What You Need to Know About Hybrid Maintenance

Considering a hybrid as your next vehicle? Read this before you buy…

It’s myth-busting time, and we are talking about hybrid vehicles today. Especially around maintenance and repairs.

No, this is not a car that you simply put a little gas into and then drive forever. 

Myth-busting session is over… here’s more of what you need to know from Master technician John about the top typical hybrid repairs and maintenance needs you can expect when you purchase a hybrid. 

  1. Oil. Are you really surprised? Every single vehicle, no matter the make up, needs clean oil with regular maintenance and changes.
  2. There’s a regular 12volt battery that will need some care and attention. Most people don’t know that hybrid systems have a regular car battery that operates the windows, lights, and things like that. 
  3. The high voltage battery? That one is mainly for providing power for the motor.
  4. Hybrids have dual cooling systems. There are two separate cooling systems for the vehicle, one for the hybrid components plus the regular cooling system for the gasoline engine functions. Then there’s the air conditioner, which cools the people in the cabin, and there’s also the hybrid battery on some models.
  5. Some hybrids are designed to shut off at stops to save fuel at idle.
  6. Drive at least 10 miles regularly, or 30- 60 minutes, to keep a charge for longer.
  7. For some models, like the Prius, battery packs (or modules) in a main hybrid engine will run out and need replacing at some point, depending on use and quality of regular maintenance. What you may not know is that for some cars, separate modules may be replaced instead of all of them at once.
  8. The brakes systems in hybrids have a regular hydraulic system, same ones generally found in all the other vehicles on the road. (Fun Fact: most of the time the regenerative braking system recharges the hybrid battery.)
  9. Hybrids use CVT transmissions to improve fuel economy and cool the motor and should be serviced regularly.

There are definitely benefits in a hybrid vehicle. We just want you to know there are also some maintenance and repairs to be expected. 

No one has come up with a maintenance-free vehicle yet.  

We are a long way off from that still. 

How do we know all this? 

Education and training happens every month for the technicians at Tom’s. The auto industry is changing fast… our core training and advancement in step with our industry keeps us in the know so your cars, trucks, SUVs, and hybrids get fixed right the first time. 

Guaranteed.

Schedule your next service with us here at Tom’s Automotive Services.

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I went to Tom's yesterday to get my car diagnosed and it was a great experience. First, they were all booked with appointments but they still said to come by and they would try and get me in. Within 10 minutes, they informed me what the issue could be, looked up the warranty on my car and instructed me on how to talk to the dealership to get the issue fixed. I was impressed by the genuine care and empathy I received and I will definitely go back if I have another issue.

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posted 3 days ago

It is with pleasure that I share my experience with Tom’s Automotive in West Seattle. In expedited response to the service engine light indicator I drove to their reliable and expert shop. They were kind enough to take the time to read the codes and source the issue to low radiator fluid. I had just had BMW Seattle perform an oil service and complete top off of fluids a few days ago, which they obviously failed to do! Obviously I was unable to schedule the oil service with Tom’s due to my schedule. Tom’s Automotive service to the rescue! They are simply the BEST at what they do!

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I had a snag on my latch to open my car hood and John at Toms was very helpful at fixing the problem. He also graciously replaced both of my headlight bulbs while he checked to make sure everything was good to go! Awesome service and will be taking my business to Tom’s from now on.