A car lift at home is something pretty much every mechanic, car enthusiast, or DIYer aspires to own. Thankfully, home car lifts exist. This article has all the information you need about the height requirements for home car lifts. It includes the required height of your garage ceiling, what to look for in a low rise car lift, and more.
How Tall Does My Garage Ceiling Need to be to Accommodate a Car Lift?
While you can get a 2- or 4-post lift that works with a lower ceiling, almost all these lifts are not ANSI certified. This means there’s no official validation of either their capabilities or their safety.
Don’t let this discourage you if your garage is less than 11 feet tall, though. You can always use a low rise lift like the Kwik-Lift (or various entry-level hydraulic lifts). These lifts only lift a car 18-20 inches off the ground. So they work just fine with a garage ceiling that’s 8 to 10 feet tall, which is typical for most home garages).
What Should I Look For in a Low Rise Car Lift?
Basically, a low rise car lift works great in a garage with a ceiling height of 10 feet or less. Not all low rise car lifts are safe or practical to use, though. For example, many scissor-style hydraulic lifts are too tall to fit underneath a vehicle with low ground clearance. And they aren’t always safe to work underneath (read more about this here).
Each type of low rise car lift comes with its own set of pros and cons (read more about the pros and cons here). At the very least, you want a low rise car lift that:
- Is sturdy and safe to use
- Offers a good amount of lift to give you enough room to work underneath the car
- Can fit underneath a car with low ground clearance
- Is able to support classic cars without designated jack points
- Doesn’t need much maintenance
- Offers unrestricted access underneath the car
How Much Lift Do I Need to Be Able to Work Under My Car?
You need 24-30″ of distance between the floor and the bottom of your vehicle to work comfortably underneath it. This is enough space for someone to easily roll under their vehicle on a creeper. It is also enough space to safely and comfortably raise or lower a transmission, an axle, a fuel tank, or another large part.
Keep in mind that not all lifts that advertise a certain amount of lift are created equal. For example, both the Kwik-Lift and the typical scissor-style entry level lift offer a 20” lift. But you get more ground clearance with a Kwik-Lift because it lifts a car by its tires. By comparison, a typical scissor-style entry level lift supports a car by its designated jack points.
That means you’ll get a ground clearance of only 20 inches with a typical scissor-style entry level lift while you’ll get about 30 inches with a Kwik-Lift.
Got any more questions that were not addressed in this article? Feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about having a car lift in your home garage!