All the tools require periodic maintenance. So, car lifts aren’t the exception. Regularly, car lifts must withstand great efforts. Because of this, some important parts can wear, bend or break.
Therefore, it’s always advisable to run a review routine to make sure things are fine. Periodic maintenance is essential to extend the life of your car lift and avoid accidents.
If your car lift is daily use tool in your work, you can’t allow it fails. An out-of-service tool would cause long delays and considerable economic losses.
Certainly, maintaining a car lift isn’t something from another world and you only need discipline and perseverance to guarantee success. If you aren’t exactly an expert in car lift maintenance, don’t worry.
Today you’ll learn 7 basic tips to ensure continuous and free from interruptions operation. Doing this regularly will prevent serious failures in your tool, helping you escape from additional costs in possible repair work.
What is Car Lift?
It’s a tool used to lift a vehicle. By doing this, it’s easier to perform the inspection and maintenance of a vehicle. Usually, they’re of structural steel to resist shear, compression and flexion forces.
Car lifts can be portable or permanent. Portable models are lightweight, compact and easy to move. They’re perfect for carrying them in the car’s suitcase.
In contrast to hydraulic jacks, they can withstand large loads and completely separate all vehicle wheels from the ground. Above all, these models are durable and resistant. To keep them operational, you just have to make sure you don’t exceed the maximum load.
Portable models are the best for low profile cars. When fully deployed, they can reach heights up to 2 feet.
The permanent installation models are set to the floor through anchor bolts. To lift a vehicle, they use a combined system of columns, chains, pulleys and lifting arms. The whole system works with pistons driven by a 2-3 HP engine.
On the other hand, permanent installation models are stable and can lift very heavy vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks. Some larger vehicles, such as buses for example, require lifting systems with more than 4 columns.
7 Easy Steps to Maintenance a Car Lift
Maintaining a car lift is suitable to extend its life. In a mechanical workshop, a broken car lift means a forced operation stop. And that’s the worst thing that could happen to you, especially if your salary depends on it.
You must know that to apply a maintenance routine you must be consistent. You can’t forget to do your daily inspection if you want to get good results. So, if you aren’t exactly the most patient and orderly person, it’s time to change your mind.
Next, you’ll know 7 basic tips that you should apply to keep your lifting tool operational for longer:
1. Set the priority of each action
In every maintenance routine, it’s important to rank each activity according to its priority. Depending on this variable, you can establish the frequency of execution of each preventive or corrective work.
For example, visual inspection of the structural, hydraulic, mechanical and electrical parts of the car lift is a mandatory daily action.
On the other hand, you can run in the long term less important activities not related to the operability of the tool. For example, painting the columns every 3 months.
2. Create your own check list
Once you have an idea of how often to run each activity, it’s time to create a checklist. Make sure you don’t overlook any important elements of the car lift. Therefore, it’s important to write a list with all the components of the tool.
Then associate several maintenance activities with each component. And finally, make a checklist following a logical order of priorities.
Here’s a list of the important parts of a car lift:
- Moving parts
- Pivot points
- Safety locks
- Hydraulic connections
- Control buttons
- Electric connections
- Anchor bolts
3. Apply the checklist
Maybe, the most important step on this list. If you want to get results, you must apply each and every one of the actions in the checklist. If you associate this routine with common actions you do every day, you’ll have less chance of forgetting it.
For example, you can start after drinking your cup of coffee in each morning.
4. Apply preventive maintenance
This kind of maintenance prevents much worse things from happening later. Things as simple as lubricating moving parts and keeping everything clean could prevent jams that would lead to excessive stress and damage to the mechanical and hydraulic system.
5. Apply corrective maintenance
It’s inevitable that with use, some important parts of the mechanism tend to wear out. Maybe, the weight of the vehicles generated cracks in the concrete. In these cases, it’s inevitable to apply corrective maintenance or the car lift will fail sooner or later.
Corrective maintenance is applicable when the failure has already occurred but isn’t serious enough to stop operations.
6. Be aware of what you can’t do
If you don’t consider yourself capable of making any important correction, such as replacing the pulleys or repairing the engine, it’s better to call a professional. When you don’t know what you’re doing, certainly you’re likely to end up making things worse.
If you’re the owner of your own mechanical workshop, always try to save some money for possible future repair work.
7. Don’t exceed the limits
Certainly, applying a good maintenance routine is a good way to keep a car lift functional for longer. However, it’s even more important not to abuse the normative limits of the tool.
That means, don’t apply more load than recommended. This is perhaps the most common cause of failures. Never forget this.
Applying a maintenance routine is easy and doesn’t take too much time. Although they may seem monotonous, maintenance routines provide many advantages.
For example, they help you save money from possible future repairs and prevent unnecessary operation stops. Above all, they help you get the most out of your lifting tools, preserving them for a lifetime.