Auto Shop Safety Tips For Car And Bike Owners

By Ian Tate

Whether you're fixing your vehicle at home or working at an auto shop, the following safety tips should come in handy.

Support the vehicle properly. Virtual show of hands here - who is guilty of using some do-it-yourself jack made up of random doohickeys to lift their vehicle up from the ground or using a stock bottle jack to lift up the car before crawling under? Since most of you probably would have raised your hands if I was talking to you face to face, then let me be the first to discourage this through this tip. And make sure you at least have decent jack stands to ensure your car stays in its place. Never crawl under a raised automobile weighing several tons without the proper support.

Wear the right safety gear. This one seems obvious, but most mechanics just grab some air tools and go to work. Why, a pair of safety glasses will keep your eyes safe and won't cost you your life savings! It only takes a little metal shaving to stick in your eye and cause a lot of damage. Also, mechanic's gloves may be necessary as well for your repair work. They combine ample protection for your hands with light weight that allows you to feel around things. Consider this if you don't want your engine block stained with human blood - yours, that is.

Have the proper tools on hand. It is very tempting to just improvise with what you have on hand in your garage. If you don't have 'em, then borrow from your father, brother, co-worker, neighbor, why, even that random stranger passing by - but don't steal, because crime does not pay! A good example, is not using a good torque wrench. Torquing your engine properly is very, very important, and you don't want those cylinder heads damaged. In addition, you need a good transmission jack. The wrong one could damage your transmission, which is made of soft aluminum.

A good manual helps. Consider this if you want to live longer - really, we're serious with this one. Reading the manual pops light bulbs in your head instead of decision diamonds, and ensures that you, the auto shop or garage mechanic, get the job done the right way. Read it when in doubt, and we personally suggest Chilton, a maker of fine manuals for decades and counting.

Common sense is not that common. Use your brain too. Far too many mechanics, professional or otherwise, operate a gas tank with their good friend Marlboro dangling from their lips, or operate a running engine as their necktie dangles precariously close to the fan blade.

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