It is believed 61-year-old William Jex had attempted to prop the Mercedes van up using a fork lift truck when the van fell and crushed him, Wakefield Coroner's Court was told.
Mr Jex had visited MD Construction on Methley Road at Castleford on November 17 to repair his brother's vehicle.
The inquest opening heard Mr Jex, of East View, Castleford, was last seen at 1.53pm that day and that his brother found him underneath the Mercedes van at 2.58pm.
Area coroner Jonathan Leach, said: "The preliminary view is he had attempted to prop the vehicle up using a fork lift truck and the vehicle had fallen and crushed him."
Mr Jex was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene at 3.15pm.
Mr Leach said Dr Jenny Thomas had given a preliminary cause of death as asphyxiation and compression of the chest by a vehicle.
Mr Leach adjourned the inquest pending the outcome of further enquiries.