What’s The Difference Between Symmetric And Asymmetric Two Post Lifts?

two post car lift

You’ll likely stumble upon symmetric and asymmetric lifts when looking for the ideal post lift for your garage or automotive shop. While both ultimately serve the same functionality and purpose: to elevate vehicles to your desired height for convenient repair works, they still have slight distinctions in design and ideal applications.

If you’re having trouble distinguishing between symmetrical and asymmetric car lifts, you’re in the right place. Let’s first discuss what exactly are these post lifts.

What is a 2-Post Symmetric Lift?

Symmetric Car Lifts are 2-post lifts that are among the most traditional car lifts you’ll often see from auto shops mainly because of their versatility in raising various types of vehicles like trucks, vans, and SUVs. Generally, their design and mechanism are well-suited for long and heavy vehicles. The symmetric lifts are designed with arms exactly the same from front to rear and side to side. With this lift, the car is positioned right in the middle with even weight distribution from front and back. It is also recognized for having a wider drive-through area, allowing easier in and out for broad automobiles.

Advantages of Using Symmetric Lifts?

To have a more precise overview of what symmetric lifts offer, we’ve cited some advantages it has to offer.

  • Wider Drive-Through Area – Symmetric Lifts commonly offer a wider drive-through area than other alternatives, allowing for easier positioning.
  • Identical Weight Distribution – Since the arms are of equal length, symmetric lifts evenly distribute the weight of your vehicle, providing stability and minimizing the risk of disproportionately elevating the car.
  • Straightforward Mechanism – Symmetric Lifts have a pretty specific mechanism and require minimal modifications even for different vehicles. 
  • Easy Access to Front and Rear End – The vehicle is positioned right in the middle when using symmetric lifts, which allows even access for the front and rear parts of the car during the operation.

What is a 2-Post Asymmetrical Lift?

As opposed to the symmetric lift that has an arm with equal length, asymmetrical lifts, on the other hand, pose a slightly different configuration that might be a better alternative for other types of vehicles. If the arms of asymmetrical lifts are fully-extended, you’ll notice that one arm is shorter than the other. The positioning in asymmetrical lifts is different as the vehicle’s front tire is set just past the column while about 70% of the car is seated behind the column. This is ideally functional for off-center loading, which fixes the common difficulty of opening and closing front doors when using symmetric lifts. 

Advantages of Using Asymmetric Lifts?

To have a more precise overview of what asymmetric lifts offer, we’ve cited some advantages it has to offer.

  • Easier Access On Vehicle’s Door – The most commonly regarded advantage of asymmetric lifts is that it allows easier interior access while operating as you can conveniently open and close the door of your vehicle without hitting the columns.
  • Allows Off-Center Loading – An uneven length of arms in asymmetric lifts will enable you to achieve off-center loading.
  • Short and Back Arm Can Point in the Same Direction – This feature is excellent if you’re trying to lift a vehicle with a short wheelbase, allowing you to position the arms underneath without hitting the tires effortlessly.
  • Ideal for Cars, Light Trucks, and other Automobiles – Asymmetric Lifts are ideally used for vehicles with a longer wheelbase and heavier on the rear.

What is the weight ratio for an asymmetrical lift?

The typical weight distribution for asymmetrical lifts is 70/30. 70% of the vehicle seats behind the column, while 30% is in front. This weight ratio makes the asymmetrical lift ideal for cars primarily heavier on the rear, typically longer vehicles.

What is the weight ratio for a symmetrical lift?

On the other hand, the weight ratio on symmetrical lifts is 50/50. This weight ratio is because the fully extended arms of symmetric lifts are identical in length for both lift columns. This permits an evenly distributed weight load and easy access for both the front and rear of the vehicle during operations.

Is symmetrical or asymmetric lift better?

So which one’s better, symmetrical or asymmetrical lifts? The answer to this will vary depending on your intended application. Consider things like the wheelbase length, what type of vehicles you will use the lift more often, and other factors. Generally speaking, both lifts have distinct advantages compared to the other and are primarily designed to elevate automobiles safely for repair work. 

You will find some of the finest two post car and truck lifts here.

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