Many people take the DIY approach to car repairs. After all, it can be expensive to go down to the local mechanic for such things as oil changes, brake repairs, and gasket replacements. Considering that there’s a YouTube video explaining virtually everything, it’s easy for many to figure out how to do it on their own.
The problem with DIY car repairs is that there are certain risks.
Did you know that asbestos is present in many car parts? Although OSHA has stepped in to reduce worker exposure to asbestos hazards in homes and buildings, mechanics are still vulnerable. It’s legal for car parts to be sold in the United States if they contain asbestos. And some parts, particularly brake drums and discs, may contain 30 percent asbestos or more.
While there are ways that you can reduce your exposure, often many don’t realize that they’ve been exposed until it’s too late. The Mesothelioma Cancer Network provides ways for you to deal with a diagnosis. However, the goal should be to acknowledge that asbestos exposure is a possibility when you work on cars – and that’s why masks and other PPE should be worn at all times.
Beyond asbestos exposure, what are some of the other risks that you can come across?
Anything having to do with the engine should be left to professionals. One of the simplest reasons for this is that there are so many intricate parts to the engine. If you damage a part or you find yourself in over your head, you could end up damaging the engine. This can lead to your car overheating or the need to replace the engine – and that’s going to be an expensive mistake for you to make.
You may also risk being electrocuted. Particularly with electric and hybrid vehicles, there are more electrical components. If you don’t disconnect all of the necessary wires from the battery, you could end up with too many live volts. Serious injury and even death have occurred simply because people wanted to save money and take care of a repair on their own.
There are also some other things to think about when you want to fix a car yourself. Do you have the necessary parts and equipment? Are you capable of diagnosing the problem? If you’re answering ‘no’ to any of these, it’s best to take your car to a professional. It’s just not a good idea to guess about these sorts of things.
It’s not always easy to know the kind of PPE you should be wearing to keep yourself safe. There’s the saying that “you don’t know what you don’t know” – and this is particularly true when it comes to DIY car repair. You don’t know if there is asbestos present. You don’t know if you’re at risk of being electrocuted. You may not even know what the actual problem is. While it might cost more money, you can be sure that your health is kept intact and that your car is in good hands.