Do you handle routine repair and maintenance of your vehicle by yourself? If so, you must be sick and tired of lying on your home garage floor while changing the oil or checking the tires.
Nevertheless, you can turn your garage into a comfortable and safe workspace by investing in a car lift. There is a myriad of car lifts for sale, available in different sizes and weight capacities.
The tips below will assist you in choosing the best one.
Consider your available garage space
The inceptive consideration when shopping for a car lift for your home garage is the space you have at your disposal. While your garage might be large enough to fit your vehicle, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it would fit your car lift. These lifts are usually a bit wider than vehicles, which is why you need to make sure there’s enough space for the one you’ll purchase.
The wisest thing to do is to measure the dimensions of your garage prior to looking at different models of such machines. Even if the dimensions of your garage fit those of the hydraulic machine you choose, you should still make sure the garage is high enough to accommodate the height of both your vehicle and car lift.
For instance, a minivan will require a lot of extra height compared to a low drift car. The last thing you want is for your vehicle to penetrate the roof when lifted. While determining whether you have enough space, it’s crucial to consider the size of your vehicle and the maximum size of your lift.
Consider the types
The following thing to take into account is the type of car lift you wish to purchase, which can be four-post, two-post, or portable. Four-post models are among the most popular designs, allowing users to drive directly onto the lift and then raise the vehicle with the help of a button. These models enable individuals to double the space in their garage by parking one vehicle underneath the auto they’ve already raised.
Four-post models are ideal for performing some routine maintenance tasks underneath your auto, such as changing oil. Nevertheless, these devices fail to raise the car off the wheels. Therefore, if planning to rotate your tires or replace suspension and brake components, you won’t find this model very useful. Check out some handy tips for changing car oil by yourself in four simple steps.
Two-post lifts, on the other hand, let users drive between the two posts and raise their autos by the frame. This concept enables individuals to remove all four wheels during the process of repairs. On the negative side, you cannot leave your auto raised in this position for too long, as it might cause wear and tear to the suspension along with other damages.
Portable scissor lifts are much more portable compared to the previous two alternatives. You won’t be required to drill any holes in the ground in order to mount the device. The portable scissor models have a few advantages over the other variants. You can move them out of your way after using them instead of having them permanently mounted.
Another advantage is the possibility to take the portable car lift somewhere else and not use it just in your garage. Hence, you can perform auto maintenance tasks in the garage of a friend, family member, or neighbor. Nevertheless, just because these models are classified as portable, it doesn’t mean that they are easy to move. These devices are heavy and require some physical effort to move. Also, you’ll need enough power to operate them.
Voltage specs are an important factor to have in mind when shopping for a car lift. Your garage should have the right voltage specs for you to operate the device. Car lifts are available in two voltage specs, 110 volts, and 220 volts. Make sure both types of outlets are available in your garage and ensure they are the correct voltage.
In case you have outlets, but their voltage doesn’t fit, you have the option to invest in a transformer, which has enough wattage. Keep in mind that converting 110 V to 220 V isn’t as straightforward as people assume. Do not make the mistake of creating electric circuits that your wiring isn’t capable of handling.
Don’t neglect the setup process
Prior to making a purchase of a car lift, buyers should pay attention to the setup process and the compatibility of their garages to the product. When buying a two-post or four-post model, you’d need a proper drill and tools to bolt the device directly into the floor. Even if you have these tools, the floor should still be deep enough for the bolting task to be performed correctly.
Concrete flooring seems to pose no issues when it comes to bolting, as it’s usually thick enough. The installation can be handled by a professional, meaning you should plan extra money, from $500 to $900, to cover the installation cost.
Don’t forget about safety
While using a car lift in a home garage, individuals have to follow a set of safety tips to remain safe. The first safety rule is to never go under the auto in the course of lifting it. Make sure the vehicle is completely raised and then lowered on the physical safety locks for extra protection. Lowering your auto onto the locks should also be practiced if you plan to park another car under it.
Another safety tip to follow is applying your emergency brake whenever you park your vehicle on a four-post lift. Such action will prevent the vehicle from rolling off accidentally. When using a portable or two-post model, it’s crucial to check whether the pads are pressed firmly against the frame. Unless each pad is centered correctly on the frame, you shouldn’t raise the auto.
Last but not least, no person or animal should be under the vehicle while lowering it. Your children or pets might sneak there without you noticing. Therefore, always spare a few moments to ensure nobody is down there.
Check the weight capacity
The weight capacity of your car lift is supposed to handle the weight of your vehicle. You must know how heavy your auto is and then compare it to the weight capacities of different models. Make sure the chosen device has a weight capacity of 8,000 lbs. to avoid any issues.
The bottom line
If you love spending time in your home garage, a car lift will make your work easier!