Common hybrid services require several specialized tools and equipment. Here are the most-essential of those items.
Tire dealers and service shop owners have asked about the equipment required to begin performing basic services on hybrid vehicles.
I cannot overemphasize the wisdom of proper safety precautions. Most of us are accustomed to 12-volt automotive electrical systems.
However, the high-voltage side of a hybrid vehicle typically measures hundreds of volts — nothing to trifle with.
OK, profitable but sensible hybrid services demand adequate training, proper tools and the time required to follow safe procedures. By all means, look into the hybrid service classes your vendors offer. Then invest in safety gloves and meters.
First of all, auto makers as well as experienced hybrid techs recommend Class 0 insulated gloves.
ASTM International is the organization that establishes ratings for these things. Its Class 0 rating means that the gloves should withstand a maximum of 1000 volts AC.
Second, purchase a pair of "overprotectors" for each pair of insulated gloves.
An overprotector glove, which is usually leather or possibly goatskin, slides right over the insulated glove.
The reason for the glove-within-a-glove approach is that insulated gloves are vulnerable to cuts and tears.
Metal edges that may not appear to be hazardous could still cut an unprotected Class 0 glove, rendering it unsafe.
What's more, remember that techs perform the majority of checks on a hybrid's high-voltage side with the system shut down.
Nonetheless, safe procedure involves voltage measurements — while wearing insulated gloves — that verify the high-voltage system has been properly "powered down."
If its voltage measures zero, the tech removes the insulated gloves and proceeds with repairs.