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Why Do I Need to Get My Car Lift Inspected?

Man inspecting car lift

Car lifts are used in vehicle repair shops, car dealerships, and home garages. Depending on your needs, you can use a car lift to store your vehicle or lift your car for maintenance and repair.

As a mechanic, lifts are used constantly throughout the day to get underneath cars for necessary repairs. Over time, you will likely need to tighten a car lift’s bolts and pins, lubricate its posts, and tighten anchor bolts. In addition, you’ll need to check all the parts to ensure everything is in working order.

Car lifts need regular maintenance, like any mechanical equipment, to ensure continued safety. While monthly maintenance is recommended for any car lift, an annual inspection is critical for many reasons. 

What happens during an auto lift inspection? 

An auto lift inspector must confirm that all components are in working order and that your lift is safe. The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) Lift Inspector Certification Program is the only independent certificate for lift inspector qualification in North America. While some may claim that their inspector can inspect lifts, choose one that is ALI certified. 

During an auto lift inspection, the ALI-certified inspector: 

  • Examines all accessible components for evidence of overloading or misuse
  • Checks the electrical wiring and components
  • Reviews the lift controls to ensure accessibility
  • Locates the safety instructions, lift safety labeling, capacity labeling, vehicle-lifting information, and any documentation
  • Verifies adequate clearances around the lift
  • Checks that all fastening devices are tight
  • Operates the lift and checks the operation of the positive stop
  • Verifies that the lift locks engage in the fully extended position
  • Checks all lubrication points for cleanliness and required lubrication
  • Checks all chains and cables for excessive slack

Every manufacturer provides specific instructions for correctly and thoroughly inspecting each lift. ALI inspectors are extremely qualified to inspect your lift, regardless of manufacturer. 

Benefits of an auto lift inspection 

An annual auto lift inspection by a certified lift inspector allows you to keep a safe working environment and your business in compliance, among numerous other benefits. 

Keeps a safe work environment 

Safety is the priority when a mechanic stands underneath a car weighing a minimum of 2,000 pounds. One minor issue with a lift can cause severe damage to the vehicle, the lift, and the mechanic. 

An annual auto lift inspection (at the very least) will ensure that your lift is safe and trustworthy and your work environment is safe for your employees. 

Identifies repair needs 

An annual inspection lets you identify repair needs before the issue becomes problematic. An inspector will review the lift from top to bottom and inspect every detail to ensure it’s in working order. 

Issues that arise will be noted so you can fix or repair the necessary parts. Using a car lift that hasn’t been appropriately inspected is a safety hazard to your employees and a liability for your business. 

Maintains employee trust 

Mechanics want to feel safe in their job, and standing underneath a vehicle that weighs at least 2,000 pounds is a significant risk. 

An annual inspection lets employees know that the car lift is safe and reliable, maintaining employee trust. 

Confidence for vehicle owners 

Vehicle owners will have confidence in mechanics who follow safety protocols for their working environment, including inspecting auto lifts. 

Vehicle owners take pride in their cars and don’t want to worry that the lift will malfunction while maintenance is done. A safe car lift provides confidence for customers. 

Stay on top of manufacturer-recommended timelines 

Every manufacturer has recommended timelines for maintenance and inspection. Following their specific recommendations keeps every part of the auto lift working in the best possible way. 

Extends the life of the lift 

If you let wear and tear affect your lift without inspection and repair, your car lift will not live a long life. 

However, an auto lift inspection allows a certified technician to inspect your lift, giving it a thorough workup. This complete workup allows everything to be tightened, greased, adjusted and fixed. 

An annual inspection extends the life of your auto lift. 

Keeps your business in compliance 

The American National Standard (ANSI), which outlines the safety criteria for proper vehicle lift operation, inspection, and maintenance, mandates that every lift be inspected at least once a year by a certified lift inspector. 

If you fail to meet these requirements, your auto lift will fail to comply with ANSI. Therefore, to keep your business in compliance, it’s required to have your car lifts inspected on an annual basis (at the very minimum). 

Peace of mind 

Nothing is better than peace of mind as a business owner, employee, or customer. An annual (at minimum) inspection of your car lift provides peace of mind to everyone- the mechanic standing under the lift, the customer whose vehicle is on the lift, and the owner responsible for the lift’s safety and operation. 

Lowers the risk of injuries 

Your employees are less likely to be hurt at work if you inspect your lift machines regularly. The inspector will check the emergency controls, steering, brakes, electrical systems, and hydraulic systems to ensure they are in good working order. The inspection also includes searching for physical problems such as corrosion, inspecting hooks for abnormalities, and determining the gauges’ accuracy. These actions lessen the likelihood of the device failing and causing an accident. 

Increases Productivity and Decrease Downtime 

Workflow is disrupted when lift equipment malfunctions, and some projects may have to be rescheduled. However, you can avoid mechanical breakdown with an annual inspection. Although the inspection process may seem lengthy, repairing the unit once it has completely failed will take far longer.

Contact SVI for your Parts and Maintenance Needs

Regular maintenance is the best approach to avoiding malfunctions and future difficulties. Should you need parts for your lift, SVI is here to help you. We have everything that you might need to stay safe and productive. Contact us today at (800) 321-8173 and we can offer you same-day shipping on in-stock parts! 

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