Few additions to a garage add the level of functionality that a lift does. Unless you’re working on a vehicle with some serious ground clearance, a lift is a must-have for performing major repairs to suspension and drivetrain components. But while they’re practical, one thing lifts are not is cheap, so when you’re shopping for one, it’s important to know what you’re looking for.
The way you intend to use your lift has some bearing on what you’ll shop for. Some people simply need to conserve space, while others intend to use the lift for repairs. Follow our pointers below to make sure you choose the right lift for your application.
The Best Layout for Your Lift
There are more methods of lifting a car off the ground than you might think, and you’ll want to think about the purpose, size, and prize. Lifts come in two and four-post flavors, as well as scissor lifts and even compact portable or integrated in-ground styles. Which is the best for you?
In residential applications, you’re likely to be looking at a two-post lift. Their combination of affordability and small footprint make them equally effective in a parking application or for doing work on the car. Their larger four-post brethren can lift more weight, but they require more space and so are more commonly found in garage settings.
If you’re running a garage, give the four-post design a look and consider a scissor-type lift, especially if you need to frequently lift very heavy vehicles like trucks. Keep in mind that scissor-type lifts will block access to mechanical components when in use. If your shop is very small, consider a mobile column lift.
Features, Brand Choice, and Quality
The most important question to ask when choosing a lift is, how much will you lift with it? Being left without enough power to lift the vehicles you need to is a major failure, so understand what your car or cars weigh.
Within each lift category, individual manufacturers will outfit their products with different features. These include things like telescoping arms, adapters for specific vehicle types like vans and frame extensions for wide vehicles, among other things.
Many lifts available on the market are rebranded. This is where the internet becomes your best friend. There, you can read up on who actually made the lift and find some customer feedback. Pay a visit to garages and friend’s homes where lifts are in use and ask for their opinion of the model they selected.
Benefits of Getting Lifted
With your selection made, get ready to enjoy the benefits of extra space and easy access to underbody mechanicals any time you need to work on your car. Not to mention, you’ll be the envy of all your car friends. Nothing says you’ve arrived like a lift in the garage. Now, we just hope you’ve got something equally impressive to drive onto it.