10 garage safety tips for every car enthusiast

By Chris Odogwu
Publish on July 16, 2019

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Do you get a thrill from rolling up your sleeves and fixing your car problems in your garage? Check out these safety tips that will keep you unharmed at work!

There are two categories of car owners: those who own cars for the sake of mobility and those who do not only own cars but are interested in learning how cars work. For the latter, owning a car is not all about the convenience. They get a thrill from exploring its mechanism. They do not need a mechanic for every single problem. They simply roll up their sleeves and try to fix it.

Car enthusiasts often have a garage. Not only do they park their car(s) in it, they also use it as their personal workshop to diagnose and fix car problems. You do not have to endanger your life all in the name of fixing your car. You can protect yourself and still have your car fixed. In this piece, Naijauto will show you just how to do that with 10 handy garage safety tips below!

1. Compressed air safety

A compressed air hose is a handy tool in the garage. The hose could begin to wear out or get cracked after being used for some time. A hole or tear in the hose renders it less effective and could cause harm to you during use.

Keep compressed air under 30 psi for cleaning dust and dirt in different car parts. On no account should you use it on yourself or use it to clean your clothes. How you disconnect the air hose after use is very important. Shut air and release all pressure in the line before disconnecting it.

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2. Drain pan safety

You may have to drain engine coolant in the course of repairs. As much as coolant is very useful to your vehicle, it is very harmful to your body. You may love your car so much to want to give it the best treatment, but first, you have to stay alive to do that. Handle the substance with utmost care, and dispose the drain pan safely. Do not let it get into your system.

3. Axle stands safety

The ground you place your axle stands on have to be strong. The stronger it is, the better. Do not make the mistake of placing your axle stands on soft ground, otherwise, they will be nowhere to be found. Your vehicle tends to be unstable when the  stands are not firm on a solid ground.

Car-axle-stand

The axle stand offers additional support for raising car

4. Fire hazard safety

Fire is one thing that should not come close to your garage. Not only will it ruin your equipment, it could harm you too. With fire, one cannot be too careful. A few seconds is all that is needed to cause havoc.

Do you do painting jobs in your garage? Endeavor to put out all flames before you start the spraying. Put out the pilot lights too. Atomized paint has the capacity to explode if it is close to open flame. And before you say Jack, the fire will be everywhere.

5. Jack stand safety

You need to raise your car up to have proper access to the bottom. When raised on axle stands, double check that they are firm by shaking the bumpers or fenders a few times. This is very important. You do not want to be under the car, and have the stands fall off. The consequences of this can be deadly. As a matter of fact, do not do this unless you fully understand how it works. If possible, get someone else to be there with you, so they can rescue you if anything goes wrong.

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6. Jack backup safety

Do not put a hundred percent trust on a hydraulic bottle Jack or floor jack regardless of how expensive you bought them. As long as you are going under a raised car, you need additional support to keep the car up.

7. Tool safety

There is the right tool for every job. Using a suitable tool makes seemingly difficult jobs easier. If you use the wrong tool, you put yourself in harm’s way because things could go wrong.

8. Burn prevention safety

Radiators are always under pressure by default. Exercise caution in opening a radiator cap. If you happen to open it anyhow, it will splash on your body anyhow, and it is obviously dangerous to your body.

Allow the temperature to cool off. For extra caution, gently open the cap with a towel. Open it half way, and allow the steam to dissipate before you proceed to open it completely.

Car-jack-stand

The jack stand gives the car proper balance while raised up 

Use durable axle stands to prevent the car from falling off. It is too risky to stay under a raised car with just a hydraulic bottle Jack or floor Jack.

9. Car battery safety

In the course of charging car batteries either in your car or in the workbench, pay attention to the open flames or sparks. The charger and battery are not harmful; the harmful elements are the fumes released in the course of charging. These fumes are both explosive and toxic to the body system. The last thing you want is for acid to be all over your body or your garage.

10. Eye safety

Your love for car repairs should not make you endanger your eyes. You do not need constant visits to the ophthalmologist. Always cover your eyes with a pair of goggles whenever you want to do something that will have metals changing positions.

>>> Naijauto Tips & Advice section accompanies car enthusiasts in taking good care of your cars!

Chris Odogwu is a freelance Content Writer and Journalist. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from University of Jos and a master's degree in Mass Communication (Public Relations and Advertising major) from University of Lagos. His works have been published in top local and international publications including Forbes, HuffPost, ThriveGlobal, TheNextScoop and Nigeria360 among others. A member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the thrill he gets from writing about exotic cars feels almost the same as riding in them.

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