Auto Tips: Safety When Working Under A Car

Posted by Admin at 14 June 2017, at 22 : 47 PM

Auto Tips: Safety When Working Under A Car

If you do work under your car, remember, safety is extremely important. It is wise to invest in some jacks and jackstands. You can remove the jacks once the car is lifted and leave the car on the stands. Do not use concrete blocks, wood blocks, boxes, or bricks for this purpose as they may collapse or break, and the car will fall and crush you.

Consult your owner’s manual to show how the jacks, which came with the car, work. Some older jacks have one tube inside the other and are adjusted by holes in the tubes and a pin which slips into the holes. Newer models contain no pins, are self-locking, and have a wider base. There are also some cars which require special jacks.

To jack up a car, first get everyone away from the car both inside and out. If you have an automatic, put the car in park and put on the emergency or parking brake. If you have a manual transmission, have the car in reverse or first gear. The vehicle must be on level ground when jacking it up (concrete is best), and even if it is on level ground, block the wheels with cement blocks or bricks so it won’t roll once jacked. You can also use wood or plywood as a base as the weight of the car on soft dirt will cause the jack not to hold. Do not jack a car on an extremely hot surface either as it will not hold. If you are on a street and are trying to change a tire and have no way to block the wheels, just turn the wheels toward the curb. The next time it would be a good idea to keep blocks in the trunk.

Where you place the jack is also important. It is placed in a different position to change a tire than to repair the car or for lubrication. Owner manuals will normally show illustrations as to where jacks should be placed. Placement under front or rear axles assures raising a car safely. To jack up a wheel, place the jack on the frame closest to it. Insert the handle and the jack will rise according to the racheting. If you use a jackstand you will have to raise the car a little to remove the stand before lowering the car. Don’t get under the car without using a jackstand as cars can easily slip off of jacks. Don’t act too quickly as you want to be very careful.

If you do a lot of work under the car, you may want to invest in a creeper like mechanics use. They are on wheels, are more comfortable, and you can slide under and out from under a vehicle easily. If the work you are doing is not too far under the front of the car, you can use a ramp. You can purchase jacks, jackstands, creepers, and ramps at auto parts stores and some large discount stores. You can also purchase a floor jack which will pick up the front of the car, two wheels at a time.

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