How Wide Is A 2 Post Car Lift?

Do you ever wish to have your car repaired just like a professional auto-shop with ramps and a car lift? That way you could easily get under and diagnose intricate issues with just the press of a button. It’s so easy to do all that with a 2 post car lift. Plus, the lift also lets you store another car under it. 

If you are wondering if there is enough space in the garage and between 2 posts to safely move your car, the next bit is just for you. 

On average most 2 post car lift has a width of 9-10 feet space between two vertical columns. On the other hand, the majority of cars, vans, and trucks are 6-7 feet wide. So, it’s clear that it won’t be an issue to install it in your garage or move the car safely between these columns. 

Car lifts have been around for many years in the vehicle repair shop and manufacturing industries. The only downside, they were too bulky for the home garages. It was especially near impossible to fit a car lift in a one-car garage, not to mention the complex operating mechanism. 

Time has changed. Through the advancement of technology and innovation, the car lift has morphed into a manageable size and simple operating mechanism. Even though you have a small garage space, you can get a compact 2 post car lift and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer. 

If you are not familiar with how big a 2 post car lift is, it’s only natural to have doubts whether it would fit your garage. Before you decide on any car lift, it’s imperative to understand your current garage situation. Like how much space you can spare for the lift, what’s the ceiling height, length, etc.

how wide is a 2 post car lift

Once you have all the information, now you are ready to move on to look for something suitable for your garage. Here are a few important factors you should look for in a potential 2 post car lift.

  • Overall height 
  • Maximum Lifting height 
  • Width between the column 
  • Space between the outside of the posts 

The posts outside measurement will allow you to understand if the machine will fit in your bay. Depending on the model it might vary between 10-11 feet. 

The width between columns will tell you if your car will accommodate your car safely which can be 9 to 10 feet on average.

Overall height dispels the issue of clearance space with the ceiling. It’s mostly around 10-12 feet. 

Last but not least, maximum lifting height gives you a heads up about parking another car under the lift. For most instances, it’s 6-7 feet. 

For more information on the exact model check out our top 2 post car lift reviews done with comprehensive research and analysis on real-life user feedback. 

What Is A 2 Post Car Lift? 

2 post car lift is a hydraulic machine that uses two vertical posts and 4 side arms to lift cars indoors. The two posts usually mount on the 4 inches or thicker concrete floor with heavy-duty long anchor bolts. Most of the post car lifts are hydraulic but there are also electric-powered posts as well. 

The above definition of 2 post car lift is an oversimplification of the product. There is much more going on with these devices. The 2 post car lift is just a variant in many other car lifts. You can find four posts machine-set geared towards more heavy lifting with premium safety. 

How Does A 2 Post Car Lift Work? 

The 2 post lift uses a powerful hydraulic system and adjustable side arms to lift a car. Both the vertical posts have a hydraulic cylinder inside along with an electronic power unit that regulates the pressure. Apart from that, various pulleys, hoses, and cables are also responsible for managing overall lifting operation. 

For lifting a couple of thousand pounds car, all the components of the hydraulic system work together. When the pump pressurizes the cylinder, it can lift up to 7 feet in height with more than 10,000 pounds of weight on the arms. You also need 15 feet of ceiling clearance from the ground. 

What Size Anchors For 2 Post Lifts? 

With most 2 post car lifts, manufacturers provide 3/4″ x 5-1/2″ heavy-duty anchor bolts for the installation. These anchors work well on 4 inches or higher concrete floor depth. The great thing about the anchors is as you tighten the bolt the teeth will bite on the floor firmly. Just remember not to exceed the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. 

If your 2 post car lift doesn’t come with anchors, you can always buy it from the hardware store. Check the spec sheet for any special recommendations about the anchors. In addition, always try to get top-quality anchor bolts as you will be lifting vehicles of thousands of pounds.  

Are 2 Post Car Lifts Safe? 

Lifting cars inside the home garage or in any small spaces with just 2 posts can be a risky business. Luckily, hydraulic lifts are more capable in terms of carrying weights. Usually, with a reputed car lift brand, you get three times the higher capacity of car weight. As long as you are within the limit you are safe. 

Besides, proper use of this powerful machine will also contribute to safer operation. Take your time to go through the instructions no matter which way it’s going. 

Are 2 Post Car Lifts Any Good? 

When you think about 2-post car lifts and other means of lifting cars like ramps or jacks, which one do you think is easy to work with? If you have small space and want an effective way to lift your car safely, 2 post car lift is a great option to explore. 

Sure, it takes time to ship and install the equipment in your garage. Once it’s all set, you are good for a long time. After that, lift your cars all you want and do comprehensive repairs that weren’t available to you due to inaccessibility. 

How Much Ceiling Height For 2 Post Lifts? 

The ceiling height requirement may be different depending on the model or brand of a car lift. But 13 feet is the standard ceiling height for most 2 post car lifters. In another way, If the post and the upper beam are about 12 feet, you need at least 1 foot of open space between the ceiling and the center beam. 

It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you are not sure. Measure your garage’s ceiling height before you look for a 2 post car lifter. That way you won’t waste time looking at the wrong one. 

Can You Store A Car On A 2 Post Lift?

In short, yes! You can actually lift a car and keep it there for storage. 2 post lift has a strong locking mechanism that stays in place for a long time without any issue. 

In addition to that, make sure your vehicle weight is well within half of the lift capacity. Follow instruction on the body to use a spotting dish, correct adapters, and vehicle manufacturers lifting points. Once you are satisfied with the height and resting position, release the lever and place it in the lock.

With all these being said, if storing a car is your primary consideration for buying car lifts, 4 post lifts would be a far better option. 

How Long Can You Leave A Car On A 2 Post Lift?

As long as the mechanical lock of the post is in good condition, you don’t really have much to worry about. Though, you might not be able to open the door due to both posts in the middle. If you get away around that you are all set. 

One pro tip for you- leaving your car hanging on only cassis may have an adverse effect on the suspension of the car. So it’s a good idea to pull out your car from the top and let it sit for a while on the tires. You could swap the car position once every month. 

Also, make sure if there are any instructions from the manufacturer on how long you can actually store a can on the lift. Otherwise, you may run the risk of breaching the manufacturer’s warranty. 

Can You Park A Car Under A 2 Post Lift?

In many 2 post car lift company’s terms and conditions, if you park a car under, it voids the warranty in any unfortunate events. Though it might seem the 2 post lift has such massive capacity it can hold a car up and under, don’t do it for your car’s sake.

There are other means to park two cans in one place like auto staker. That machine is a true piece of engineering and works way better than a 2 post lift. You can also use 4 post lifts instead of 2 posts for safety of your car.


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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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