A huge part of our website here at My Pro Street is dedicated to the DIY’er and shadetree mechanic. But even for those uninitiated or inexperienced, it’s not hard to use our site to save yourself some money. When you do the job yourself you not only save yourself money, but you know what’s been done and have the satisfaction of knowing you did the job right.
You should also do the proper research, either from our How-To section or our FAQ section about how to do your job in question. If you are not technically or mechanically inclined however, there’s a few questions you should ask yourself before embarking on your do-it-yourself adventure.
- Do I really want to do this?
- Do I know how to do it? If not, where do I go to learn?
- Does it require such expensive tools that it would cost less to have someone do it for me than to buy those tools? Can I borrow the tools I need?
- If I encounter a problem, can something be seriously damaged?
- How long will it take, and what Is my time worth? How much money will I save by doing it myself?
These simple guidelines will help keep you from a bad project or one that you discover you should have never undertaken in the first place.
But there’s still some guidelines and things you need to keep in mind when you do it yourself. First and foremost is to keep safety in mind. This checklist of top safety rules when working on your car will help keep you safe and from harm. And don’t be afraid to know when a project is too big for you or has beaten you. Often times stopping and taking your project to a professional is the best way to resolve your issue.
Top Ten Safety Rules
- Don’t Smoke – This one’s pretty obvious. Because you are working on your car, whether or not you are dealing with fuel it’s always a good idea to put your smoke break off until you have finished. There’s never a good reason to have a lit cigarette near your car when you are working on it.
- Parking Brake… Use it! – Always engage your parking brake no matter what you are doing to your car! Even if all you are doing is changing the spark plugs and have no reason to get under or near your wheels, it’s a good idea to use your parking brake.
- Block It! – You should never raise or jack your vehicle up without proper blocks or chocks that are securing the wheels left on the ground. For more information, check our How to Use a Jack, or How to Change a Tire articles.
- Remove Loose articles – Take off your rings, long necklaces, or other jewelry. Make sure the clothes you wear are comfortable and do not have any excess fabric that can come off, get caught or stuck in your drive belts or other moving components. If you have long hair, now is the time to tie it back safely.
- Breathing.. it’s important – If you are working near fuel or in an enclosed area, always make sure you have proper ventilation and air flow coming into and out of the workspace. When soldering, welding or cutting metals, debris and smoke can get into your eyes and lungs. Carbon monoxide is deadly
- Dispose of fuel the right way – Gasoline is toxic, dangerous and highly flammable. It’s fumes can combust and cause serious damage so it’s not just the fluid or gas you need to worry about it’s the vapors as well. Step 6 goes hand in hand with Step 5. Make sure you have a proper container for your fuel if you are adding or draining, make sure it’s not metal, cannot spark and has the proper vent tubing. Check How To Dispose of Gasoline for more details on this aspect of working on your car.
- Keep Safety equipment near – This one involves a bit of pre-planning with your DIY project. If you are working on the fuel system in your car, have a fire extinguisher ready. If you are working on the electrical components, having eye wash or a fire extinguisher is also a good idea. When undertaking a DIY project, make sure you have the right safety tools in case something with your job goes wrong.
- Always have a buddy – Having a friend who can come by and help you out with the wrenching aspect of the job is always nice. But even if your friend does not have any technical expertise to their name, ask them to come hang out. It’s always a good idea to wrench with a buddy in case something goes wrong or you need immediate help in case of injury.
- Wear Safety Goggles – Easily one of the biggest safety rules for anyone working on a car, safety goggles are a must have. This is especially true when you’re working with toxic chemicals, such as antifreeze, cleaners, and fuel.
- Common Sense… Use it – One of the best and most commonly overlooked safety rules, use your common sense. Before changing or doing anything that you think may be dangerous, take the time to stop and think about your logical plan of attack. Taking time to do it right can not only save time and money, but save you the embarrassment of having to do it over again.
That does it for our Top Ten Safety Rules when working on cars, make sure to stick to these guidelines when using our website and you’ll be great!