Hybrid vehicles are increasingly common on U.S. roads, with over 340 thousand sold in 2018 alone. While the number of hybrids on the road is murky, it’s safe to say green alternatives to gas cars are on the rise. With the electric trends in the automotive industry comes new standards and rules of the road.
Here’s what you need to know about vehicle repair and maintenance if you’re considering switching to a hybrid.
Seek specialized hybrid care
Hybrid cars have a number of components that differ from traditional automobiles – including differences in braking, cooling and charging systems. An important step in caring for your vehicle is taking it to a professional who is skilled at handling this type of car.
Ask your collision center or repair shop if they are certified to specifically work on hybrid vehicles. Certified technicians can ensure top-of-the-line care for your specific vehicle. Specialized care is needed for electric vehicles as well.
The batteries in hybrids differ from other cars. For hybrids, makers typically guarantee that the batteries will last for at least eight years or 80,000 miles – that’s several years longer than many traditional carmakers’ guarantee.
It is important to keep the battery between the extremes of either completely drained or fully charged – somewhere between 40 and 60 percent charged. This practice helps extend the battery life, thus making your vehicle more efficient overall.
Fewer maintenance expenses
Brake pads, air filters, and oil will likely have to be changed less frequently in your hybrid than in other vehicles – like batteries, the lifespan for these components is typically longer in hybrids.
Routine maintenance isn’t needed for your hybrid vehicle either. Less engine use means less wear on the engine. In all, you won’t need as much typical maintenance as you would in gas cars.
Talk to your technician to schedule the best maintenance routine for your vehicle.
Certified collision repair shops are knowledgable in protocols specific to hybrid vehicles. The technician must know where the hybrid systems are and inspect them first for damage to reduce shock risk. The electrical propulsion must be completely shut down before work can begin. Certification courses like I-Car and ASE are used by certified shops to train their technicians in these changes in car repair on a yearly basis.
Most bodywork for hybrid vehicles is the same as a typical gasoline vehicle except for that electrical system. Once a certified technician has properly identified and shut down the system, they can safely work on the vehicle.
Looking for a hybrid certified collision center? ProCare Collision Center has certified technicians who will help guide you through your repair process.