Final Car Lift Tips

Think Vertically
It seems obvious that since an auto lift’s job is to move a car or truck up higher, the buyer should check to make sure their garage or service bay can accommodate the fully raised height of the car lift with an automobile on it. But when it comes to two-post car lifts, overhead cross bars can sometimes limit your car lift’s vertical capacity. Make sure to form your calculations with that cross bar in mind.

If the vehicle won’t fit, see if the dealer or manufacturer has an extended height edition. Or better yet, consider a floor plate model car lift instead. Remember, the cross bar doesn’t actually lend structural support to the auto lift. Its only function is to neatly guide cables from one post to the other.

The Ground Rules
Like everything else, concrete slabs have their weak points and strong points too. After you’ve made sure that your concrete floor can support the car lift you’re considering, don’t forget that it is a very bad idea to install it near a seam, slab edge or directly over a tension cable. If these mistakes won’t lead to disaster, they certainly will reduce the usefulness of your new car lift.

A Little Extra Doesn’t Hurt
You never know what the future holds, so it might be a good idea to step up your target capacity by 1,000 or 2,000 pounds. The difference is usually only a few hundred dollars, and it really can help you out if a client comes to you with a larger vehicle that needs service. If you’re a home user, a slightly higher capacity auto lift is not only safer, but it also opens you up to bigger future projects.

Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate

Plenty of car lift dealers are willing to throw in something extra with your purchase after a little negotiation. Extra pads, pans, solid decks and casters are common accessories that you might want now or in the future, so there’s no harm in trying to see if they are open to the proposition. Just don’t force the issue. Some sellers are prohibited by the manufacturer from going below a certain price. If they give into your request, they could lose their standing as a distributor.

Buying Used Is Rarely A Deal

Even more so than with a used car, regular maintenance is absolutely essential to extending the functional lifetime of your car lift. While immediate savings might serve to tempt you, the inherent safety risks are usually just not worth it. Plus without a warranty, you are completely on your own if you need parts or service to get the car lift back to optimal operation. Unless you have proof that the previous owner (or owners) took excellent care of the auto lift, you should give used car lifts an immediate pass. Finally, older car lifts simply do not have the safety features that come standard with most modern high-quality automotive lifts.

In the next chapter, we'll wrap everything up with a conclusion and some final thoughts.

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Next: Car Lift Conclusions

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