We all love working on our cars, but getting down on the ground to slide underneath them on a creeper can be miserable — and it’s even worse if you don’t have a creeper or a driveway. (Author’s side note: Shoulder blades full of sandspurs when trying to change your oil suck.) Buying a lift for your car can be a great way to make your projects a little bit easier, but is it worth the investment? Let’s take a closer look. Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to buy a lift for your car.
Watch Your Head
Do you work on your car in your garage or out in your driveway? If you work on your car indoors, does your garage offer enough ceiling clearance to accommodate a car on a lift? If not, consider an outdoor lift that will get your car off the ground without damaging the roof.
Know What You Want
It’s important to know what you’re looking for in a lift. Do you want something simple to use for changing your oil and basic maintenance, or something more heavy duty that will service a variety of makes and models?
Two-post lifts are a reasonably priced option if you’re not doing a ton of restoration work, and you’re not working on heavy cars. Four-post lifts are more expensive, but they can be used for a variety of different vehicles regardless of their weight. They also offer more stability than their two-post counterparts.
If you’re working in a garage that doesn’t offer much clearance, low rise lifts can be a good option. They offer plenty of space to work under the car but don’t require a high clearance like traditional two- and four-post lifts.
Know What to Look for
Now that you know the basics, what should you look for when you’re considering purchasing a lift?
- Safety Certification – Make sure your lift is ALI/ETL certified, meaning it meets all industry safety standards.
- Warranty – Consider the manufacturer’s warranty, and be sure to read the fine print to see if you’ll be covered in the event of failure.
- Specs – What sort of weight can the lift handle, and will it work for the vehicles you’re maintaining?
- Budget – Know how much you can spend — a good lift can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000.
Should You Buy a Lift for Your Car?
If you regularly work on cars, whether it’s your own personal car or many different vehicles, you should probably invest in a lift. It will be a worthy investment that will protect your back, make your life easier and make working on your car more enjoyable. Remember to do your research to determine which type of lift is best for your garage and your needs. Do not forget: gravity is not your friend and a car on a lift will take any opportunity to come back down to the ground, so make sure you employ all necessary safety precautions. Safety should always be a prime concern whether you’re on a creeper or using a lift.