Questions tagged [safety]

Questions relating to the safe use of tools, safety procedures, use of safety equipment and other methods of avoiding harm to yourself or others.

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67
votes
14answers
29k views

Are classic cars safe?

Are classic cars safe? I am interested to know the differences between modern vehicles and vehicles of old from the 1960s. In the event of an accident, how does a classic vehicle compare to a modern ...
49
votes
6answers
14k views

Why don't rally cars have airbags?

Why don't rally cars have airbags? Other competition cars, including Ken Block's don't have airbags either. Is it just for weight reduction, are they redundant or is there another (major) reason?
46
votes
14answers
11k views

How do I save myself from a sinking vehicle?

Every year in Arizona there are monsoon storms and somebody inevitably get's killed in a car that is sinking in water. It appears the primary issue is getting free from the vehicle. After that, ...
33
votes
12answers
15k views

Does kicking a tire off your car from underneath it while it's held up by a stable jack pose safety threats?

I just had to put a donut on my car and I used the typical manufacturer car jack that fits into that little slot of metal near your wheel. After I got all the lug nuts out, I tried pulling the wheel ...
33
votes
10answers
15k views

Is it safe to use a hydraulic jack as a stand? If not, why?

"If a jack can lift a load, surely it can withstand the load for extended periods of time?!" I've come across some conflicting ideas regarding this subject: The user guide for my low-profile ...
21
votes
6answers
44k views

How to raise the car higher than the jack stands will allow?

So it's time to raise the car onto jack stands, but for whatever reason it needs to go higher than the stand height allows. How can I safely raise the height of the car? What I have done in the past ...
21
votes
10answers
16k views

Is a bigger car safer than a smaller car? [closed]

From the point of view of mass, a smaller car appears to be a disadvantage if in an accident with a bigger car, because the change in momentum of the smaller car will probably be higher. A bigger car ...
20
votes
6answers
202k views

I drove with my Parking Brake on for 30 mins: should I be worried?

Yesterday, I was driving my car for about 30 minutes on the highway at speeds of up to 60 mph. I felt my brakes weren't really working and looked down to notice my emergency brake had been on the ...
18
votes
11answers
14k views

What's the best gear to leave a manual vehicle in when parked? [closed]

I've been told that reverse is the "strongest" gear, so in a manual transmission vehicle you should park your vehicle and leave it in reverse in the event of a parking brake failure. Others have said ...
17
votes
4answers
41k views

Do these tyre cracks necessitate replacement?

My car has been off the road for a few months, but will be back on it in a few weeks. The other day, I noticed some cracks between the treads on the front tyres. Not sure how long they've been there. ...
17
votes
2answers
556 views

What factors affect the maximum air pressure that should be put in a vehicle's tires?

For just about every car, there's at least two different "maximum tire pressure" ratings. The vehicle manufacturer's rating. This is usually found on a sticker attached to the driver's door. The ...
16
votes
6answers
8k views

How to keep wheel ramps from sliding?

I have a very smooth garage floor. When I try to use my wheel ramps for the quick and easy way to raise a vehicle, they will often slide, sometimes just one, but other times both. They will sometimes ...
16
votes
4answers
106k views

Is a tire with exposed wire safe to drive on?

This is my front passenger tire. As you can see, there is a large crack where you can see wire underneath. I ordered new tires that are supposed to arrive on Friday, however, I still need to get to &...
16
votes
4answers
10k views

Is downshifting on hills harmful for non-trucks? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does Downshifting (Engine Braking) Cause Extra Wear and Tear? Since the days of taking drivers ed (many years back). I was told that when you encounter a steep or extended ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it safe to drive in race conditions with missing lug nuts?

You know sometimes you read something and think "What?" Well, would you be happy to drive a 900 BHP car in a competition with lug nuts missing? Apparently NASCAR has introduced a rule change so that ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

What does this symbol of a car balancing on two wheels mean?

The symbol on the left in the image below is ubiquitous, yet so cryptic. What does it mean? Is it just a warning that the car is at risk of toppling over? I tried paging through the owner's manual ...
15
votes
5answers
260k views

Is it possible to harm your car by giving someone a boost?

This post explains why it's a potential hazard to clip to the negative post on the dead battery when giving a boost. But I've also been told that I could damage the electronics in my own car if I give ...
14
votes
6answers
47k views

How much air should a tire lose each month?

How much air does a tire typically lose each month? Do nitrogen-filled tires actually lose less air (well, nitrogen) each month? If so, what's normal for them? According to a tire store manager I ...
13
votes
6answers
270k views

Can this tire sidewall damage be repaired or should I replace the tire?

I* hit a curb and got a small tear in the front passenger side tire. The tear is about 1" long and goes mostly across the surface of the tire but also a little bit, maybe 1/4", toward the inside of ...
13
votes
3answers
19k views

Can I leave my car on a jack for several days?

I am doing a hub seal replacement on my old Landrover. Sadly I screwed up the new seal by putting it on too far, and then by trying to tweak it back out I wrecked the tension spring inside the seal. ...
13
votes
5answers
67k views

Differences and Recommendation between Steel and Alloy Wheels for Winter?

There are many discussions regarding steel vs. alloy wheels in Winter on multiple forums. It would be good if someone could lay out full facts and help scale these differences (questions below). For ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

Does my electronic parking brake remain engaged if I disconnect the battery?

I have a manual Audi A4 with an electronic parking brake. For safety reasons, I'm planning on leaving the battery disconnected for about a month while I do a variety of cosmetic work on the vehicle (...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Spring tensioner safety

I recently ordered this tool kit at an extremely reduced price. While I am confident about the general quality of those tools I am quite reserved about the spring tensioner included in the kit. In ...
12
votes
3answers
17k views

Is it safe to fix a bent motorbike wheel?

Long story short my front wheel took a hit and the rim is now slightly bent. Now, since this is a forged aluminium wheel, replacing it costs the best part of 1500EUR. Being on a budget I thought of ...
11
votes
6answers
4k views

When is remote start unsafe?

I recently bought a new GM vehicle in the USA. It has a factory remote start and I can use an app to perform vehicle functions and reports, including being able to start my car remotely from my smart ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

Reusing self locking nuts

I am in the progress of doing some work on the suspension. Can I reuse the nuts on the bolts holding critical parts (struts, tie rod, etc.) if I clean the threads and apply thread locker? My aim with ...
11
votes
2answers
15k views

Muffler off car. Safe to drive with exhaust open underneath?

So leaving work yesterday I heard a clang! - the muffler simply fell off. Further inspection revealed a lot of rust in one particular area on the pipe. Thankfully the forward muffler is still intact ...
11
votes
2answers
12k views

How Important Are the Rear Shocks / Struts

When people talk about changing the shocks or struts, it's usually the front ones due to comfort, handling and safety reasons. But what about the rear ones? How much of a problem are worn out rear ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Car enthusiast beginner tool kit

What is a good place to begin building a kit/set up for performing your own service? For example: oil changes waxing detailing What are the best tools/equipment to start with?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How are showroom/display vehicles prepared?

These vehicles are kept in buildings, so I imagine there are some safety considerations (e.g. no fuel and oil) being followed? Are they brought in straight from manufacturing so that there is no risk ...
10
votes
2answers
6k views

What are some good options for bumper pushing

What is a good way to push with your bumper without ruining the body of the car you are pushing (paint scratches do not matter.
10
votes
3answers
505 views

How is this pavement optimized to suppress water splashing?

In my experience driving through the rain at speeds above 100 km/h results in a cloud of sprayed water behind the car, like so: However, I encounter more and more recently repaired road sections ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

Is it safe to place wood between a car and a jack stand?

I have a 2013 2LS Camaro and I am looking to change the rear differential fluid and need to jack up the rear end of my vehicle. Based on videos and enthusiast forums, people achieve this by putting a ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it safe to overload the roof rails?

According to the manual, the "permissible" load for the standard rails is 35kg. I need to take two Kayaks around with me, which in total weight is about 40-45kg. Would I unintentionally turn my 2003 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How do seat belts function?

How do belts function (work)? A diagram could be useful and a description of how seat belts function. How do you pull the belt? How do you buckle the belt properly?
9
votes
3answers
20k views

Why do LED running lights turn off while the turn signal is blinking?

I've noticed in several new vehicles the following scenario: Vehicle is traveling with LED day-time running lights around/adjacent to the headlights Vehicle activates turn signal indicator Vehicle ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What are reverse lights used for besides showing intention to reverse?

Recently I have noticed cars in parking lots with their reverse lights on even when the driver is not behind the wheel. I stop to let the drivers back out, and then realize they have no such intention....
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Do parts (like Brakes) & brake dust still contain Asbestos? What years did parts contain Asbestos (or anything equally / more dangerous)?

Is Asbestos still used in any currently manufactured parts, brakes or others? Specifically asking about the USA & Canada, but info on anywhere else in the world is good too. If it's not still ...
8
votes
7answers
23k views

Leaving vehicle on 4 jack stands several days

I was wondering if it is bad (for the frame or the drive train) to leave my 4WD V6 Tacoma on 4 jack stands for several days while I work on the transmission. I could certainly lower it down after ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Repairing a motorcycle tire puncture. With heat or without heat?

Asked a local mechanic for the charge of repairing a puncture and he says he'd charge a certain amount for simply taking a piece of rubber tube and sticking it over the puncture, or if I would pay him ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the best place to safely store a life hammer?

This is not really a maintenance question, but I figured this would be a good place to ask. I have a life hammer in the glove compartment, but I'm having doubts about where to store it. I figure that ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Jack stand placement on frame rail for 2000 Toyota Camry

I did search "jack stand" and there are lots of posts that get close, but nothing that really covers the specifics of what I'm looking for here. I have a 2000 Toyota Camry with 143k mile on it. My ...
7
votes
4answers
219 views

Do no-name tires go through thorough testing?

Tire (tyre) brands come in three categories: Major brands that advertise extensively Relatively unknown brands that are actually made by the major brands Relatively unknown brands that are ...
7
votes
3answers
27k views

Is it dangerous to drive with partially torn control arm bushings?

My 2008 Acura TSX had developed a violent shake when accelerating. Upon a brief inspection, I noticed the control arm/compliance bushings were partially torn (completely at one point, partially at two ...
7
votes
1answer
198 views

How to test gas station air compressors before use?

Yesterday I was with my wife and three children in the car, 300 KM from home just after sunset. I pulled into a gas station and as before all long trips, I dialed 31 PSI on the gas station's air ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Is the smoke or powder produced from an airbag detonation dangerous/toxic?

When the airbag has gone off, you often see a lot of smoke and stuff and there is a load of dust and powder all over the car What is this powder and smoke normally (obviously all air bags are ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Safe way to get a few more inches under car on flat surface

Working on a 4 door sedan in the garage. Need to go under the car to replace the ABS module. Right now I can reach most of the screws, but if I could get just a few more inches of clearance it would ...
6
votes
4answers
14k views

Technique to test an alternator - fact or fiction?

A friend explained that the following is a simple way to test an alternator to see if it is working: Turn on the vehicle. While it is running, carefully remove one of the 12V battery leads. See if ...
6
votes
4answers
16k views

Is it recommended/necessary to wear rubber gloves while replacing a car battery?

I'm not too car-savvy but I want to start working on my car on my own. My first challenge has arisen: replace battery. Do I need to concern myself with being shocked while trying to change the ...
6
votes
4answers
55k views

If my brakes overheat, do they need to be replaced?

Let's say I take my car track racing, and during it, the hard braking leads my brakes to massively losing stopping power due to them overheating (a likely outcome on stock brakes). Or likewise, I take ...