With the ever-increasing price of fuel, hybrid and electric vehicles are now more popular than ever. The pure electric market is still finding its feet, with most offerings either resembling a glorified go-kart or a high-priced luxury UFO, with little in the middle ground, Hybrid cars are becoming more interesting to everyday commuters. No longer are hybrids limited to the Toyota Prius, with manufacturers from BMW, Chevy, Porsche, and even Ferrari getting in on the game. If you’re interested in joining the hybrid movement, here are some Hybrid vehicle service tips you should know.
Keep Your Cooling System Well Maintained
Cooling systems are key to stopping your car from overheating. In most hybrid cars, there are two cooling systems. One system to keep the engine cool, and another to keep the battery cool. Manufacturers do this because the battery and engine won’t always need to be cooled at the same time.
A lot of owners end up damaging their hybrid battery as they’re under the misconception that servicing your engine’s cooling system also services your battery’s cooling service. Consult your owner’s manual and if your hybrid does have two separate cooling systems, make sure your local mechanic services both next time your car is in for maintenance.
We understand the temptation to go a little further between services, especially if you’re mostly using your hybrid in EV mode. This is one of the biggest mistakes hybrid owners make. Because the engine isn’t always running, it can turn on and off several times during a trip. This puts the same amount of strain on the engine as if you were to drive it without electrical assistance.
Don’t Fight with the Computer
Your car’s onboard computer knows what’s best for the car. Most of the time, you’ll have full control over how you want your hybrid car to drive. Just electric, just engine, or hybrid mode really comes down to your own preference, but there will be times when the computer overrides your decision.
While it’s tempting to squeeze that last 5% out of your battery just to get you home, don’t argue with your car when the engine takes over. The car knows it’s bad for the battery to fully discharge and will do what it must to stop this. Forcing your car to jump into EV mode when it recommends hybrid mode is a sure-fire way to end up with an expensive repair bill.
Avoid the Orange Wires
You may already be familiar with your car’s electrical system. Red is positive and black is negative, but on your hybrid, you’ll notice one new color, orange. Orange is used to indicate which wires and cables belong to the electric motor battery’s high voltage system.
We’re all for maintaining and modifying your own vehicle, but if in the process of modifying your car you need to work close to an orange wire, it is wise to abandon the modification, as accidentally damaging these wires can result in severe injury or death.
Choose A Mechanic That is Experienced with Hybrid Cars
The mechanic that your whole family has been using since the ’90s may know all there is to know about engines, but hybrids are a whole different ball game. Special insulated tools and equipment are required when working on hybrid cars, and standard shop tools don’t offer the electrical insulation required to safely complete work. Shops that work on hybrid and electric cars will also have different safety and emergency protocols. The batteries used in modern hybrids are lithium-ion. If damaged, they can cause a fire that a traditional fire extinguisher or fire suppression system can’t put out. In fact, if the fire suppressant system uses water, it can cause the battery to explode
Looking For a Hybrid Vehicle Service Center in South Florida?
Foreign Affairs Motorwerks is proud to announce that our specially trained auto technicians can perform any number of repairs and maintenance tasks on both hybrid and pure electric vehicles. From scheduled maintenance to warranty repairs, we are the one-stop repair center for all your car’s needs. Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at (954) 746-0488.