The occasional scraped knuckle or bruised knee is likely to occur even if you only work on your car when it’s absolutely necessary, which is why if you’ve committed to a long-term project or have several vehicles that regularly require extensive repairs, it’s time to bite the bullet and get a lift.
Lifts aren’t cheap, but if you’re working in conditions that force you to crane your back and contort your body to reach difficult underbody parts, you’ll pay for that in medical bills down the road. To avoid the heavy toll working in these conditions can levy on the only body you’ll ever have, invest in a lift and put the job where you can work easily. It’s one of the best things you can do to improve your garage, and will make your life much easier.
How to Choose the Right Lift
The number of car lifts available today might strike you as a little overwhelming off the bat. Part of the reason for the wide variety of choices is the different options are designed for different applications.
Weight rating is one of the most critical factors in choosing a lift. Make sure you know how much the vehicle you will be lifting weighs, and price a lift able to support more than that number.
If you live in an area where space is at a premium, you can also invest in a parking lift, which will allow you to place a second car in a one-car space. Take note, however, that these types of lifts often obstruct many of the under-body components a standard lift would grant you access to work on, so if you need the best of both worlds, you’ll have to be picky.
Finally, read up on different lift styles and their intended uses before you decide on a lift to purchase for your own projects.
The Benefits of Having a Lift
With your new lift installed, you will have a much easier time accessing hard-to-reach components and completing mild repairs. Imagine if that header removal job you spent half a day doing last weekend took a couple hours, and you could do it while sitting on a stool with good lighting instead of laying beneath your car peering up into darkness.
It doesn’t take many projects like that to realize why a lift is a great addition to any serious garage, and you’ll also save the abuse on your body that comes with doing those jobs.
Assuming you’ve purchased the right kind of lift, there’s a third benefit as well, and that’s storage. If you own a summer-only second car, you can safely protect the body during winter months by storing it on the lift. You can even put your quad or motorcycle up there using the proper methods to secure them.
It might seem like breaking the bank, but installing a lift is one of those choices that will pay for itself over time. Just be sure you do your research and choose the right setup for your garage.
Scott Huntington is a writer and car fanatic from Harrisburg, PA.