A piece of equipment, also known as a hoist, installed in a service garage, auto dealership, or service station that is capable of elevating a car or truck to a height of 6 feet or above, allowing auto mechanics access to the underside of the vehicle.
Traditionally, automotive lifts have been operated by hydraulic power. Compressed air forces oil from an underground tank into another chamber. The resultant hydraulic power is capable of driving the lift cylinder upward, carrying with it the vehicle and the superstructure on which the vehicle is positioned. This type of hydraulic lift requires an excavation to accommodate the lifting cylinder.
Many automotive lifts are operated, not by compressed air, but by electric motors which drive hydraulic pumps or gear systems. These electrically operated automotive lifts are typically installed at surface level.