27 Apr 2017
But anytime you work with heavy, mechanical objects, safety needs to be a top priority. There are a lot of things that can go wrong. The last thing you want is to ruin an enjoyable time playing under the hood or beneath your car.
Here are some safety tips for staying safe while working on your car, truck, or other vehicles.
Have the Right Tools for the Job
Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need to do the job from start to finish. This includes any repair guides, owner’s manuals, or technical service documents to which you may need to refer.
It also includes safety equipment such as an ABC-rated fire extinguisher and a first aid kit, as well as personal protective equipment like safety goggles, a tight-fitting coverall that won’t get caught on spinning fans or moving parts, and gloves that can protect you from chemical fluids.
It’s also a good idea to take off any jewelry, such as watches, rings, or chains before you begin so they don’t get snagged. And either wear a hat or tie up any long hair so it won’t get caught.
Light and Air
Two of the most important tools you will need are light and air.
Make sure the area where you are working is well ventilated. Never start a motor in a closed garage because the carbon monoxide fumes created by the engine exhaust are toxic. Instead, keep the garage door open at all times or work outside.
Working on your vehicle outdoors will also give you plenty of light so you can see what you are doing. If weather or other variables force you to work in a garage, make sure you have work lamps or other light sources.
Working Under Your Vehicle
If you need to work beneath the vehicle and you don’t happen to have a hydraulic lift in your garage, park the vehicle on a flat concrete surface then use floor jacks that are rated to support the weight of your car or truck. You will need at least two sturdy jack stands, as well as wheel blocks.
Use a crawler designed for automotive repair use to gain access to the undercarriage of your vehicle. This lets you roll in and out easily, increasing the safety.
It’s also a good idea not to work alone when repairing or maintaining your vehicle. Having a buddy not only keeps you company but also improve safety if an emergency occurs.