DIY car safety

Published: 
20 Jun 2019

When working on cars at your home or at a workshop, remember that safety is the number one priority for yourself and for others. Around 120 Australians have died as a result of do it yourself (DIY) car maintenance accidents since 2000, while many hundreds have been hospitalised due to injuries. 

Research shows most fatalities happen when the victims are working under a vehicle and using equipment incorrectly, with many of the fatalities involving the use of vehicle jacks. Most of the fatalities were men and involved the vehicle being lifted or supported in the wrong way. Most victims were aged 40 to 49.

Injuries range from amputation to fractures and crush injuries. Know the risks and protect yourself, your friends, family and workmates.

Safety tips

  • Never get under a car that is only supported by a jack.
  • When working under your car, use a trolley jack to lift the car before lowering it onto vehicle support stands. Use vehicle support stands on a hard surface before working under your car.
  • Never place any part of your body under a vehicle unless it is sitting securely on support stands or ramps.
  • Never allow a person or pet to remain in the vehicle while it is being jacked.
  • Never exceed the weight capacity of the jack.
  • Always perform vehicle maintenance on steady ground, not on sand or a sloped surface.
  • Never use makeshift support stands such as blocks of wood or bricks.
  • Apply the handbrake in accordance with safety instructions.
  • Always 'chock' the wheels on a raised vehicle.
  • Follow product instructions and report faulty products.

DIY car repair safety

The ACCC has produced a new video explaining the correct procedure for common DIY car maintenance tasks to help car enthusiasts safely repair their vehicles.

Widow urges caution with DIY car repairs

We conducted an interview with Robinette Emonson whose husband tragically died after being crushed by his car while working in his garage.

More information

DIY safety: beware of dangers to yourself and to others