The most important equipment for any car garage or car service center is the car lift and selecting the ideal one will help to improve the safety and efficiency of the work. With a good car lift, it is possible for the technician to lift the car easily up to the desired height and this lifting height can be adjusted according to the requirement. Commonly car lifts are used in garages for increasing the parking space and for easily performing car maintenance and servicing. Other than car garages, applications of car lifts can be found in car showrooms and shopping malls in order to increase the parking space.
If considering hydraulic car lift, the function is the same as of car lift but the lifting mechanism used here is hydraulics. Pascal’s law is the working principle behind the hydraulic car lift. A compatible hydraulic fluid(commonly petroleum-based fluid) is used in this device and for lifting, this fluid is pressurized with a hydraulic pump. The pressurized fluid will enter into the hydraulic cylinder and it will extend the piston rod. This will make the hydraulic car lift to raise the vehicle to the desired height. To lower the lift, the valve is opened and fluid flows back to the reservoir.
Hydraulic car lifts are most commonly used in the automobile industry for securely lifting heavy loads. Compared to car lifts that use different other mechanisms, hydraulic car lifts are cheaper to install and it occupies less space. The ability to handle heavy loads by applying minimum human effort is also an advantage of the hydraulic car lift. Leakage and slow speed are the limitations of the hydraulic car lift.
TYPES OF HYDRAULIC CAR LIFT
Four Post Lift: The four-post lift contains four posts at each corner and a ramp-like elevating platform connecting these posts that helps the vehicle to get on. Four-post lifts with different lifting capacities and base area dimensions are available in the market. Users can select the required lift by considering these specifications. The powerful locking system used will help to position the vehicle in the required height and prevent accidents. Also, the rectangular shape base platform will provide more stability to the lifted vehicle. Commonly, four post lifts are used for wheel alignment services, oil changing, and repair services.
Two Post Lifts: Two-post lifts suitable for small vehicles consist of two posts with arms jutting out in a triangular shape. This type of lift is suitable for small garages and they are less expensive than other categories. They can be categorized into symmetrical, and asymmetrical. For symmetrical lifts, each of the arms holds half of the load and both post faces each other. The asymmetrical lift has a rotated post design and has swing arms in different lengths.
Scissor Lifts: The scissor lift contains two superimposed platforms and is suitable for small spaces. Retractable levers that extend in a zigzag manner are placed between these platforms. Portable scissor lifts that are movable and fixed scissor lifts that are attached to the base are available. The hydraulic mechanism at the base will offer a smooth and steady operation.
In-Ground Auto Lifts: In-ground auto lifts are designed to maximize the space. A hydraulic lifting mechanism placed underground is used here and it can be operated with a switch connected to the elevator. Most of the large automotive repair shops use in-ground lifts that are hidden under a shop floor when not used. Durability, flexibility, and safety are the advantages of this lift and the limitations include complex installation. Single post lifts, side-by-side twin post lifts, and heavy-duty fore-and-aft lifts are different categories of in-ground auto lift.
Alignment Lifts: Alignment lifts are specially designed for handling wheel alignment works and its appearance looks similar to that of a four-post lift. There are alignment lifts with a different lifting capacity that is suitable for small cars to large automobiles.