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How To Maintain Your Hybrid Car

How To Maintain Your Hybrid Car

Being a car owner is a big responsibility. And it comes with costs. Not only fuel costs, but regular maintenance and check-up costs. Keeping your car maintained will ensure the life of your car. Do not forget to maintain everything from oil-changes to tire rotation. But when it comes to Hybrid cars, there are three main units of power source that need to be maintained and checked on a regular basis: the gas-powered engine, the electric motor and the battery. The key ingredient to the electric motor’s well-being is the battery.

Hybrid cars are still fairly new to the market. In essence that means that the number of mechanics available to service your Hybrid are numbered; however, as time rolls on, those numbers will change. So, by the time your Hybrid car needs serious maintenance there should many more qualified mechanics ready to service your vehicle. Until then, a Hybrid owner should utilize his/her dealer.

Dealer

Until the number of qualified Hybrid mechanics grows exponentially a Hybrid owner should bring his/her environment-friendly Hybrid to an authorized dealer for maintenance. Dealers are currently the most knowledgeable mechanics to bring your Hybrid to for regular maintenance.

A Word About Maintenance

Currently, the maintenance costs, comparatively, for a Hybrid versus a convention gas-powered vehicle are nominal. In fact, engine wear may turn out to be less for a Hybrid due to its ability to shut itself down during idling. Thus, creating less wear on the engine. This is especially beneficial for city drivers. However, it remains true for drivers in any environment; city, suburban or country. The other bonus feature a Hybrid has that a conventional gas-powered vehicle does not have is its braking system. In a Hybrid, when slowing to a stop the electric motor slows the vehicle taking much of the strain off of the braking system. To sum up, engine use and brake use is less in a Hybrid as compared to a gas-only powered conventional car. These two factors weigh in on the maintenance list when comparison shopping or simply when owning a Hybrid car or Hybrid SUV.

A Word About Batteries

The one component to be most concerned with when owning a Hybrid is the life of the battery. Keeping in mind that the battery provides life to the electric motor, the battery is an essential piece of the puzzle; one third of the three main components of the power sources in a Hybrid vehicle. The battery is constantly drained and recharged by the electric motor. Although replacement of the battery is a necessary component of owning a Hybrid car or SUV, many manufacturers sell their vehicle with excellent warranty packages.

Warranty

No one can predict when a battery will expire. Luckily though, many manufacturers offer long warrantees on their batteries. Some, like Honda, offer 8 year/80,000 mile warrantees on their batteries. Others, like Toyota, offer even longer warrantees. Toyota’s is a 10 year/100,000 mile battery life warranty. But don’t be discouraged by warranty and eventual cost of replacement, which can reach close to $3600. Let’s say for example you have a warranty on your tires for 1 year and after 1 year your tires are perfectly fine. Simply said, there is no need to replace them. The same can hold true for your Hybrid battery. Depending on what make of car you own, taking for example the Honda, if after 8 years and 80,000 miles your battery is still working, then rejoice. The point is, just because a warranty period is up doesn’t mean the life of the battery is necessarily over. In some cases and with some manufacturers, they have not had to sell a new battery at all.

Cold Weather

Some Hybrid owners may notice a performance issue during cold weather; however this is due to the battery not being at its operating temperature. Giving the battery time to warm up will only improve performance and the Hybrid will run just as smoothly as it does in warm weather.

Maintaning Your Hybrid

Just like conventional gas-powered vehicles, regular maintenance is necessary. There is, however, cause to believe that the overall cost of maintaining your Hybrid may be equal to or less than maintaining a conventional car.

 

 
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