HYBRID CAR MAINTENANCE
With energy crisis at an all-time peak, alternate fuel vehicles are slowly gaining prominence in all parts of the world. Hybrid cars are one of the new breed of vehicles that are an answer to carbon emitting conventional vehicles and hope to make a difference to the environment.
Any vehicle or equipment needs regular maintenance to function at its full potential and hybrid cars are no exception.
Maintaining a hybrid car is no different from other conventional vehicles in most ways. It is neither too expensive nor too complicated. This should put to rest questions like – Is hybrid car maintenance expensive? Is it too complicated and time-consuming and so on ?
The two main aspects that a new hybrid car owner would consider with regards to the maintenance regime are:
- Frequency of maintenance
The dual system works so efficiently that these cars require very minimal maintenance in comparison to their conventional counterparts.
Hybrid cars use regenerative braking system wherein the wear and tear on the brakes is far less when compared with the traditional brakes thereby increasing the life of the brake pad. Another benefit of this system is that it charges the batteries too.
The internal engine shuts down and allows the electric motor to take over in situations like low speed maneuvering and normal cruising. This reduces the wear on all engine components.This reduces the need for frequent maintenance.
A sophisticated electric drive motor and a large battery pack are the only two things that differentiate hybrid cars from regular vehicles. Hence their maintenance cost is similar or even less than the routine cars.The cost of the electric drive battery pack is a matter of concern in an otherwise low budget maintenance regime. But thanks to advanced technology most of the batteries last really long and are touted to have a life of 80,000 to 100,000 miles.
A combination of regular maintenance of the overall vehicle components along with individual components will ensure that your hybrid car will run smoothly for a long time with fewer safety issues.
In addition to regular maintenance you must pay attention to a few extra factors with hybrid cars.
- Because it is a dual system dependent on an internal engine and an electrical motor you must pay heed special attention to the transmission fluid, change spark plugs, fuel and air filters routinely.
- Enormous amount of heat is generated because of the regenerative braking system and hence the cooling system should be in prime condition at all times. Hence, check individual hoses,pipes and clamps and any additional air filters used in the motor and battery heating and cooling system.
The presence of complicated electronic modules requires professional help to tackle major repairs. Only trained professionals are adept at empowering the entire system and handling any key repairs because of the presence of the dual voltage system wherein the power could reach 100 volts and hence repair becomes a safety issue. That said your hybrid is still an easy maintenance Eco-friendly vehicle.