Does My Hybrid Auto Repair Require A Hybrid Auto Mechanic?

Does My Hybrid Auto Repair Require A Hybrid Auto Mechanic?

It is important to know that not all mechanics and shops provide hybrid auto repair. With each passing year, there are more hybrid vehicles on the road and a wider variety of models to choose from. These cars, SUVs and trucks will only become more mainstream as time progresses. If you are in the market for or already own one of these vehicles, do you have a hybrid auto mechanic?

Carolina Auto Service in Winston-Salem is your hybrid auto repair shop. Our certified hybrid auto mechanics have over 10 years’ experience working on these vehicles. As a result of this background, we have a deep understanding of required maintenance, common issues and repair needs.

Carolina Auto Service provides hybrid auto repair for all gas-electric vehicles, including:

  • Toyota Camry, Highlander, Prius and Sienna
  • Honda Civic, CR-Z, Fit and Insight
  • Lexus CT 200h, HS 250h, RX 400h, RX 450h, GS 450h and LS 600h
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Ford Fusion
  • Hyundai Sonata

These are just some of the most common hybrid cars on Winston-Salem’s roads today. Our expert hybrid auto mechanics provide service for all makes and models.

Hybrid Battery Service

One of the unique aspects of your gas-electric vehicle is its battery. Hybrid batteries are much more powerful than those of a non-hybrid. In your gas-electric car, the battery recharges when you use the brakes and supplement gasoline power to reduce fuel consumption.

These batteries differ in their size, power and maintenance. They are costlier than standard car batteries, although they require less frequent replacement. Hybrid batteries have an inverter for conversion of battery energy to fuel power as needed. With all of these intricacies it is easy to understand why you need a qualified hybrid auto repair shop.

Electrical Service Unique to Hybrids

Along with a unique battery, hybrids also feature a unique electrical system. This system can cause unique problems with the transmission and start-up, particularly in relation to the auto-start and shutoff features. Unless you work with an experienced hybrid auto repair shop, the mechanic will not know the nuances of your vehicle’s electrical system.

Brake Service for Your Hybrid

Your hybrid vehicle has a specialized brake system that enables it to recharge the battery upon braking. This system of regenerative brakes harnesses energy to recharge by absorbing the energy required to stop the vehicle. Although hybrid brakes last longer than those of a standard vehicle, they do require service by a knowledgeable hybrid auto mechanic.

Carolina Auto Service Provides Hybrid Auto Repair and Maintenance in Winston-Salem

When your hybrid car, SUV or truck requires routine maintenance or hybrid auto repair, you can trust the certified auto mechanics of Carolina Auto Service. We have over 10 years of experience in helping Winston-Salem hybrid drivers keep their vehicles running as they should. Schedule your service today by calling 336-765-8599.

Understanding Hybrid Vehicle Maintenance

Hybrid Vehicle Maintenance – Hybrid vehicles have been available in the United States since the early years of the 2000s and have earned their way into the garages of individuals ho are concerned about the effects that gasoline-powered vehicles have on the environment. The current generation of hybrid vehicles are more reliable, longer-lasting, and in some cases, even less expensive than their first- and second-generation predecessors. Price drops occurred in recent years because the price of gasoline has dropped, making hybrids less attractive to some people.

The technicians at Carolina Auto Service have worked on various hybrid models since they first became widely available. Our staff remains up to date on the latest developments in hybrid technology, which is important as much as changed over the years. Having certified technicians who are fully versed in the peculiarities of hybrids too as the structure of the vehicles sometimes must be considered during repair.

Types of Hybrids

To understand possible problems your hybrid may encounter, it’s helpful to understand the different types of hybrid technologies. All hybrids combine the power of a gas engine with an electric motor powered by a battery. Thus, your vehicle has two powertrains, but how they work with one another depends on your specific model.

Parallel vs. Series Hybrids

Parallel design in full hybrids means the gas engine or the electric engine solely drive the wheels or they do so in unison. In a series configuration, the electric motor drives the whiles while the gas engine works as a generator once the electric battery is depleted.

Full Hybrids vs. Mild Hybrids

Full hybrids run on electricity alone until the battery runs out and then go to the gas engine to travel at higher speeds or for longer distances. Only full hybrids may be plugged in to act as full electric cars. Mild hybrids do the exact opposite of series hybrids with the gas engine turning the wheels and the electric engine giving the gas engine a boost.

Plug-in Hybrids

These vehicles incorporate the latest technology as they can be charged from a wall or charging station to work as electric cars for a range of between 10 and 35 miles and then switch to normal hybrid operation. By recharging the battery, you can use a hybrid vehicle solely on electricity until the battery needs assistance.

Powertrains

Most hybrid vehicles, especially those that are smaller, use fuel-efficient, four-cylinder gas engines. Larger SUVs and luxury cars, however, may have V6 or V8 engines. Most also have continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Hybrid Car Maintenance

Because hybrid cars have all the components of a gas-powered vehicle, overall maintenance will be similar. For example, you still have to get regular oil changes, have your tires rotated, get alignments when needed and generally follow your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.

The very nature of hybrids lend themselves to less frequent maintenance intervals. Electric motors give gasoline engines a break, so it doesn’t go through as much wear. Thus, your car will probably require fewer oil changes. Frequency will depend on driving habits and manufacturer’s recommendations. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to ask your technicians. Because of regenerative breaking, brake pads experience less heat and friction, making them last longer. That’s a particularly good benefit if you use your hybrid primarily for commutes to work in stop-and-go-traffic. Regenerative braking helps your hybrid in another way too. Whereas conventional cars rely entirely on friction to slow them down and dissipate the energy as wear and heat, regenerative braking captures some of that energy and turns it into electricity, and then stores it in the vehicle’s battery where it can be used later to run the motor.

Why You Need a Technician Experienced With Hybrids

Lots of people try to do some of their own preventive maintenance on their vehicles to save a few dollars, but hybrids have several qualities that make some of these tasks difficult for weekend grease monkeys. For one, you may not be able to readily get the oil specified for your car. New synthetic weights like 0W-20 are a common specification.

Beyond oil, though, hybrids employs sophisticated electronics with wiring systems that may reach around from the trunk to the front of the car. This means your hybrid will have a bevy of wires with which you may be unfamiliar. Because they are related to electricity, these wires can be dangerous. Trust an experienced technician to do something beyond simple maintenance as you may potentially encounter components with high electricity voltage.

Unique Problems of Hybrids

For most hybrid vehicles, their electronic components don’t require any special maintenance. Most vehicles come with manufacturer warranties lasting eight to 10 years or 100,000 to 150,000 miles. The most common problem is a dying battery, which may or may not happen outside your warranty. Dying batteries manifest themselves either by a sudden failure or through gradually decreasing fuel efficiency.

Other problems may be more specific to your specific model. Toyota Camry hybrids, for example, can have problems with the gas powertrain that don’t normally happen in gas-only vehicles. They can develop oil sludge that will result in excessive oil consumption. Other hybrid Camry’s may hesitate on acceleration and need transmission work. Others may run roughly due to a head gasket failure.

Other hybrids have problems that are peculiar to that particular model. Always note unusual running conditions to your technician, especially if you have a hybrid vehicle. Our technicians work on all models of Toyota, Nissan and Lexus hybrids, as well as the Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Volt, and Hyundai Sonata hybrids.

To read more on hybrid vehicle maintenance, visit our blog!

Lastly, we look forward to servicing your vehicle here at Carolina Auto Service.  We are located at 1418 South Stratford Road Suite C Winston-Salem NC 27103.

Carolina Auto Service