A hybrid car is a great option saving you money and over the years of use reducing your carbon footprint. Whilst you enjoy driving it around, you will also need to remember maintenance along with any other vehicle that needs to be carried out. It needs care and good maintenance to provide you with long lasting performance. Here are five important tips you need to consider when thinking about the maintenance of the hybrid.
1. Hybrids come with additional maintenance that standard vehicles do not.
This is one important basic factor that most car owners forget. When you buy a hybrid, you have to invest in the maintenance of the vehicle. It’s important to only involve qualified technicians to handle it! If they are not available, drive into a hybrid vehicle qualified to undertake the maintenance. If you miss this point, you will have more problems to come in the future.
If you choose the wrong people to take care of your hybrid vehicle, this means that you are more than likely to encounter problems.
The voltage system is particularly dangerous so under qualified technicians may damage your care or at worst injuries can be fatal.
2. Maintaining the battery
As already mentioned, a qualified person should do such a task. However you can still feel free to make your observations. These are good for triggering bigger issues that many people ignore. Now, as a hybrid car owner it is fundamental that you have some knowledge of how to maintain the battery better, for example: have an understanding of how it works, and what each component does.
When you have the foundation of the basic knowledge, you will also be in a position to act well. In other words, you will know when your battery starts giving signs of malfunction. Detecting problems early stands a better chance of minimising serious damage down the line. If you only come to discover them after a long time, it could be too late. In fact, even the cost of making corrective maintenance would go up in no time. As the saying goes, prevention is always a smart choice. Some signs of problematic batteries will usually be detected by your vehicle’s onboard computer displaying on the dashboard.
3. Make minor engine inspections
The fact that you have seen it with a powerpack does not mean the engine is dormant. A hybrid blends the two systems. That is why the engine is still active and running. Now, you do not need to make the heavy inspections that need special tools and equipment. All you need to do is make simple checks for things that are critical to the engine.
Another important inspection is to check the engine oil. In this case, you need to make sure that it is up to the right level. When checking the oil, it is important to check the color of the oil because if it is too dark, then this is a sign that an oil change service should come sooner. This can be caused due to the amount of mileage usage. You can also take advantage of this opportunity to check the coolant level and make sure it is at the correct level.
4. Be attentive to symbols and abnormal sounds
When you see a light displaying on the dashboard, it is important to find a secure place to stop and check the instructions manual to find out what the symbol means. It is important that you don’t ignore any symbols that appear, as this could cause more damage if you continue to drive the hybrid, especially if you see a red warning light. Your next step is to take it to a professional hybrid technician.
Be attentive to strange noises, as this will tell you that there is something wrong. When you ignore such noises, you risk damaging your vehicle . In most cases, it could be something small that triggers the warning. By acting straight away, this eliminates the risk of causing more damage to the hybrid. As the saying goes “it’s better to be safe than sorry”.
5. Inspect your brakes and tyres
Brakes and tyres are usually taken for granted. The assumption is always that, if the vehicle is on the road, then the tyres are fine. Take your time to look at the thread of the tyres and ensure that the correct PSI is in the tyres. When you suspect that the limit of wear on the thread of the tyres is under the legal limit, it is important to go to your nearest garage and change your tyres, as this plays a big part when you have to use your brakes and also more importantly to not break the law.
When it comes to the brakes, the situation is similar. Make sure they are in working order and there are no strange noises when braking. If you suspect that they are no longer working effectively, then it is time to alert your technician. Remember brakes save lives when they are working well. However, by ensuring your brakes are in working condition this can prevent accidents and also prevent damage to your hybrid if they are faulty. Once again, when you act early, you make the first step to smart maintenance.
Maintenance of a hybrid is a serious task that requires serious minds. In blunt terms, only a qualified technician who has experience with hybrids should do it. If an unqualified person is repairing your vehicle you may be putting your vehicle and safety of yourself and other road users at risk. Remember, if you take care of your hybrid, the hybrid will take care of you!