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Symmetric vs. Asymmetric Two-Post Car Lift: What's the Difference?

Symmetric vs. Asymmetric Two-Post Car Lift: What's the Difference?

16th Feb 2021

When shopping for a two-post car lift, you’ll likely see two variations: symmetric and asymmetric. These two kinds of lifts have their own advantages and ideal uses, depending on the garage services you offer and the types of vehicles you accommodate.

Here at JMC Automotive Equipment, we’ve got a range of 2-post car lifts for sale to cover varying garage needs. We’ll help you determine whether a symmetric or asymmetric lift is the best choice for you. Read on to learn the differences and ideal uses of both kinds of lift.

Symmetric 2-Post Car Lift

Symmetric lifts have front and rear arms that are identical in length, position and angle. This kind of lift also has a top cross-bar that takes the weight off the back two bolts on the columns, giving the lift added structural integrity.

Most symmetric car lifts have the top cross-bar design instead of the floorplate setup. So, you need to be mindful of the height clearance when you’re lifting tall vehicles. If you service SUVs and trucks, you can get specialty height adapters or have your lift’s column height extended.

The arms of the lift are foldable, so you can move it to allow cars to pass through. When positioning vehicles for lifting, move the arms roughly in the middle. This will allow you to open and close the doors after positioning the car.

If the vehicle you’re lifting has no load or weight in the rear, you need to adjust its position to keep it balanced while suspended.

Symmetric 2-post auto lifts are best suited for long and heavy vehicles, including SUVs, vans, and trucks, since you can adjust the weight distribution on the lift.

Asymmetric 2-Post Car Lift

Asymmetric car lifts have arms of uneven lengths and angles. The front arms are shorter and the columns are rotated at 30 degrees. The angle allows you to access the inside of the vehicle much more easily. This makes asymmetric lifts an ideal choice for busy service shops that are constantly bringing vehicles on and off the lift, and if you frequently perform diagnostic and electrical work.

Asymmetric lifts require you to position 30 percent of the vehicle’s length past the post and the remaining 70 percent past the rear. The 30/70 weight distribution is ideal for four-wheel drive (FWD) vehicles, which have most of their weight in the front.

Because of its weight distribution, symmetrical 2-post auto lifts are best for FWDs and smaller vehicles. Although you can create an almost symmetrical lift by shortening the rear arms and moving them closer to vehicle’s midline. This configuration lets you lift heavier and longer vehicles.

The drawback to asymmetrical lifts is the narrow drive-through clearance caused by the rotated columns. You need to be mindful when you're bringing in wider vehicles, such as pick-up trucks.

Regardless of what kind of lift you pick, remember to always follow standard lift loading and lifting procedures to reduce the risks of accidents.

If you’re still unsure of which two-post car lift to get, JMC Automotive Equipment can help you make the right choice. Our experts will ask for more details about your equipment needs, so we can help you choose the best garage lift for you.

Browse our selection of two-post car lifts and other automotive equipment on our online catalogue. For inquiries, fill out our contact form.