Garage Car Lift: Types and Selection Rules


Sometimes a car lift is needed to inspect or repair the bottom of the car. Of course, you can contact the service station, but artisans who repair their vehicle can make a lifting mechanism in the garage. Learn the principles of operation of lifts and their design features.

When choosing a suitable mechanism, you must take into account the specific conditions of use, such as the area of the garage or the principle of operation of the equipment. To get more information check out Car in my DNA article on residential car lifts.

Classification of garage car lifts

Single-post lifts are intended for lifting vehicles with a slope in one direction, and the weight of the car should not exceed 4,500 lbs. The lift is carried out by thresholds or wheels. With the help of single-post lifts, scheduled maintenance, repairs, anti-corrosion, and tire work, washing the bottom of cars, replacing nodes are performed. The unit operates from a network of 220V and 380V.

Single-post liftsTwo-post car lifts are widely used due to the simplicity of the design, consisting of two racks. Each rack is equipped with lifting brackets. The load capacity of the device reaches 12,000 lbs. It can be equipped with an electromechanical or hydraulic drive. Two-post devices are used for vehicle inspections, performing a wide range of works: diagnostic, tire fitting, plumbing, painting, and bodywork, for servicing the braking system, transmission, chassis, power unit.

Two-post car liftsFour-post electric car lifts have a design consisting of four racks with a platform or connected ladders. The car drives along the inclined ramps to the platform, and an electro-hydraulic or electromechanical drive drives the lift. Such lifts differ in the arrangement of the platform, which can be flat, with shaped recesses, or have an unloading platform. These devices are used for various types of repair work.

Four-post electric car liftsScissor hydraulic car lifts have a relatively simple design with a platform, a system of levers. Installations can be one- or two-legged.

Scissor hydraulic car liftsOne-legged support has more compact dimensions. The scissor mechanism is installed in the center. The car is picked up by the power points.

Two-legged support installations are equipped with two scissor mechanisms. Ladders with wheel locks are installed on them. These electric lifts can serve both passenger and cargo transport.

Scissor lifts have a simple and reliable design. They are popular due to their relatively low cost. At the same time, just one section of the scissor mechanism can lift loads to a height of up to 6,5 ft.

This is a fairly mobile mechanism, it is fed under the car only when necessary, which simplifies the requirements for the floor and foundation of the garage, excluding the installation of stationary equipment.

When lifting with a scissor mechanism, the car body experiences a uniform load. Lifting is performed by two hydraulic cylinders located on supports in parallel. The hydraulic cylinders themselves are driven by an electric motor connected to the electrical distribution network. The average power of installed electric motors reaches up to 1,5 kW. Such equipment works directly from the power grid.

The scissor equipment is equipped with two separate skids, and the lift is controlled by a wired remote control.

The safety of electric scissor lifts is provided by pressure sensors in the hydraulic drive system. If there is a sharp loss of pressure, the blocking valves are triggered. In the upper position, the lift is blocked by a special lever, which allows you to save energy. If there is no electricity, the valves block the flow of liquid from the cylinders.

Garage scissor lifts are convenient for repairing the chassis and engine parts. This design of the lift provides access to the bottom of the car. In a pit or overpass, conditions are more cramped.

Classification By Drive Type

The most common types of modern car lifts by type of drive are considered to be electromechanical and electrohydraulic.

Electrohydraulic car lifts

Electrohydraulic car lift

Electrohydraulic car lifts are more reliable, have a significant operational life, are characterized by smooth running, no vibrations, and low noise. They are quite easy to install and set up, do not have fast to wear parts, and provide the optimal speed of raising and lowering cars.

Choosing a Garage Car Lift

  • When selecting a lift, you should study their technical characteristics and their capabilities. The correct choice will determine the quality of the work performed and the operability of the maintenance point.
  • For help, you can contact the company that supplies this equipment directly. They can help you to choose the lift that will meet all the requirements.
  • If you want to be completely sure of your safety, then buy garage lifts with additional locking systems. As a rule, these are mechanical stops that block the lifting mechanism in the case for some reason the cylinder leaks or the nut begins to twist.

During a garage designing stage, it is better to do a project with a car lift. Then you can take into account the dimensions of the lift and correctly determine the space of the garage.

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