You may not realize how many alternatives are available for installing a car lift in your home garage. Professional shops may choose a certain sort of lift based on their area of expertise, and the same is true for do-it-yourselfers with specific requirements in their garages. Here is additional information regarding the lift types and possibilities. In garages around the world, there are two basic types of lifts: frame-engaging and wheel-engaging lifts.
Frame-engaging lifts sustain the vehicle’s frame while raising it using arms. Some arms are fixed, while others adjust to the structure of each vehicle. With a lift that engages the vehicle’s chassis, you can work on the vehicle’s wheels, tires, suspension, and a variety of other components.
Drive-on wheel-engaging lifts are commonly found in professional shops. The vehicle rests on its wheels atop two decks, allowing an open garage space underneath for engine maintenance and other work. If you need to operate on the wheels while the car is on the lift, you will need to acquire modifications, such as crossbeams and hydraulic lift jacks, to convert a wheel-engaging lift.
In addition to frame-versus-wheel-engaging lifts, four more types of lifts provide consumers with choices for performing vehicle maintenance at home.
Scissor or hinge-type frames lie flat on the floor, allowing you to arrange the car for lifting while driving on top of them. Either scissor joints or beams elevate the car to a height between three and four feet, or to a relatively low height.
There is no need to secure a scissor lift, and it is useful for wheel maintenance because the suspension and wheels are accessible. Despite being “portable car lifts,” hinged lifts are still extremely heavy and require a ton of electricity to move.
2 post lift surface lifts take up more garage room than alternatives, but if you’re seeking a shop-at-home solution, this sort of frame-engaging lift may meet the bill. Two metal arms on two posts hold the vehicle’s frame, although overhead clearance and a permanent location are required.
A four-post automobile lift is a drive-on (wheel-engaging) solution that is simple to operate. You drive the vehicle onto the ramps, activate the hydraulics, and then walk beneath the vehicle to perform maintenance. There is only access to the undercarriage, not the wheels and suspension, which can reduce the unit’s utility for some garages.
If you are a serious enthusiast or do-it-yourselfer, you may choose the most advanced garage vehicle lift: an in-ground model. In-ground lifts hoist cars directly from the ground by their frames. In-ground lifts take around nine feet of underground access for installation, so you’ll need to do a lot of prep work before you can bring one of these home.
Because the hydraulics are located below the floor, in-ground lifts are costly to build and difficult to maintain. Given the possibility of subsurface leakage, environmental sustainability is also a problem. We will not include in-ground lifts on our best-of list because they are more difficult to find and are not commonly found in residential garages.
You’re probably aware that installing a garage auto lift in your house garage is a significant undertaking. A self-service auto shop, a relatively recent phenomenon in the do-it-yourself world, is an alternative. Typically, self-service auto shops charge an hourly rate for the use of lifts and garage equipment.
For individuals who don’t live near a self-serve shop or who choose to purchase their own at-home lift nonetheless, continue reading to learn how to discover the best suitable option for the home.
You may be interested in purchasing the same vehicle lift as your trusted technician. Performance and durability are essential, but not all professional lifts can fit in your garage, so there are several factors to consider before shopping. Here is how to locate the ideal vehicle lift for your home garage, regardless of your demands or preferences.
Most single-car garages are around 12 feet by 24 feet in size. Depending on the type of car lift you select, you may want extra internal space for transporting and securing vehicles. 11 to 12 feet of ceiling height is optimum for preventing accidents and ensuring that you can work comfortably.
In order to determine which sort of lift will fit in your garage, it is essential to measure its dimensions. You must also determine the depth of your concrete slab to enable the correct installation of the lift. The normal lift height is between four and five inches, so you may want to check before purchasing a lift.
In order to install a lift, you will need to drill into the concrete pad, thus it is preferable to ensure that it is in good condition. Check for cracks, holes, and other impediments that may impair the installation and operation of your lift.
Using a car lift (or even a tire jack) is inherently dangerous; hence, professional auto repair firms must have extensive insurance coverage. At home, you are alone, but it does not mean you should disregard safety.
Consider safety measures such as adjustable safety locks to prevent accidental operation of your elevator. Consider whether power lifts have a manual backup in case your hydraulics malfunction while a vehicle is in the air.
Some lifts may include accessories, but if you choose a drive-on lift, you should consider purchasing your own kit. Investing in rubber chocks (as opposed to metal chocks, which might slide) and lightweight ramps for a drive-on lift increases safety and reduces physical strain.
Some vehicle lifts are designed to facilitate easier automotive maintenance, while others facilitate vertical storage in confined spaces. Before you begin looking for a lift, you should be aware of your plans so that you may select the one that best meets your requirements.
A hydraulic lift requires oil, adding an element of maintenance to the ownership of a car lift. Consider maintenance specifications while looking for a car lift, focusing on components that are self-lubricating and use bushings or bearings to promote a smoother operation.
Depending on the brand you choose and its widespread availability, it may be difficult to locate replacement parts. If parts are difficult to source locally, you may want to reconsider an otherwise ideal car lift.
Usually, 110- or 120-volt options are available for motorized car lifts. Ensure that your garage has the proper electrical supply for the lift you select; otherwise, you will need the assistance of an electrician to install it. In a typical residential garage, 110-volt power is standard, and a generator can be used to power your lift if necessary. Consider the voltage of each lift and its compatibility with your existing wiring.
Installation of an automotive lift can be difficult, but given the low cost of a home lift, many of us are willing to take on the challenge. If your lift is delivered by freight, you will likely need a forklift or other equipment to remove it from the truck and place it in your garage. Installation needs will vary based on the size and features of your lift, but you will need assistance regardless of the model you select. The initial stage is to assemble the frame, followed by sorting and installing components, raising the lift, filling the hydraulics, and testing the machine to guarantee proper operation.
It is equally crucial what you intend to lift as how you intend to raise it. If you are working on compact vehicles or SUVs, a model with a smaller capacity may suffice. For passenger vans and diesel pickup trucks, a greater weight limit is required.