5 Signs You Need a Home Garage Car Lift

It makes little sense that so many vehicles worth thousands of dollars sit in driveways because they’ve been displaced from the garage by cheap clutter.

Should a beautiful $100,000 Mercedes really have to suffer the indignity of being relegated to the perils of theft and bad weather outside, all while some rusty bikes and tattered cardboard boxes of junk stay safe and dry inside your garage?

We think not.

Is a home garage car lift right for you?

There are a few telltale signs that you’d benefit from having a home garage car lift. Virtually all of these signs will be things that cause you or your family some degree of headaches and stress all too frequently. A home garage car lift just might be the answer to your home parking and car storage problems!

Do any of the following five issues rear their ugly head on a regular basis?

1. You lack enough garage parking space

The most obvious sign you’re a perfect candidate for a home garage car lift are persistent issues with parking your vehicles.

Of 1,500 North American respondents to a Garage Living poll conducted in 2017, 20% said they were unable to park in their garage.

Garage clutter is one of the biggest factors that prevents you from using your garage for parking. Garage storage systems like slatwall panels or cabinets will definitely help when it comes to garage organization.

But even with an organized garage, parking can still be an issue for many homeowners. This could be due to having a small garage space or perhaps you have a lot of drivers in your family. Then again, maybe you’re a car lover who’s simply run out of indoor parking space for your growing car collection.

A home garage car lift can solve your home parking problems. It effectively doubles your available garage parking space by allowing you to safely park a vehicle above another vehicle. Utilizing your garage’s vertical space with a car lift can eliminate the arguments between family members over who gets indoor parking privileges.

home garage car lift

A home garage car lift will instantly double your parking space.

2. A garage expansion isn’t a feasible option

Expanding your garage might seem like the most logical way to resolve your lack of home garage parking space. Weigh the pros and cons between this option and getting a home garage car lift, however, and the wiser choice is quite clear.

Car lifts for residential garages are a much more cost-effective option than undergoing a major garage expansion. The latter will carry a hefty price tag in comparison to investing in one (or even two) car lifts.

Also consider the other headaches that will accompany a major garage expansion:

  • the mess that will be made
  • the length of time you’ll be unable to park in your garage
  • you won’t be able to use your garage for hobbies or other activities for awhile
  • you’ll need to secure building permits

Installing a car lift in your garage, on the other hand, involves much less hassle and inconvenience. In most cases, the process can be completed in about half a day.

3. You want to protect your investments

Protecting the significant investment you’ve made in your vehicles only makes sense. And with higher-end vehicles, it makes that much more sense to find ways to park them inside your garage.

As mentioned, there’s simply no good reason to have items with little monetary value taking up your valuable garage parking space when it comes at the expense of indoor vehicle storage.

Parking in your garage with car lift storage keeps your vehicles far more secure than parking in your driveway. They’re also shielded from the elements, which will prolong the life of their bodies and engines.

And if you live in areas that get snow, consider the convenience of not having to deal with scraping snow and ice off your car or truck many times over the course of a winter.

4. You prefer servicing your own vehicles

If you have experience when it comes to auto maintenance, you know that it can be a challenge working on the underside of a vehicle. There’s limited space to work, poor visibility, and having to use a rolling mechanic’s creeper isn’t very comfortable. Using jacks can also pose a safety hazard.

For those who prefer doing their own car maintenance, a home garage car lift is extremely practical. There are three different types of car lifts available to make home car maintenance a lot easier.

Scissor car lifts are the cheapest option and allow you to access most areas that can be serviced on a car or truck. The big drawbacks of scissor lifts are you can’t park underneath them and many models have lower lifting capacities and lifting heights.

2 post car lifts are another option for the home garage mechanic. Hoisted vehicles are supported by arms attached to the two posts. This makes it easy to access a vehicle’s underside, change tires, and do brake work. Most home garage 2 post car lifts don’t leave space for parking another vehicle underneath, however.

4 post car lifts offer the best multi-purpose car lift functionality. Aside from changing tires (because your vehicle is parked on ramps), this type of car lift is well-suited for most home car repairs. And best of all, you can park another vehicle safely underneath a hoisted vehicle, which is a real space saver.

home garage car lift black car

Getting to the underside of vehicles for performing your own maintenance is much easier with a car lift.

5. You want another long-term home vehicle storage option

In colder climates, many homeowners have sports cars, classic cars, or motorcycles that can’t be driven for about half the year. Even though you love your prized ride, it can be frustrating having precious garage parking space taken up by immobile vehicles for much of the year.

Off-site vehicle storage will cost several hundred of dollars per vehicle each year. A 4 post car lift that’s used to store your seasonal vehicles will pay for itself after just a few years.

Having your stored vehicles close at hand is also a lot more convenient if you need to occasionally run them during the winter for maintenance purposes.

Seasonal vehicles parked in the garage during the winter also provides a little more peace of mind that your cherished possession is safer than it would be in a storage unit.

Get professional installation of a home garage car lift

If any one of these five signs resonates with you, Garage Living can make your life easier with a professionally installed home garage car lift. Our 4 post car lifts are ALI Certified for safe and reliable operation and very easy to use.

Schedule a free in-home consultation with one of our design consultants to start making your garage more functional with a convenient car lift.

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Winter Car Storage: 11 Tips to Help Preserve Your Prized Ride

As the warm weather gives way to the next several months of cold and snowy conditions, auto enthusiasts lament the changing of seasons as much as anybody.

That’s because months-long stretches of lousy weather mean sports car and classic car owners will need to store their vehicles until spring. After all, snow and rain, road salt, sub-zero temperatures, and slippery roads aren’t exactly ideal conditions to expose your prized ride to.

The importance of proper winter car storage

Proper winter car storage for your seasonal vehicle is essential for a few reasons:

  • it extends the life of the vehicle
  • you’ll avoid costly repairs
  • the vehicle will be better-prepared to be driven again in the spring

You’ll find plenty of classic car restoration experts who believe that improper winter car storage can actually be worse for the vehicle than if it had been driven all winter on salt-covered roads.

If you haven’t gotten around to taking care of your winter car storage needs yet, don’t procrastinate much longer. These 11 winter car storage tips will keep your prized vehicle in pristine condition in your garage until spring time.

winter car storage jaguar

1. Wash your car’s exterior

It’s imperative that your vehicle is thoroughly washed before storing it for the winter. Don’t use a drive-through car wash – be sure to hand wash it. Give the car’s underside a good spray wash as well.

Once the car has air-dried, give it a good waxing to protect the vehicle’s finish. It doesn’t hurt to give the car’s chrome a polish, either. Once this step and some of the other winter car storage recommendations below are done, you’ll be covering the car with a cover or tarp.

When the time for winter car storage ends in the spring, your cherished vehicle’s exterior will be fresh and well-preserved during its resting period.

2. Clean your car’s interior

If you’re going to the trouble of following the proper procedures for winter car storage, it’s clear you love your classic car or sports car. Therefore, it’s unlikely you’ve left your beloved car’s interior filled with garbage.

Even still, it bears mentioning that you should ensure your car’s interior is clean before storing it. Anything food-related (including food wrappers) definitely needs to be removed. This lowers the chance of any pests trying to get inside your car and you also won’t have any unpleasant odors to face after months of winter car storage.

Seat covers are a smart idea for providing extra protection for your upholstery. And it’s also a good idea to add some packs of desiccant (like the silica gel that comes in boxes of new shoes) inside the vehicle. They can be bought at your local dollar store and will absorb extra cabin moisture.

3. Keep the critters away

Critters like mice will be drawn to your stored vehicle, which can provide a comfortable winter home for them if you’re not careful.

If you’re aware of issues with mice in your garage, try and resolve the problem before winter arrives. And if they continue to be a persistent problem, take a few steps to protect your vehicle.

Use mouse traps outside the vehicle (never inside) or wherever you notice critter activity in your garage. Mouse traps are reusable and provide visual proof that you’ve caught one of the pests. The effects of mouse and rat poisons, on the other hand, don’t leave evidence as readily. You also won’t want to use them if you have pets.

Be sure that all air inlets are closed in the car and put steel wool in the air filter box’s intake duct. Check under your hood periodically during the winter to make sure it’s critter-free. Also, plug up your exhaust pipe with steel wool to prevent critter access.

4. Fill ’er up before winter car storage

When it comes to winter car storage advice, you’ll find plenty of conflicting opinions online on a few different issues. One of those is whether or not to empty your gas tank or fill it up before winter car storage.

Those in favor of emptying the fuel believe this prevents varnish and gum buildup. Unfortunately, it’s tricky to drain a gas tank without leaving behind moisture that can cause rust.

There’s a stronger consensus for filling up your tank (which prevents moisture buildup) and adding a fuel stabilizer. Gasoline stabilizers prevent the fuel from deteriorating, which causes oxidation and deposits to form that could damage your fuel system.

Just add the recommended amount of fuel stabilizer and let it mix thoroughly with the gas by driving the car for approximately 10-15 minutes. Another reason to keep gas in your vehicle while it’s stored is so you can run it every few weeks (more on that below).

5. Change your oil and filter

It’s wise to change the oil and filter on your sports car or classic car before storing it for the winter. Even if the vehicle isn’t due for either of these maintenance tasks, it’s a good proactive step to take.

An oil change provides helpful corrosion protection, especially since an idle car is more susceptible to engine corrosion. Just as with the fuel stabilizer or any other added car fluids, run the vehicle for a few minutes to circulate the fresh fluids.

6. Top off your coolant

Check your coolant level and top it off if needed (coolant, by the way, is the same as antifreeze). Avoid mixing regular coolant (which is typically a green color) with longer-lasting yellow and red-colored coolants, as they’re formulated to have different lifespans.

To be extra safe, you should check the coolant’s strength to ensure the water concentration level isn’t too high. If it is, this can cause the car’s cylinder heads or engine block to crack.

7. Use proper tire care

When it comes to tire care for a vehicle you’re storing, there’s a few universally accepted facts:

  • tires should always be cleaned to remove dirt and brake dust before winter car storage
  • tires on a stored vehicle should be inflated to the recommended psi
  • long-term winter car storage can cause tires to flat-spot

Flat-spotting happens when the circumference of tires on a car that’s been left in the same spot for a long time changes due to the weight of the vehicle pressing down on them.

Underinflated tires and storage in a cold garage on a car that doesn’t get moved for several months will increase the chance of flat-spotting. Driving the car for awhile can sometimes cause the flat-spots to round out, but not always.

You can prevent flat-spotting by putting your vehicle on jack stands to reduce the weight put on your tires during winter car storage. Place a small piece of wood under the stands. That ensures they won’t leave indentations on your floor, especially if you’ve recently had a spiffy new Floortex™ garage floor coating applied.

winter car storage tires

8. Disconnect your car battery or use a trickle charger

Unless you’re planning on occasionally starting your stored car during the winter, it’s a good idea to remove the vehicle’s battery. If a car battery loses its charge it may freeze, at which point it becomes useless.

Store it in your heated living space and the battery should be good to go when it’s hooked back up in the spring. Be aware that battery removal isn’t recommended if the car being stored is newer and has engine computers.

Your other option is to hook your car battery up to a trickle charger or battery maintainer. Ensure the model you purchase has an auto shut-off feature to prevent overcharging. As an added dose of preventative maintenance, you can also coat the battery terminals with petroleum jelly.

9. Occasionally start your car…or not

One long-running debate concerning winter car storage is whether or not you should start it every few weeks. Those who don’t think this is necessary believe that if you’ve taken the proper steps to store your car properly, there’s no need to run it during the winter.

There seems to be a more widely-held belief, however, that it is a good idea to start your stored car every 3-4 weeks. Those in favor believe this keeps the cylinders lubricated and removes moisture from operating components. If you’re able to move your car (even just back and forth a few feet), this also prevents brakes and clutches from sticking.

If you do decide to start your vehicle during winter car storage, just remember to do these four things:

  • always remove your car cover when it’s running
  • remember to remove (and put back) anything you were using to keep critters out of your car
  • run your car for about 10-15 minutes until it reaches its optimal operating temperature
  • leave your garage door open while your car is running

10. Cover your car

One of your last steps when it comes to winter car storage will be to cover your vehicle. This will protect the exterior you just waxed and keep dirt and dust off of it. If possible, spend the extra money for a custom-fit cover for your car as opposed to getting a universal-fit cover.

Make sure the car cover you use has breathable fabric. Moisture trapped underneath your cover will be harmful to your car’s body. And never use a plastic car cover – they trap rust-causing moisture and can also scratch your car’s finish.

winter car storage car lift

A car lift is ideal for storing your prized sports car or classic car during the winter.

11. Use a car lift for winter car storage

Using your garage during the winter to protect your everyday use vehicles from snow and ice is just one of many benefits of using your garage for parking. Storing your classic car or sports car during the winter in your garage can be an issue if you lack parking space.

One way to increase your garage’s parking space is to add a 4 post car lift to it. They’re a great solution that will protect your prized vehicle and also make room for your other vehicles.

Once all your winter car storage preparation is finished, simply raise your vehicle on the car lift and you’ll then be able to use the space beneath it for parking.

It’s easy and safe to operate the car lift if you need to run your stored car every few weeks. And a car lift is also handy if you prefer taking care of your classic car’s maintenance yourself, as it allows for easy access to a vehicle’s underside.

Make space in your garage for winter car storage

Yes, it can be a lot of work getting your vehicle ready for winter car storage, but your cherished ride deserves it. And when you take it out for that first invigorating drive in the spring time, you’ll be reminded all over again why putting so much tender loving care into your hobby was worth it.

Do you need better garage organization and storage solutions to make space for the winter storage of your prized vehicle? If so, schedule your free in-home consultation with one of our design experts.

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Why Adding a 4 Post Car Lift Is Smarter Than a Garage Expansion

Simple logic dictates that a one-car garage will allow you to park a single vehicle inside of it and a two-car garage will make space for two vehicles, right? Not exactly.

There’s a way to actually double your garage’s parking space without needing to undergo a major garage renovation – add a 4 post car lift. Homeowners are increasingly discovering the practicality of this smart garage vehicle storage solution.

How does a 4 post car lift work?

For those unfamiliar with how a 4 post car lift works, they’re used to elevate one of your parked vehicles using a hydraulic system. This optimizes your garage’s underutilized vertical space and allows you to park a second vehicle underneath.

Garage Living carries three types of 4 post car lifts that can store vehicles weighing between 8,000-9,000 lbs. Those weight capacities will accommodate everything from a small sports car up to a large SUV or pickup truck.

4 post car lift

Why a 4 post car lift is your best option for adding garage parking space

Adding a 4 post car lift instead of undergoing a major garage renovation to create more parking space makes sense for a couple of important reasons:

  • having to knock down garage walls to make the space larger will be much more costly than the expense of adding a car lift
  • in most cases, we can install a car lift in about half a day, whereas an extensive garage renovation will be messy and may take weeks (which poses a major inconvenience to your daily routine)

Along with these reasons, keep reading to learn more about the additional advantages to owning a car lift.

The multi-purpose storage uses of a 4 post car lift

A car lift can be used for storing more than just cars or trucks. If your overhead storage racks are full, here are just a few of the bulky seasonal items you can store on your 4 post car lift:

  • snowmobiles
  • snow blowers
  • lawn mowers
  • camping equipment
  • boating equipment
  • motorcycles
  • bicycles
  • patio equipment

Depending on what non-car or truck items you plan to store on your car lift, an attachment may be required.

Car lifts help the DIY mechanic

If you’re the handy type who prefers doing your own vehicle maintenance and repairs, a 4 post car lift can be quite useful. The ability to comfortably stand or sit underneath your car or truck while working on them is easier than dealing with the confined space you’ll have using a jack and mechanic’s creeper.

Be wary of some foreign-made 4 post car lifts that may be cheaper than North American-made models. The quality of construction materials and safety standards on Canadian and American-made car lifts are higher. Look for an ALI certification to ensure the safe operation of any car lift.

4 post car lift 2

A 4 post car lift protects your investments

Being able to park in your garage instead of leaving your vehicles in the driveway protects your investments from theft and vandalism. You also won’t need to worry about exterior factors like weather, bird droppings, and tree sap.

Car lifts are a cost-efficient alternative to off-site vehicle storage

The costs of storing your classic car or seasonal vehicle in an off-site storage unit every year will eventually add up. Adding a 4 post car lift to your garage is more convenient and cost-efficient.

Within just a few years, the cost of the car lift will be less than what you would have spent on storage unit costs and you’ll actually have something tangible to show for your expenses. You’ll also get many more years of use out of the car lift.

You can learn more about the benefits of adding a 4 post car lift to your garage by scheduling a free in-home consultation with a member of our design team.

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7 Must-See Classic Car Shows In Southern Ontario This Summer

Every summer weekend in Southern Ontario, there’s a classic car show happening somewhere. Conveniently, several of them are taking place in the GTA or just a short drive from it.

Perhaps you’re a vintage car owner or just like to admire their timeless beauty from an arm’s length. Classic car and truck shows allow you to view a wide spectrum of the vehicles of yesteryear, with each of their owners having a unique story to tell about them.

Many classic car shows also raise funds and encourage donations for local charities and community groups. This summer, experience the nostalgia and fun of one of these must-see classic car shows located in the Southern Ontario area.

Classic car

  1. Classics On The Square Car Show (Mississauga, July 3rd): This third annual event is located at Mississauga Celebration Square. Along with a wide variety of classic cars on display, there’ll be live music, Batman and other superheroes for the kids, and door prizes.
  2. Havelock Recreation & Performance Motor Show (Havelock, July 15-17): This busy three day event is taking place two hours northwest of Toronto. Enjoy the classic cars, trucks, boats, tractors, and motorcycles that will be on display. There will also be camping, a flea market and swap meet, truck and tractor pulls, live music, and boxing matches.
  3. Classics In The Park Car Show (Barrie, July 23rd): Heritage Park on Barrie’s waterfront is the picturesque setting for this classic car, motorcycle, and custom truck event. $5,000 was raised at last year’s show for Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka, which provides cancer care support.
  4. Wheels On The Danforth (Toronto, August 13th): Toronto’s vibrant Danforth area plays host to many summertime events. Included is this show featuring classic cars, custom builds, and hot rods.
  5. Autofest Oshawa (Oshawa, August 19-21): Lakeview Park hosts this 23rd annual weekend event. Classic cars, hot rods, motorcycles, and trucks will share space with modern day high performance vehicles.
  6. Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance (Kemble, September 17-18): Beautiful and rarely seen automobiles at Cobble Beach Golf Resort Community in Kemble, Ontario.
  7. British Car Day (Oakville, September 18): Hosted annually by the Toronto Triumph Club, this is the largest, one-day, all-British car event in North America.

Car lifts are a great storage solution for your classic car

Classic car enthusiasts will be out in large numbers for these summer events. But when summer ends, what’s the best winter storage solution for a classic car or truck?  There’s a smart choice that won’t take up your garage’s lone parking spot.

Silver Porsche on a four post car lift from Garage Living

A car lift allows you to double your garage’s parking space by utilizing its unused vertical space. Your classic car or truck is stored on the elevated platform of the car lift, allowing you to easily park your everyday-use vehicle underneath it. If you like being hands-on with your car’s maintenance, car lifts also let you safely work on the vehicle’s underside. A car lift is also a smarter option financially than storing your classic vehicle annually in an expensive storage facility that has no long-term tangible benefits to you.

Visit our showroom to see a car lift up close. You can also schedule a free consultation with us to learn more about how car lifts are a great storage solution for your classic car.

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3 Considerations When Choosing A Car Lift

If you’re looking to purchase a car lift, it’s important to consider a few things first to ensure you pick the best one for the job. Auto lifts come in numerous configurations, different sizes and, of course, a range of prices. This quick guide will help steer you in the right direction, allowing you to be 100-percent satisfied with whichever design you choose to install.

Four post car lift with metal ramps in a single car garage.

Purpose

Some car lifts are designed primarily for storage purposes, while others can help you with car maintenance. Determine why you’re buying an auto lift in the first place to narrow your options. If you wish to maximize storage space, four-post lifts are often the best option. Scissor and portable lifts are great for mechanic enthusiasts.

Size

Unless you’re planning to expand your garage, you’ll need to find a lift design that fits without cramping your space. Some space-saving designs like the portable lift can be moved out of the way when not in use. Four-post lifts utilize vertical space that often just goes to waste, providing you with more storage space for cars than you had before.

Grey Porsche on a four post car lift.

Price

Installing a car lift is an investment, but the extra storage space or the ability to work on your car from home is worth the cost. Determine what type of car lift you need first and then start looking at prices to determine what you can afford.

Ready to bring a car lift to your garage? Garage Living can help. Schedule a free consultation appointment with design experts to discuss your project goals.

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