As you’ll probably already know, a hybrid car uses a both an internal combustion engine and an electric battery system in combination to power it. Hybrid cars have become more and more popular with customers over the past few years due to economic reasons as well as the reduction of emissions, making them a ‘greener’ and cheaper choice for drivers.

Hybrid Maintenance

Because the vehicle is hybrid it also requires all the same maintenance and upkeep of a regular petrol-powered car. However, because it also uses electric motors, the engine will have less use and therefore less wear and tear. Saving owners time and money on upkeep not to mention fuel savings!

However, owning or working on a hybrid vehicle comes with its own set of issues. There are many different things to be aware of when looking after and maintaining these vehicles. As they increase in popularity there will be more and more call for them to be worked on outside of the manufacturer’s dealerships or affiliated service departments. Mechanics and garages will need a slightly different set of skills, knowledge and, of course, tools to work on hybrid cars.

Hybrid or Electric Car Repair Training

 Technicians must undertake specialist training before working on Hybrid or Electric vehicles. This is essential as the voltages involved can cause serious injury and or death, should a mistake be made.

There are different levels of training available, levels 1 – 4. 1 being very basic, everyone in the garage should have this knowledge (including showroom/office staff who may enter the workshop but not work on the vehicles). Level 4 would allow a technician to repair live high voltage components and systems safely. Most technicians will only need qualifying to level 3 which allows them to remove and replace high voltage components.

Hybrid Car Tools

You will need additional tools, equipment to work on a hybrid car. You should never try to work without the specific necessary tools for hybrid cars. The correct equipment is very important and you should always use insulated car tools and personal protection equipment.

As with all vehicles you should refer to manufacturer specific information to work safely on electric or hybrid vehicles. Your workshop data provider should have any information you will need.

Safety is the most important thing when working on high voltage vehicles. Before beginning any work, the area must be cordoned off and appropriate signage should be visible to warn of the dangers. On the vehicle itself you should always be aware of and on the lookout for any warning labels, such as ‘High Voltage’. These will always be clearly labelled and identified. Any high voltage cables or wiring will also be coloured orange so that you can clearly recognise them.

Hybrid Car Battery

You must ALWAYS disconnect the high-voltage battery before beginning any work on the car. The battery can be up to 1000 Volts and so very hazardous.

The car will have an indicator light on the dashboard, so ensure that this is off, and that the key isn’t in the ignition.

We recommend waiting at least ten minutes after the battery has been disconnected to start.

Essential Hybrid Tools

Here are our essential recommendations for hybrid car tools to be used when working on a hybrid car:

  • 1000-volt rubber gloves
  • 1000-volt rated meter
  • Insulated socket set
  • HSE approved warning sign
  • Insulated Rescue Pole

There are, of course a multitude of other hybrid car tools and equipment to be used but these are our five must haves for work on a hybrid vehicle. The Rescue Pole is one piece of equipment you should have and hope to never use!