SERVICING YOUR VEHICLE SAFELY
It is virtually impossible to anticipate all of the hazards involved with automotive maintenance and service, but care and common sense will prevent most accidents.
The rules of safety for mechanics range from “don’t smoke around gasoline,” to “use the proper tool(s) for the job.” The trick to avoiding injuries is to develop safe work habits and to take every possible precaution.
Screwdrivers should be kept in good condition to prevent injury or damage which could result if the blade slips from the screw
Using the correct size wrench will help prevent the possibility of rounding off a nut
- Do keep a fire extinguisher and first aid kit handy.
- Do wear safety glasses or goggles when cutting, drilling, grinding or prying, even if you have 20−20 vision. If you wear glasses for the sake of vision, wear safety goggles over your regular glasses.
- Do shield your eyes whenever you work around the battery. Batteries contain sulfuric acid. In case of contact with, flush the area with water or a mixture of water and baking soda, then seek immediate medical attention.
- Douse safety stands (jackstands) for any undervehicle service. Jacks are for raising vehicles; jackstands are for making sure the vehicle stays raised until you want it to come down.
- Do use adequate ventilation when working with any chemicals or hazardous materials. Like carbon monoxide, the asbestos dust resulting from some brake lining wear can be hazardous in sufficient quantities.
- Do disconnect the negative battery cable when working on the electrical system. The secondary ignition system contains EXTREMELY HIGH VOLTAGE. In some cases it can even exceed 50,000 volts.
- Dofollow manufacturer’s directions whenever working with potentially hazardous materials. Most chemicals and fluids are poisonous.
- Do properly maintain your tools. Loose hammerheads, mushroomed punches and chisels, frayed or poorly grounded electrical cords, excessively worn screwdrivers, spread wrenches (open end),cracked sockets, slipping ratchets, or faulty droplight sockets can cause accidents.
- Like wise,keep your tools clean; a greasy wrench can slip off a bolt head, ruining the bolt and often harming your knuckles in the process.
- Do use the proper size and type of tool for the job at hand. Do select a wrench or socket that fits the nut or bolt. The wrench or socket should sit straight, not cocked.
- Do,when possible, pull on a wrench handle rather than push on it, and adjust your stance to prevent a fall.
- Do be sure that adjustable wrenches are tightly closed on the nut or bolt and pulled so that the force is on the side of the fixed jaw.
- Do strike squarely with a hammer; avoid glancing blows.
- Do set the parking brake and block the drive wheels if the work requires a running engine.
- Don’t run the engine in a garage or anywhere else without proper ventilation−EVER! Carbon
monoxide is poisonous; it takes a long time to leave the human body and you can build up a deadly
supply of it in your system by simply breathing in a little at a time. You may not realize you are
slowly poisoning yourself. Always use power vents, windows, fans and/or open the garage door.
- Don’t work around moving parts while wearing loose clothing. Short sleeves are much safer than
long, loose sleeves. Hard−toed shoes with neoprene soles protect your toes and give a better grip on
slippery surfaces. Watches and jewelry is not safe working around a vehicle. Long hair should be tied
back under a hat or cap.
- Don’t use pockets for toolboxes. A fall or bump can drive a screwdriver deep into your body. Even a
rag hanging from your back pocket can wrap around a spinning shaft or fan.
- Don’t smoke when working around gasoline, cleaning solvent or other flammable material.
- Don’t smoke when working around the battery. When the battery is being charged, it gives off
explosive hydrogen gas.
- Don’t use gasoline to wash your hands; there are excellent soaps available. Gasoline contains dangerous additives which can enter the body through a cut or through your pores. Gasoline also removes all the natural oils from the skin so that bone dry hands will suck up oil and grease.
- Don’tservice the air conditioning system unless you are equipped with the necessary tools and training. When liquid or compressed gas refrigerant is released to atmospheric pressure it will absorb heat from whatever it contacts. This will chill or freeze anything it touches.
- Don’t use screwdrivers for anything other than driving screws! A screwdriver used as an prying tool can snap when you least expect it, causing injuries. At the very least, you’ll ruin a good screwdriver.
- Don’t use an emergency jack (that little ratchet, scissors, or pantograph jack supplied with the vehicle) for anything other than changing a flat! These jacks are only intended for emergency use out on the road; they are NOT designed as a maintenance tool. If you are serious about maintaining your vehicle yourself, invest in a hydraulic floor jack of at least a 11/2 ton capacity, and at least two sturdy jack stands. Ford Ranger, Explorer Mountaineer service repair manual