Hybrid technology – diagnosing high voltage systems

Hybrid technology – diagnosing high voltage systems

Advances in the motor industry mean that many people find it hard to keep up with the technology. The general consensus seems to be that these “advances” just mean that the vehicle manufacturers want to make it harder for mechanics to maintain cars in the aftermarket.

This isn’t strictly true – many of the developments are necessitated by changes in legislation, often driven by international agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol. This is the force behind many recent technological changes such as the introduction of Particulate Filters, the use of Adblue emissions treatment, and the proliferation of hybrid and electric vehicle drivetrains in the marketplace. By the end of 2014, there will be at least 22 manufacturers of high voltage vehicles, with at least 43 different models in the UK.

Of course, there are far more serious safety issues which need to be considered with the high voltage systems of a hybrid car, compared to the relatively simple system of filtering particles within the exhaust, but the principles are the same – the easiest way to check if the system is operating correctly is to check the live data coming from the sensors, and any faults logged by the relevant ECU, rather than taking the components apart, in the first instance.

In order to check this information, you need to have a good quality diagnostic tool, which has not only a wide level of coverage (so that the vehicle you want to work on is within the database), but also that the data it can obtain should be detailed and relevant to the system you want to interrogate.

Diagnostic solutions

Autel UK has just launched its new diagnostic tool, the MaxiSys MS908. This Android-based tablet computer has the same great coverage as their other tools, but with the benefit of Samsung dual-core processors and a new slick interface which makes it easy and quick to use.

The tablet’s portable nature, and the wireless connectivity to the vehicle, makes it easy to work remotely around the vehicle. With built in video-out via HDMI or VGA, you could even hook up the tablet to a larger screen – showing off the diagnostic capabilities of your workshop to customers in the reception area.

The MaxiSys also has the ability to store and record live data from the vehicle, or display the data streams graphically.  Software updates are provided over-the-air via Wi-Fi, ensuring you always have the most recent data to hand. Later in the year, the ability to perform Pass-Thru type testing and programming will become available, through the use of a new VCI.

The tool also has a built in troubleshooter-type help system called MaxiFix, where you can request assistance online and also share your expertise with others.

The value of training

At ICT Workshop Solutions we always insist on offering quality training with all equipment sold. In the case of the MaxiSys, we offer a full day’s diagnostic course at our training centre in Yorkshire for free with every unit sold. We also provide ongoing telephone support and assistance. This means that once you have bought the tool, you continue to get the backup which you need.

If you find a fault on a vehicle, which requires you to work on a high voltage electrical system, we can provide the training to suit.

We have many years of experience with Hybrid and Electric vehicles, and keep ourselves fully up to date with the latest technological advances.

If you would like to find out more, just visit our website – www.ictworkshopsolutions.com – or call us on 01535 658663  to discuss your requirements.

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