If you have a car lift, you know how beneficial it can be for car maintenance, storage and overall safety. Whether it’s in your home garage or an auto repair store, it’s probably the most valuable tool you’ll ever have.
Regular lift maintenance is vital. Otherwise, car lifts can malfunction, which can damage your car and injure you or your employees.
Follow these top 5 maintenance tips to keep your elevator running smoothly. However, not all of these items apply to your particular lift, so it is best to check the manufacturer’s manual for specific maintenance requirements.
Check the Lift's Hydraulic System
The first thing you need to do is to double check the weight capacity of the ascender. Make sure you or your staff know the load capacity and that you are not trying to lift a vehicle that exceeds the lifting capacity.
Checking the hydraulic system includes several things, such as checking the oil level and checking for leaks. If you notice a rapid drop in oil level, poor performance or an obvious leak under the lift, you can quickly fix the leak by tightening the fittings and couplings. However, if hoses or seals are damaged, they need to be replaced immediately. Also, check the valves, hoses and overall function of the hydraulic system.
Check Chains, Cables, Pulleys, Spindles and V-belts
When inspecting your chains and cables, first make sure that the chains, cables and pulleys are adequately lubricated or greased.
In addition, you may need to adjust the cables as they will stretch over time. If the cables are not the proper length, the lift may rise unevenly. After adjusting, ENSURE that your cables don’t move more than 1/2 an inch for two-post or four-post lifts.
Stretched cables, on the other hand, can cause other moving parts to wear out, such as pulleys and shafts. Replace chains, cables, pulleys, arbors and belts as soon as you notice excessive wear.
You need to replace cables every 4-5 years. However, cables should be replaced immediately if you see or notice:
- three or more broken wires in one cable
- rusted or corroded wires
- a protruding cable core
- any other abnormalities
If you find any abnormality, you should stop immediately until the cable is replaced. Do not use your elevator with any defective cables.
Check Columns, Posts and Rolling Bridges
It is very important to check the lift for rust, damage or wear, especially the columns, posts or rolling bridges.
Make sure to lubricate the necessary points on your columns.
You also need to check alignment and make sure everything is set up correctly and aligned.
Check for leaks on the rolling bridge and test the locks and rollers.
Don’t forget to check the switches on the elevator to make sure they are working properly and that the terminals are in good condition.
You also need to check the function of the limit switches as a damaged switch could allow your vehicle to pass through the roof beam on a two-post lift.
Check Overall Lift
You will also need to inspect the entire lift.
Remove any dirt, grease or grime that has built up on the lift.
Loose ground bolts can cause serious problems for your lift, so it is important to make sure that the ground bolts and other fasteners are tightened. Also, check the floor around the floor bolts for cracks. If there are cracks near the bolts, you need to have your lift inspected by a professional immediately.
It is critical to make sure that the swing arm restrictor and telescoping stop are in proper working order, as they prevent the vehicle from slipping off the lift while it is being lifted.
While you may be well aware of many maintenance tasks associated with your vehicle lift, there are some things that should be left to the professionals, including replacing hydraulic hoses, chains, rollers, cables and pulleys. In addition, rebuilding or replacing hydraulic cylinders, pumps or motors should be done by an expert.
Maintaining your lift is as valuable as the lift itself. Without proper maintenance, a lift can fail, resulting in serious damage to the vehicle and injury to the lift operator.
However, all lifts are different, so not all of these tips will apply to your particular car lift. If you are unsure about elevator maintenance, it is best to check the manufacturer’s manual.