If you’re the proud owner of a hybrid vehicle, it’s likely you know a thing or two on maintenance and repairs. However, knowing and doing are two different things. When it comes to saving money with your hybrid vehicle, the battery is one of your biggest eco-friendly components.
So, what are the best practices for recharging your hybrid battery, and is this a task any hybrid owner can take on alone? We’re here to answer your questions and walk you through recharging a hybrid battery.
When To Charge Your Battery
For starters, it’s best to know when your hybrid battery needs to be charged. These are signs and symptoms that your car’s battery is ready for a charge:
- Declining Fuel Economy. Is your hybrid suddenly losing fuel economy with no other explanation? If so, this could mean the engine is powering on more, causing more fuel to be expended. This is one of the biggest signs your battery needs to be checked.
- “Check Hybrid System” Light is On. Typically when this signal comes on, your hybrid battery needs to be checked. Not doing so may result in undue stress to other components of your hybrid vehicle.
Recharging Your Hybrid Battery
Now that you know a bit more about when to recharge your hybrid vehicle’s battery, it’s time to get into the details. Standard hybrids reclaim energy through a process called “regenerative braking” which takes place as you drive on engine power. This happens automatically, so no extra steps are needed from the owner.
Plug-in hybrids have more powerful batteries which posses the ability to be plugged in, thus re-charging their battery. However, when the battery becomes depleted, the hybrid vehicle reverts to a regular fuel-fed hybrid and recharges its battery using the gasoline-powered motor as a generator.
As a rule of thumb, plug-in hybrids should be plugged in at night, allowing the batteries to recharge. You should use at least a 110 outlet (in the garage if possible) to plug your hybrid into.
Knowing when it’s time to call the experts in for help is a must. For help with your hybrid battery, give us a call at (919)996-0626 or visit us online at www.thehybridgeek.com to see our services for your hybrid vehicle.