If you just bought your first car, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with its maintenance schedule. The first thing you should do is read your owner's manual, particularly the maintenance schedule. Missing maintenance appointments could put your vehicle at risk for mechanical breakdown. If you've decided to take care of the maintenance for yourself, you should make sure you take some appropriate safety precautions before you begin. Here are three safety tips you should follow when working on your car.
Take Your Jewelry Off
Before you start working on your car, the first thing you should do is remove your jewelry. Rings, necklaces and even bracelets can get caught on your car parts and pose a serious safety hazard for you. If you're concerned about losing your jewelry, keep a small clean jar in the garage. When it's time to work on your car, place your jewelry in the jar and place the lid on it. Your jewelry will stay clean and safe while you're working on your car.
Always Use Insulated Tools
If you're going to be working near electrical parts – such as the battery or alternator – be sure to use insulated tools. The rubber insulation on the handles will protect you from accidental shocks. This is particularly true if you're going to be working near the battery. You can receive a serious electrical burn or shock if your uninsulated tools come in contact with the battery posts.
Have a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
You never know when a fire is going to start. Unfortunately, many of the fluids inside your car are flammable – including motor oil, transmission fluid, and gasoline. To protect yourself and your property, always have at least one fire extinguisher nearby. For best protection, you should have fire extinguishers available for each type of fire you might experience – including electrical and fuel. Here's a list of the different types of fire extinguishers you should have on hand.
- Class A: SOLIDS such as paper and plastic
- Class B: FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS such as gasoline and motor oil
- Class C: FLAMMABLE GASES such as propane, butane, methane
- Class E: Fires involving ELECTRICAL Components
Now that you have your first car, make sure you follow the maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer. If you're going to be taking care of the maintenance yourself, the tips provided here will help keep you safe. If you run into problems while working on your car, be sure to contact a certified mechanic as soon as possible. They can provide your car with the maintenance it needs to stay in tiptop shape.