PLEASE - When
working on and around any vehicle, make safety your #1
priority. Serious and even fatal injuries can and do occur.
READ THIS SAFETY INFORMATION - It Could Save Your From Serious Injury
Working on My Car Really Dangerous
on or around vehicles can be dangerous if you fail to take basic safety
precautions. Fortunately, the most common injuries are not
serious or life threatening, but fatal accidents do occur.
For the DIY mechanic, working underneath a raised vehicle that is not
properly secured presents the greatest risk for serious injury or death.
and cuts to the hands, fingers and arms. These
injuries are primarily caused by hands slipping off a wrench (or the
wrench slipping off a difficult to remove nut and bolt) and then making
hard contact with another part of the vehicle.
Burns to the hands, fingers and
arms. These injuries are primarily caused by
contact with hot parts and equipment.
Muscle strains. Overexertion
and lifting heavy and cumbersome parts and equipment is the source for
back and other muscle strains. Awkward body positions are
also a source of muscle strains.
Slips and falls. A
variety of different injuries are the result of slips and falls due to
oil and other substances being spilled on the floor. Tools
left out is another source for slips and falls.
Burns to the face and other
parts of the body. These burns are primarily
caused by battery explosions, hot engine fluids and scalding hot
Eye discomfort and damage.
Dirt and grease getting into the eyes cause discomfort. Being
hit by parts and tools in or near the eye is a source for eye injuries.
Falling car parts such as a transmission, engine, subframe, suspension
and brake parts can break bones.
punctures. The slip of a
screwdriver, sharp nosed pliers, a drill, etc. can cause punctures to
the bands and fingers.
Serious and Fatal Injuries:
struck by a flying or falling part can cause a multitude of serious
injuries. A vehicle falling of a lift, rack or jack can be
fatal. But, the good news is that the vast majority of
injuries can be avoided - here's how.
to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Auto mechanics are more likely than
the average worker to be injured or killed on the job.
Safety Tips and Precautions
reduce your chances of being injured, study and adhere to these simple
and straightforward safety precautions. Seriously, just do
ALWAYS... Let someone know you are working on a
vehicle, especially if you plan to raise the vehicle and work
underneath it. Ask them to check on your occasionally.
ALWAYS... For added safety, place a large rag or
towel over the radiator cap before loosening.
ALWAYS... Remove jewelry before working
underneath the hood. Jewelry can bridge electrical
connections, which will cause a spark and possible fire.
ALWAYS... Tie back long hair or wear a cap with
hair tucked inside when working under the hood with the engine running.
fire extinguisher close by.
ALWAYS... Place shifter in "P" Park (or 1st gear
if manual transmission), set the emergency brake, and chock/block one
of the wheels when working on a vehicle.
loosen nuts and bolts when possible. When pushing, there is a
greater risk of injury if the wrench slips. Routinely check
condition of wrenches and
ALWAYS... Wear safety glasses when working
underneath a raised vehicle.
safety glasses when charging, removing or replacing a car battery and
when working with the fuel system or air conditioning system.
ALWAYS... Wear safety glasses when using a
drill, grinder and other power tools.
ALWAYS... Clean up oil and other spills
NEVER... Start the engine in an enclosed
area. Open a garage door or multiple windows for ventilation
before starting the engine. Exhaust fumes can kill you!
NEVER... Work underneath a vehicle that is
supported by a jack only. Jack stands must be used or use car
how to correctly raise and support a vehicle.
NEVER... Work on a hot engine or brakes.
NEVER... Loosening or remove the radiator cap
when the engine is hot.
grinding wheel that is cracked, grooved or chipped.
NEVER... Hold or pull on a spark plug wire or
any other electrical wiring when the engine is running.
Electrical shock can occur.
NEVER... Wear loose fitting clothing when
working under the hood with the engine running.
NEVER... Stand directly in front of the vehicle
when working under the hood with the engine running. Stand on
one side or the other.
working under the hood or underneath a raised vehicle.
NEVER... Work underneath a car with the engine
Additional Safety Precautions
for Transmission/Transaxle Removal
In addition to other auto repair safety precautions, there are
additional safety precautions you need to be aware of that are specific
to transmission and transaxle removal and installation.
transmission jack should be used when removing and installing an
automatic transmission. A floor jack will work also, but you
must be very careful as the transmission can easily fall off a regular
and transaxles are both heavy and cumbersome. Do not attempt
to remove a transmission without a helper.
Regardless of the type of jack you use to lower and raise the
transmission, do your best to position the jack so the weight of the
transmission is evenly distributed on the jack. With two
people, hold the transmission on the jack while lowering or raising the
If using a
hydraulic floor jack for lowering/raising the transmission, be sure the
jack extends high enough to reach the transmission once the vehicle is
raised. If necessary, place a wooden block on the jack
(between the jack and transmission) to increase the lift.
When doing this, please note that the wooden block can cause the
transmission to become less stable so proceed with extra caution.
lowering and raising the transmission/transaxle, keep the rear of the
transmission slightly lower than the front so that the torque converter
does not slide forward and fall out. The torque converter is heavy - if
it falls, you could be injured.
aware of where you place your hands and fingers when removing and
installing an automatic transmission. One slip-up can
seriously injure your hand or finger(s).
removing a cross member, an engine mount or transmission mount, or in
some cases the sub-frame in order to remove the transmission, you must
secure the engine and transmission from falling by the use of a jack
from underneath the vehicle or an engine hoist from the top.
When disconnecting oil cooler lines
wear eye protection and do not position yourself directly beneath where
the line is being disconnected, as fluid will drain from the line even
though you've already drained fluid from the oil pan.