If you’re a home mechanic and work on your car/cars often, you know the struggle of not having enough clearance to get to a specific part or having to work long hours in a really uncomfortable position.
I’ll run you through five different options on getting your car on some type of lift and getting whatever job you want done according to your budget.
# 5: Car ramps
# 4: Car jack/jack stands
# 3: Scissor lift
# 2: Display ramps
Display ramps are basically just a much bigger version of car ramps. The difference is these ramps can give you access to the whole bottom end of the vehicle. They take up a lot of space so they would be better suited for someone who has some storage space in the back of his house or wants to leave them in the driveway full time. You can also build your own ramps at home and make a custom fit so you can work on your car even in the winter months. These ramps have the same drawbacks as the smaller ones: you can’t work on your steering or suspension but this will give you full access to the engine and transmission and most other parts. A display ramp can be built for about 700$ if you’re going with a metal unit or you can build one from pressurized lumber or even buy one from a dealership if they’re closing out. A used unit could run from 500$ to 1000$.
# 1: 2 post lift
At the end of the day, there are many options and alternatives but the basic 2 post lift will still be the most efficient and easiest way to lift your car for any major work. There are certain advantages that are exclusive to this type of lift. You can immediately adjust the height when needed for example when pulling out an engine or dropping a transmission. It also offers more stability than a car on on another lift system as the posts are either poured in concrete or bolted to the floor with steel anchors. Make sure that when you buy this lift, it comes with a warranty. These lifts get tired after a lot of use so it might be wiser to buy a newer unit and not go for the cheap option right away as it may not last as long as you expect it to. Repairs are sometimes expensive and not worth the trouble or, more importantly, the cost. Shop around and find the one that fits your needs. This is the most expensive lift you can get and it’s most home mechanics’ dream but it’s not usually doable due to the fact that an average garage’s ceiling is too low for a vehicle on a lift. But if you can fit in a lift or if you’re turning your garage into a mechanic’s garage and have the funds, this option is the go-to. If you also work on other people’s cars sometimes, this option can pay itself off. For pricing, a lift like this will cost between 2400$ upto 5000$ or more, depending on options like max weight capacity, warranties and other options.
These different lifts are great ideas depending on what you’re looking for. Make sure you’re confident in the work you’re willing to do before investing in something out of your budget. Keep wrenching, fellow gearheads.