Decatur Auto Repair

Maintenance Tips for Your Hybrid Car

Hybrid vehicles are not just a passing trend. They are here to stay. Many car manufacturers are now offering hybrid cars. These vehicles combine an electric motor with a regular engine, which creates higher fuel efficiency. Hybrid vehicles produce fewer emissions, which is healthier for our environment. Before you decide if this is the right car for you, it's important to understand what type of hybrid maintenance and repair will be required.

  • Tire pressure is important on every type of vehicle, including a hybrid. The proper tire pressure will help your tires wear evenly and create a smooth ride; when you check the pressure on your tires, be sure to include the spare. It's important to rotate your tires regularly. You can take your car to a shop to have the tires rotated, or do it at home.
  • The batteries are critical components on hybrid cars. Most hybrids operate on two types of batteries; a 12 volt battery powers the small engine, and a battery pack stores the power produced by the electric motor. The batteries need to be checked monthly to make sure the connections are tight and that there isn't any corrosion on the terminals. Check and fill water levels when needed.
  • Hybrid vehicles have a regenerative brake system to help slow the vehicle down. When necessary, the hydraulic brake system kicks in to achieve the proper deceleration rate. The combination braking system decreases wear on the brake pads. In some cases, your brake pads will last in excess of 70,000 miles. Because the hydraulic brake system is computer controlled and can be dangerous to change, you should have this system serviced by a car maintenance professional.
  • A hybrid car has a conventional engine in addition to the electric motor, which makes regular oil changes very important. Most manufacturers recommend an oil change on a hybrid vehicle every 5,000 miles, whereas a traditional, gas powered engine's oil should be changed every 3,000 miles.
  • Most hybrids have a special transmission that uses a specific type of transmission fluid. Checking the transmission fluid requires a scan tool. Make sure you choose a repair shop with the proper tools and training.

A hybrid vehicle is equipped with a very extensive computer system that will let you know when your car needs maintenance. After a service is completed, the indicator lights will need to be reset.  Before you decide if you want to do some of your own repairs and maintenance, take time to get practical training from the dealer or a knowledgeable garage. Any garage with certification can take care of regular maintenance, such as oil changes, fuel filters, spark plugs, and cooling systems. If you are in need of an electronic diagnosis or any other major repairs, make sure to choose a dealership that specializes in hybrid maintenance and repair in Decatur, Georgia.