Car ownership undeniably comes at a cost to both your wallet and the environment. That’s precisely why more individuals and families are trading in their combustion engine vehicles for electric vehicles or EVs. These silent, smooth, battery-powered machines are revolutionising the way we drive, offering emission and guilt-free commuting.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that EVs come with unique servicing and maintenance requirements – and not all mechanics are equipped with the tools, technologies, or even skills required to see to your EV and its engine or battery.
To shed more light on all things EV servicing and maintenance, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the top tools and technologies required to keep your electric vehicle rolling. Read on to learn more about what you can expect the first time you bring your EV in for a routine servicing.
Insulated Hand Tools
Electric vehicle batteries are made of lithium-ion, and when charged, they can provide significant amounts of energy – enough to power the car and propel it hundreds of kilometres without pause. So, thanks to the presence of this potent electrical current, insulated tools are an absolute necessity when it comes to servicing EVs. These unique tools will protect you against any potential injury if you make contact with an energised power source such as the car’s battery.
Thankfully, you can find a range of different insulated tools on the market today, including high quality torque wrenches, screwdrivers, ratchets, and other hand tools that are vital for servicing electric vehicles. An insulated tool is marked with an official “1,000-volt” rating symbol and the year it was manufactured and insulated. These markings signify that the tool will be safe to use when servicing an EV.
Each insulated tool is tested to meet strict safety standards and will have a rubber coating over the handle. Any tool that you or a qualified mechanic purchase for EV servicing needs to be insulated.
Fault Detection Computers
Any mechanic or home auto enthusiast who wants to work on an electric vehicle independently should invest in their own fault detection computer. This is an intelligent piece of detection equipment that’s designed to be plugged into your EV for diagnostics purposes.
In other words, your fault detection computer can be used to quickly determine the status and safety of your vehicle system and its accompanying battery pack, allowing you to detect anomalies in its operation before any breakdowns even have the chance to occur. It can be used to rapidly determine how the vehicle is functioning and if there are any faults present, which can then be repaired promptly and with minimal risks to yourself, your family, and other drivers.
An Oscilloscope and Multimeter
Oscilloscopes and multimeters are other vital tools that must be used whenever you’re working with electrical currents. These are specialised tools that are set up to measure electric aspects such as current, voltage, and resistance quickly, and can determine if there are problems with the battery or any other electronic components that carry a current within your electric vehicle.
For instance, this tool can help you determine if your EV battery pack is in a dangerous state and requires replacement, or if it is flat and needs to be charged. For this reason, all mechanics that work on electric vehicles are required to know how a multimeter works, and how best these specialised tools can be used for servicing and maintaining EVs.
A Car Jack
An electric vehicle is still a car with wheels at the end of the day, and sometimes, you’ll need to replace a wheel or tyre. That’s where a car jack comes in handy.
A mechanical or hydraulic automotive jack will help you lift and anchor the electric car in the event that you need to perform work on or under your vehicle chassis or change a tyre.
And if you’re wondering what the difference is between a hydraulic jack and a mechanical automotive jack, then let us enlighten you. Mechanical jacks work by using a screw thread that can be wound or unwound to lift or lower the EV. Contrastingly, hydraulic car jacks use hydraulic power to keep the vehicle elevated or lower it. Hydraulic jacks often come in the form of wheeled trolleys for easy transportation around a garage or workshop.
You can find good quality car jacks that are either mechanical or hydraulic, so no type is better than the other. It really just all depends on user preferences.
A Battery Pack Lift
EV batteries are heavy and are made of incredibly dense and rare earth materials. As such, it’s a mammoth task to lift, carry and transport them, especially during assembly and installation.
Thankfully, there are specialised battery lift packs that can be used for transporting EV car batteries. These heavy-duty EV battery lifts can be used to lift and carry the battery pack from an external tray to your car’s internal tray. Regardless of whether you’re looking to replace your car battery or run diagnostics tests on it, an EV-grade battery pack lift will be required to complete this unique servicing and maintenance task.
A Cell Balancer
Another particularly unique component of conducting EV maintenance is simply ensuring that your lithium car battery is in good working condition. Yes, a multimeter may help you check this to some extent, but there is another tool that can help you identify another common problem that occurs in batteries as they age.
Cell balancers are a high-precision lithium battery balancing maintenance tool that is designed to effectively repair the problem of reduced cruising range caused by inconsistent battery cell voltages. This can be a common problem in slightly older EVs, as their battery pack ages, and is an essential tool for this reason. Once again, all mechanics that work on EVs are required to learn how to use a cell balancer, just as they’re required to use multimeters and oscilloscopes.
An EV Service Summary
This informative article has shared the top automotive tools used to service and maintain electric vehicles. By now, you’re an expert in this topic and know just what is required to work on these high-tech machines. So be sure to find yourself a mechanic who has all these tools on hand and knows just how to use them. That way, you can make sure that your EV can stay in good working condition over its lengthy usable lifespan.