even tools.
In fact, some wood and a saw are all that you really need. Obviously the more complicated the design, the more tools, and resources you may need.
If all that you want is a simple slant/wedge then you could have it done in a matter of minutes and it could cost you absolutely nothing!
Making A Wood Wheel Chock
As you can see, in this video courtesy of “Jonny DIY”. You can make chocks for all sizes of vehicles by using various different types of woods.
If you’re working on a small vehicle that has 15″ -19″ wheels, I recommend starting with a 4×4 inch block of wood that’s at least 12 inches in length.
You can source this type of wood easily enough from building sites, scrap yards, Facebook groups or even craigslist ads. A lot of the time it’ll be free too.
To make a solid wedge chock, all that you need to do is mark a 45-degree wedge angle and then cut down the line. Ideally, you’d have an electric saw of some sort to make this job easier and cleaner. If not, just use a hand saw.
After you’ve done this, use some sandpaper to remove any splinters from the chocks. This will help to protect your wheels or your hands whenever you use them.
Finally, because wheel chocks end up wedged under the wheel of a car, it can be pretty hard to remove them. I recommend adding some rope to the chock.
You can secure the rope using any method that you want. Screw it, nail it, staple it. As long as it’s fastened tight enough to stay attached when you yank the chock from the car, it doesn’t need to look pretty.
The wedge chock is a quick and easy solution that almost anyone can do at a very low cost.
What Wheel Chocks Don’t Do.
Now, just because you have some wheel chocks wedged under your wheels, it doesn’t really change much.
Some people believe that chocking their wheels up will allow them to work on steep inclines and uneven surfaces, but this simply isn’t the case.
A lot of us are limited with the areas we work in, however, we still need to work safely within our limits.
Parking and working on an angle is never advised, regardless of what safety equipment you have. Anything over 10 or 15 degrees slope could mean your car rolls straight over the chocks.
You should also keep in mind that the bigger the vehicle, the bigger the chocks. While this seems like common sense, not everyone has it, unfortunately.
It’s only a couple of bucks…
While I’m someone that’s extremely frugal and tight-fisted, wheel chocks will only set you back $10 – $20. The convenience of running to the store and picking up manufactured wheel chocks that are tried, tested, and up to safety regulations is a much better option (in my opinion).
Having the peace of mind and someone to blame if it goes wrong is certainly much better than creating your own and being responsible for them failing.
I’d recommend checking out what I believe to be the best wheel chocks. However, if you’re on a strict budget this “Camco 2 pack” will do the job for wheels up to 26″.