General Information About Hybrids
Hybrids differ little from regular vehicles when it comes to routine maintenance items. Other than the systems that control the on-board storage batteries and the additional electric drive motor, routine maintenance for hybrids follows pretty much the same guidelines as their non-hybrid counterpart.
If operated as designed, full hybrid vehicles have the ability to shut off their internal combustion engines and operate on the electric motor under certain conditions. (e.g. low speed maneuvering and light cruising). Needless to say, the engine doesn’t work as hard. This results in reduced wear and tear. Hybrids also often employ regenerative braking systems that both charge the batteries and reduce wear on brake components.
So What’s the Difference?
Well, much of the drive train is different. The internal combustion engine, electric drive motor and the transmission are mated together to work as an entity. A malfunction in one component can affect the way the others function. Serious troubleshooting, diagnosis and repair of this system is best left to professionals.
The complex electronic modules that control the electric drive motor for both propulsion and regenerative braking can generate enormous amounts of heat. Often they have their own dedicated cooling systems.
The battery control modules regulate both charge and discharge rates as well as the state of charge of the entire bank. To operate consistently under all conditions, these systems will often employ both heating and cooling systems.
Hybrids generally are equipped with dual voltage systems. Though most of the electrical system is safe standard 12-volt, the drive motor and related components operate well in excess of 100 volts. The safety threshold is low and narrow, an electrical shock with as little as 50 volts can prove fatal. To warn technicians and operators of these high voltage circuits, the cables are wrapped in a bright orange casing. To safely maintain and repair these components, the system must be de-powered. A task that is absolutely best left to trained technicians.
We service Hybrid Vehicles such as:
Click here to request an appointment for your hybrid vehicle at Eccles Auto Service.