Best Car Ramps: Our Top Picks for Lifting Your Vehicle
Our top picks for the best car ramps for your home garage.
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If you work on your car at home, there are many tools you can use to make your job easier, such as car ramps. They are safer and more convenient than other tools that do the same thing. The best car ramps provide adequate clearance for tasks like oil changes, belt changes, and other maintenance work you can do in your own garage or driveway.
Why Buy Car Ramps?
- Do more work on your car. You’ll have limited access to your vehicle's undercarriage if you try to do the work with a mechanic’s creeper. With high car ramps, however, you can get a much larger range of motion to get the job done.
- More ground clearance. When working on a vehicle, it can be difficult to access certain areas without getting underneath it. Garage car ramps open up the undercarriage, so you can get beneath it with less difficulty and more space.
- Better stability and safety than jack stands. If used in the wrong way, jack stands can fail, possibly causing serious injury or even death. Car maintenance ramps are a safer alternative since the wheels sit on bigger platforms that are less likely to fall or break down.
- Less expensive than hiring a mechanic. If you don’t want to pay for a mechanic, car ramps are a good way to save money. Do the work yourself instead of hiring someone else and cringing at the credit card statement that follows.
- Simple use. The best vehicle ramps are easy to install and use. Instead of wasting time with a wheel jack, just line up the ramps and carefully drive up until the vehicle is secure.
Types of Car Ramps
Heavy-Duty Car Ramps
If you are working on a larger car or truck, you may want to consider investing in ramps that can handle the extra weight. Heavy-duty ramps, often made of solid steel, can hold heavier vehicles than typical high car ramps due to larger weight capacity. Don't forget to check the weight of your ride before getting large car ramps.
Low-Profile Car Ramps
Some cars sit lower to the ground than others. Low-profile auto ramps are better for such cars because they have a smaller ramp angle that reduces the possibility of harming the bumper or bodywork as you drive onto them.
Some ramps feature a two-piece design. These ramps allow you to detach a part of the ramp once the vehicle is on. This action eliminates the slope from the ramp when you push the locking mechanism to disengage them. The extra pieces can be used as chocks as well.
Car Ramp Top Brands
Race Ramps, a division of Brute Technologies, is based in Escanaba, Michigan. They have won a slew of new product awards and have been featured in several high-profile publications such as Car and Driver and Motor Trend. They provide customers with high-quality products and superior customer support. One of their most popular products is the two-piece RR-56-2 56” Race Ramp.
Scepter USA is a relatively new company based in Miami, Oklahoma. In operation since 2013, Scepter aims to develop great products for its customers. In addition to car ramps, Scepter produces fuel containers, oil pans, drip trays, siphons, and other products designed to make car maintenance easier. Their most popular car ramp is the Scepter 08226 Plastic Automotive Ramp Set.
Rhino Gear Manufacturing, Inc.
Rhino Gear Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately-held small business based in Painesville, Ohio, and has been making a variety of products since 2005. In addition to car ramps, they design steel pinions, gears, pulleys, sprockets, and other moving parts. One of their best-selling products is the 11912ABMI RhinoRamps MAX Vehicle Ramp.
- Under $50: There are just a few basic car ramps in this price range. Some of them are very good in quality and value.
- $50-$200: The majority of car ramps fall into this category. Many provide the strength and clearance to work on a variety of vehicle sizes and shapes.
- Over $200: Car ramps in this price category tend to have more longevity and durability than their counterparts. They may be pricier, but they are likely to last longer.
Ramps need to be tall enough for you to work beneath the vehicle. Make sure they are high enough for tasks such as an oil change. Some parts of a vehicle may be hot when you work, so the extra space can be helpful to prevent burns.
It’s important that your ramp set is wide enough so it can support the width of the tires on your vehicle. You’ll want to ensure that the car will not fall off the ramps, which can happen if the ramps are too narrow.
Car ramps come in a variety of materials. Aluminum or metal car ramps are often a top choice if you require heavy-duty ramps for larger and heavier vehicles such as trucks, SUVs, and campers. Some ramps are made of plastic, polymer, resin or composite materials. These types of ramps tend to be lighter weight, making them easier to use and store in your garage or workshop.
- Grip. Some ramps are designed to prevent slippage using grooves or grids that grip the tires while allowing water, snow, dirt, and other debris to slide off.
- Incline. If you have a low-clearance vehicle, like a sports car, you will need a ramp with a lower angle of incline to prevent the front or bumpers from hitting the ramp.
- Tire stops. Keeping the tires on the ramps as the vehicle rolls up will prevent unnecessary accidents. Examine the ramps to see what protection they offer to prevent the tires from sliding over and off the ramp.
Car Ramp Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Car Ramp Overall: Scepter 08226 Plastic Automotive Ramp Set
These ramps feature a parabolic arch that runs through each center to support and distribute a vehicle's weight, allowing each set to hold up to 12,000 pounds. At 10 x 35 inches, the Scepter all-weather ramps are lightweight and have a grid design that permits water, snow, dirt, and other debris to roll off.
These ramps have a good height-to-angle ratio and aren't too steep. The height enables you to work easily under the front of a vehicle. The deep grooves of the ramp provide a lot of traction, particularly in comparison to some other ramps that allow tires to slip in certain weather conditions. The Scepter ramps provide enough strength to hold an average vehicle. The bumps on the ends of the ramps keep the wheels from going over the edges.
One downside is the lift height is just around six inches, which is less than other car ramps on the market. As a result, it may be difficult to use other tools in conjunction with the ramps due to the lack of clearance.
Best Value Car Ramp: RhinoGear 11909ABMI RhinoRamps Vehicle Ramps Set of 2
These rugged ramps are reliable and easy to use. They are also simple to stack out of the way when not in use. The RhinoRamps feature a non-skid base and a tread pattern that prevents tires from slipping with a 17-degree incline that is useful for low-clearance vehicles. They can hold vehicles up to 12,000 GVW (gross vehicle weight) with tires as wide as nine inches.
The ramps are very sturdy, made of a heavy-duty polymer. It takes just seconds to set them up and drive a vehicle onto them. They also provide a good amount of clearance: enough to place a five-gallon water bucket underneath.
The main downside is if you hit the guards on the ends of the ramps while driving, the vehicle may drag them forward. Too much power or momentum can cause the ramps to slide and potentially crack if there is too much force on the tops.
Best Car Ramp Honorable Mention: Race Ramps RR-40 40” Race Ramp
These lightweight ramps are specially designed so they don't scuff up the garage floor. They feature a 16.7-degree angle of approach and are intended for sports cars such as Miatas, BMWs, and Jaguars. They're also ideal for vehicles that have short front ends. The Race Ramps can accommodate vehicles up to 1,500 pounds per ramp with a maximum tire width of eight inches.
These ramps are made of heavy, foam-like material and provide a good amount of clearance. They are large but light and easy to maneuver. With a large surface, they grip the ground securely, preventing slippage when moving a vehicle forward or backing it down.
The ramps are only suitable for smaller sports cars with tires measuring eight inches or smaller in width. Under heavy weight, the ramps can deform and bulge slightly without losing structural integrity. These ramps are also pricier than some other options on the market.
Tips / Advice
- We recommend working on a flat surface as the safest method for using ramps. Be sure to line the ramps up with your front or rear wheels first.
- When using ramps, leave the car in gear and apply the parking brake to prevent the vehicle from rolling. These measures will keep the car as still as possible.
- Make sure you check that the ramp you plan on using is rated to support the vehicle it will be holding. If your vehicle is too heavy, the ramps could fail.
- Consider purchasing wheel chocks to use alongside your set of garage car ramps. These simple devices tend to be inexpensive, are widely available, and offer tremendous safety benefits.
- Before driving your car up the ramps, make sure the tires are just barely touching the ramps. Drive forward slowly to avoid spinning your tires or driving off of the top.
- To prevent ramps from sliding on concrete, use carpet or rubber underlay for a little bit of extra grip.
Q: Why is a ramp’s length important?
A: When you select a car ramp, the angle shouldn't have a grade larger than 20 percent. Longer car ramps have smaller grades, so it’s easier to drive up.
Q: Why is a ramp’s width important?
A: It's essential to choose a ramp that can accommodate the size of your vehicle's tires. Wide car ramps are easier to drive on, but it's important to center your tires on the ramps. The wider the ramp, the more challenging it is to center your vehicle.
Q: How long will car ramps last?
A: Most types of car ramps will last for many, many years as long as they are used properly and stored in a protective environment.
Q: Are plastic car ramps safe?
A: Both metal and plastic car ramps are safe for use. Advances in technology have made it possible for plastic and polymer products to be as strong and resilient as their metal counterparts.
Our top pick for the best car ramps is the Scepter 08226 Plastic Automotive Ramp Set. They are lightweight, durable, and provide a lot of traction.
If you’re looking for something a little less pricey, consider the RhinoGear 11909 RhinoRamps Vehicle Ramps.
Tell us about your favorite car ramps in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.
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