Car lifts can be found in all vehicle repair shops and in home garages across the globe. A car lift is a device that is used to raise a car up off the ground to allow access to the underneath compartment of a vehicle. There are both hydraulic and electric versions of the car lift. The electric one is the type that is most commonly used. Car lifts are available in both ramp and chassis mount designs and each type comes attached with its pros and cons.
Most vehicle repairs are completed more easily through the use of a car lift as compared to working without one. By using a car lift to raise the vehicle from the ground, access to the chassis, exhaust and the suspension components is within easy grasp of the mechanic.
As technology evolves, the development of the car lift has also progressed. There are many different types of car lifts and some are more popular than others depending on their attributes.
Here is a look at some of the car lifts that are available today and some of the pros and cons associated with each model mentioned:
Four post car lift
The four post car lift gets its name from its four support posts. However, the defining feature of these lifts is the bridge jacks. These enable vehicles to drive on and off the lift using long metal supports and the weight will remain balanced as long as all the wheels are on the supports. It is the most common type of lift and typically the most affordable.
- Saves storage space as a second car can be parked under the car that is lifted.
- Access to the suspension, brake and drivetrain components is restricted due to the vehicle being kept on its wheels.
Scissor lifts move up and down which gives the mechanic full access to the underneath compartment of the vehicle. There are two types of portable scissor lifts, low rise lifts and mid rise lifts. Both are equipped with hydraulics to raise the vehicle up to the desired level. Other features of the scissor car lift include wheel alignment, space savers, slip and tum plates, automatic safety locks and a lock release.
- Easy to use and safe to operate.
- The lift points are not moveable so working clearance may be an issue.
Single post lifts
Single post lifts are a more recent development in car maintenance and storage. Single post lifts have one single column on one side and has arms that reach out and hold the ramps. This model is generally more costly in comparison to the two and four post lifts.
- This type of lift generally does not require bolting to the floor and can therefore be moved if needed. They are excellent for storage as they save space and can be mounted along a wall.
- Working with a single post lift can be difficult as the repair technician has to overcome the ramps and the support beams when working on a vehicle.
Jason Regan is a freelance blogger who writes on the automobile industry. Jason enjoys watching the Formula1