A vehicle lift can prove itself to be a great tool to have. They can save money in the long run, help a mechanic to do a job easier and quicker, and even save your body from unnecessary injury. But should you have one in your garage?
There are both advantages and disadvantages that come with car lifts. Some are very pricey when it comes to purchasing and installing. Others limit car owners from repairing the wheels or brakes as the car rests on the wheels while on the lifts and all come with a level of risk and liability.
If you’re not sure whether or not to install a car lift, stick around, and I just might be able to help you see both the pros and cons and hopefully, this will help you make the right decision before installing any car lift.
Why Might You Want A Car Lift?
Car lifts are exactly what they sound like. It’s a machine that’s installed in your garage and helps lift your car either for added storage space or to simply allow you to repair the vehicle from underneath.
Car lifts can make it easier for mechanics to work on the car as thoroughly as they need to. If you’re hands-on and prefer to work on your cars by yourself or running a mechanic business on the side, this could be ideal for you. Moreover, if you need to store that expensive toy you love to play with during the summer, this would also be perfect for you as well.
Now, before we get into the Pros and Cons, we need to discuss the different types of lifts that exist. Read on for more details.
Types of Lifts
Two Post Above Ground Lifts
These lifts are designed to lift a car in a way that allows access to the wheel assemblies and the entire underneath of the car. Two post lifts bolt directly to the concrete in your garage. They are generally the cheapest to purchase and install.
Four Post Above Ground Lifts
Four post lifts are usually designed to pull the vehicle up on to raise them up. This design allows access to the underneath of the vehicle but does not allow access to the wheel assembly. These lifts are generally a little more stable and safe but limit a mechanics access.
These lifts conceal the hydraulic cylinder or cylinders in the floor. When a car drives over them the arms are extended outward to the lift points then the vehicle is raised. These lifts allow access to the wheel assemblies and free up space around the vehicle but usually block a portion of the underneath of the vehicle. They are also the most costly to install and usually not a great fit for the home based shadetree mechanic.
What Are The Pros To Having A Lift In Your Home Garage?
Lifts Speed Up The Job
Having a lift can make a job go much quicker as it makes it much easier to gain access to normally hard to reach parts. Being able to adjust a vehicle to the perfect height and get your hands in places you usually couldn’t will speed up the process.
Lifts Make A Job Physically Easier
I mean easier on your body. As a person who has changed multiple transmissions an other components under a vehicle while laying on my back. I can tell you that it’s much easier to do those jobs with a lift. Lifts can lower the wear and tear on your body parts.
What Are The Cons Of Installing A Lift In Your Home Garage?
If you’re looking for a car lift with excellent service, the options don’t come cheap. Of course, there are more affordable car lift options that come with a reasonable price. Compared to those that offer heavy-duty service, these cheap options do not provide long-term service.
In terms of installation and maintenance, eventually, you’re going to have to incur the cost of replacing parts and making sure the lift is working just fine. Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, this can prove to be quite expensive, a factor many people overlook when installing their lifts at homes.
Most Lifts Are Very Tall
A typical garage may not be tall enough to house a lift when it is fully raised. You have to take into account the height of the vehicle on top of the maximum height of the lift. Failing to do so could result in some major damage to your garage and the vehicle. Not only that, it would be a terrible loss of money spent on a lift you couldn’t use.
Lifts can be dangerous if not carefully used according to the manufacturers specifications. It’s not uncommon to see lifts fail because of someone exceeding the maximum weight a particular lift is made to handle or improper use by lifting a vehicle in the wrong lift points. Not only will this damage the vehicle but lead to injury or death.
The pros and cons both clearly exist. But in the end, only you can know what suits your needs. Do your due diligence with companies or brands that deal with car lifts. Before picking a car lift for your garage, consider the types of vehicle you will be lifting, the size of your garage, and how reliable the lift your purchasing is.