Auto Repair Safety Rules

Part of the Auto Repair For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When you’re repairing your car or doing basic maintenance, practice these safety methods to avoid injury to yourself and damage to your automobile and to be prepared in case of a mishap:

  • Don’t smoke while you’re working on your vehicle.

  • Never work on your vehicle unless the parking brake is on, the gearshift is in Park or Neutral, and the engine is shut off (unless it has to be running for you to do the work).

  • Be sure that the parts of the engine you’re working on are cold so that you don’t get burned.

  • Never jack up a car unless the wheels are properly blocked.

  • Use insulated tools for electrical work.

  • Before using a wrench or ratchet on a part that seems to be stuck, make sure that if it suddenly comes loose, your hand won’t hit anything. To avoid the possibility of bruised knuckles, pull on wrenches rather than push them whenever possible.

  • Before working on your car, take off your rings, tie, long necklaces, and other jewelry, and tie back long hair.

  • If you’re using toxic chemicals such as coolant, cleaners, and the like, keep them away from your mouth and eyes, wash your hands thoroughly after using them, and either store them safely away from pets and children or dispose of them in a way that’s safe for the environment.

  • Know that gasoline is extremely dangerous to have around. Not only is it toxic and flammable, but the vapor in an empty can is explosive enough to take out a city block.

  • Work in a well-ventilated area. If possible, work outdoors in your driveway, your backyard, or a parking lot. If you must work in your garage, be sure to keep the garage door open and the vehicle as close to the door as possible.

  • Keep fire extinguishers handy. Place one in your garage and one under the front seat of your vehicle. (Be sure to secure it with a bracket that will prevent it from rolling under the pedals.)

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