What Kind of Maintenance Does a Hybrid Vehicle Need?

Hybrids come with a lot of benefits compared to traditional gas-powered vehicles: better fuel economy, fewer emissions, and an overall higher resale value. Another benefit is that since they have fewer moving parts, they don’t need as much maintenance - but it’s still very important to have your hybrid serviced regularly. Whether you’re thinking about buying a hybrid or already own one, here are some of the most important maintenance tasks to have performed regularly.

Brake Maintenance

Just like a gas-powered vehicle, hybrids need regular brake maintenance - however, cars that are equipped with regenerative braking systems typically have longer service intervals. Regenerative braking works by converting the energy from slowing down or stopping your car into energy that recharges the battery.

When you brake, the system splits the braking force between energy regeneration and the brakes, which means the brake pads or shoes often last longer compared to gas-powered cars. Some hybrids can go over 100,000 miles before needing a pad or shoe replacement, compared to the 50,000-60,000 miles of a standard vehicle.

However, it’s still important to have your brakes inspected during regular service visits and follow your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule, which may include periodic checks and lubricating components in the braking system.

Oil Changes

Despite using electric power for part of their operation, hybrids also run on an internal combustion engine (ICE) at times, so they still need regular oil changes. Hybrid oil change intervals are generally the same as gas-powered vehicles (every 5,000 to 7,000 miles), but be sure to check your owner’s manual or discuss the recommended intervals with your services advisor.

Hybrid Battery Maintenance

Hybrid vehicles use a high-voltage battery pack for part of their momentum before switching to the ICE. These batteries tend to have a long life, but they can have a lower lifespan if other parts (like the engine or cooling fan) aren’t maintained. Plug-in hybrids should be plugged in regularly to maximize the use of the electric power and save on gas. If you’re not sure how to maintain your battery, check your owner’s manual. It will provide specific instructions on the right charging practices for your make and model.

Battery Filter Maintenance

Some hybrids have an air-cooled battery system that comes with a replaceable air filter. The system uses a fan to push cool air through the filter to the battery, which helps it stay at the right operating temperature. The battery filter should be inspected regularly and replaced as needed.

Additional Inspections and Maintenance

In addition to the above maintenance, you should still plan on getting:

  • Engine tune-ups
  • Fluid top-offs
  • Windshield wiper, headlight bulb, and cabin air filter replacements
  • Wheel alignments
  • Tire rotations
  • Belt and hose inspections

Keep Your Hybrid in Top Condition at RPM Automotive Services

For those in the Rohnert Park area and beyond, RPM Automotive Services stands as your premier choice for all your hybrid maintenance and repair needs. With over 40 years of experience serving Sonoma County, our family-owned and operated facility brings together ASE Certified technicians, state-of-the-art tools, and a commitment to customer satisfaction that's second to none.

Whether it's routine maintenance, complex repairs, or any automotive service in between, we’re dedicated to providing high-quality, dependable, and efficient service for domestic and foreign vehicles. Contact RPM Automotive Services today at (707) 800-4586 or request an appointment online. Your hybrid is always in expert hands with RPM Automotive!

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