Car lifts are designed differently depending on their purposes, either for car storage or maintenance and the lifting mechanism. Car lifts also vary in terms of their size and rising height, and space requirements. Car lifts play a critical role in car maintenance, especially allowing mechanics to work effectively on the underneath of the car.
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Automotive Car Lifts
Below are some automotive car lifts you can purchase depending on their purpose.
1. Portable car lift
These are car lifts that are smaller in size and are usually battery-powered with an electric motor that operates the hydraulic lift. Though these are the most common portable car lifts, some are not battery-powered but can be plugged into the are -battery to use the power to operate the electric motor. A hand pump operates simpler models to pressurize the hydraulic system and lift the car off the ground. As the name suggests, portable car lifts are easy to maneuver as the entire unit is built on wheels; hence, moving the car around is unnecessary. They have a single lift point; therefore can only lift either one side of the vehicle at a time, the front or the rear side of the car.
2. Four post-car lift
Compared to a two-post car lift, four-post car lifts are made of four vertical steel posts fixed in positions to form a rectangle. It has a built-in drive-on platform between the vertical posts to support the wheels. They are considered the best car lifts among all other car lifts. They are great for lifting cars with low ground clearance since they do not have lifting mechanisms beneath the vehicle. Since the lift uses the car wheel to support the car using the drive-in platform, it becomes unsuitable for working on the wheels, tires, and breaking.
3. Scissor car lift
Scissor car lifts have a series of X structures on either side that move up and down to lower or lift the car off the ground, giving it the structure and working mechanism of a scissor, hence the name scissor car lift. The number of X structures on either side determines how high the lift can raise the car. The more the number of the X structures, the higher the lift can raise the vehicle. Unlike portable car lifts, most scissor car lifts are fixed on the garage floor since they do not use much physical space. They are also unsuitable for lifting cars with low ground clearance.
4. Two post-car lift
These automotive car lifts are made of two vertical steel posts containing the hydraulic system. Similar to scissor car lifts, a two-post car lift is also not portable as the posts are bolted on the ground. Due to the fixed distance between the two posts, the lift is limited to cars with a certain width. Two post lifts among motorsports and commercial repair shops since their leave most of the cars underneath open, allowing easy access. They can be risky if the mechanics miss identifying the midpoint of the car to ensure it balances on the lift.