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Automotive Emergencies: Part 1

    We all know how important it is to have a basic knowledge of first aid in an emergency, but how many of you know first aid for an automotive emergency?
» Part 1: Automotive First Aid
» Part 2: Safety Rules
» Part 3: More Safety Rules
» Part 4: More Safety Rules


  1. If you have a breakdown with a vehicle still under warranty, do not attempt to make any kind of repairs. Call a tow truck and get it to the repair shop. If you try to repair something you could void the warranty and be stuck with a big repair bill.  


  2. You should not attempt to fix something unless you know what's wrong and how to fix it. Automotive first aid is only for roadside emergencies and very basic repairs. You should take your vehicle to the mechanic for any major surgery. You could very well make the problem worse then it was and wind up with an even higher repair bill because the mechanic had to fix your mistakes. 


  3. Cleaning fluids, such as gasoline, mineral spirits and certain other cleaning chemicals, used in making repairs have to be handled very carefully to avoid causing a fire. Thinners, fuel and other combustible chemicals need to be stored in tightly closed containers specifically designed to store those fluids.


    In other words don't store gasoline in your urine sample bottle. Not only can it easily catch fire, but the lab technician will get some very strange ideas about you. Make sure the containers are properly marked and labeled. 

  4. You should keep all open flames and smoking materials well away from the vehicle you are working on. Oily and greasy rags should be kept in a sealed container in a cool, dry place. Storing these rags in, for example, a hot trunk, spontaneous combustion could occur. 


  5. There are certain precautions you should take when using tools. 


    1. Always use files with handles. Without a handle it is very possible for the pointed end of the file to be pushed into the palm of your hand. Of course files are files, not hammers, chisels or levers. Files are made of brittle, tempered steel that shatters when hit hard enough causing pieces to fly off, causing injury or loss of your eyesight. 


    2. Make sure that the heads of your hammers or sledges are securely attached to their handles. Chisels with mushroomed heads should be dressed or thrown away to prevent bits of steel from flying off and causing an injury.


      I was working across from a guy who was pounding on a punch that had a mushroomed head. He hit it and a small piece of the head tore through my shirt and embedded itself in my stomach. It hurt. It hurt a lot. 

    3. Whenever possible, pull the handle of a wrench towards you instead of pushing it. This reduces the possibility of skinned knuckles. If the jaws of a wrench spread or wear out, throw it away and replace it.  


    4. If you are using air tools, NEVER point it at anyone, especially their face. The high-pressure air can blow dirt and debris at such a high speed that it will puncture skin or blow out eyes.


» Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3       » Part 4
Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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