Having a hybrid car means you have two engines in one car and so servicing takes on an extra component, the electric motor and the battery.
Hybrid cars are becoming more and more popular and for good reasons, there is the fact that there is less impact on our environment in the form of CO2 emissions, and ultimately Hybrid Cars are very efficient.
When it comes to servicing hybrid cars, there is not a lot of difference between a regular petrol or diesel auto service. Our qualified mechanics go through a thorough checklist to ensure your car is in tip top condition.
So how does a hybrid car work?
The two engines work in tandem and while the petrol engine is engaged it will be charging up the battery for the electric motor. The brakes also play a part in charging up the battery, so it is a very clever combination in obtaining maximum efficiency from the two principals.
When it comes to servicing the petrol engine require servicing like any other petrol driven vehicle. Whereas the electrical motor does not have the same servicing requirement. In general a hybrid petrol engine does not have to work as hard and a normal petrol engine as it is assisted by the electrical motor. This means that oil changes tend to have longer intervals than normal. Always check your owners manual.
There is also less wear and tear on the breaks pads because of the inbuilt feature of energy generating brakes which convert a lot of the normal friction and wear into battery charging energy. So your brake pads last longer.
In fact most of the electrical components in a hybrid car are designed to be maintenance free.
Good service practice is to check power cords, connections and leads every service.
Oil recommended for hybrid vehicles is usually of a low weight meaning and more viscose. It is a balance between high lubrication and better fuel economy to those oils usually associated with normal petrol fuelled vehicles. So oils around 0W-20 are recommended. The nature of the hybrid car is of stop and start where the electric takes over from the petrol and vice versa. Under these conditions a lighter oil is conducive to oil flow when the engine starts and reaching the optimal running temperature as quickly as possible.
When hybrid cars were first developed they were using nickel-metal hydride batteries but since then they have been replaced by lithium-ion batteries which are smaller and lighter for better efficiency. Hybrid batteries and hybrid spare parts have a warranty of eight years or 160,000 miles. There are many stories of the Toyota Prius being driven over 260,000 km on the original battery. The batteries are lasting up to 10 years in normal circumstances
If your Prius or hybrid is having power issues, this could be an indication that your battery is nearing the end of its life. You can bring your vehicle down to Moneltham Auto Electric and we can diagnose the problem for you.
Your car will be back on the road in no time
So what are the signs that your hybrid battery is dying?
One of the clearest indicators is a drop in KPG. If you are doing less in kilometres per litre of petrol, this could be a sign that the battery is not playing its full part in the powering of the vehicle.
You may also notice that the petrol engine is running more than usual.
There is a state of charge indicator, SOC, if you notice high fluctuations in this indicator there may be battery issues. Of course if you see you battery bars falling for no apparent reason this could also be an indication of a failing battery. What ever the reason we can do a diagnosis in place and fix the problem.
We service hybrid cars not only in our local area of Eltham, Greensborough and Diamon Creek, but throughout the Melbourne area we will be happy to help.