No matter if it’s carrying out a regular oil and filter change or perhaps something a little more involved, one of the most easily overlooked areas is safe practices while working under your car.
The potential safety risks associated with simply jacking up and incorrectly supporting your car are gravely serious. According to the ACCC, within the last decade there have been at least 46 reported cases where Australians have been killed and in excess of 160 injuries annually are caused by failing jacks.
When preparing to carry out work underneath any car, here are some essential tips:
- Ensure that the weight of the vehicle does not exceed the lifting capacity of the jack.
- When preparing to jack up a vehicle, it is essential that the vehicle is positioned on a hard level surface such as a concrete driveway or slab, ensuring that the vehicle’s jacking points are located (as outlined within the vehicles owner’s manual), the hand brake is applied with the non-suspended wheels choked.
- Ensure that the head of the jack is located directly square under the lifting point of the vehicle. (Failure to do this will result in damage to the vehicle, or the vehicle slipping from the jack.) Commence jacking the vehicle, while paying close attention to the positioning of the head of the jack under the vehicle’s lifting point.
- Once the vehicle has been raised, never allow any part of your person underneath the car, until the vehicle has been lowered entirely onto the jack stands.
- If you do not own a set of jacking stands, placing the vehicle on car ramps is an alternative.
- Once the vehicle has been mounted upon the stands, be sure to visually re-inspect the integrity of the jack stand mounting points and the positioning of the choked wheels. Only after this, may you then proceed to remove the jack and begin working under the vehicle.
- Once your work is completed under the vehicle, make sure that the area around the vehicle is all clear of any objects. From here proceed to reposition the jack under the vehicle as previously described then once the vehicle is raised in the air be sure to remove the jack stands and gently lower the vehicle back to the ground.
PLEASE NOTE: Whenever you are preparing to raise or lower a vehicle using a jack and jack stands, it is vital to ensure that no part of your person and/or any animals remain near to or under the car during this time. In addition, if you are not confident in correctly lowering and raising a vehicle using a jack and jack stands, it’s recommended that you consult your local mechanic who will be able to undertake any necessary work to your car on your behalf.
Have a safe and relaxing Easter break and look after yourself and your car!