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A Guide to Hybrid Vehicle Care

When you switch to a hybrid car, you might feel like everything you used to know about car care has changed. There are some similarities and differences when it comes to hybrid maintenance. The mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here with a guide to the service your hybrid vehicle needs.

Hybrid Battery Maintenance and Services

Hybrid vehicle batteries are much larger and more complex than standard automotive batteries. As such, it is especially important that you provide the care it needs. Here are some tips on maintenance and care for hybrid batteries:

  • Keep your hybrid parked in the garage to protect the battery from the summer heat and winter chills.
  • Have a professional clean your battery to remove debris and corrosion.
  • Hybrid batteries last much longer than standard car batteries. They are often warrantied to last between 5 to 10 years, depending on your manufacturer. However, when your battery begins to fail, you will need a hybrid battery repair or replacement from an experienced hybrid professional.

Inverter Tune-Ups for Hybrids

The inverter is the “brain” of your hybrid vehicle. Hybrids store the energy generated by your braking system in a DC (direct current) battery. Your inverter converts this into AC (alternating current) energy to power your vehicle. This process generates a lot of heat, which the inverter’s cooling system works to neutralize. As such, the inverter system may require routine coolant flushes, among other repair or replacement services.

Transmission Fluid Service and Transmission Repairs

Transmissions are responsible for moving power from your hybrid’s engine to the wheels. Different brands of hybrid vehicles collect and distribute power differently, which means there are a few different transmissions on the market. Depending on your transmission type and manufacturer recommendations, you may require regular transmission fluid flushes. It is essential to visit a mechanic experienced in hybrid vehicles for transmission checks, services, and repairs. 

Hybrid Tire Services

Tire needs are standard across hybrid, electric, and standard vehicles. Here is a look at some of the services your hybrid may need:

  • Tire rotation: To keep your tires protected and wearing evenly, your hybrid tires will require regular rotations.
  • Wheel alignment: When your alignment is skewed, it can cause a wide range of tire and vehicle troubles. Your hybrid will require as-needed alignment services. 
  • Tire replacement: Every tire has a limited lifespan. When your hybrid vehicle tires become worn or old, they will need to be replaced. 
  • Tire patching: Most drivers will inevitably find a nail in their tire at some point. Assuming the tie is overall in good condition, this will require a patching service. 
  • Inflation services: Low tire pressure can cause added stress to your hybrid engine, tires, and battery. 

Service and Maintenance Benefits of Hybrid Cars

Too often, hybrid vehicles are given a bad reputation for their service and repair requirements. However, with the right professionals on your side, these services are easy and affordable. Additionally, there are several areas of maintenance where hybrid vehicles require less care than standard cars:

  • Frequent battery replacement: Most vehicles require a new battery roughly every three years. Hybrid batteries are much larger and more sustainable. As such, they require very few replacements.
  • Frequent braking system maintenance: When you slow or stop a standard vehicle, the friction and power are absorbed by the braking system. As such, standard vehicles require frequent brake pad replacement, rotor resurfacing/replacement, brake fluid flush, and other services. However, regenerative braking absorbs this power and uses it to fuel the vehicle’s movements. As such, they do not require frequent brake pad replacements.
  • Oil change routine differences: Hybrid vehicles do still require oil changes. However, when you are driving at low speeds, the hybrid’s battery will kick in and give your engine a break. As such, the engine will not require as frequent oil changes. 

Service needs, recommendations, and routines will vary by vehicle and manufacture. Driving patterns and road conditions can also impact your ideal maintenance requirements. You can find the exact service schedule for your vehicle in your owner’s manual. A professional mechanic can also take a look under the hood to tell you which hybrid services you may need.

Chapel Hill Tire Hybrid Services

If you need hybrid vehicle service in the greater Triangle area, Chapel Hill Tire is here for you. We have nine locations across Raleigh, Durham, Apex, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Our mechanics will also come to you! We serve drivers in nearby cities as well with service areas extending to Cary, Pittsboro, Wake Forest, Hillsborough, Morrisville, and beyond! We invite you to make your appointment to get started today!

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