Did you know that a whopping 2.2 million people in American rely on a wheelchair each day? Limited mobility can occur due to illnesses, accidents, or even birth defects.
Part of handling limited mobility is ensuring your chair is accessible whenever needed. This means you must be able to transport it anywhere you go.
Ready to install a chair lift on your car, but overwhelmed about getting started? Don’t worry, keep reading for everything you need to know!
1. Get a Towing Hitch
Unless your car already has a towing hitch, you will need to have one installed. Even if you are handy around power tools, leave this one to the pros.
If done incorrectly, it could lead to an accident and/or serious damage to your car.
You also have the option of buying a wheelchair access car if you want to avoid having a hitch added to your current car. These can be custom built to fit your exact needs.
2. Select a Chair Carrier
Probably one of the most important steps to take for installing a chair lift is picking the right chair carrier. Pick one that is large enough to fit the weight and size of your wheelchair, with little extra room.
Avoid buying a carrier that doesn’t come with a warranty. This will protect both your carrier and your chair.
3. Make A Few Adjustments
There are many DIY projects that you can do on your vehicle. Attaching a carrier may not be one of them.
To properly attach a carrier, you need to remove the ball of the towing hitch. You will attach the carrier directly to the hitch.
4. Check Clearance
The carrier you attach should be about 12-14 inches off of the ground. You have the option of connecting the equipment on top or under the towing drawbar.
If your carrier seems too high, you can purchase a drop extension to bring it closer to the ground. This drop extension can be installed using a socket wrench.
5. Connect and Attach Accessories
Many chair carriers come with sway bars. These help limit movement while driving your car. Be sure this component is installed exactly as the directions state.
If you make a mistake, you risk your chair being damaged or even falling off the carrier while you drive.
Other accessories you likely will need to install include an extension post and locking arm. Again, it is best to follow install directions for these.
Before hopping in your car, be sure to test the system. Place your chair on the carrier to see how it fits. Doing this will make sure it will stay safe and secure no matter what roads you drive on.
Travel With Your Wheelchair Stress-Free
As you can see, installing a chair lift doesn’t have to be complicated! With the right professional and right parts, soon you will never have to worry about your chair traveling with you.
Looking for some additional car repair information? Be sure to check out our extensive list of repair manuals!