A Simple “Safe Down” procedure


Ford Escape Service Plug

Ford Escape Service Plug

A simple “Safe Down” procedure for High Voltage Systems


When do you need to “Safe Down” a car with a high voltage (HV) system?

  • When you are done diagnosing the problem and it is time to remove a HV part
  • When you are unsure about your exposure to HV
  • When the OEM instructions tell you to
  • When you know you should

What order do I use?

  1. Get all you scan tool data first
  2. Shut off the car and remove the key
  3. Put the key away (out of sight or locked up)
  4. If keyless try to start it again (if it starts there is another keyless remote in the car. Find it or disconnect the 12 volt battery)
  5. Make sure you have the correct 12 volt battery disconnected.  Some HEVs have two 12 volt batteries near each other.
  6. Wear your Class 0 1000 volt currently certified HV gloves and remove the service plug, turn off the switch or pray as one European HEV does not have a service plug. Leather protectors over your HV rubber gloves is a good idea.
  7. Hide or lock up the plug or prevent the switch from accidentally turning on. On the Ford Escape and clones ACDC suggests “tape a cardboard cover over the hole and hide the plug”. This is NOT what Ford recommends.
  8. Always test as you go with a CAT III meter and wear those gloves until you know it is safe.
  9. Re-test for HV is you have left the car and it was out of your control.

ACDC can provide you with safety training and equipment