Hybrid and electric car maintenance can be very intimidating. Some incorporate a gas engine and an electric motor for optimal fuel economy and performance, while others rely solely on batteries to power electric motors. The gas engine runs to recharge the hybrid battery, the electric motor runs to save gas, and a handful of computers work together to make this all function seamlessly.
It can be very intimidating to get your hybrid, or electric vehicle serviced. They are just not the same as traditional, gas-powered vehicles, and some car maintenance professionals don’t have very much experience dealing with these types of cars. Some electric vehicles run entirely on battery power, while hybrids recharge the battery by running the gas engine. Either way, it can take a lot of sophisticated technology to keep the entire system running correctly.
Service for Hybrid Vehicles
The thing to remember when getting service for your hybrid vehicle is that it won’t be the same as getting service for a standard car. Make sure you take it to mechanics who already have experience dealing with hybrids. Trying to service an electric AC compressor with a standard AC machine, for example, could cause damage that costs thousands of dollars to repair.
Here at Highline Car Care, we have experience with a wide range of different hybrid makes and models, and we know how to follow the best practices for your specific vehicles. We can perform all of the following services for hybrid vehicles to keep your car running well for years to come:
Hybrid Inverter Cooling System Repair – The inverter helps turn 12V power into higher voltage so it can keep your electric motor running. This process creates a lot of heat, so the inverter needs its cooling system. The cooling system includes an electric water pump, heat tank, coolant control valve, and radiator. If your vehicle is displaying a warning light and failing to start, one or more of these parts may need to be repaired or replaced.
Hybrid Converter Repair – The hybrid converter is typically built right into the transmission, and it helps recharge the hybrid battery and keep the vehicle moving. If your converter starts to make a loud screeching noise, it’s essential to get it serviced as soon as possible before it renders your vehicle immobile. There’s a good chance the mechanic will only need to add transmission fluid to keep everything lubricated.
Hybrid Battery Replacement – A dead battery can be a nightmare even in traditional, gas-powered cars. It’s even worse in a hybrid. If your vehicle is failing to show signs of life, you may need to get the battery replaced. Get your hybrid battery replaced by experienced hybrid car mechanics to make sure the process goes smoothly.
Hybrid Car Air Conditioner – Unlike traditional vehicles, hybrid cars typically power their AC compressors with electricity. Servicing this compressor requires specialized equipment, and it’s essential to make sure it’s receiving the appropriate service regularly. If you wait for the compressor to fail, it could be a costly problem.
Failed Navigation System or Instrument Cluster – The navigation systems and instrument clusters can be prone to failure in some hybrid vehicles, especially older Toyota Prius models. If you start to notice problems with either of these aspects in your car, bring it in for service as soon as possible.
Hybrid Engine Using Too Much Oil – Older engines may start to have this problem if the piston rings stop being able to create good seals like they used to. As a result, the vehicle will begin to consume oil at a noticeably higher rate. Your technician should be able to tell you if your car is much lower on oil than it should be, and you may even start to notice strange blue smoke coming out of the tailpipe in some instances. It may be possible to repair the engine, but it may only need to be replaced with a unit that has lower mileage on it.
Hybrid ABS Pump Module Failure – If you start to see ABS warnings on your dash, it’s vital to get attention from an experienced hybrid car mechanic as soon as possible. The ABS system helps your car brake effectively and avoid skidding on the road, so it’s critical. Replacing the ABS module is worth it to make sure you’re staying safe on the road.
Service for Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles are becoming more popular as there are more options available, and the ranges of these vehicles are getting larger. Like with hybrids, though, it’s essential to pay special attention when you’re getting maintenance for electric vehicles.
These vehicles are loaded with new technology under the hood, and it can take a little bit more effort to keep the powertrain in good shape. Here are a few essential things to keep in mind next time you get electric vehicle maintenance:
Regular Electric Motor Service – Electric motors don’t usually have as many parts as older combustion engines, which makes it easier to keep up with the maintenance. Still, it’s important to get regular checkups for your electric motor because this is such a critical part of the vehicle. Caring for this equipment requires specialized knowledge about the differences between hybrids, electric cars, and gas vehicles.
Make Your Battery Last Longer – If you drive your electric car long enough, it’s likely that you’ll have to replace the battery at some point. That said, there are some things you can do to help it last longer. Some manufacturers recommend charging the battery to no more than 80% but also making sure the car doesn’t stay on a low charge for too long.
Check Your Tires – Electric vehicles are known for producing high acceleration, but that can be hard on the tires. Get your tires checked, rotated, and replaced regularly to make sure you have excellent traction.
Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Service
Here at Highline Car Care, we stay up to date with all of the latest information and education related to hybrid and electric vehicles. We can service your car according to the manufacturer’s best practices to help it perform better and last longer. Schedule an appointment or come visit us for maintenance in Gilbert, AZ, today.
Toyota Prius Exclamation
Toyota Prius Transmission
Toyota Prius Navigation Unit
Toyota Prius Inverter
Toyota Prius Engine
Toyota Prius Hybrid Battery
Toyota Prius Converter
Prius Instrument Cluster
Toyota Prius AC Compressor
Hybrid Air Conditioning – The Hybrid AC runs off of the high voltage system. This means that your AC compressor is electric! The first of its kind on automobiles. It requires a dedicated hybrid AC machine in order to be serviced. A failed hybrid AC compressor can be very costly.
Hybrid (Prius) failed navigation system – The Toyota Prius navigation system is prone to failure. A black or blank navigation screen, or an unresponsive screen can crash your entire navigation system. Read about this specialty service offered at Highline here.
Toyota Prius instrument cluster failure – The Toyota Prius instrument cluster is prone to failure. Your speedometer may fail to illuminate and cause an unsafe driving condition. Your instrument cluster will need to be replaced if this occurs.
Toyota Prius engine consumes too much oil – This will happen on higher mileage Prius (usually after 200,000 miles). The piston rings fail to seal as they used to, and excessive oil consumption will occur. This is usually noted first by your technician if your car is 1 quart or more low on oil when you bring it in for service. In severe cases, you may also notice blue smoke coming from the tail pipe. In this circumstance, we have found it is most economical to replace the engine with a low mileage used unit.
Toyota Prius ABS module failure – Watch the video below to hear the symptom of a failing ABS pump module assembly. This will eventually result in an ABS and Skid control light being illuminated on your dash. Your ABS module will need to be replaced if this happens.