Hybrid electric vehicles utilize two power sources – Gasoline for the internal combustion engine and a battery pack to power the electric motors. Therefore, its service procedure and service intervals differ from the way a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle is maintained.
To help you understand what needs to be serviced on a hybrid vehicle, areas that need attention and care are listed below.
Engine Oil:Though hybrid vehicles use an internal combustion engine, it is used in sync with electric motors. As a result, the engine isn’t used to its full capacity. Therefore, the engine oil lasts longer. Oil change intervals may be extended on a hybrid vehicle. Please review your vehicle owner’s manual for recommended service intervals.
Hybrid Battery:The next component that needs periodic attention is the high voltage hybrid battery. On average a hybrid battery will last from 80,000 to 100,000 mile. Reaching or exceeding these mileage numbers depends on how the recharging process is managed. It is recommended that you charge a hybrid battery only as much as you need to. The best way to optimize the performance of your hybrid battery is to follow the charging information contained in the vehicle owner’s manual. Remember, power management is the key to extending battery life and performance.
Battery Filter:Some hybrid vehicles utilize an air-cooled battery pack to keep battery temperature under control. Such systems sport an air filter that filters the air before being blown onto the batteries. This filter may get clogged over time and may load the cooling system. It is best to refer to the owner’s manual to understand when to change the battery filter.
Cabin Air Filter:Be it a hybrid or a conventional internal combustion vehicle, a cabin air filter replacement is a must. You may ask “what does a cabin air filter do?” Well, it prevents dust, dander, odor, harmful gases, and other contaminants from entering the vehicle’s cabin.
The air blowing into the cabin through the HVAC system gets filtered through the cabin filter. Over time, the cabin air filter gets clogged so it must be replaced before it starts to stress the hybrid vehicle’s HVAC system. Refer to the owner’s manual of your vehicle to understand the cabin air filter replacement intervals.
Brakes:Hybrid vehicles use regenerative braking technology to help recharge the battery and to assist in slowing the vehicle. By slowing the vehicle with this technology, it creates less work for conventional brakes (i.e., brake pads and shoes) and extends their service life. However, conventional brakes will eventually wear out. It is important to have your brakes inspected when you take your vehicle for service and to follow any maintenance schedule noted in the vehicle owner’s manual.
Hybrid system components and circuits don’t require periodic servicing, but it is best to refer to the owner’s manual to see if there’s something specific in your vehicle that needs inspection or care.
In addition to the service items noted above, hybrid vehicles also require tire rotation, tire balancing, alignment, engine air filter replacement, brake fluid exchange, coolant checks, and other inspections when their respective service or replacement intervals arrive. To optimize the performance and to ensure your hybrid vehicle is maintained properly, always refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for service requirements.