How to Maintain Your Electric or Hybrid Vehicle
Low emissions, high-tech features, and fuel efficiency drive the market for hybrid and electric vehicles. Our Plymouth, MN service center fields questions every day about these types of vehicles. Many concerns focus on maintenance: do hybrid or electric vehicles need different maintenance than normal cars? Let’s cover the basics of keeping hybrid and all-electric cars running in top shape.
A Quick Look Under the Hood
All-electric cars pull their power from a battery, just like a phone. Hybrids operate on a combination of power generated by an internal combustion engine (ICE) and electrical components.
Both models have solid reputations for minimum vehicle maintenance, but both require specific attention. Before you drive a hybrid or electric off the lot, understand that it needs routine service from professional mechanics who understand these types of vehicles.
Engine Maintenance Similarities
- A hybrid electric vehicle keeps you on the road by sharing the work between an electrical system and a small traditional engine. Its ICE components require the same upkeep as a regular car engine.
- Engine coolant system maintenance
- Regular oil and filter change
- Engine and transmission fluid checks
- Air conditioning system recharge
Electric car maintenance isn’t all focused under the hood. Just like traditional cars, hybrids need routine care to keep tires, exterior lights and interior computer systems operating smoothly.
Vehicle Maintenance Differences
While hybrids and electrics share maintenance similarities, there are important differences between the two.
- Hybrid Cooling Systems – Hybrids generate significant heat through modules that control the electric drive motor. System pipes, hoses and clamps need routine inspection.
- Electric Models – All-electric cars don’t have exhaust systems. They never need oil changes or air filter replacements.
- Hybrid and Electric Brake Systems – Both systems capture and redirect electric energy to internal batteries. This regenerative braking greatly reduces wear on brake pads.
Pro Mechanic Tips
- Check the electric vehicle owner’s manual for details about your car’s battery system. In general, it’s best to avoid keeping it fully charged.
- Hybrids and electrics transfer instant torque from engine to tires. This kind of power can affect tire balance and wear, so have them inspected regularly.
- Connect with a professional auto service center that routinely takes care of both electrics and hybrids.
Expertise You Can Trust
We’re always happy to help with all types of vehicle maintenance. Our Plymouth MN, auto pros keep hybrid, electric, and traditional engines running in top condition. Just stop by any of our Kennedy Transmission locations for automotive expertise you know you can trust.