Cleanliness

Keeping things organized, neat, and clean is essential to doing a good job.

^ When working in the engine compartment, a fender cover will protect the finish from scratches and other damage. Make sure the car is relatively clean so that dirt under the cover does not scratch the finish. Most custom covers have storage pockets for holding removed fasteners and parts and a special pad (arrow) for the A/C compressor. Removing the A/C compressor and laying it aside without disconnecting the refrigerant lines is an easy procedure, and is required for certain procedures.

Any repair job will be less troublesome if the parts are clean. For cleaning old parts, there are many solvents and parts cleaners commercially available.

For cleaning parts prior to assembly, commercially available aerosol parts cleaner or brake cleaner are handy to use, and the cleaner will evaporate completely.

Virtually all solvents used for cleaning parts are highly flammable and hazardous to health, especially in aerosol form. Use with extreme care. Do not smoke. Do not use these products indoors or near any source of heat, sparks or flame.

Let any solvent or cleaning product dry completely. Low-pressure, dry compressed air is helpful if available. Also, use only lint-free rags for cleaning and drying.

Avoid getting tools or clothing near the battery. Battery electrolyte is a corrosive acid. Be careful with brake fluid, as it can damage the car's paint. Finally, keep rubber parts such as hoses and belts free from oil or gasoline, as they will cause the material to soften and fail prematurely.

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