I know how keeping up with your car maintenance can be on the expensive side. But we need our car for everyday use, like going to work, getting our children off to school, running those important errands. We need to make sure our car is in running order.
We do a lot of traveling, and over the years my husband has started doing most of the maintenance on our cars. It has saved us a ton of money but he also needs to make sure he practices safety precautions before doing any work. Yes, we want to save money and time by doing the car maintenance our self, but we also want to make sure we are doing it right and most important is that we are keeping our self safe.
Fonzie from the classic TV show Happy Days may be the most famous of car mechanics with his slicked hair and cool, confident persona. However, you don’t have to be “The Fonz” to tinker around under the hood. Your car is a fantastic machine filled with all sorts of gadgets, tubes and gears to tune up and explore.
After all, regular car maintenance is the best way to prevent a break down. Whether you choose to take your car to a professional or DIY, you can make sure your car is up to snuff by checking out the basics. However, some “tinkering” can be intense. If you’re confident you can master DIY vehicle maintenance, MetLife Auto & Home offers a number of tips to help tackle in-depth repairs that go beyond checking your oil:
- 1. Be sure you understand what’s involved in the project you’re planning. Read the owners’ manual or technical service guide and have the right tools on hand before you start the job.
- 2. Have an ABC-rated fire extinguisher and a first-aid kit nearby when you’re working on cars.
- 3. Wear safety goggles to help prevent eye injuries from bits of metal, chemical splashes or errant sparks. Clothing should be close-fitting so it can’t snag or get caught in moving parts. Remove rings, watches and chains and tie up long hair for the same reason. Wear gloves if you’re handling fluids that contain strong chemicals. And always wear sturdy shoes—never sandals or lightweight tennis shoes.
- 4. Ventilation is a must if you’re working on your car’s exhaust system. If your “shop” is your garage, park your vehicle, or any other machine with an exhaust system, so the tailpipes are venting outside, and keep the garage door fully open. Even with proper ventilation, it is imperative that a carbon monoxide detector is installed in your garage. Temperatures and wind direction can lead to carbon monoxide build up inside a garage, even with the door fully open.
- 5. Make sure to have adequate lighting for your project, even during the daytime. Seeing clearly can help you avoid potential problems.
- 6. Lift it up. If you plan to do work under the car, park it on a level concrete surface. Use floor jacks that can more than support the weight of your vehicle; you’ll need at least two sturdy jack stands and blocks for the wheels. Never use makeshift materials as stands for undercarriage work—it’s too risky. Always read the instructions for using the equipment properly. Also, make sure you buy the best floor jack you can.
- 7. Don’t work on a car by yourself. A buddy could lend a hand, keep you company—or maybe save your life. If a jack stand fails or a fire starts, you’ll want someone around to offer immediate assistance. (And save your socializing until the project is complete: Drinking and smoking are dangerous activities when you’re working on a car.)
If your also one to work on your car, make sure you follow these 7 Safety Tips for Working on Your Car. I can’t stress to you how it is important to make sure you’re doing everything right so you do not cause harm to yourself while performing DIY car repairs. Also, if you don’t know how to jump start a battery, then you should read this great article Jump-Start Your Car: Step-By-Step. It will show you what you need to do step by step, to keep you safe and your car from being damaged!
One thing we love to do before we hit the road traveling is to wash our car. Washing your car the right way will bring value and life to your vehicle. As much as regular maintenance is important for your vehicles so is washing you cars.
Whether you’re under the hood or under the chassis, make safety a priority during automotive DIY!
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By following these simple tips, your next DIY Vehicle Maintenance will be a safe fun task!
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What type of DIY maintenance do you do on your car? I am currently a member of the MetLife Auto & Home Insurance Blogger Program and this post is part of my involvement. While MetLife has provided me with materials and necessary resources to complete various activities, all statements and sentiment in Kelly’s Thoughts On Things are my own.