If you own a car, you are required to check fuel lines, brake lines and various other components. It can be very difficult to get underneath your vehicle to check or swap out different components. Apart from working within a small, claustrophobic space, you are also required to work under poor lighting conditions. There remains high chances of damaging components while undertaking a repair job.
This problem can be solved with the help of a simple tool - a car lift. A car lift allows you to raise your car and hold it securely, so that you can easily work underneath it. Most people assume that a car lift is a sophisticated component, used only by those working in big garages. However, contrary to this popular belief, a car lift is not very expensive.
However, choosing a car lift for your garage might be tricky, as there are a number of specs, features, and models that you will come across. Therefore, in this article, we will list down all the important factors which you must look for while buying a car lift. We will also review some of the best car lifts for home garage available currently.
Following are some of the factors which you must take note of while buying a car lift.
This is one of the key factors which you must be aware of while buying a car lift. Different car lifts have different weight lifting capacities. Most home garage lifts are able to lift a maximum weight of 6000 pounds. However, some of them can lift vehicles up to 10000 pounds. The choice of the right weight lifting capacity depends on the total weight of your vehicle. If you own a small family car, you can go for anything within a weight capacity of 6000 pounds. However, if you own an SUV or a truck, go for lifts with a higher capacity.
Safety is one of the most essential considerations for any car lift. These days, all car lifts in the market come with additional safety features, which prevent slipping or collapse of your car. Some key safety features on car lifts are the auto-lock and the lock-bar mechanisms. An auto-lock mechanism should be there when the lift is ascending, and a lock bar mechanism is essential when the lift is descending.
Any product that you buy should be user friendly - and a car lift is no exception. You must go for a car lift which offers user-friendly features. First and foremost, its set-up should be easy for the average user. The product should come with simple instructions, which tell you things like how to mount the lift with your car, or how to lift it and lock it in place. It should also clearly lay down instructions for lowering the lift without damaging the vehicle or the lift. Besides, it is easier to use a hydraulic lift than a lift that runs on electricity.
The materials used for making the car lift will determine its strength and durability. If the car lift has a good construction, your vehicle will remain stable while lifting or lowering. It is advisable to go for a tough all-steel construction. Such a car lift will be durable, stable, and safe for use.
Motorised car lifts have varying lifting speeds. While faster motorised car lifts can stretch out to their full height and weight in less than a minute, lifts which do not have powerful motors might take a longer time to perform the same task. Go for car lifts which have faster motors.
This pick is a highly efficient car lift offered by BendPak. The best things about this product are its smart column placement, and its shape - which makes it easier to open cars on the car lift. Moreover, it can lift up to 10000 pounds, and hence, is ideal for SUVs. It can lift up to a height of 69 inches. Also, it can support both symmetrical and asymmetrical loading patterns - which is another plus point of buying this car lift.
Besides, it is a well designed car lift. It is a basic variant, but comes with a number of impressive features. The top beam is expandable as well. Moreover, it features a padded bar overhead, which automatically shuts things down if you are too close. Since the width between the columns is over 100 inches, this car lift is an excellent choice if you own a vehicle which has a broad base.
This product is, therefore, a perfect blend of quality construction and impressive features. However, it is slightly overpriced for the average user. Some of the features are geared more towards commercial use. However, if you have a high-end vehicle, it might be worth spending the cash. All the above features make it the best residential garage car lift.
The BendPak QuickJack BL-5000LX is another great offering by the same company. This is a small product, and unlike the product we reviewed last, it does not have posts on either side. Rather, it works on a system of jack frames. It can easily fit into the trunk of your car. It is the best car lift if you have got a limited space.
Since it can lift the vehicle only up to two feet, it would not be as useful as a powerful car lift. However, it can still be useful to you, as it allows you to comfortably check beneath the vehicle for faults. Besides, it is a perfect tool to lift your car to change/tighten its tires. The maximum weight that it can lift is 2.5 tons, and hence, is suitable for small, family cars.
The key takeaway from the design of this product is that it has an uncomplicated design. You can simply slide it under the car until it is in the correct position. Then just press the button, and the jacks will do the rest of the work. BendPak also offers a dual-safety locking mechanism on this lift, which prevents the car from crashing to the ground in the event of a jack-fail.
While this is not a full car lift, it is good enough to do day-to-day checks of your vehicle. It is sturdy, and easy to install, use, and store.
The APlusLift HWY-10KOH is one of the best car lifts for home garage, because it features a sturdy build and performs flawlessly. It is extremely durable and is CE-certified. Moreover, this is a highly efficient car lift, and is easy to use. It holds the car securely, protecting it against damages of any kind. For added strength, the company has used Q345 steel, which adds to the stability and durability of this car lift.
This car lift features a typical two post design, coupled with some interesting upgrades. For instance, it comes with an improved floor plate, and the columns feature a double-S design, which adds to its strength. This lift is capable of lifting a vehicle up to 10,000 pounds. It can lift up to 78 inches in height. In addition, it comes with a number of safety features. It has a double point safety lock release, which puts locks on the arms in the event of power failure. Moreover, the power pump is equipped with redundancy measures, which prevents it from overloading.
Both, the hydraulic system and the lift structure of this product are CE certified. Moreover, its economical pricing makes it a superb value for money product, which makes it stand out in our list of best car lifts. There is also a one year warranty on parts.
The Auto Lift Car Park 8 offers an excellent performance. It is well designed, and is equipped with a powerful and sturdy motor. It is capable of lifting vehicles weighing a maximum of 8000 pounds. It can raise the vehicle up to a height of 74.75 inches. Moreover, it has wide runways, measuring 18 inches in width, so that vehicles with a larger wheelbase can be accomodated.
Besides, this product comes with a range of safety features, which have been built into it very thoughtfully by the company. For instance, it features two failsafe systems. The cables of this car lift are rated up to 14,500 pounds, which is almost double the maximum weight. In addition, in the event of cable failure, there is a ladder lock system to the rescue. Further, you can choose between ten different locking positions.
To prevent the car from slipping, the runways are made from diamond plates. The product also includes large slider blocks, which adds to the security and safety. The machine is also simple and relatively straightforward to install. However, the price of this product is on a slightly higher side.
The Triumph NSS8TL car lift is capable of lifting vehicles quickly and smoothly within its weight range. It has a 165 inches long runway, and comes with four posts to provide support to the car. The maximum height to which it can lift the vehicle is 84 inches, whereas the width between the posts is 93 inches. It can lift vehicles which weigh up to 8000 pounds.
This car lift is a great choice if you have a small car, as it can easily fit any standard passenger vehicle. However, if you own a larger vehicle or an SUV, you must check the specifications, as this car lift might be too narrow for it to fit in.
To keep the car in place during transit, stops have been provided on either side of the tracks. Besides, as an additional safety measure, each post contains a cable. In the event of lift failure, these safety mechanisms will prevent the vehicle from crashing down. Besides, you are provided with castors, a jack tray, and dip trays.
However, one of the biggest problems with this car lift is its installation process. It cannot be easily assembled, and you will need someone’s help during installation. Also, it takes up a lot of space. However, keeping this factor aside, it is a great car lift for a home garage, overall. It is also economically priced, which is another plus point.
This is another great offering by Triumph. Its solid build quality and high weight capacity makes it one of the best car lifts for home garage. It can lift vehicles with a maximum weight of up to 15000 pounds, and to a height of about 72 inches. It gives plenty of space to comfortably work under the car.
Besides, this car lift features a relatively quiet motor, which also operates smoothly. Moreover, this is a CE-certified and ISO 9001 compliant car lift, and so, expect no compromise on safety and quality. It is also easy to set up and use. However, you might require an extra hand during installation. This is because it is a heavyweight lift, and weighs some 2000 pounds. It is the straightforward design of this lift that constitutes its charm.
However, your garage floor should be strong enough to support the weight of the car and lift together. Moreover, the lift provided by this machine might be a bit more than what regular home users need. Since this machine lifts vehicles to a height of 72 inches, you can accommodate another vehicle underneath it. Further, the 142 cm width of this lift means that it can easily accommodate SUVs and small trucks.
This model is exactly the same as the one of the number 6 of our list of best car lifts. However, the only difference is that it is taller and wider. It can quickly and smoothly lift a car which weighs up to 8000 pounds. It can achieve a lift up to a height of 94 inches. If you need to stack two cars in the garage, this car lift can be a reliable choice.
This product has a runway length of 180 inches. It comes with four posts to support the car, with a width of 99 inches between the posts. You can easily fit in a standard passenger vehicle. However, if you are the owner of an SUV, you should check the specifications first. This is because this model may be too narrow for one.
This car lift also comes with a number of standard safety features. It is equipped with stops on either side, which are meant to keep the car in place during transit. Besides, each post contains a cable, which is meant to prevent the vehicle from crashing down in the event of a lift failure. In addition, you also get castors, a jack tray, and dip trays along with this product.
However, this lift is extremely heavy, and hence, it is difficult to install. You will require an extra hand during its installation. Besides, the installation instructions given in the manual are not proper and are shoddy.
This is a powerful two post garage car lift, and is capable of lifting vehicles which weigh up to 9000 pounds. It features a 5/16 inch diameter cable, alongside a sturdy and reliable pulley system measuring 4.56 inches. The purpose of this high quality cable is to reduce stress during the synchronisation process. Besides, you also get an increased life span of the cable.
Another key selling point of this machine is its ultra-high molecular self lubricating nylon slider. It ensures maximum efficiency, and an extremely smooth operation. It is also fitted with a high powered 220V 60Hz 3 Horsepower industrial motor. On the safety front, this car lift comes with door guards to protect your vehicle. It also includes a double point safety lock release for added safety.
However, one major drawback of this product is its weight. It weighs some 1400 pounds. Thus, you must have a forklift or tractor capable of hauling it from the freight. If you do not have means of transporting this car lift to your home garage, you will be required to spend extra money on transportation. Besides, it is not an easy-to-set-up car lift. You will need all the requisite tools, and setting it up can be a time consuming process.
This is another great offering by APlus. It can easily lift vehicles which weigh up to 8000 pounds. It has a short and efficient lifting time, which makes it stand out among all the products we have reviewed so far. Moreover, it is also easy to assemble, and you won't require much assistance during installation. It also features a superior corrosion resistance powder coating. Thus, you won’t have to worry about corrosion. It also has a 110 V single phase hydraulic motor, which makes everything easy.
In addition, this car lift features ten different listing lock positions. It has a lifting time of only 40 seconds. Also, it features a jack tray and three drip trays. Besides, it has ideal dimensions, and there are added approach ramps.
In addition, this product also comes with a 12 month parts warranty, which is why you should definitely go for this car lift. It is the ideal product for those who like to get things done in a fast and efficient manner. You just need to adjust the vehicle which you need to lift on the planks of this car lift, and in less than a minute, your vehicle will be lifted, so that you can comfortably work under it.
This car lift is meant for small, family cars only. However, it is quite a capable and a truly efficient device. It can lift cars with a maximum weight of 6600 pounds. It can achieve a maximum lift of 51 inches. Besides, the maximum length that it can accommodate is 88.4 inches, and the maximum width of the vehicle which it can accommodate is 78.26 inches. This car lift also comes with a powerful 3.25 inch dual hydraulic cylinder structure, which provides an efficient lift.
Along with these impressive features, this device scores well on the design front as well. It comes in a bright orange colour. Besides, for easy mobility and ease of access, it is fitted with wheels. The triple roller design of the wheels ensures the lift’s stability and its contact with the floor. Besides, at 1200 pounds, it is one of the lightest car lifts in the market, and is, therefore, perfect for a home garage.
However, while it is a powerful machine, it is not capable of lifting SUVs and small trucks, as its maximum weight lift capacity is limited to 6600 pounds. Besides, it does not lift cars very high and hence, you are still required to bend over or crawl underneath the vehicle to get a proper look at its different components.
The best way to find this out, is to measure the height of your garage, first, and then measure the height of your vehicle. Then, all you need to do is to compare those figures to the maximum lifting height of the lift which you are willing to purchase. In an ideal scenario, the garage ceiling should have a minimum height of 12 feet. However, some car lift manufacturers might recommend a 9.5 feet ceiling to fit their car lifts.
The thickness of the garage concrete required for installing a car lift largely depends on the type of car lift that you have. Lifts with two and four posts usually require a minimum of about 4 inches of reinforced concrete slab. If the car lift has a maximum lifting capacity of less than 6000 pounds, then a reinforced concrete slab as low as 3.5 inches will work, too. A number of car lifts in our list of best car lifts for home garage have a maximum lifting capacity of 6000 pounds, and for such car lifts, a concrete slab of thickness ranging between 3.5 inches and 4 inches will be perfect.
A car lift is an extremely important device for car enthusiasts. If you have one in your home garage, you can easily check various components underneath your car, without requiring to bend down. However, choosing a car lift might be tricky, as there are a number of important things to consider. Therefore, in this article, we have tried to help you to choose the best car lift for your home garage. We have listed down all the important factors to look for while buying one such product for your garage, and also reviewed some of the best residential garage lifts.
Tom Schaffer, a mechanical engineer from the University of Windsor, founded this website in 2020. The man has been fond of cars and everything related to them from a very early age when he used to watch his elder brother fix up their car. Motivated by the need to help people build on their knowledge of car accessories and essentials required to maintain their car, Schaffer founded Diesel Manor.