Car ramps, good or bad idea, any opinions

Hi, I have s pair of steel car ramps which are nearly as old as me, I can’t remember the last time I used them other than for oil changing the wife’s Civic, they are no use for the campervan and the motorcycle won’t balance on them, so, that just leaves the Mx, what do you think any use or am I be better off using the trolley jack and axle stands? I’m getting to the age where rolling around under cars is losing its appeal (other than for oil changing) and the ramps are taking up space I don’t have!
All thoughts welcome.
Regards Dave

Ramps are always safer. You can run one end up on ramps and jack and stand the other end safely.

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I’m in the midst of a Rocketeer conversion and wasn’t happy working under the car using only axle stands, so i’ve got one end up on ramps now with axle stands at the other end, which is much safer as richardn said.

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Thanks Richard and Fivealive, good point something I have to chew over although I can’t see me wanting to work on the underneath to that extent maybe just oil changing and the like, maybe I’m starting to answer my own question !
Again thank you.

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Will the 5 go on the ramps without fouling due to height/overhang? You may need to also have a pre-ramp ramp if your car is quite low.

Good point Ian, I have to use a pre ramp ramp 2 pieces of 2inch thick timber when using for the Civic :+1:


You can buy a ramp extension for low slung cars.

This is a pretty cool idea tempted to construct one of these.

Ha, I think I have the same ones! :rofl: Not used mine for years TBH. All of my MX5’s have been ‘ahem’ lowered? So not that easy to use. However, they are built like the Forth Road Bridge and very substantial. My problem has always been that they’ve tended to slide a bit when trying to roll up the ramps and on your own, it’s not been easy to get on them sometimes. I now use trolley jack to raise and then axle stands. They’re 2 tonne jobbies that I bought years ago for a LWB Pajero project, well on top of their game.
Stay safe.


Attach a long piece of wagon strap to the ramp that will trap under the rear wheels…ramp is held in place as you drive up


There is always a solution! Thanks Richard, great idea :bulb::+1:

I need to use two pieces of wood cut with a chamfer and placed at the start of both ramps. That way the underside of the body work does not rub on the ramp going up or coming down.
Always remember to use chocks behind the wheels left on the floor.

Thanks for the replies guys some interesting tip’s, I do what Steeve does chamfered wood, point is though wether to keep or bin them as they take a lot of space for such infrequent use, what do you guys do for your oil changes on your Mx 5s ?

That’s the way I’m thinking of going Barrie, suitable for doing wheel / brake / suspension work as well


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Sell them rather than throw them away. Someone should need them, I know I do…
Currently my oil changes are done with one side of the car on axle stands, and those do not inspire confidence while shaking the oil filter loose.


I use my ramps frequently for easier access to clean underneath the car. One can see and reach far more areas underneath than pressure washing without ramps can achieve. Also, there are several areas under the car where high pressure washing can be detrimental.
Chassis, suspension components plus other mud and road-salt traps are all worthy of a wash down numerous times a year, possibly followed by a light coating of grease or moisture repellent on exposed bolt threads, even if not a daily driver. It’s also the best way of spotting and treating minor corrosion and underbody component faults before they develop into serious issues.
Most of us are keen to have the visible body paintwork polished and buffed to showroom condition, but where do all the rust and seized bolt issues occur that are frequent forum topics?
Pressure washing underneath on a medium pressure setting is great for getting the thick crud off, but making use of your ramps, a soft brush and an old sponge will get you into most of the corners that are normally ignored, and ensure the metal worm is kept at bay for much longer.
If you buy cars new or nearly new, don’t care what’s going on underneath, and sell your car on within the first few years please ignore all of the above, but if your car’s a keeper your ramps can be one of your best garage assets.

Yes, use ramps at one end and axle stands at the other, rather than axle stands at both ends. The latter just isn’t stable. I once saw a Hillman Hunter rock backwards and collapse over four axle stands. The owner had been working underneath and came out, leaned his behind against the front of the car and it just rocked back slightly and the stands went over. Trying to get a jack under it in the narrow garage was a nightmare because it had no wheels fitted. It could easily have been fatal.

I’ve used a piece of old carpet threaded through the lowest part of ramps and then doubled back. The car runs over the doubled carpet and then the stand can’t slide away from the wheel.

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Hello, I know that this discussion is about ramps however, I thought it might be an opportunity to ask if anyone has bought and/or has used one of the many car lifts that are available for domestic use. The picture I have pasted below is the Sealey portable pivot car lift with a lift capacity of 1500 Kg. I am thinking about getting as I have very limited space. It would be good to get some feed back on this. Thanks.

Thanks Paul and AMA good food for thought comments, I am thinking that I may wait a while and see, especially as the power washing underneath is appealing, JOPA that looks like a great bit of kit but I think personally that I would still like to back it up with axle stands or something solid.
Thanks all.

A local garage has one and used it on my Eunos when they were changing the discs as their main ramp (similar tech but much bigger) was occupied. Theirs also tilts. I was wondering about getting one but then the Mr Sensible part of the brain enquired as to when I would use it!

Along with standard car ramps and the ramp extension for low cars (see above) I bought 4 x 3 ton axle stands for £50 and a £20 2 ton trolley Jack from ALDI. Sorted.