I recently attended a new 2-day Electric Vehicle Troubleshooting Course created by Pro-Moto’s founder Eliot Smith at his HQ in Aldershot, Surrey. Eliot has notched up 40 years of experience in the trade, on the workshop floor as a BMW technician before moving into technical support for Honda. This saw him travelling around the globe, experiencing the latest hybrid and electric vehicle technology. He left to start an independent training business and Pro-Moto was born. One of his first tasks was to develop and write the national qualification for the UK aftermarket alongside the IMI and since then has been involved in educating not only technicians but many from outside the trade, including research and development companies, the police and fire rescue services.
The Pro-Moto training centre in Ash Vale is a recognised national training provider with IMI Awards. Eliot has developed three new courses to complement the Level 1 to 4 EV training he provides (he also offers courses on CAN-Bus, fuel injection, air con, electrics, and effective scoping.) ‘HV Battery Repair’,
‘HV Charging Systems’ and ‘EV Troubleshooting’ have been designed to keep up with the common faults identified within EV vehicle systems.
I went on the 2-day EV Troubleshooting Course, which addresses how to best diagnose, troubleshoot problems, and repair the systems and components. It covers insulation issues, battery degradation, HV battery imbalance, non-start battery faults, charging problems, and more.
I found Eliot very flexible with his approach to the course content and would tailor the course to your needs. The first day of the course began with a discussion on troubleshooting process – preferred methods, tools used and any experience we had on EV system faults. We were advised to take our time, use our instincts, be confident in what we did, make notes, take pictures, and then review our work.
Up for the task…
Over the two days, we were guided through six scenarios. I do not want to give away too much detail and spoil it for future attendees so will give a glimpse into the content and teaching methods. One task involved a non-start Lexus Is300h, which did not have a ‘ready mode’ symbol displayed on the dashboard. Eliot would let you carry on with the diagnosis but would ask why you chose a particular tool or test method. We would review our methods and results and discuss what would we have done differently to help find the faults and fix the vehicles.
We were presented with a non-start Nissan Leaf, which had the high voltage warning light on. This task highlighted the need to always use the correct safety workwear and tools, to disconnect the auxiliary battery and the interlock service plug and wait until the capacitors had depleted the high voltage. The group then practised checking the voltages of the main cables to the HV battery (max 5V is safe to work on). We were then shown the correct procedures to remove the battery from the vehicle. Eliot explained in detail how to rebuild the battery and replace it then onto the vehicle frame.
Other tasks involved a Renault Zoe, which would not charge properly and checking the individual battery cells on a Toyota for imbalance.
An excellent course with lots of activities and handouts given to enhance our learning journey on Electric vehicle systems, with real-world faults. Eliot is a very knowledgeable, approachable, and clever instructor who lets you diagnose the vehicles yourself but observes and closely monitors your progress and guides your diagnostic plans and methods.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience having gained a wealth of knowledge on completing this course. Highly recommended!