Thursday, June 27, 2013

Safety Concerns When Working on Your Own Vehicle

Repairing your own vehicle is sometimes a necessity, particularly if you don’t have the funds to hire a professional. While there can be a certain satisfaction in solving and repairing the various problems that arise as you use your vehicle each day, you should also be aware of safety concerns—issues that every mechanic takes into account as they work on cars in their daily profession. While you will find many suggestions here, there is more info about car safety online.
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Working Safely with Vehicles

Cars are heavy; they are hot, filled with noxious chemicals, sharp, composed of spinning and other moving parts, and they are on wheels. With all of these potential danger areas, working on cars can be quite hazardous indeed. Here is a quick list of some of the major safety concerns that you should bear in mind as you work on your own vehicle:

1. Don’t use a jack as your only source of support for a car, especially if you are putting your body beneath the vehicle. Jacks are designed to raise and lower a vehicle, but you should use axle stands to hold the vehicle up once the jack has raised it to a sufficient height. Ramps can be used if you aren’t working on the wheels.
2. Since the wheels aren’t locked into place, use chocks (or some other blocking device) to stop the car from rolling off the stands.
3. When working on a vehicle, put on the handbrake, and put it into first gear (manual) or park (automatic).
4. Check your clothing and hair to ensure that no loose strands or baggy sleeves will be caught in moving parts. Also, remove rings, watches, and jewelry to avoid unwanted entanglement.
5. Make sure you do not run the vehicle in a closed-off space, unless you have the exhaust fumes running through a pipe to the outside. Even then, it is better to have the area open to the outside in case the pipe has leaks.
6. Be sure to protect your eyes with safety goggles.
7. If you are working on your back for extended periods of time, purchase a rolling bench to save yourself discomfort.
8. Make sure you have adequate light to enable you to see the area you are working on with perfect clarity. There are plenty of choices for illumination, from flashlights to lights on stands.
9. Never smoke near an engine, as gas fumes may be present.
10. Keep a fire extinguisher close by.
11. Never work on your vehicle when you are compromised physically from: drink, prescription drugs, or other health related issues.

If you follow these rules you will avoid many of the potential danger areas associated with car repair. As always, there is more info to be found on the web detailing these and other potential safety concerns when acting as your own mechanic.

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