Car maintenance can hold a lot of hidden dangers that can cause serious injuries.

Car maintenance undertaken as a DIY project without using proper safety precautions seriously hurts and even kills people every year, peak motoring body RACQ says.

RACQ Technical Researcher Russell Manning says every year in Australia more than 160 people were injured or crushed while working under cars because they failed to take basic safety steps.

RACQ has listed the top five hidden dangers when conducting DIY maintenance:

1. Radiator Caps – releasing the radiator cap when the engine is still warm can result in an explosive loss of boiling water and the risk of serious burns.

2. Wearing metal watches, bracelets or rings – these items can conduct electricity and cause severe burns if they come in contact with live electrical equipment or the car’s battery.

3. Naked flames or sparks – Smoking, naked flames and sparks near fuel and car batteries can result in fires and explosions.

4. Working on your car in a closed garage – there is serious risk of death from carbon monoxide poisoning when running an engine in an enclosed space.

5. Working under a jacked up car – Always use appropriate jack stands because working under a car that is only supported by a jack is very dangerous

Mr Manning says the dangers were simple to avoid and in some instances could mean the difference between life and death.

“The best rule to follow is if you don’t know what you’re doing, or don’t have the necessary tools, leave it to someone who does,” he says.

RACQ has further information about personal safety during car maintenance on their website.

Do you do your own car maintenance or do you let a professional do the work?