Maintaining your automobile is a great skill and practice that, when done properly, can ensure you have a safe and well functioning vehicle for transportation and even save you some money. Most people will use mechanics, which is fine, but there are some people that out of pride or stubbornness feel a deep need to take care of the family car themselves. Hopefully, if you’ve gone down this road you already have some experience with automobile repair. Even so, there are some often overlooked safety guidelines that can prevent injury while working on an automobile. Here we’ll look at some important tips for automobile repair that will leave you with all your fingers and hopefully completely out of harms way.
Prepare a Work Area
Before you even begin working on your car there are some easy preparations you can take to make the experience safer. Make sure that you have a well ventilated area to work in. There are a number of hazardous chemicals used in automobiles that can be very dangerous in small unventilated areas. If you are planning to work underneath the car make sure that the wheels are properly blocked before you jack the car. Also make sure that you have safety goggles, insulated tools, and a fire extinguisher in your workplace. Also be sure that the car has its parking brake engaged before you begin your work.
Automobiles contain a number of different flammable materials so it is important not to smoke or have exposed flames present when working on your automobile. Additionally, the engine of your car operates at sometimes extreme temperatures. Make sure that the car is turned off (unless you need it on) and the parts that you are working on are cool enough not to burn you. Be especially careful before you remove the radiator cap, it can take a couple of hours for the cooling system to be ready to work on. Additionally the cooling system fans can remain active even after the car is shut off. If you need the engine running make sure that you aren’t wearing loose clothing, a tie, and have any long hair tied up. If you are working with a wrench or ratchet it’s preferable to pull instead of push so that you won’t slip and end up with bruised knuckles.
Part of being safe while you work on your vehicle is maintaining a proper work environment. After you finish be sure to keep your area clean and organized. Wipe up any spills and properly store any chemicals that may be hazardous. It’s a good habit to get in that will make regular maintenance easier and safer.