Like them or loathe them, hybrid cars are here to stay. What’s more, they are continuing to evolve and improve in design and engine technology, making them an ever-growing choice amongst consumers when considering a new car. Hybrid vehicles are fuel efficient and are kinder to the environment than petrol or diesel vehicles.
But does this come at a cost when it comes to maintenance? We delve into the issue this month to help you make a more informed choice if you are thinking of replacing your old car or buying your first car.
Just like any other vehicle, regular maintenance will ensure your hybrid car stays running well for longer. It may be a hybrid vehicle, but that doesn’t mean it is invincible to wear and tear. Having said that, due to the way it works that maintenance will be a little different to what you’re used to with a conventional engine.
Fewer oil changes
While it will depend on how you use the vehicle, the fact that a proportion of its running will be on the electric motor means that you may need less frequent oil changes – in other words, the periods between oil changes are longer. Typically, it will be somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 miles, but check the manual for your specific vehicle.
Be aware that the type of oil used may differ from that of conventional engines or even from older hybrid models. Using the wrong type of oil can lead to engine damage over time, so be sure you are using the right one or always have your mechanic top up if you need to.
This has hugely improved as hybrid technology advances and develops. While a new battery is still more expensive than for a conventional car, you will need to replace it far less frequently. It is also typically covered under the manufacturer’s warranty for longer, so if it does fail it may be possible to have it replaced at no cost to you. Some manufacturers even offer extended battery warranties that last up to 11 years.
Regenerative breaking is not only more fuel efficient for your car, but it can also mean that your brake life will be longer. This will reduce the need for the more regular replacement of brake pads that comes with a petrol or diesel vehicle. You should still get those checked regularly and replaced as needed to ensure you are safe on the road at all times.
Other maintenance tasks
As you would do with conventional vehicles, stay on top of tyre life and performance.
- Check your tyre tread and replace tyres as necessary.
- Perform wheel balances and alignments to your vehicle as you normally would to ensure smooth and safe driving.
- Check the filters and clean or replace as required. This applies to both the engine filters as well as the cabin filters to keep them clear of dirt, debris, and pollen.
- Fluids. Check transmission fluid and engine coolant, including that for the electric motor.
- Top up air conditioning refrigerant levels if necessary, particularly after last summer’s heavy use during the extended heatwave.
For advice on looking after your hybrid vehicle as well as for regular maintenance, servicing, or any other repairs get in touch with our Double Dee Autos team. You can call us on 020 8460 3040 with any questions or to book in a repair or service.