Stay Safe While Working On Your Car

Written by a Guest Blogger – This post was written and contributed by Edson Farnell. Edson writes about various automotive topics. Many of Edson’s friends refer to him as the Auto Parts Geek.

Working on your own car is a great way to save money on costly labor fees. Many malfunctions that a car has can be prevented with regular maintenance. You can even fix many of the glitches on your own, to cut down on mechanic costs. The most important aspect, though, is making sure that you stay safe while working your car. There are electrical circuits, gas lines and various fluids that can easily create an unsafe situation if not treated with the proper respect and care.

A general across-the-board tip for basic car safety is to never work on your car while the engine is hot. Even after your car has been running for only a few minutes, parts of it can be hot enough to cause a serious burn.

Proper Information

Information is the most important tool that you’ll require. Working on your car is something where you must know exactly what you’re doing beforehand. It’s not like building a birdhouse where you can wing it and probably be all right. Your safety depends on having the right information and nothing else.

Before you start any job, acquire precise technical information about the procedure you are about to attempt. Read through step-by-step instructions absolutely, before you start doing anything.

You can find this information at plenty of auto repair shops. You will be able to easily find complete owner’s manuals that detail how to perform any sort of maintenance or repair that your car will need. You can also find a large portion of this information online, too. If you are unsure about how to do something, ask a professional. Humbling yourself and seeking help is far less painful than a third degree burn on your forehead.

Proper Equipment

Once you have the know-how, you’ll need the right tools! The tools that you’ll require will depend on the job you are about to start. The information you already acquired will outline the tools needed for the job. As you’ve seen when you visit your mechanic, they have a full garage full of various tools. Chances are, if you don’t, you’ll be spending a pretty penny on building a tool collection.

There are some generic pieces of equipment that are worth investing in if you will be regularly working on your car.

• Jack stands – Quality jack stands create a solid foundation for your car. Ensure that the stands you purchase are capable of holding the entire weight of your car; they will list their weight capacity.

• Lighting – A few quality flood lamps will save your eyes and your temper. Nothing is more frustrating than having to stop a complicated procedure because your lighting is being blocked.

• Another person – While they may be insulted to be considered “equipment,” having someone else to work with is essential. There are many hazards that cannot be planned for when working on your car. Having another person present means they can seek help should you be rendered unable to.

Proper State of Mind

Work sober: plain and simple. You may end up attempting a procedure you are unprepared for, having hands that aren’t as steady as they should be or simply being unable to handle the equipment required.

Be Smart, Be Prepared, Be Sober

Staying safe while working on your car largely boils down to common sense. Know what you’re doing and have the right tools for the project. Be in the correct state of mind to focus on the task at hand. Make sure that all the parts you are using are handled safely and correctly, you can trust a website like PartsGeek to assure your parts are reliable.


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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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