Do you have the right tools?
By Mark Weisseg
We all love to tinker with our cars and feel as though we have accomplished a task. Let’s face it, the older cars we love are much easier to repair. Need a fuel pump? Easy enough, a few nuts and lines and you are done. Change a fuel filter takes minutes to replace. That in part is why we love our old cars. But there is a danger lurking out there and we all may have fell for it.
I go back to my youth and I was using an older pry bar that had a flat side and on the other end was a pointy end. I was prying on a alternator of a police car of all things and the pry bar snapped in two. The problem was the pointy end went right into my face about one quarter of an inch below my left eye. After realizing what had happened I reached up and grabbed hold of the piece stuck in my face and pulled it out. As I did the blood was squirting out and I knew I was in trouble. I put my hand over the spot and made a dash for my brother who was the supervisor. He knew I had a big problem so off we went to the emergency room. Upon arrival I was taken right in as I had blood all over my shirt and hands. They landed up stopping the bleeding and stitched me up with about ten stitches. That side of my face was swollen double the size it should and I hurt. I was grateful I missed my eye socket my such a close margin. Craig and I went home and that night I was in a lot of pain and could not see out of that eye. The next morning the swelling was still there but I could see out of both of my eyes. So, what does any young guy do? Go to work of course!
Today, I think that same person would take three weeks off but that is not how we were wired back then.
Now, I can finally get to my point about the tools. Please ensure a couple of things as you work. Use the right tool for the right job. Don’t use hand me down from Grandpa’s collection that are sixty years old. Be sure you do not use a screwdriver as a pry bar, don’t fudge and use a tool made for something else. And lastly, stop and think before you try a new method that you believe will save you ten minutes.
Injuries happen but generally they can be avoided if some thought is applied.
Never use a floor Jack and crawl under the car. Use Jack stands. If you have any doubt about the tool don’t use it.
I have been burned, air chiseled through my thumb because I guessed where the rusty bolt was. Banged my head off the steel ramps of a Hunter alignment machine and several other minor injuries. Generally speaking and looking back nearly all could have been avoided. Not all, but with a deep breath and some additional thought some may have never happened. You know, we all laugh when we see a six step ladder and on the sixth step there is a decal that states you should not take the seventh step. Seems stupid and laughable but you know somebody took that seventh step and some wise guy lawyer made a case out of it.
Rid your tool box of outdated tools. Buy quality tools, not a dozen sockets for $3.99. Remember, if it sounds to good to be true……..
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