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How to make your own auto ramps

Updated February 21, 2017

Cars are beautiful and almost essential machines. Repairs can be costly, but some basic car repairs can be done by just about anyone. Anyone with a simple set of auto ramps will be able to perform a wider variety of car maintenance at home. Car ramps can be purchased at most auto parts stores, or can be made with simple supplies that you can buy at a hardware store.

Measure and mark the wood for cutting. Make a mark at 24 inches, 42 inches, 60 inches and 78 inches. Next to each mark, write a "T" to indicate the top. Cut another 2-inch piece of wood to act as a stopper.

Repeat for a second set of wooden planks.

Glue the 60-inch piece onto the 78-inch piece, making sure that the edges marked "T" line up.

Drill six pilot holes into the glued plank, then sink six wood screws into those holes. Put these screw holes about one and a half inches in from all sides. This prevents the wood from splitting, which makes the ramp more stable overall.

Dab glue on the underside of the 42-inch piece, and lay it on top of the 60-inch piece, aligning the "T" marks again.

Drill four more pilot holes into the 42-inch piece of wood before putting in the wood screws, making sure that they don't hit the screws on the lower level.

Glue the 24-inch piece on top of the 42-inch piece, aligning the "T" marks as before.

Drill another four pilot holes and screw the wood down one more time. The pilot holes should be around one and a half inches in from all corners of the topmost plank so that they don't hit the screws below.

Glue the final piece over the "T" mark on the 24-inch piece, drill two pilot holes so they don't collide with any screws below, and screw that plank into place.

Repeat Steps 2 through 8 for the second set of planks to build a second ramp.

Leave the glue to dry overnight.

Park your car on your street or driveway with at least 7 feet of clear space in front of and behind the car to operate on.

Place and centre the ramps straight in front of the wheels. The car will roll up so the tires rest against the stoppers on the top step of your ramp.

Test that the ramps are sturdy before putting your car on them. Try to wiggle them, stand on them.

Push or drive the car up the ramps, making sure to stop just before the stoppers.

Check that the car is sturdily standing on the ramp before crawling underneath. Push the car a little and look at the ramps, are they moving? If so, you should either try another location or place shims underneath to make sure the car does not fall on top of you.

Place some type of chock behind the rear tires, just in case the car starts to roll backwards while you work on it. This can be a heavy rock, a triangular piece of wood, or a professionally-made chock.

Roll or drive the car off the ramps when finished.

Tip

If you cannot get a car ramp, or the wood, and really need to get under you car, you can pull the car up onto your spare tire. Push or drive the car onto the spare tire as if it were a ramp. Make sure you don't drive all the way over the tire.

Things You'll Need

  • 35-feet of 2x10-inch wood
  • Marker or pencil
  • Saw
  • Wood glue
  • Drill
  • 3-inch wood screws
  • Rock, rail tie or chock
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About the Author

Grahame Turner has worked as a freelance writer since 2009 and a freelance reporter since 2010 for Wellesley Patch and Jamaica Plain Patch in Massachusetts. He also works part-time as a bookseller at the Northeastern University bookstore. He is a Northeastern University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English.