Jump to content

  • Welcome to Auto Parts Forum

    Whether you are a veteran automotive parts guru or just someone looking for some quick auto parts advice, register today and start a new topic in our forum. Registration is free and you can even sign up with social network platforms such as Facebook, X, and LinkedIn. 

     

The Best PPE For Your EV & Hybrid Service Shop


Recommended Posts

When it comes to working in the shop, personal safety should always be the top priority. Safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection, even work boots are all meant to keep your body protected. It should come as no surprise that with new hybrid and electric drivetrains, there are also new safety gear requirements. Insulated tools are just the start of a well-stocked shop. There’s more to electrical safety than just owning a set of

link hidden, please login to view

This expert advice is meant to give an overview of the kinds of general

link hidden, please login to view
(PPE) needed to service hybrid and electric vehicles. It is important to follow proper repair procedures for these vehicles, as described in the vehicle specific repair manual. This includes using all required PPE listed in the repair procedure with no exceptions. If you do not have ALL of the necessary PPE, DO NOT proceed with a repair, as doing so could lead to severe injury or even death. Now that you have an idea of the serious nature of vehicle high-voltage electrical systems, let’s take a look at how you can protect yourself. 

Personal Protection

Wearing the right personal protection gear is a must when working with electric and hybrid vehicle high-voltage systems. The electrical energy stored in a typical main traction battery pack is more than enough to kill or seriously injure a person. 

In the past, wearing gloves while working on a car was usually a personal preference. Today, when working on high-voltage electrical systems, wearing gloves is mandatory. And not just one pair of gloves, but two pairs (inner and outer) are to be worn together. Just in case you are wondering, welding gloves are NOT the same as high-voltage

link hidden, please login to view

Class 0 gloves are required for protection up to 1,000 volts AC and 1,500 volts DC. One pair of rubber gloves (inner) protects against electric shock, while the leather gloves (outer) protect the rubber gloves from mechanical wear. They must be worn together in order to perform correctly. Electrical gloves

link hidden, please login to view
every six months to ensure they are still capable of insulating the user from the rated voltage. Gloves will be labeled with the test date near the cuff. 

The exact personal protection gear needed for a repair will be spelled out in the vehicle service repair manual procedures. This may include an insulated apron,

link hidden, please login to view
, insulated arm sleeves,
link hidden, please login to view
, arc flash face shield with neck protection, and insulated mats or blankets. These layers of protection are necessary not just for avoiding shocks, but also potential explosions like an arc flash.

Tool SafetyCarlyle insulated wrenches

It may seem odd to consider hand tools as part of personal protection equipment, but that is exactly the case when working with electricity. Most ordinary hand tools are made from metal, which does an excellent job conducting electricity. For servicing high-voltage electrical systems tools need to be designed in such a way that they don’t provide a path for electricity to travel to the technician, or to other vehicle components. That’s why EV tools are specially designed to protect the technician when used properly. 

An EV tool set is a must-have for any technician looking to service an electric vehicle. A good start for insulated hand tools is an insulated screwdriver set, an

link hidden, please login to view
and an
link hidden, please login to view
. Electric vehicle tools used for diagnostics need to handle higher voltages, like this
link hidden, please login to view
. For repairs where the battery pack must be removed, special care must be taken due the extreme weight involved. A
link hidden, please login to view
is the proper way to lower and transport a hybrid or electric vehicle battery pack. You wouldn’t pull an engine out of a car without the proper lifting equipment, so give the same respect to a heavy traction battery pack.

Work Space Safety

Normally, when a car is being worked on in a service bay, there is little danger to fellow technicians. But that isn’t the case with a modern electric or hybrid vehicle. Whenever the high-voltage electrical system on one of these vehicles is exposed, proper notification must be given to those working in the area. Place

link hidden, please login to view
and
link hidden, please login to view
around the vehicle whenever the high voltage electrical system is being serviced. This warns other technicians that there is an electrical shock hazard in the shop, and to keep their distance. You may also place an electrical warning sign on the vehicle to signal to everyone in the shop to stay away.

Part of your workspace safety gear must be an

link hidden, please login to view
. If a technician suffers an electrical accident while working on a vehicle, anyone attempting to help them is also in danger of electric shock. An insulated safety hook must be used to separate the victim from the electrical source. The last tip for work space safety is to never work on an electric or hybrid vehicle alone. Always let another technician or coworker know you are working on a high-voltage electrical system, and to check in on you periodically. 

Training Is The Key To Safety

Working on hybrid and electric vehicle high voltage systems requires meticulous procedures and extensive training. While there are plenty of dangers when working on internal combustion vehicles, many of the safety procedures surrounding those vehicles have been known for decades. As EV and hybrid drivetrain become more mainstream, so will their service safety procedures. 

Tackling hybrid and electric vehicle high-voltage system repairs isn’t impossible, but there must be dedication to proper training. If you are a technician (or are wanting to become a technician), and are looking for electric vehicle service training,

link hidden, please login to view
can help. NAPA Auto Tech offers a wide variety of convenient, cost-effective ways to become an automotive professional. In addition to eLearning and instructor-led training, NAPA Auto Tech offers hands-on and seminar-style classes for almost every make and model to help technicians keep their skills up to date.

Photos courtesy of Brian Medford.

The post

link hidden, please login to view
appeared first on
link hidden, please login to view
.

link hidden, please login to view

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10% Off All Brembo Pads, Rotors and Fluid

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Topics

    • By OReilly Auto Parts
      O'Reilly VeriScan Service | O'Reilly Auto Parts
    • By Dorman Products
      Ordering auto shop consumables BEFORE you run out!
    • By Dorman Products
      Making your own gaskets? Get a hollow punch set for pro results
    • By Counterman
      or our commercial customers, price and quality are two of the most important considerations when purchasing parts from you (and your competitors). The third is availability, but at least we have some control over what gets stocked in our stores. Barring supply chain issues and material shortages, keeping the right mix of parts available is up to our buyers and inventory specialists. Unless your store’s pricing strategy is out of line with the competition, pricing (and quality) complaints fall squarely on the vendor/manufacturer. 
      This is not to say that if you are experiencing price, quality, or availability issues with a current vendor that you shouldn’t already be looking for alternate sourcing for the affected SKUs or product lines. During the latest UAW strike, GM and Stellantis parts warehouses were crippled by walkouts, leaving their dealer networks scrambling to provide parts for their customers. Many dealerships were forced to bolster their inventories with quality aftermarket-equivalent products just to keep work flowing through their service departments. 
      link hidden, please login to view For the aftermarket, this was a perfect storm of opportunity. There was less competition from the local dealership in terms of parts sales, and those same dealers were calling on aftermarket suppliers more often for parts they could not readily obtain through their OEM channels. Due to the perception that OE parts are the best option for their vehicle brand (and a need to provide the same level of service, warranty coverage, and quality) these requests were often for premium product lines. Dealerships are generally unwilling to risk their reputation by installing bargain-basement parts, and the expectation that dealership parts and service will carry a premium price tag silences many objections well ahead of the sale. Independent shops specializing in repair or resale of luxury and performance brands also enjoy a more quality-conscious clientele willing to pay a premium for their services.
      There is, however, a subset of dealerships (and some general repair shops) for whom price trumps all other considerations. Your local “buy-here-pay-here” used car lot might come to mind, reconditioning and “flipping” (usually lower-end) auction vehicles, while offering very limited warranty terms. For this market, requests will usually gravitate toward the “least expensive” parts option. Even the most quality-conscious shops sometimes need to hit a “price-point” to stay competitive, and we all have that DIY customer who just wants “the cheapest thing that fits” because they are “trading it in soon” (even though they’ve been telling you that each time they’ve been in for the last three years!).
      In an effort to accommodate all types of customer needs, we are likely to offer multiple lines for most of our “commodity” parts. Filters, brakes, chassis parts, belts, lighting, wipers, and fluids are some of the most common categories in which we offer diverse price and quality options. This isn’t necessarily an issue of price versus quality, but rather comparing the value realized from an item’s price and its quality. For maintenance items like filters, an installer might have a “menu” pricing schedule for oil changes, air and cabin filters, and wiper blades. These services generally include labor at no “additional” cost, and the parts already have a recommended service interval. Selling at a fixed price can be tricky when the costs are variable, so shops often use value-line parts for these services. If the shop advertises “any air filter $49.95 installed,” you can bet they will choose your $12 store brand filter over the $25 premium filter whenever they can! These parts will likely provide sufficient service life, and the cost savings to the shop offsets some of the lost labor revenue. On our side of the counter, oil is usually marketed as a loss leader priced to get customers through the front door. Shops treat oil changes the same way, as an opportunity to get the vehicle in the shop to upsell more profitable work. 
      We would never knowingly offer a product that doesn’t meet some sort of minimum quality standards, nor would we recommend a product that won’t meet a customer’s (reasonable) expectations. The use of “features and benefits” as a selling tool helps classify the customer’s needs, explains the differences in pricing and quality, and minimizes disappointment by customers who expected premium performance and extended service life from the bare-bones product they selected based on price alone. 
      The post
      link hidden, please login to view appeared first on link hidden, please login to view.
      link hidden, please login to view
    • By Counterman
      This is always an important topic to discuss, because I consider excellent customer service one of the most important tools you can have to earn trust, respect and repeat business from the customers that come through your door. Whether that customer is do-it-yourselfer from across town or the professional repair shop across the street, your business depends on a solid relationship.

      It’s a subject that I am passionate about, and it’s one that many people are losing touch with. Whether you are communicating to someone in person, on the phone or using some type of social media, good customer service and bad can both exist. You can’t afford the latter, so this is the first in a series of topics which can and should be shared from the front of the shop to the back. No matter which role you hold, you represent the shop and yourself. Customer service should be your number one priority.

      First on the list is the greeting. From the second a customer walks in the door, they need to know you appreciate them coming in and how important they are to your business. First impressions are everything and here’s the correct way to do it each and every time: look them directly in the eye, smile and say hello!

      Of course, you can say “Good morning” or “Welcome to Joe’s Autocare,” but it should be a formal greeting and the most important thing is that you have smiled, looked them in the eye and recognized that they have walked through the door.

      You should always retain a formal greeting until you are on a first-name basis with a customer. Only once you have established that level of relationship is it OK to use the less formal greeting of “Hi,” followed by the person’s name.

      This greeting does more than just indicate respect and appreciation for someone walking through the door. Most likely there are customers both new and old who are in earshot of your conversation. For newer customers, this continues to build rapport and reinforce their positive view of your shop; they see that you demonstrate respect and treat everyone in the same manner. For repeat customers, even ones that have been coming for years, the greeting is important because the way you treat them is the reason they continue to come.

      And when a long-time customer comes in and you greet them with “Hi [First Name],” this indicates your appreciation for them and that you’re glad to see them as a person, more than just a customer. New customers that witness this will see that your repeat customers are comfortable enough to be on a first-name basis, another indication of the trust they have in you.
      If you impress someone with remembering their name and what you did last to their car, you just built a skyscraper of rapport.

      There are certain situations where you will always greet someone by Mr., Mrs. or Miss., and that is usually after you have seen them often enough to remember their name, but before you know them on a first-name basis. Many people will say, “Just call me [First Name],” letting you know it’s OK, but until then it’s a sign of respect to use a formal greeting. In some cases, you may always use the formal; it can vary from person to person.

      When thinking about the greeting, keep in mind that many people are uncomfortable walking into an unknown situation. They are probably already stressed because their car is broken, and they know it’s going to cost them money. And they may have never been to your shop or been there too often. Your greeting puts them immediately at ease and indicates, especially if there are other people waiting (and this is very important), that you have acknowledged they are there. They’ll be comfortable knowing that you’ll get to them as soon as possible.

      It’s going to happen, often enough, that you will either be on the phone, right in the middle of explaining something to a customer or have your back turned at the moment someone walks in. If you’re on the phone, it’s easy. Simply smile and wave. That’s all it takes. Don’t use a phone call as an excuse to ignore and not initiate a greeting. You’ll probably even have coworkers that do this, hoping they won’t have to wait on this person. Advice for you: don’t. It’s a sign of weakness.

      Once you’re off the phone, be sure to make an audible greeting and let them know how long it will be until you are available to help. If you’re currently talking to a customer when someone walks in, you don’t have to stop abruptly or cut them off to make a greeting, but don’t take too long. Wait just until you finish a thought and squeeze in a quick audible greeting, such as, “I’ll be with you in just a couple minutes, sir.”

      One of my favorite tricks as a service writer is to always be alert and pay attention to cars as they pull up. Try to jot down the license if possible. There’s a good possibility that you will recognize cars before you remember someone’s name. You may remember that the car was in and you may recognize the person, but that’s it. If you’re quick on the fingers, before they get in the door, you can do a license plate search and bring up their name and also see what was done last.

      If you impress someone with remembering their name and what you did last to their car, you just built a skyscraper of rapport. They’ll never know you “cheated.”

      Heres’ another trick, even if you only had time to jot down the license number and you greeted someone, “Welcome to Joe’s Autocare, I’ll be right with you,” this indicates to someone that you are finishing something up and will let them know when you are ready. Even if you buy yourself 10 seconds, you can look up the license plate, then you can say, “I can help you now Mr. Smith. We did brakes just last month, right?”

      Perhaps the most critical is that you always smile and greet your customers, no matter what. I don’t care how bad a day you are having, or if you had a difficult situation with the last customer. It doesn’t matter. Let it go and concentrate on whomever just walked in the door.

      Your greeting is your first impression. Just like a strong handshake, dressing nicely and being on time for a job interview, this is your chance. Don’t blow it. You are, for all practical purposes, walking into a job interview. You are looking for a job and your customer is doing the hiring.

      Customer service. That’s how it’s done. 
      The post
      link hidden, please login to view appeared first on link hidden, please login to view.
      link hidden, please login to view

×
  • Create New...