How Do Car Lifts Work?


Quick Answer

Most car lifts work on a hydraulic system that transfers pressure from one chamber to another to push the lift up. The simplest car lifts are simple and use a pulley system that the operator can pull cables to lift the bars.

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Full Answer

There is an on and off switch that the operator can use to make the lift move up and down. The hydraulic system moves pressure throughout the lift, and one chamber, which is smaller, helps to create a lot of pressure in the other, which is larger. As the pressure builds, the lift moves up, and when pushing the off button, the pressure releases and the lift descends.

Hydraulic car lifts have varying lifting capabilities and range from 7,000 to 12,000 pounds, and for those who must lift more than that, a truck lift is a better option. Most lifts come with a lock feature, so when the lift is in the up position, the operator can lock it into place and not worry about it falling. Hydraulic lifts may have a pullout feature that extends for equalization torsion bars and platforms. These lifts may also come with extensions that change the height and come with safety latches. Lifts may come made of steel or aluminum, with steel being stronger and safer, but more expensive.

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