DIY car repairs: Follow these safety tips

If you’re planning on doing some DIY car repairs and maintenance, there are some important safety considerations to be aware of.

If you are not used to DIY work, taking your car to a professional might be the best way to ensure your vehicle’s reliability. However, if you have the skills and the tools to perform the task, some basic guidelines will ensure your experience is safe and rewarding. Importantly, work within your skill level. Even a ‘simple’ task, like changing the oil, could result in expensive repair work if not done properly.

  Before you begin DIY car repairs

  • Thoroughly research the project and consult your manufacturer’s manual.
  • Ensure that you have the correct tools for the project.
  • Invest in safety equipment like goggles or eye protection, gloves, a dust mask, a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher.

 During the job

  • Wear the correct clothing. Don’t wear loose t-shirts that can get stuck in moving parts, tie back long hair, and remove all jewellery.
  • Do not smoke while working on your vehicle.
  • Plan the job during working hours, when it’s easy to pop out to buy extra parts if you need.
  • Work with someone. If this is not possible, at least try to ensure that there is someone else at home in case you need help. Keep your phone close by in case of an accident.
  • Never rely on one jack to support the car when you’re underneath it. Most cars come with a jack that is used to support one side of the car when changing a tyre but it’s not strong enough to support the full weight of the vehicle.
  • Jackstands and car ramps are designed to lift your vehicle for under-body repairs. Only lift your car on jackstands if you know they are rated to hold the weight of your car, and if you understand the appropriate jacking points of your vehicle.
  • Always work on a level surface.
  • Work in an area that is properly ventilated.

 After the work

  • Put the cap on all gasoline cans and solvents and store them in a dedicated flammables cabinet.
  • Dispose of fluids properly, don’t simply pour them down the drain or throw them into the dustbin.
  • Pack away all your tools and clean up any fluid spills.

When you tackle any DIY car maintenance or repair job, your safety should be your top priority, followed by the good health of your car. If you are doubtful of your abilities, rather let a professional work on your car – this will help prolong the life of your car and ensure the safety of you, your passengers and other road users.

  Invest in a Maintenance Plan

With a Maintenance Plan through MotorHappy you can leave car maintenance to the professionals. Hassle-free monthly payments make it easy to manage the financial burden of costly car maintenance. A Maintenance Plan includes all scheduled car services, unscheduled repairs and wear-and-tear parts like wiper blades and brake parts. Click here to get a quote.

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