Since the early 2000s, hybrid vehicles have become a valuable part of the car market. Modern hybrids have proven to be less expensive, more reliable, and longer-lasting, making them an excellent purchase for the eco-conscious driver.
3 Differences Between Maintaining Hybrids Vs. Non-Hybrid Vehicles
There’s never been a better time to purchase a hybrid than the present, and you might find yourself contemplating a hybrid, wondering what the maintenance differences are between a hybrid and a fuel car. The team at Naylor’s Auto Repair has been working with hybrid vehicles since they first came to the market, and we've put together this list so you can see, at a glance, some of the major differences to hybrid vehicle maintenance to help you learn more about the long-term benefits of owning a hybrid:
1. They Have Extended Brake Pad Life
Modern hybrids are equipped with a regenerative braking feature. Because of this feature, a hybrid’s brakes experience less friction and heat, which are the primary contributors to brake pad wear. If you find yourself in stop-and-go traffic on a consistent basis, this feature is an incredible benefit for you.
2. They Need Fewer Oil Changes
An electronic engine experiences less wear and tear than a fuel engine. For a hybrid driver, it means there is less chance of engine failure and extended time between necessary oil changes. Depending on your driving style and driving frequencies, you could go between 5,000 to 10,000 miles between oil changes. Along with the monetary savings, it's just nice not to have to schedule oil changes as often. If you really miss this opportunity to see your favorite mechanic, you're always welcome to stop by the shop just to say hi!
3. They Don't Require Ongoing System Maintenance
Most hybrid vehicles aren't going to require any system maintenance on the hybrid compoenents. The gasoline components may need some, but because those parts are less active than a traditional car, you'll find that they need much less attention. While this might be considered a difference versus traditional maintenance, the key takeaway is that a hybrid is not going to require any special maintenance on those specific components.
What Do Warranties Cover?
The majority of hybrids include warranties that cover the hybrid system from anywhere between 8 to 10 years. The specifics that your warranty covers is entirely dependent on the manufacturer, but you can typically expect your warranty to cover hybrid-related components in addition to the traditional coverage types (basic, powertrain, and so forth). The only engine component that is not subject to this is the battery, which will need to be replaced after a specific number of charges.
Tips for Maintaining Your Hybrid Vehicle
Let’s face it; car maintenance is much easier said than done. But maintaining any vehicle is critical if you plan to own it for the long run; this is especially true when it comes to hybrid cars. If you are going to keep your hybrid running smooth and reliable beyond the warranty, it is critical that you maintain your:
- Transmission Fluid
- Brake Fluid
- Hybrid Battery
Maintaining these three parts of your hybrid will cost much less than if you don’t give them proper care and eventually are forced to replace the parts. Here’s what we mean:
Every 50,000 miles, your hybrid vehicles' transmission fluid should be replaced. Although this fluid does not break down as quickly as it does in a gas-powered car, the fluid does become contaminated with iron oxide over time. When this occurs, it can cause severe damage to your electric motor and result in expensive part replacements.
A hybrid transmission can cost around $11,000 to replace while frequent transmission fluid changes, which prolong the life of your transmission, cost around $115.
Flushing your hybrid’s brake fluid regularly plays a crucial part in avoiding an expensive part of failure. If your brake fluid is never replaced, the linear valve, which plays a critical role in the wheel alignment, will become corroded and over time leave your vehicle undrivable.
A hybrid’s battery is designed to last the length of the car’s life if it is properly maintained. The problem is, most dealerships do not equip you with the tools to maintain your battery. For the most part, a dealership will only be able to assist you once your battery has failed, Naylor’s Auto Repair, on the other hand, has the equipment to help you prevent battery failure and ensure a long life for your hybrid battery.
If you bring your hybrid in for battery servicing at or before 60,000 miles, we can evaluate and rebalance your battery’s modules, preparing it for the second half of its life.
To learn more about hybrid maintenance or to schedule your service appointment today, contact Naylor’s Auto Repair today!