Installing a car lift in a home garage is not something to take lightly. I have had a difficult time finding answers to my questions about lifting my car in my garage. So I decided to put together a list of questions on this matter, which I hope will help you select your car lift. I have also produced two nice summaries of well-engineered 2 post car lifts and 4 post car lifts. By the way, home car lifts do not need to be mistaken with golf cart lifts.
How do you choose the right car lift for your garage?
If you want to go under the surface of your car, you do not have that many choices. However, you have different options. Crawl under your car and start saying a couple of bad words, or get the appropriate tool for this. And the appropriate tool is for servicing your car is definitely an auto lift. It is just a must-have accessory in your garage if you intend to do a lot of repair and DIY on your car.
Now that you are all set to buy one of these lifts, you still need to define which one you want. Is it a two-post or a four-post, a fully automatic with hydraulic, or manual, etc? Do you need a high ceiling or you can get a lower height installed in your garage. Below I answer the most common questions that you may have (and that I had too).
What Factors to Take Into Consideration When Deciding On a Car Lift
Whether you pick a 4-post or even a 2-post lift, you need to define the criteria that will fit you best. So, at first, it is very important to define your primary uses for the unit, but also any sizing restrictions you have in your garage. I would add that you need to think if you have the demand, and finally what is your budgeting limit.
What can you use a car lift for?
I think the “car lift” says it all. The primary objective of any type of car lift is to elevate your vehicle so that you can work underneath it, or visualize the condition of your vehicle. There are, however, other uses for a car lift. Putting aside the underside accessibility to a car, some people use the lifts to allow them to park safely their cars in a restricted and confined space. By elevating one vehicle, it is possible to park a second one underneath. So you have two parking lots within the same car park space.
How tall/high does a garage need to be for a 2 / 4 post lift?
Whether you want to install a 2-post or 4-post lift in your garage, you need a good ceiling room. What works really well is a ceiling that offers at least 11 feet. In fact, an 11 to 12 feet clearance is perfect. There are a number of 2- or 4-post lifts that work with a lower ceiling, however, these lifts are in their vast majority, not ANSI certified.
Can I put a car lift in your garage?
Definitely Yes. Anyone can put a car lift in his garage. There are plenty of lifts (2- or 4-post) that can be easily installed in a home garage. Ensure that you install it properly. Also, check that your garage meets specific requirements. Look at the thickness of the concrete floor (each lift has the specifications attached to it). And check for your ceiling’s height.
How thick does the concrete need to be for a car lift?
This question associated with the height of your garage is the most important to avoid any installation failure. Most of the manufacturers of 2-Post and 4-Post home car Lifts will require a minimum of 4 inches of a reinforced concrete slab. This is a must so that your car can be lifted safely.
Is a car lift worth it?
For me, it was a definite yes. However, it all depends on how many times you’ll be using the lift. The extra amount of money you’ll spend on a 2- or 4-post car lift will be well worth it if you have to work under your for at least 4 to 5 times a year. It will provide you the extra convenience, but then you rent it and share it with friends and family. The weight of your vehicle that needs lifting will dictate the cost of your car lift.
Which is better 2 post or 4 post lift?
If you have a very small garage, then you need to go for a two-post lift. A four-post lift will definitely take up much more space than a two-post lift, and it will be more expensive too. A two-post lift will raise a car “higher” when you have a low ceiling garage. A four-post lift is more difficult to install but can carry heavier vehicles. If you have a heavy vehicle, then a 4-post lift is the way ahead. If your garage has a 10-foot ceiling, your two-post lift will elevate your car to around 6 feet off the ground. A four-post lift provides a much easier solution to load and position your car.
How much does a 2 post car lift Cost?
A two-post car lift with a capacity of about 9 to 10,000 pounds will cost between $2,000 and $3,500. A four-post car lift will cost about the same price but may have a lower carrying/loading capacity attached to it.
Are 2 post home car lifts safe?
It all depends on how you use a home car lift. However, two-post auto lifts are very popular lifts in the world and a lot of mechanics use these. So they are safe and reliable. Again, ensure you use them correctly. And they have high lift capabilities.
What is the difference between symmetric and asymmetric car lifts?
A good symmetric lift will position a vehicle in a centered format. This means that the same amount of the vehicle is in front of the posts as is off at the rear of the posts. An asymmetric lift will position your vehicle in a bit of an eccentric manner where the post is further back on the lift. These are preferred by some mechanics as they allow to open the doors easily.