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Tips on Hybrid Vehicle Maintenance02.15.2023 | Okan Sengullu

From Bucaro Brothers Auto Care – Taking Care of Your Hybrid or Electric Vehicle (EV)

Let’s come right to the point: Hybrid and electric vehicles are here to stay, in large part because of rising federal MPG fuel standards. In 2016 the standard was about 35 MPG, but by 2025 it will rise to slightly over 54 MPG.

Given the necessity of meeting those standards, the only choice vehicle manufacturers have is to turn out an ever increasing number of hybrid and electric vehicles.

Basic Maintenance Tips for Hybrids and EVs

So, as we said, electric vehicles in one form or another are here to stay, and the following tips are offered by your friends at Bucaro Brothers to help keep your electrified vehicle in good running condition for years to come.

Watch the Fluids

Since hybrids are propelled by both electricity and an internal combustion engine (ICE), that means they have the usual assortment of under-the-hood fluids. These need to be checked regularly and include radiator coolant, brake fluid, and oil.

In addition, most hybrids have transmission fluid that needs to be checked underneath the vehicle. If you don’t feel comfortable making this check, take your hybrid to your favorite mechanic and have them check it for you.

Maintain Your Tires

Just as with a non-electrified vehicle, it’s crucial to maintain your tires. Get a good air gauge, and check the pressure regularly. Maintain the pressure recommended by the manufacturer and found on the placard on the door jam.

Have your tires rotated to prolong their life, and use a penny to check tread depth. If Lincoln’s entire head is visible, it’s time to get a new set of tires.

One other thing regarding your tires: Some hybrids come with what are called low rolling resistance tires designed to help you maximize fuel economy. Replacing low rolling resistance tires with traditional tires will reduce your mileage and increase your fuel consumption. And with today’s fuel prices, that’s something to avoid!

Check Your Brakes

For safety reasons, you should have your mechanic check your brake system at least twice a year. A reading of 3MM or less of friction material means the brake pads are a safety hazard and should be replaced.

Monitor You Regular 12-volt Battery

Both hybrids and EVs use a 12-volt battery to power components like the radio and onboard computers, and hybrids also use that battery to get the ICE going.

So, just as with a traditional vehicle, the 12-volt battery under the hood is crucial, and with good behavior, it should last three to five years. If yours is nearing the upper end of that lifespan, you might seriously consider battery replacement, whatever the season of the year.

Pay Particular Attention to Your High-Voltage Battery

The high-voltage battery is probably the most expensive part of a hybrid or EV and needs special care. You can extend its lifespan by making sure the charge remains within the manufacturer’s recommended range.

Also, some hybrids have an air-cooled battery pack with a replaceable air filter. To prevent the hybrid’s battery pack from overheating, this battery air filter needs to be inspected periodically and replaced when necessary.

Finally, if possible, it’s best to park or store your hybrid or EV indoors. Exposure to extreme temperatures can cause the battery to degrade more rapidly than normal.

Don’t Ignore the Owner’s Manual

As with a traditional vehicle, the owner’s manual contains a wealth of valuable information for regular maintenance designed to prolong the life of your car or truck. To keep your vehicle on the road for years to come, follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.

Complete Care Available at Bucaro Brothers Auto Care

Whatever you’re driving – hybrid, EV, or a conventional car – we can service and maintain it for you at Bucaro Brothers. All our technicians are ASE certified, and we can service all makes and models, domestic and foreign.

For the best auto maintenance and repair Chicagoland has to offer, come to Bucaro Brothers Auto Care, conveniently located in Lincoln Park.

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