How Do You Use a Car Lift for Repairs?


Quick Answer

A car lift allows you to raise a vehicle safely off the ground to conduct repairs on the underside of the vehicle or remove large components such as the rear axle or transmission more easily. Depending on the type of work being done, a two- or four-post lift should be used. Most commercially available two- and four-post lifts are capable of lifting any car or medium duty truck up to around 6,000 pounds of vehicle weight.

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Full Answer

A two-post lift uses adjustable swing arms to support and lift a vehicle by the frame. This style of lift is easier to use when working on wheels, tires, axles and differentials. The weight of the vehicle is supported by the frame, not the drive components, making it easier to access and remove tires and wheels. Because tire height is effectively eliminated from the lift height, a two-post lift is also more effective in garages with lower ceiling clearance.

Four-post lifts use ramps onto which a vehicle is driven and then lifted. This affords greater stability and can typically allow for lifting heavier vehicles. Using a four-post lift can hinder some large repairs, such as transmission removal or replacement, because the cross pieces of the lift may interfere. If the lift is being used for repairs and vehicle storage, the four post lift provides more options for effective storage solutions.

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