Hybrid Auto Care, Hybrid Cooling Systems, Hybrid BatteryDid you know the combined sales of all hybrid-type vehicles in the U.S. rose to 16.3% of total new light-duty vehicle sales in 2023, according to data from Wards Intelligence? With more drivers purchasing hybrid-type automobiles, the need for quality hybrid maintenance services is on the rise. If you are a new hybrid owner, take a minute to read how vital hybrid auto care is to maintaining the hybrid cooling system and your hybrid battery.

Hybrid Auto Care: Preventative vs. Routine Maintenance

What’s the difference between preventative and routine maintenance? They may sound like the same thing, but they are slightly different. 

  • Routine maintenance happens on a predetermined schedule according to mileage or time. These duties include oil changes, tire rotations, and filter changes. Check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended routine maintenance intervals. They have tailored the service suggestions specifically for your make and model vehicle. Following these routine maintenance intervals ensures you get the best performance and longevity out of your hybrid. 
  • Preventative maintenance includes auto service and repairs that fall outside routine service appointments. For example, scheduling a wheel alignment because a deep pothole caused a misalignment issue would be preventative maintenance. The extra service appointment corrects the misalignment and prevents future tire tread damage.

Both types of maintenance are vital for your vehicle’s safety and performance. Below are some hybrid auto care services you should perform regularly. Some are safe to do at home, but a technician trained in hybrid maintenance should complete the others.

Dashboard Warning Lights

When a dashboard warning light alerts you to a problem, it may be tempting to disregard it. However, taking immediate action is important, especially with hybrid vehicles. Check your owner’s manual to see if you can troubleshoot it on your own. Schedule a service if a system needs a reset or a faulty component replaced. Ignoring these warnings may damage the electrical components, batteries, and cooling system, leading to more costly repairs.

Hybrid Cooling System

Your hybrid’s engine cooling system uses a mix of antifreeze and distilled water to keep it cool, just like combustion cars. Most hybrids also have a separate cooling system for the electronic components and regenerative braking system. All-electric and hybrid vehicles generate a lot of heat during standard operation, so keep the coolant levels topped off.

Only use coolant rated for use in hybrid cooling systems. Full levels of clean antifreeze keep the cooling system performing as designed. If you notice your car overheating, immediately bring it to a qualified hybrid service center for a diagnostic service to prevent expensive damages.

Does My Hybrid Need An Oil Change?

Your hybrid uses a combustion engine part of the time, so a routine oil change is still required. However, the frequency may be less often than that of a standard combustion car. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended mileage and time intervals for oil changes.

Hybrid Oil Weight

Many auto manufacturers recommend a lighter oil weight (usually 0W-20) for most hybrid cars. The major oil brands are creating hybrid-engine oils specially formulated for the different hybrid-type vehicles. It’s a good idea to check your owner’s manual for your specific vehicle’s suggested oil weight. Always follow the factory’s recommendations.

Other Fluids

Since hybrids still use an internal combustion engine part of the time, they use the same fluids that a traditional vehicle uses, plus a few more. You should routinely check the following fluid levels and refill them when necessary:

  • Brake fluid
  • Coolant/Antifreeze (may be more than one cooling system)
  • Power steering fluid
  • Reduction gear oil
  • Transmission fluid
  • Windshield Washer Fluid

Hybrid Battery Care

Most hybrids utilize both a standard (safe) 12-volt battery to power the low-voltage electrical system and a (more dangerous) maintenance-free, high-voltage battery (which can be over 100 volts). If you suspect any battery or electronics issues, schedule a diagnostic service to locate the problem safely. Inspecting the high-voltage battery is one of those tasks best left to a trained technician.

Regenerative Braking System

The regenerative braking system used in hybrid vehicles reduces wear on the brake components, making them last longer. However, they still need routine maintenance since your driving style, road conditions, and other factors may impact their service interval. Components like brake pads and rotors experience wear over time and require service or replacement.

Wheels & Tires

All vehicles should have their tires regularly inspected for excessive wear, uneven tire treads, cracks, or other damage, and proper tire pressure. Follow the wheel alignment and tire balancing intervals as your owner’s manual suggests. Additionally, schedule a service whenever you replace your tires, are involved in a collision, or notice steering vibrations.

Choose A Trained Hybrid Auto Care Technician

Your hybrid is a sophisticated machine that requires routine and preventative maintenance to run smoothly and safely. Most hybrids need specialized equipment and extensively trained technicians to diagnose, service, and repair them correctly. It’s important to protect your investment and find a qualified technician who can help you make educated decisions regarding the upkeep of your hybrid vehicle.

Hybrid Auto Care And Maintenance in San Diego, CA

At Wentworth Automotive, we are experts at hybrid auto care and routine maintenance. Whether you need an oil change, a new hybrid battery, or a hybrid cooling system service, our service team has you covered. 

Schedule Hybrid Auto Care Service

Call us at (858) 541-1044 or visit us online to schedule a hybrid auto-care service or routine maintenance appointment. Our experienced technicians will provide quality service and outstanding customer service.