In this new installment of ‘Learn with Auto Bild’, they explain how to carry out the maintenance of a hybrid car. What do you need?
In this new installment of ‘Learn with Auto Bild’ they explain how to carry out the maintenance of a hybrid car. What do you need? Do you have specific cares compared to another conventional car with a gasoline or diesel engine? The truth is that yes, it has certain peculiarities when it comes to opting for this type of mechanics or not.
Although it seems that everyone is clear about what a hybrid is, the confusion is more than evident. And it is normal, since in the market right now many types of technologies coexist -and more that they will in the near future- and the mobility options have grown exponentially. Even those that do not have to own a machine!
However, by general culture or because you are considering getting a private vehicle that you have at your service 24 hours a day, it is convenient to clarify what we understand by hybrid car, since we are going to refer to the maintenance of this type of car in this post. Therefore, we will talk about the hybrid cars ‘of a lifetime’, the HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicles).
These ‘pure’ hybrids have a combustion engine (gasoline or diesel), other electric and one battery specific. The philosophy is that they work together to guarantee maximum efficiency when traveling, working well in a combined and automatic way; either doing it only in electric mode (if there is enough charge in the auxiliary battery); either ‘pulling only the thermoblock’.
Always, depending on the need, the requirements of the driver or the technology of the model in question. A) Yes, we put aside the microhybrids or soft hybridization (MHEV), which have a typical combustion engine electrified by a 48 V system with an additional battery; but we will not enter here in the plug-in hybrids (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles -PHEV-).
And as, we will also exclude the bifuel (which are not hybrids, but the same thermal mechanics can be fed with the gasoline tank or with the gas tank -GLP or CNG-), as well as pure electrics (called 100% plug-in, Plug-in, or Electric Vehicles -EV-) and those of hydrogen fuel cell.
Common elements ‘vs’ specific elements
Thus, within the maintenance of a hybrid car, you will need to be aware of some common elements with the conventional vehicles (tires, brake discs and pads, lubricating oil for the heat engine, oil and passenger compartment, hoses, exhaust, shock absorbers …) that you should monitor according to your use and the manufacturer’s recommendations.
However, there are differentiating elements They do not require the same attention. And from these caveats you will benefit in some cases or you will have to be a little more careful in others to guarantee a pleasant life as a hybrid driver. Or what is the same: that the breakdowns and the times you have to go through the workshop are the minimum. What elements are we talking about?
To understand the peculiarities in the maintenance of a hybrid car, we must focus on the fact that the crux of the matter is in the electrified part, but although as a whole everything is more complex than in an old gasoline car, the truth is that in the end it may turn out that everything is easier for the owner to keep up to date, since there are elements whose useful life will coincide with that of the vehicle .
Battery: it is the key to all hybridization, and more, in pure hybrids or HEV. We are talking here about the one that powers the electric motor (not the conventional battery that provides the car with electricity for starting, lights and other consumables) to generate movement in the driving wheels.
After the time when lead was made and in the absence of research on other raw materials such as graphene, the current ones are lithium ion.
These are recharged with the movement of the heat engine itself and with the energy regeneration of the descents and braking of the vehicle and should last the same as your car or the years of warranty stipulated by the manufacturer for this element.
Although the different brands have been solving the performance problems when they have produced in these almost 25 years of hybrid cars in markets such as Spain.
However, some have recommended that, when the car is going to be stopped for a while, at least it does boot for 30 minutes once a week and give it a spin.
Something that would not be superfluous in a thermal car …
Electrical installation: The installation does not usually present major problems either, unless the car spends a lot of time in the open, ‘sleeps’ on the street, can be attacked by rodents in a place that is not properly conditioned … or one or both things happen in areas exposed to the maritime saltpeter of the coastal areas or to the salt spread on the roads during winter.
Thus, the wiring, control units and connections They are more abundant than in the old conventional thermal cars, so they must be specially revised over time, in order to avoid greater evils and annoyances that increase the bill when considering whether or not it is suitable for your needs and your pocket to have a car of these characteristics.
software: mechanically, the hybrids seem to ‘duplicate’ their mechanics, but in reality, the set has fewer elements susceptible to damage with the passage of the kilometers (as you can see below). However, the software of this type of vehicle, depending on the model in question, may have to be updated more frequently than that of an equivalent conventional one. Gearbox, clutch, alternator and belts: Another a priori advantage typical of this type of vehicle is not to have a conventional gearbox, so they have fewer wear elements that can be damaged prematurely (advantage, in addition, especially striking compared to many other cars such as hybrids plug-in). No clutch, no alternator, no service belts. Starting motor: Given these advantages in the maintenance of a hybrid car, what do you need, then, that is specific? The starter motor can be an element that deteriorates prematurely or not, depending on the use.
It does not work exactly the same as in a thermal car without electrification, but depending on how you use the HEV, he can work more (if you demand a lot from him and he has to start the petrol block all the time).
Or even less (if you take better advantage of the benefits of electricity, there are more decreases, you know how to play better with battery recharging …).
Escape: here too, this phenomenon of superior longevity can occur … or early wear, depending on use and circumstances. In principle, the filters and silencers should last longer because they have to work less time in each use.
However (those who have a motorcycle know it well), if humidity appears on your usual route and it is not finished to eliminate until the garage with the heat of the thermal engine.
For example, it could build up and cause rust over time. You have to watch it.
Regenerative elements: speaking of the incidence of the liquid element, the regeneration systems located on the wheels make their components more exposed on the wheels and more vulnerable to puddles or water ponds.
In fact, manufacturers and garage experts often recommend that when driving some of these cars, prevent the water level from rising above the tire so that electrical circuits are not damaged.
You have to be very aware of this according to which models, because some are better prepared than others for these circumstances.
Brakes: Finally, we do not go without talking about the brakes, because here the same thing happens as with other elements mentioned typical of these ‘hybrid’ vehicles. In theory, with engine / regeneration braking systems (using the Brake selector ‘B’, cams, brake with the ‘e-pedal’ type accelerator, or any other retention / regeneration system), the vehicle will decelerate or even slow down. it will stop with an ‘engine brake’ effect. But if this is not done well while driving, the service brake may be abused – as it sometimes happens in automatic cars – and the wear of discs and calipers is greater.
This article was published in Autobild by Rodrigo Fersainz.