Car lift – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
Sometimes it is necessary to check the mechanics of the vehicle and, to do this, it must be raised. The same in the case of having to change a tire. So if an unforeseen event occurs, it would be appropriate to be equipped with a car lift. Among the alternatives, two appear as the favorites for their quality. First, there is the Michelin 92416 , a small hydraulic jack, with a load capacity of 1800 kilos and ergonomic handle on the lever. Another practical model for workshops is the Equipmentires BTSLD55T , a large-scale, platform-style lift with a lifting capacity of 5.5 tons.
Whether for a workshop or to keep in the trunk, a car lift is an essential tool if you want to change tires or make other repairs to the mechanics of the vehicle. At present, you can find different models that vary by weight capacity, construction and mechanism, as well as other details that are important to know. Therefore, if you are interested in purchasing one of these, we have prepared a guide to buying the best car lift on the market, with everything you should keep in mind about these products.
This class of tools to access the underbody of the car, which is also functional to change the tires, must be strong and solid, because it will depend on whether it supports the weight of the vehicle. Therefore, we observe that in the car lift comparison, the construction of the part is established as one of the most important attributes when making a smart choice.
All these equipments are made of metal. However, depending on the make, model and type, the type of metal varies, as does its thickness and the way the finishes have been worked. The most common is to find car lifts built with high quality standards in steel.
Similarly, there are some proposals that are made of an iron and steel alloy, as well as corrosion-proof paint finishes. In addition to metal, these tools may contain parts of their structure in rubber or plastic, but these parts are not directly related to lifting the car.
Capacity and lift
Capacity is a characteristic that directly affects the choice of a model, in addition to which it can help determine how much a car lift costs. This is because the models with more capacity, in general, tend to be the ones with the highest cost, while an economical product tends to be one that supports the least amount of weight, or that, on the other hand, does not provide an angle of elevation. high, so its modes of use are reduced and it is limited to a basic use.
In this sense, according to the brand and the construction, it is possible to find alternatives that start from a capacity of 600 kilos, the simplest, up to 4 or even 5 tons in the professional-type models used in workshops.
Therefore, according to the need, it will be necessary to choose one or another weight and lifting capacity. For standard size cars (small and medium), an alternative with a weight capacity of 2000 kilos and a lift of between 15 and 50 cm will suffice.
Type and mechanism
An inexpensive car lift can be differentiated from a higher-cost one by several parameters, among which are its capacity, construction and type. In essence, all lifts serve the same function and, as their name anticipates, they lift the car to facilitate the repair of parts on the underside of the vehicle.
Now, there are different types, as well as lifting mechanisms and systems. The most common model for personal cars is the one also known as a hydraulic jack, either bottle, forklift or scissor, but there are also ramp or ratchet alternatives.
Similarly, you can also find scissor lifts (platform style). These have an electrical operation and it is this energy that allows the car to be raised and lowered automatically. These models tend to be larger, more expensive and less portable, which is why they are used by professionals in workshops. Likewise, there are also car lifts with columns, which have a similar operation to the previous one or which may have an electro-hydraulic mechanism.
Dimensions and portability
As we already know, car lifts are tools made of dense metals and capable of supporting large amounts of weight, so their structures tend to be heavy, of at least 9 kilos, a weight that does not directly affect the user because in general, they are stored in the trunk of the car (the personal type), until their use is necessary.
In the case of personal car lifts, they must be compact but strong, with a grip system by means of a handle, comfortable levers and ergonomic handles, as well as structures equipped with wheels, to facilitate the handling of the instrument.
Compared to the workshop lifts, they have a much more robust structure and, therefore, are heavier. Thus, it is appropriate that they incorporate a bearing system to be placed in a certain place and, due to their type, once they are located in a place, they are usually left in that area permanently.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to use a car lift?
These tools are easy to use, but some safety tips need to be taken to avoid incidents. The car must be off and with the brake on, as well as wedges in the tires so that it does not move when the lift begins.
To continue, slide the lift under the car and make sure that the arm is just under the chassis of the car, behind the front or rear wheels. Set the lever and lift the vehicle off the ground. To do this, you must exert force on the lever. The next thing will be to place the supports, adjust the height and, when you finish the job, do the same process in reverse to remove.
Q2: How to lift the car without car lift?
In case you do not have a lift and it is an emergency to change the tire, you should find a tall piece of wood and place it under the suspension of the car. In addition, a second, smaller piece of wood must be used, which must be in contact with the tire to be changed and placed under it, with the help of the acceleration force of the car.
Once the damaged tire lands on the small bracket, the suspension axle will rest on the high bracket and the wheel will stay elevated, allowing the change to be made.
Q3: How to secure the car lift?
The use of this type of tool is not complex, but it is necessary to make sure to avoid accidents. Therefore, all vehicles have anchor points at the bottom, which is where they must be placed to securely fix them, before starting the lift. In addition, the supports can be placed, which will finish securing the vehicle to the lift.
Q4: How to change the oil without car lift?
Changing the oil without a car lift is a complex process, since, since the vehicle cannot be lifted, it will be difficult to find the lubricant cap and place the container exactly in the right place, so you would have to search under the car blindly , because only the sense of touch would be available. Therefore, the most recommended is to have a hydraulic jack to do the elevation. If this element is not available, then it is recommended to find one or take the car to a workshop.
Q5: Is it mandatory to carry a car lift in the trunk?
Incidents on the roads are the order of the day. Anyone can get a flat tire while going from one place to another, so it will have to be changed for the spare one, to be able to reach the destination and get out of this situation.
To be able to do this, it is necessary to lift the car, which will allow removing the tire in bad condition and fitting the new one. To do this, the simplest thing is to use the so-called hydraulic jack, so it would be useful to be equipped with this tool in the trunk before any unforeseen event. Therefore, it is not mandatory, but it is recommended. In addition, the vast majority of car models incorporate a classic lift.
Q6: What maintenance does a car lift require?
The maintenance of these tools varies according to the model. In the case of large models, the condition of the lifting chains and cables should be checked, as well as checking that there are no lubricant spills. Likewise, the operation of the arm safety systems must be verified.
In the case of conventional alternatives, checks should be made of the structure, as well as the pump, the check valve, the lift arms and cylinders, the anchors and the lubrication of the parts.
Q7: Which is better, hydraulic or scissor car lift?
Both models are of quality because they have an adequate lifting capacity. However, the selection of one or the other will depend on the intended use. Hydraulic lifts are essential for cars on the road, since no one is exempt from a puncture and having this tool, as well as a spare tire, will be necessary to get out of this situation.
Classic scissor lifts are simple to operate and take up little space because they can be stored inside the spare wheel, but their lifting capacity is reduced and they are less stable. Hydraulic jacks or hydraulic car lifts are more functional and safe, but they take up more space in the trunk.