Servicing Hybrid Cars

In an effort to help protect Mother Nature, and to offset rising fuel cost, hybrid cars are becoming more and more popular. With so many drivers switching over to these environmentally friendly vehicles issues are beginning to arise not only with owners, but with mechanics and garages as well. These issues center on the servicing of the cars which can be so different yet similar to the more traditional fuel based vehicles.

Many garages are training their mechanics to deal with hybrids and how to properly service them. However, many owners may still be unsure how to handle the hybrid's unique needs when it comes to maintenance. This is why owners and potential owners of hybrid cars should look into the servicing needs of their new cars.

Before, with the traditional vehicles, owners were able to do many of the more routine maintenance in their own home garage. Changing the oil, checking the break pads and replacing the battery were common enough occurrences and posed little risk. Hybrid cars on the other hand are a whole different story and many do it yourselfers are better to let experienced and trained professionals take a look at their vehicles. Often mishandling of the Hybrid car's engine components can lead to serious if not fatal accidents.

Now the reason for this is that the Hybrid is more than an internal combustion engine, it is houses a complex electrical system that many, including seasoned mechanics, are just not aware of. It is this high voltage and power system that many are finding problematic when service on the car is required.

While it is unwise to perform even the most rudimentary service on your Hybrid, you may find out that the local garages are either unwilling on unable to deal with it as well. More and more garages are training their staff to perform the required Hybrid car repair as this car is no longer thought as a passing novelty but the problem still exists.

Since the Hybrid is the Chimera of the automobile industry, many aspects of the vehicle will remain the same. The differences, however, can be costly and the price owners must pay for proper auto service may be high. The benefits of owning a hybrid will probably be worth it to the owner in the long run and with the knowledge that they are doing their part to help the environment.

Some of the most drastic of differences will include common items like brake pads, fluids, and batteries.

Since the Hybrid car works differently from traditional vehicles it will require different fluids to keep it in tip top shape. These fluids will probably be new to the owners and even to the professionals commissioned with servicing the car. Whenever dealing with Hybrid cars it is important to consult the manual and follow the manufacturer's guidelines to the letter.

Traditional oil changes differ when dealing with hybrid cars as well. While there is no fear of an engine starting during an oil change on an internal combustion engine (as long as the car is turned off), a hybrid is a different story. The engine of a hybrid will start whenever the keys are in the ignition and when the car is in ready mode. The engine will also start when the battery needs charging and is in ready mode. So it is important to take the keys with you when changing the oil of a hybrid and not leave them in the ignition.

Brake system acts as generator when not in use. Break pads will not have to be replaced nearly as often as they would on traditional vehicles. Although, when the pads do require replacement, it will need some high priced equipment that can only be found at garages. The problem is that many smaller garages might not see buying the hydraulic system required for this job as economically viable. Changing the break pads is definitely not something that can be done one Saturday morning whenever the mood strikes you.

One of the key differences encountered while servicing hybrids are the battery packs. These battery packs house chemicals and will often retain current so carelessness while handling these devices can result in a serious chemical burn or electrocution. Following the manufacturers guidelines and safety concerns are essential.

Many of the new Hybrid car owners are unaware of the exact servicing and maintenance need for the vehicle. While some car dealers may not be forthcoming with this information, it is available online. Make sure that there is a garage nearby that can work on Hybrid cars and familiarize yourself with the car servicing needs as to avoid scams and ill managed garages.
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