Suggested lift maintenance practices

Garage Equipment Supply, a provider of high-performance automotive equipment (, offers this general lift maintenance tips for automotive lift systems:

Required monthly maintenance

  • Check arm adjusting locks for proper operation.
  • Inspect pivot arm pins and see that they remain secure.
  • Lubricate columns with grease and ensure they are plumb and square.
  • Check the tension of the equalizer cable and adjust if necessary.
  • Check all cable connections and inspect the cable bolts and pins to ensure proper mounting and torque.
  • Check for proper operation of the overhead cut-off switch if so equipped.
  • Visually inspect the safeties (braking systems) to ensure they are working properly.
  • Inspect the anchor bolts for looseness and re-tighten if necessary.

Wire rope inspection and lubrication

  • The American Petroleum Institute RP 54 states that lifting cables should be visually inspected at least once each day when in use.
  • Wire cables should be well-lubricated at all times and lubricated as often as necessary to keep them that way.
  • Sheaves and guide rollers in contact with the moving rope should be visually checked at an interval not to exceed three months. Look for surface wear. Lubricate these parts to ensure that they can run freely.
  • For sheave axles apply standard wheel bearing grease. For guide rollers and sheaves apply 90-WT gear oil or a similar heavy lubricant.

Inspecting a lift for broken wires

Step 1: Relax the cable to a stationary position.

Step 2: Move the pick-up points off the sheaves.

Step 3: Clean the surface with a cloth or a wire brush if necessary and look for any breaks.

Step 4: Flex the rope. This should show any broken wires that are hidden between the strands.

Step 5: Pass a cloth along the rope to see if it is snagged by a broken wire end from a crown break.

Step 6: To find internal broken wires, probe between wires and strands with an awl and lift any wires that appear loose.