Everything needs a bit of tweaking and fixing because things don’t come packaged in perfection. So, whether it’s a business learning from their NPS survey tool feedback or a DIY carpenter adjusting the door frame, a bit of maintenance here and there will always be present. It’s just naturally ingrained in all of us and nearly all the things we do.
Car maintenance also falls into this category because tweaking and care go a long way to increasing a vehicle’s lifespan and bringing out the max mileage. However, people often fall into the false sense of security that they can open up the front hood and go to town on their cars without taking the necessary safety precautions.
Can’t We Fix It Like Normal?
Movies and a lot of mainstream media like to portray car care with a man shirtless sporting washboard abs and only a wrench in hand, calling this normal. However, this is far from what you’d actually look like when inspecting and working on a car, and any professional car mechanic would gladly agree.
Remember, your car is a massive hunk of metal that runs on either petrol or electricity, and with those two things combined, you’d be out of your mind not to take any extra safety measures. Car maintenance comes with its fair share of risks, and like any other practice, the responsible thing to do is minimize the risk of potential dangers.
#1 Always Wear Eye Protection
Whether you’re doing basic inspection under the car or some minor repairs under the hood, you should always wear appropriate eye protection to keep you safe. Eye injuries are very much possible with one slip up, and depending on the difficulty of repair or tools for the job, even blindness isn’t a stretch from the possible things that can happen.
So, do yourself a favor and get a reliable pair of safety glasses, goggles, or maybe a full-face shield if you plan on doing more intricate work on your daily driver. This simple protective equipment will prevent any particles from getting into your eyes and keep them safe from sparks and open flames.
#2 Remove Accessories and Avoid Loose Clothing
Unless you’re cleaning the inside of your car and doing some interior detailing, please do yourself the courtesy of removing any accessories and avoid wearing loose clothing. Sure, we understand that it might feel a bit more comfortable working in them, and you don’t really want to be bothered with taking off your accessories, but these things can pose a danger under certain conditions.
- Things Can Get Stuck In The Wrong Places: Any necklace, bracelet, or loose shirt can easily get stuck in the wrong places. Plus, with so many moving parts inside a car’s engine, you’ll only find yourself more stuck the more you resist. What’s worse, constantly tugging away runs the risk of the car’s hood falling on you.
- Avoid Running Engines: As a general rule of thumb, you want to avoid working on running engines. It can get extremely hot, and you don’t want to touch anything accidentally. And when you have accessories or loose clothing on, this only puts you in even greater danger.
#3 Stay in Well-Ventilated Areas
While people love holding up inside their garages to work on their cars, ensure that it is well-ventilated. When you have to work on a running engine, you don’t want to come into long exposures to carbon monoxide.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
While carbon monoxide may sound harmless like casual carbon dioxide, this gas that comes from your exhaust is actually poisonous. What’s worse is that it’s odorless and can’t be seen, which means you won’t detect anything inside your garage until it’s too late. You’ll start to have headaches, feel dizzy, and can become unconscious or die from copious amounts of carbon monoxide.
#4 Disconnect the Ground Cable
Sometimes you’ll have to work on your car’s electrical system, and when you do, always disconnect the ground cable before moving any further. Typically, this is often the negative battery terminal and will prevent any sparks, fires, and damages to the electrical system.
The last thing you’ll want on your hands is your daily driver catching fire and not having a fire extinguisher at the ready. But, if the worst-case scenario does happen, always shut off the power as quickly as possible.
#5 Don’t Trust a Jack ONLY
You’ve probably heard the horror stories of people getting crushed by their cars, and if you don’t want that happening to you, please don’t trust a jack to support your entire vehicle while you work underneath. Jacks are only used to raise or lower the car slightly, but never as full support. So, always use safety stands or jack stands to support your car safely.
If you don’t have any available, trust a professional mechanic to do the work and not risk your life on a simple repair. What purpose will a daily driver have if you can’t drive it!
Better Safe Than Sorry
The bottom line; it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, take our advice and put it into action the next time you decide to do some car maintenance. And, feel free to share this with your friends, so they don’t run into any risk on their car care too.