What Is The Procedure To Lift A Vehicle On A Four-Post Lift?

Having a four-post lift is such a great amenity whether you are planning to park a car under it or doing just regular maintenance. Nonetheless, it is a sophisticated piece of engineering you should know how to handle it well. This leads us to the proper procedure of lifting a vehicle on a four-post lift.

Well, the actual procedure might differ from brand to brand but the advisory steps stay the same. You should always read the manufacturer’s guide before taking any action. That said here are the procedures you can follow to lift your car:

  • Park your car on the ramp
  • Check alignment of the vehicle
  • Disengage safety lock 
  • Raise the ramp slowly
  • Steer clear of the ceiling
  • Make sure the ramp is stable
  • Engage the safety lock
  • Reverse the process for lowering the ramp

Now, it might seem a straightforward process, which it is, but your situation might be different. For example, in-house garages space is more scarce and the slightest mistake can cause devastating damages. In the same sense, if it is in an auto shop, the safety of the workers is more important along with the vehicles. 

How To Lift A Vehicle On A Four-Post Car Lift

Let’s try to relate each step with possible scenarios and what you should do in this kind of situation.

what is the procedure to lift a vehicle on a four post lift

1. Park your car on the ramp

Regardless of the place, the car elevator is in, it is very imperative to drive slow to get on the ramp. The experienced individual does some trick to ease the hassle like place a mirror on the front wall of the lift. That way they can see the tire alignment on the ramp. 

On another note, place a ramp extension if you need that for your low-profile sports vehicles. It will be much easier to climb the steep slope and you will have a piece of mind doing that.

2. Check alignment of the vehicle

Move your car on the elevator ramp, check each corner of the post to make sure the tires on the right track. A slight deviation won’t harm you much then again you can’t be too careless in this regard. The vehicle should line up parallel with the ramp line. 

A good way to perfectly park your vehicles on the ramp is to mark your tire reach on the surface. It could be nail polish or any permanent highlighter that will serve you well.

3. Disengage safety lock 

After you are certain that you have done a good job with the parking it’s time to disengage the safety lock so you can raise the ramp. It’s also a good practice to look around the four posts if anything is in contact with the vehicle bed.

4. Raise the ramp slowly

It’s time to rise the floor. If your elevator variant has remote access, that’s great! Otherwise, the wall panel has all the necessary options. Press the up button. Take your time to rise the floor a bit by bit. Some advanced lift has auto relocking safety which is a nifty feature if something goes wrong. 

5. Steer clear of the ceiling

While you are rising the ramp be mindful of your celling and anything thing that is hanging. Such as lights, garage doors, storage compartment, and so on. You should have measured the optimum height you could go with the lift. Put a subtle mark on one of the posts so you know you are not raising it too much. 

6. Make sure the ramp is stable

Now that you safely raised the lift floor, go check with your hands if it’s stable enough. Sometimes the post has some slack left which could topple the vehicle accidentally. You don’t want that mess on your watch nor the cost associated with the repair. 

7. Engage the safety lock

Once you are sure you found a solid spot to stop, engage the safety lock. That way in times of hydraulic failure the ramp would not slide downward. If you plan to store another car underneath, there should be enough space for the new car to fit in. Do your research according to your vehicle’s height.

8. Reverse the process for lowering the ramp

When you no longer need the ramp to store your car or simply you want to swap your car, follow the whole process in reverse. You will clear out the bottom space first, then disengage the safety lock. Now slowly lower the ramp floor. If somehow the ramp doesn’t respond there is an emergency pressure release valve behind the navigation panel. Once you reach the garage floor again engage the safety lock.


Frequently Asked Questions

How to unload a 4 post car lift?

Once the brand new 4 post car lift shows up in front of your doorstep, you must unload it safely. It’s a piece of fairly heavy machinery as well as sensitive too due to all that hydraulic channels and cylinder. You could either ask the manufacturing company to unload it for you or you could hire a forklift for that.

How to install 4 post car lift?

Installing 4 post car lift is by definition an intricate task. You need precise measurements to set each post. That also includes ample space for your car to enter and headroom for celling. Once that is complete, bolt down each post and assemble the rest of the components according to the manufactures guide. Lastly, fill hydraulic fluid and test run your lift with and without weight.

How much is a 4 post car lift?

There are different ranges of capacity for 4-post car lifts in the market and for that reason, the price also varies to a different model. For example 10,000 -15,000 pounds capacity 4 post lift can cost around $2,000 to $4,000 dollar excluding installation charge. If the capacity goes up, the price increases as well. 

What is the 4 post car lift space requirement?

Typically, the width between two posts is about 104 inches, and post to post length is about 174 inches. For height, you need at least 10 feet of space. You could get away with lower ceiling height but that may pose a problem for storing another car underneath. Always check before buying a product and consult with experts. 

How high does a 4 post car lift go?

4-post car lift has average height of 7.5 feet to 8.5 feet. This is only the post height not the raised height. If your ceiling height can be flexible, the four posts can lift your vehicle above 15 feet. In general house garage has 10-12 feet of space on the other hand auto shop ceiling height can be more than that. Both applications have enough height to complete general repair and tuning.

How to disassemble a 4 post car lift?

Luckily, the disassembly of a 4-post car lift is an easy task. You don’t need to cut concrete floor, dig soil and tear apart the components unlike an in-ground car lift. You just loosen up the bolts that are on the four posts, disconnect any electrical wiring and finally take apart piece by piece. It’s also a good idea to drain all the hydraulic fluid before that.


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Frederick James is an expert mechanic with years of experience under his belt. He excels in diagnosing, troubleshooting, repairing, and modifying everything related to automobiles including but not limited to cars and pickup trucks. Read more...

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