Home > Engineering, Misc > Auto-repair Safety Warning!

Auto-repair Safety Warning!

I’m an engineer by training. I also grew up with a father who was an engineer, and did his own car work when possible, so I always do my own car work when possible. In the past three years I’ve rebuilt heads, replaced valves, drive-shafts, and bodywork. Car repairs can be dangerous though, even with simple jobs, and every now and then, That danger aspect needs to be reinforced.

Even simple jobs like a brake replacement can end in disaster. When putting a wheel back on, after replacing brakes, despite being chocked, and on axle-stands (or jack-stands, depending on where you’re from) the car still fell. Luckily I was untouched. At the time, I was jacking up the drivers side to remove one of the stands, but because there was a jack involved, I had no body parts under the car. The stand did fall, and the wheel roll on it. This is the result. This is a 2-ton stand, and you can see what a mess was made of it when a 3300lb (1500kg) car lands on something. Imagine if it was your leg, or foot.

2-ton Jackstand, crushed

The crushed jackstand (right) with it's mostly undamaged sibling.

When working under a car, NEVER have your body under it with just the jack. Don’t even remove the stands by hand, use a pole, or long tool – I use a long wheel brace. Sure, working without proper support might save you ten minutes, but if the jack collapses, or the car rolls, is that ten minutes worth a leg, an arm, your life? What’s more, you never know what else you might find needs doing.

Safety first!

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Categories: Engineering, Misc Tags: , ,
  1. November 24, 2009 at 17:09

    With a lower supply of used cars available, simple economics predict the resale value to increase. Mark Orchard has noticed an increase in his business as more people are fixing up their used cars, either to save on lease turn-in fees, or sell. Now that the CARS program has closed, those who didn’t qualify or take advantage are making their used car more presentable to sell.

  1. November 16, 2009 at 16:32

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