We’ve all heard people talking about comparing apples and oranges, and that might be what comes to mind when you think about how you need to maintain your hybrid vehicle as compared to a traditional car. While there are some similarities, there are also plenty of differences. When hybrids were first introduced into the American car market, some mechanics were afraid to service them. Call it fear of the unknown. Now, however, many auto service technicians have been trained to service and repair hybrids. The AutoStream Car Care staff in Clarksburg, Maryland, understands your hybrid vehicle and will be glad to assist you with both repairs and routine maintenance.
Even though hybrid and traditional vehicles operate with some notable differences, there are still a number of maintenance parallels. The gasoline engine of the hybrid, for instance, requires the same kind of maintenance as does its counterpart. This includes services such as routine oil changes. The major difference is that the oil may not need changing as frequently because the gasoline engine in a hybrid does not operate all the time, meaning that the car can travel more miles before needing fresh lubricant. Other important vehicle components also need regular attention, regardless of how the car is powered. These include the air conditioning system, tires, wheels, and brakes, although the braking system may need maintenance and repairs less frequently than conventional cars because a hybrid’s brakes generate less heat, making brake pads last longer.
For all the similarities between maintaining conventional and hybrid cars, there are some undeniable differences. Most notably, the hybrid car has both an accessory battery used for cranking the gasoline engine and a traction battery pack (also called an HV pack) that powers the electric motor. The auxiliary battery should be maintained by powering on the hybrid system at least once every two weeks for 20 minutes while all non-essentials (air conditioning, radio, etc.) are turned off.
Because a hybrid uses electrical (battery) power for a significant portion of its operation, owners encounter less expense for gasoline. They also save on oil changes and brake repairs as described. Hybrid batteries are now designed to last a long time, usually at least 100,000 miles, and they also have a substantial warranty. However, if these packs do have to be replaced, they are quite expensive. Therefore, the owner has to decide based on their driving habits and distances how much money is actually saved with a hybrid based on these maintenance costs.
Although the two types of cars are like apples and oranges, hybrids and conventional vehicles both fit into a basket of mixed fruit. They all need service eventually! For help with those necessary hybrid services, rely on AutoStream Car Care in Clarksburg, Maryland.