How to maintain a Hybrid vehicle
Hybrid vehicles (HEV’s) combine a conventional petrol or diesel engine with an additional motor powered by an electrical battery. This combination means that the owner benefits from lowered fuel costs and the vehicle has much less impact on the environment. This leads to them being cleaner to run and using less fuel than a standard petrol or diesel powered car.
Most hybrids use a combination of advanced technologies:
Regenerative Braking. Regenerative braking recaptures the energy normally lost during braking. Using the forward motion of the wheels to turn the motor which generates electricity and helps slow the vehicle.
Electric Motor Drive/Assist. The electric motor provides power to assist the engine in accelerating..
Automatic Start/Stop. This commonly found feature is standard in Hybrid vehicles. The automatic Start/Stop shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a standstill and restarts it when the accelerator is pressed. This reduces wasted energy from idling.
Thanks to these technologies, the advantages of owing a hybrid vehicle are:
- Considerably lower impact on the environment.
- Reduced running costs
- Lower fuel consumption
Vehicle manufacturers are continually advancing the technology used in hybrid vehicles. This includes developing hybrid battery technology and using lightweight materials to ensure the future of vehicle ownership has much less impact on the environment.
Hybrid vehicles are more complex to service than all electric EV vehicles. Thanks to having both a petrol or diesel engine plus an electric motor (and all the additional parts that go with both), hybrids have more components to check and service.
Diesel hybrid vehicles can often be more expensive to service than petrol hybrids, as in turn they have more complicated technology under the bonnet, such as extra emission control systems.
Maintaining a hybrid vehicle
Hybrid vehicles feature comparatively complex engines & components and so, like any vehicle, if you own a hybrid it’s important to keep a regular maintenance schedule including annual MOT testing and servicing. As with any vehicle, some checks can be carried out by the driver whilst others are best left to a professional.
Hybrid MOT testing
All hybrid vehicles over 3 years old should have an annual MOT test. As with any conventional vehicle, the MOT test is designed to check your vehicle meets the minimum safety standards to be on the road and is a legal requirement for all motorists.
Tyres for Hybrid vehicles
Most drivers understand the importance of good tyre maintenance and regular tyre safety checks but this is especially important if you own a hybrid vehicle.
Although hybrid vehicles have much lower running costs, if your tyres aren’t the correct pressure you’re going to reduce the fuel efficiency of a hybrid & compromise performance. Hybrid vehicles also have a lower rolling resistance (ie. the vehicle requires less energy to move the tyre) than conventional vehicles so it’s important to ensure you choose your tyres carefully. If in doubt, staying with the original tyre (OE) the vehicle was fitted with by the manufacturer is the best option. This is because you’ll have the peace of mind in knowing that the tyre has been developed in collaboration with the manufacturer and tested by experts on your vehicle.
If you own a hybrid vehicle, maintaining the vehicle battery should always be a priority. Hybrid vehicles depend on electricity powered by the battery to run so it’s vital that the battery is in top condition.
Cold weather can affect the battery charge so make sure you pay particular attention to the battery throughout the autumn & winter. Hybrid batteries always perform better when they’re warm so ensuring your vehicle is warmed up sufficiently before you head out is advisable, especially in cold weather. The good news is that Hybrid batteries are designed to last longer than standard car batteries, so you should get plenty of use out of it before it needs replacing.
Hybrid Engine Oil
As a hybrid engine is partially driven by petrol or diesel, it’s important that you keep an eye on the engine oil level. However, engine wear is likely to be slower than a conventional vehicle as the engine runs of both electricity and fuel.
Hybrid Vehicle Servicing
If you own a hybrid vehicle, you’ll need to adhere to a regular servicing schedule as you would with any vehicle.
As with conventional vehicles, the level of service you choose for your hybrid depends on how long it’s been since your vehicle was last serviced and how many miles you have done since then. We generally recommend a full service every 12000 miles or 12 months. Drivers who carry out high mileage may also be advised to have an interim service every 6 months (between full services). If you’re unsure about which hybrid service to book then please ask a member of the team and we’ll advise based on your vehicle recommendations, individual usage and mileage.