Looking for an alternative to a set of mini ramps (aka oil change ramps) to use in your home garage? You’ve got a few choices:
- A full-fledged 2 post or 4 post lift
- A set of jack stands
- The Kwik-Lift
Obviously, we’re a bit biased in favor of the Kwik-Lift, but for a good reason. Here’s our take on the alternative options to a set of service ramps.
What Are Mini Ramps?
If you have a set of mini ramps (aka service ramps, aka oil change ramps), you probably already know what mini ramps are. But just in case you don’t, mini ramps are basically an inexpensive set of ramps designed to lift the front end of your car by six inches or so. Mini ramps are great for oil changes and minor service/maintenance work, as they provide just enough room to crawl under a vehicle, remove a drain plug, and/or spin an oil filter on and off.
But for more serious maintenance and repair work, mini ramps have a few problems:
- Mini ramps don’t offer enough lift for a person to get underneath a vehicle comfortably.
- Mini ramps can’t typically be used to lift all 4 wheels, at least not safely. Usually, these ramps are designed to be stable only when 2 wheels are on them.
- It can be tricky to drive on or off the ramps, as they can slip or slide when you drive up on them.
Mini Service Ramp Alternatives
If you’re looking for an alternative to a set of mini service ramps, you have a few options.
- A 2 post or 4 post lift – These are awesome, at least if you get a commercial grade lift (and you really shouldn’t buy anything other than a commercial grade hydraulic lift, because the entry-level hydraulic lifts cost nearly the same amount of money and offer less value). However, a good 2 post or 4 post lift requires a 12′ or higher ceiling, and about 1.5 garage spaces in width. They also typically require a concrete flooring updgrade, as most home garages don’t have the proper concrete pad. So, as a result of their size and pad requirements, a 2 post or 4 post lift isn’t viable for most homeowners.
- A set of jack stands – This is the ‘old school’ way of getting a car up in the air. The advantage in jack stands is that they’re inexpensive. The disadvantage is that they’re incredibly unsafe. No one should go under a vehicle up on stands, as it’s just too easy for a vehicle to fall off the stands and injure whomever is underneath. They can also take time to set up and position correctly, often half an hour or more, which can leave you tired before you’ve even started working on your car!
- The Kwik-Lift – The Kwik-Lift is a solid steel lift designed specifically for home use.
Why The Kwik-Lift Is The Best Car Ramp Alternative
In talking to our customers about our product and what they like best about it, a few things stand out.
The Kwik-Lift is a set of heavy-duty steel ramps, each of which is nearly as wide as it is tall. This makes them incredibly stable. Unlike a lot of the entry-level lifts on the market that feature gimmicky hydraulics, the Kwik-Lift is safe during normal operation. There’s no risk of tipping back and forth, nor is there a concern about one side of the lift getting “stuck” during operation and causing a vehicle to fall or slide off.
2. Ideal Working Height
The Kwik-Lift raises a vehicle 20″ at the bottom of the tire. On most cars, this works out to 24-28″ of distance between the bottom of the frame and the ground. This is nearly perfect for use with a creeper (if under the vehicle), a chair (if working alongside the vehicle), or standing (if you’re reaching into the vehicle).
3. No Ground Clearance Problems
A lot of the entry-level hydraulic lifts on the market have to be slid under your vehicle in order to lift it. This is a problem if you have a vehicle with low ground clearance.
The Kwik-Lift is also designed to offer the perfect height for you to slide underneath the vehicle and work on it comfortably. You can do so much more than basic maintenance with a Kwik-Lift, including dropping a transmission. The lift height makes working on your vehicle both safer and more comfortable.
The Kwik-Lift’s sturdiness can be attributed to the fact that it’s made with solid US steel. Many other lifts are made of lightweight aluminum, which isn’t all that safe, reliable, and sturdy, which brings us to our next point…
The Kwik-Lift is solid steel, so it should last a lifetime. The Kwik-Lift doesn’t wear out with use like other lifts because there are no leaking connectors, overheated electric lift motors, or periodic maintenance to worry about. It’ll last forever as long as you keep it rust-free.
Unlike 2 post or 4 post lifts, Kwik-Lifts can fit into any home garage, even a one car garage. They can also be adjusted to fit any vehicle’s wheelbase, which cannot be said about other types of lifts.
Since the Kwik-Lift doesn’t lift a car by its frame, its use isn’t restricted only to cars with jack points. That means the Kwik-Lift is compatible with older vehicles, many of which don’t have jack points.
Last, but not least, there’s portability. Kwik-Lifts are easy to tear down, transport, and set up elsewhere. In fact, it takes less than 10 minutes to set up a Kwik-Lift and get to work.
The Kwik-Lift is an excellent alternative to mini ramps because it’s safer, more versatile, and easier to get a vehicle onto (plus many more reasons). Like all car lifts designed for home use, the Kwik-Lift is a small investment, but it pays off in the long run. In fact, its resale value is great because there’s a big market for used Kwik-Lifts.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about getting a Kwik-Lift for your home garage.