Make sure your hybrid won't let you down by following these important tips to keep it performing in top-notch condition.
- Change Your Oil and Filters & Have Your Brake Pads Checked
Like regular gas engines, hybrid and hybrid-electric vehicles need regular oil and filter changes. However, they don't need them as often because the electric components take some of the load off the engine. Our recommendation is to change your oil between 5,000 and 10,000 miles and your air filter every 40,000 miles. It's also a good idea to have your brake pads checked at the same time. The good news is that the regenerative braking properties of your car mean that your brake pads need to be replaced less frequently than those on a standard gas-powered car, but you want to be safe on the road, so make sure your technician gives them the okay before you drive out of the shop.
- Always Take Your Vehicle to a Hybrid Expert
It's really important to take your car only to hybrid specialists for service and repair. They are trained to handle your car's unique systems and to understand the important differences between gas-powered vehicles and hybrids. Some of those differences include the:
- Alternating current and voltages
- Charging systems
- Braking systems
- Cooling and air conditioning systems
- Number and types of batteries Untrained technicians present a danger not only to themselves but also to you if they mishandle any of these systems.
- Remember Safety is the Most Important Thing
Most hybrid vehicles have complex, color-coded wiring in their high-voltage systems. A technician who doesn't know how the system works could easily make a mistake.
- Ask Your Technician About Low Rolling Resistance (LRR) Tires
Your hybrid came from the factory with LRR tires. They are specially manufactured with a harder rubber compound that makes them roll easier than the softer compounds found on regular tires. That means your vehicle's motor spends less energy to get and keep your car moving, resulting in greater fuel economy and savings for you! There can be some disadvantages to these tires, though, based on the conditions how and where you drive, so be sure to check with your shop about the best choice for your car.
- Make Maintenance Routine
Without fail, take your hybrid in for regular, routine check-ups. This will allow your technicians to maintain a record and schedule of what repairs have been done along with notes of any changes or issues that arise. They'll also be able to send you reminders to make it easier for you to stay on top of your car's needs. Not only will this ensure that your car keeps rolling, but it could also help you avoid costly repairs down the road.
- Use the right parts.
It’s not worth it to use the cheapest replacement parts. Make certain that every part that goes into your car is exactly the right one to get the job done. Putting the wrong parts in your car can ruin its performance and cost you much more in the long run.