Choosing the Best Car Lift for Your Garage

VD November 11 2021

As with any technology, autos are prone to breakdowns and require regular maintenance. Access to the lower part in garage conditions is often impossible due to the lack of a car lift. With all the necessary tools, and equipped and ready-to-use car lifting platform, it is possible to exchange the consumables of the chassis, gearbox, and engine. And since car maintenance must be carried out twice a year, it is better to make units and assemblies with your own hands. 

What Is Car Lift?

A car lift is a device that is used to raise and lower vehicles. There are many different types of car lifts, but they all have one common goal: to make it easier to move vehicles around. Car lifts can be used for a variety of purposes, such as lifting a vehicle onto a trailer or flatbed truck or moving a vehicle from one location to another.

How To Choose The Best Car Lift For Your Home Garage?

When it comes to choosing a car lift for your home garage, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. Here are a few tips on how to choose the best car lift for your home garage:

1. Determine the purpose of the lift. Are you going to be using it for storage or will you be working on your car? If you're going to be using it for storage, then you'll want to choose a lift that can accommodate your car's height and weight.

2. Choose a lift that is durable and can handle the weight of your car. You don't want to end up with a lift that breaks down easily.

3. Choose a lift that is easy to install and use. You don't want to spend hours trying to figure out how to put it together.

4. Make sure the company you're buying from is reputable and has a good warranty. This way, if something does go wrong with the lift, you're covered.

5. Choose your future car lift type. Depending on the design and application car lifts are divided into several types. To use this elevator comfortably and according to your needs, you need to decide on the type of elevator. Read how to do it correctly in the next paragraph.

Different Car Lift Types That Are Present In Today's Market

The car lifts are available in different versions, which differ in the type of vehicle lift and the type of drive. When repairing vehicles, three main types of car lifts are used:

Screw lifts

screw-car-lift

The screw on the winch is turned by an electric motor, which is performed at a constant speed. This type of car lift for garages has two types of construction: with the rotation mechanism using rollers or without this element (lever, metal).

The advantages of screw car lifts:

  • Simple and durable construction.
  • The possibility to use a rotary machine with rollers and screws without the roller (manual). 
  • Lifting platform height adjustable.
  • Minimum noise level.
  • Designed longer service life.

The disadvantages of screw car lifts:

  • The price category is high enough.
  • Minimum speed of the engine, which makes it slower to carry out repairs.

Fork-type Lifts

fork-type-car-lift

Platforms for cars fork-type are more practical. They are driven by hydraulic cylinders, which are attached to the platform under the chassis of the car. The lifting height is adjustable. For optimum use of space, they can be folded back down onto the platform after work on a vehicle is finished.

The advantages of forklifts:

  • Low noise level.
  • High speed of movement and work.

The disadvantages of forklifts:

  • A greater number of moving parts, which after a certain time may break down or get clogged with dirt.
  • The presence of hydraulic oil in the working area, which is required to keep it clean from spilled oil. 
  • Because forks are adjusted hydraulically, their adjustment is not always very accurate. 
  • Requires a special place for storage and transportation.

Scissor lifts

scissor-type-car-lift

Scissor car lifts are equipped with two supporting trolley wheels, which are also used for raising the chassis. These are electric or pneumatic machines since they are easier to install and less expensive in comparison with other types of car lifts. In addition, this lift model can carry a heavier load due to its design.

The advantages of scissor car lifts:

  • Low noise level
  • Easy to use
  • High carrying capacity

The disadvantages of scissor car lifts:

  • The engine is more likely to malfunction in comparison with screws and forks.     
  • There is a high likelihood of injury when working alone on a platform without assistance from colleagues.               
  • Requires additional installation space for storage and transportation.

This device is used to fix the car and raise it to a certain height to gain access to the chassis, suspension, and mechanisms of the car. 

The way the car is lifted plays an important role in the car lift construction; the garage lift can be designed as a fork, scissor, or platform version. The most popular are forklifts based on a long threaded tool steel shaft. The parts of the unit can withstand the load of an average car, it is almost impossible to make a mechanism with your own hands due to the complex construction of the forks. 

 The most popular car lifts are with 2 posts. This construction can be driven electromechanically. There are designs with multiple posts, they distribute the load better. The scissor structure is a platform with a lever system. This device can be driven electromechanically, which transfers the load. There are many factors to consider when choosing a two-post car lift. If you are thinking about buying this tool, take the choice seriously, because your safety depends on it.

The scissor lift has a platform driven by a scissor-like mechanism. A self-made elevator of this type is driven by mechanical force, it is raised by a hydraulic drive connected to an electric motor. 

In auto repair shops you can find the most common option - a screw two-post jack, which can be carried out with a hydraulic or electric drive. Depending on the expected loads, the structure can be made with additional beams. 

What Is DIY Car Lift?

diy-car-lift-homemade-ramp

A DIY car lift is a great way to save money on car repairs and maintenance. By lifting your car yourself, you can avoid expensive garage fees and get the job done right in your driveway.

There are a few things to consider before purchasing or building a DIY car lift. First, you need to make sure that you have the proper tools and equipment. Second, you need to be sure that you have the skills and knowledge to properly use the lift. Finally, you need to make sure that you follow all safety guidelines when using the lift.

diy-car-lift

What To Consider When Choosing DIY Car Lift?

If you are considering a DIY car lift, there are a few different types to choose from. The most popular type is the floor jack, which is designed to lift your car from the ground. These jacks are typically made of steel or aluminum and can be purchased at most auto parts stores.

Another popular type of DIY car lift is the engine hoist. This type of lift is designed to lift your car's engine out of the vehicle so you can work on it more easily. Engine hoists are typically made of steel or aluminum and can be rented from most auto parts stores.

Finally, you may also want to consider a hydraulic car lift. Hydraulic lifts are designed to use hydraulic power to lift your vehicle. These lifts are usually more expensive than other types of DIY car lifts, but they are also much more powerful. If you are planning on doing a lot of work on your car, a hydraulic lift may be the best option for you.

Using a DIY car lift

To make a unit for lifting vehicles with your own hands, it is important to familiarize yourself with the structures in the market. Before making a car lift with your own hands, it is important not to forget about safety precautions. Parts can fall spontaneously during work, which leads to irreversible consequences. The cost of the finished equipment can be equated with the price of a car.  It is best to order a car lift of creative design with specific functions at the plant.

The advantages of homemade car lifts are not just the low cost. You can customize it to your liking, and carry out additional works on the frame and structure. 

The disadvantages of DIY car lifts include lack of reliability, which will decrease with time. The load-bearing capacity is much lower than that offered by factory-made devices. Finally, you should pay attention to all safety measures for your own sake.

Is It Safe To Use a homemade car lift?

diy-car-lift

Yes, it is safe to use a homemade car lift as long as you follow all the necessary safety precautions. Make sure that the lift is properly secured and that you have someone else nearby to help you in case of an emergency. Always wear proper safety gear when using the lift and never exceed the weight limit that it can safely support. With a little bit of care and caution, you can safely use a homemade car lift to work on your vehicle.

FAQ

Which car lift can I use when the car is too big?

Repairing large vehicles is not uncommon. Such situations lead to considerations of improving and modernizing a car elevator for a garage with your own hands. It is possible to make a movable structure that allows the raised part to be moved to the required distances. 

Which is better: assemble or buy a car lift?

Oftentimes, people assemble the elevator themselves because a new one is expensive. It should be noted that making a homemade car lift is not always an easy task. In addition, if the structure is not assembled correctly, its use can be dangerous. It is best to buy such equipment on the market, on advantageous terms.

What car lifts are sold in auto repair shops?

A variety of car lifts for garages is presented in shops on special terms. The devices can be both stationary and movable. It depends on the garage where the device will be installed. 

How to choose a screw lift?

The most popular and bought by professionals and amateurs are two-post, screw, fork and scissor lift, and hydraulic or electromechanical platforms. Professional mechanics focus their attention on the high load capacity and stability of the device when choosing a garage lift with 2 posts.     

Which lift design should I choose: forklift, scissor, or platform?

It is important to choose the design of the device on which you plan to lift a car. If it is necessary to work with heavy loads, forklifts are better suited for this purpose. Scissor lifts are more suitable for small weights. Platforms are universal devices without any specific features, they can be used in garages of different sizes and with different load capacity requirements.

How much does a homemade garage lift cost?

The price also depends on the complexity of its design. A simple two-post car elevator is sold at an average price of 6 thousand rubles. The use of additional beams increases stability during operation and increases the overall weight limit by about 40%. Working height varies from 4 meters to 6 meters depending on the design and construction features of the device.

How to build a screw car lift?

Before starting work on the garage, you should prepare all necessary materials, tools, and equipment. Once everything is ready, it's time to start assembling the device. First of all, you need to prepare parts for installation. The lifting platform must be prepared so that it can move up and down freely along the guides.

Next, do not forget about fasteners that are attached to both ends of each beam, which run along its entire length. They are used for anchoring rods in holes in beams or base plates.

Make sure that all screws are securely fixed. Be careful when tightening the bolts so as not to damage them by excessive force. Now it's time to tighten leveling legs and secure them with a special tool, otherwise, they can be moved during the operation of the lift. 

What is the cost of a hydraulic car lift?

The price range varies from 50 thousand rubles to 70 thousand rubles for stationary devices and from 80 thousand rubles to 100 thousand rubles for mobile lifts (forklift type). Electric platforms go for about 300-350 thousand, but some models exceed half a million.