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Is your shop prepared to repair hybrid and electric vehicles?

—September 04, 2013
Is your shop prepared to repair hybrid and electric vehicles?

Posted By: Craig Peterson

This blog article comes to you from Mitchell’s product manager for RepairCenter TechAdvisor, Sharon Wong.

It is no surprise that over the past few years, there has been a surge of sales for hybrid and electric vehicles. The “going green” movement has caused these gas-efficient vehicles to become increasingly popular, with models such as the Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion, and Tesla Model S being great examples of prominent vehicles that happen to be hybrids.

According to Green Car Congress, the Toyota Prius was the top-selling model in California in the first half of 2013, as well as being part of the Top 10 best-selling vehicles in the nation. Additionally, according to the Los Angeles Times, through the first quarter of this year, sales of hybrids rose 19% over the same period a year ago.

There is no doubt that advancing hybrid technologies will continue to occur, and that the number of hybrid vehicles will continue to grow at an exponential rate. More hybrid vehicles on the road also equates to  more potential accidents and repairs, so being prepared and educated on these types of repairs is crucial to maintaining and increasing revenue for your shop.

While hybrid and electric vehicles provide many benefits to the car owner such as increased gas mileage, the new technologies in these vehicles make repairs more complex. In many circumstances, your technicians may not have come across these types of vehicles before. There are numerous rules of conduct and protective measures that must be followed in order to prevent injury or harm to the technician.

According to Al Thomas, department head of Collision Repair at Pennsylvania College of Technology, high voltage batteries (300 volts or more) can kill a technician who has not disarmed the high voltage system properly. Furthermore, regenerative breaking systems can produce enough electricity to injure the technician pushing the disabled vehicle around the shop.

The most fail-proof way to ensure that your technicians are following the proper repair procedures is to invest in a standardized repair information database. Mitchell’s RepairCenter TechAdvisor has a wide range of coverage for current hybrid models, and provides step-by-step procedures in dealing with repairs. The Mitchell Electric/Hybrid Safety Quick Reference Guide also provides real-life pictures accompanied with numbered techniques and caution notes in order to make repairs as simple and efficient as possible for technicians.

Don’t be fearful of electric and hybrid vehicles. Invest in this information to ensure that you are following the proper guidelines to do them yourself, keeping repairs in-house while increasing revenue for your shop.

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