Automotive Repair Safety

No matter how difficult the job is, it is important to do the job safely. While some basics can be taught, every individual job requires judgement on the part of each individual involved.

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Safety Goggles

Protecting your eyes is vital in all jobs. You never know when something is going to fall off a vehicle, or fly off toward your face.

Gloves

Gloves protect your hands to varying degrees, depending on the type of glove.

Air & Breathing Masks

Masks protect your lungs from airborne dust and debris, and some advanced ones can protect you from some chemicals as well.

Filter NIOSH Ratings

Oil Resistance95%99%99.9%
NoneN95N99N100
Oil ResistantR95R99R100
Virtually OilproofP95P99P100

Hair

Keep hair, especially long hair, retained by a hair net or hat so that it can't be caught by rotating parts, dipped into chemicals, or touch hot components. Even beyond safety, keeping hair safe will be more convenient.

Buddy System

Working on a vehicle by yourself is sometimes necessary, but it is much safer to work on one with at least one other person. This person can assist or get help if you end up unable to do so yourself.

Being Safe With a Vehicle

Keeping the vehicle safe while working on it is another vital step to getting a repair done safely.

Jack Stands

Properly keeping a vehicle in the air will prevent it from falling on you. Jack stands should be rated to hold more than the weight that will be resting on it, and be placed on a strong, solid part of the vehicle.

Specific Precautions

Cooling System

Don't open a hot cooling system! The liquid under pressure can be beyond atmospheric boiling point well after the engine has been shut off, and will turn to steam as it exists the system. The steam will burn you quickly. You can't put a pressurized coolant cap back on while the pressure is escaping.

Motor Oil

Be careful around hot oil; it will stick to skin and cause burns. Used motor oil is also known to cause cancer in lab tests.

Other Fluids

The various fluids found in vehicles should be treated as chemicals that are dangerous to human health, and assumed to be hot.

Running Engines

Keep your hands away from spinning/rotating parts.