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Gearing up for EV & Hybrids: Diagnostic Workshop

By autotech-nath on June 2, 2019

Technicians, workshop owners and mobile repairers from the Home Counties and further afield* gathered at Chatham Dockyard on Saturday 11th May for an interactive day of training at Autotechnician’s first Big Day Out of 2019.  



*Medals for effort are awarded to Dave Pullan from Harrogate and Harry Wilson in Grimsby. 

James Dillon and David Wagstaff (of Technical Topics) and Andy Crook of GotBoost had created multiple faults on a BMW, all electric, i3 and by using the Kahoot! mobile app, delegates were able to vote on what course of action they believed best, to get to the root of it all. The first ‘customer complaint’ to tackle was the doors not opening/vehicle not responding – confirming a battery fault by use of a jump pack (courtesy of Scantec, cheers guys and gal!) Many faces in the room looked unsure about their decisions to begin with, wary of the unfamiliar EV technology, but James was keen to point out that the diagnostic process remains the same and a non-start due to a dud battery plays out the same, whether its an EV or ICE vehicle.

Discussion soon moved on to whether people knew if they were legally allowed to work on hybrids and EVs without training. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a vote split the room in half. To confirm, you need to prove you are competent at dealing with electric vehicles if things go wrong (you’re a workshop owner and a member of your staff has just been zapped by 650 volts of direct current). Although you are not legally bound to have a formal certificate to work on them, having a training certificate is the easiest way to prove competence. More importantly, it’s the only way to keep yourself, and the team around you, out of harm’s way.

The car had 50 fault codes stored at the outset and the trainers used the BMW dealer tool to formulate a test plan and prioritise DTCs. It turned out there were four things that were not communicating, so they began by investigating what they had in common. Throughout the sessions, James, Andy and David provided guidance on interpreting waveforms, the psychology of fault-finding and how to avoid the pitfalls. James also provided advice on the business of charging for diagnostics and ultimately, your expertise, as the trade moves away from selling mechanical labour. 




“It was an enjoyable day. The time flew past, which is always the sign of a successful event.” 

Steve Rothwell, Technical Editor, Car Mechanics 

“The training was excellent, I gained loads of knowledge and information from all the trainers on the day. A well-presented day out with good organisation and timing from professional people with loads of information and fun in the mix. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the day and cannot wait for the next one to learn more and enjoy myself.” 

Des Davies, Top Gear Motor Services 

“The schedule for the day was perfect and the price of the ticket was a bargain.” 

Edward Grigg, Swanley Garage 


Our next Big Day Out will take place on Saturday 5th October at a venue in the Midlands. Email for details or call 01634 816 165. 



About Autotechnician
Autotechnician is a magazine published nine times a year, delivering essential information to independent garage owners and technicians in the UK. Delivered both digitally and in print, autotechnician provides readers with technical, training, business advice, product and news, allowing our readers to keep up to date with information they need to run and work within a modern workshop.
Aftermarket Media Solutions Ltd, The Joiners Shop, Historic Dockyard Chatham, Kent ME4 4TZ
T: 01634 816 165
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