Auto Lift

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Auto Lift Safety Guide[edit]

To use the Auto Lift, you must attend an Auto Lift Safety Checkout. These are typically once every month and have a $20 fee to goes towards the Auto Shop's budget.

The auto lift is a great tool for automotive maintenance. Being able to freely access the underside of a vehicle with the wheels off the ground makes repair much easier. Because of the danger of having a vehicle overhead there are many precautions to take while operating a lift and working on a lifted car.


  1. The most important thing is to make sure the vehicle is
  2. Safe to lift. Intact lift points, has lift points intact, parts will not fall off of it or interfere with the operation of the lift. If it is rusted out and could collapse, do not lift it.
  3. Secure on the lift. If it is not stable it can slide off and kill you.
  4. Within the weight limit of the lift.


  1. Pack in, pack out. All shops have a pack-in pack-out policy, which means you need to make the space available for others to use when you are done for the day. This means vehicles must leave with you.
  2. Ask for an overnight pass. If for some reason you cannot move your car, speak to the manager for a pass to stick on the dashboard. If the manager is not around, message him and stick a note on the dashboard with your name and when you will have the car removed.
  3. Take your oil or other fluids with you. We do not have a disposal arrangement for hazardous waste, so please take care of it yourself. Oil can be taken back to the store you bought it from, most auto repair shops can take it, walmart can take it.
  4. Keep the shop cleaner than you found it. Sweep up any debris when you’re done, throw trash away,

Parts of the Lift[edit]

  • The posts
  • The swing arms
  • Lifting pads
  • The locks
  • The hydraulic motor, with lift button and lower lever

Steps for Raising the Car[edit]

  1. Clear surrounding area of any debris, equipment, etc.
  2. Position the lift arms under lift points on car. Use risers if appropriate.
  3. Ensure doors are closed, any excess weight is removed from inside.
  4. Get key to the circuit breaker.
  5. Open circuit box and switch lift circuit on.
  6. Raise car slowly by pushing button until all four wheels are an inch off the ground.
  7. Test stability by shaking car to insure it is firmly on the lift. Test all four corners.
  8. Raise car to desired height.
  9. Slowly lower car a bit until the safety locks on each side engage.

While On the Lift[edit]

  • Make sure what you are doing will not remove weight that will cause the center of mass to shift and tip the car.
  • Avoid hitting the lift arms or using force that could shift the car off of the lift arms.

Steps for Lowering the Car[edit]

  1. Clean up the surrounding area and make sure the bay is clear.
  2. Raise the car slightly to take pressure off of safety locks.
  3. Manually release the catches on BOTH sides of the lift.
  4. Lower the car slowly.
  5. Pull back the lift arms. Replace the risers if they have been used.
  6. Switch off the circuit breaker.
  7. Lock the panel and return the key.

Tips for Working on the Lift[edit]

  • Have a clear idea of what you are going to work on before you start.
  • Acquire all parts you will need (to the best of your knowledge) before you start. Have options lined up to be able to go and get parts from the store like borrow a shop bike, or ask someone for a ride.
  • Plan for twice the amount of time you’ll think you need.
  • If you have rusty parts you know need to come off, spray them with PB Blast at least a day in advance to help it come loose easier.

Stupid Stuff[edit]

  • NEVER try to lift a car with rusty rotted lift points or rocker panels.
  • NEVER lift a car with someone in it.
  • Do not hit or drive over the lift arms.
  • Do not intentionally lower a car onto something.
  • Do not lift something other than a car.
  • Notify the manager if the lift key has been left in the panel or if the lift has been left on.
  • Don’t throw stuff in the trash can that doesn’t belong there. We have recycling bins for cardboard in the Classroom and Electronics Lab, and we have a metal scrap barrel. If it doesn’t belong in any of those receptacles, take it with you and dispose of it yourself.
  • Do not use wooden blocks, bricks, or anything else between the lifting pads and the lift points.