If you’re a hybrid vehicle owner, there are many things you should be aware of to ensure the life of your hybrid. One of the most important aspects of owning a hybrid is the battery life. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons for general expectations of hybrid vehicle batteries and whether you should condition or rebuild yours.
Recondition or Rebuild
Knowing which option is best for your battery really depends on the diagnosis. Much like visiting a doctor to find out if you have the flu or something else, taking your hybrid to repair experts is key. They’ll help you understand the difference between a recondition and rebuild for your battery and how to choose the right option.
Reconditioning is a process of diagnostics and methods like grid charging, discharging, balancing, and cycling. It is designed to isolate bad or damaged modules or cells for replacement and often helps the battery revert to a more functional condition. If you drive your hybrid less than 6,000 miles a year or your battery is less than 7 years old, reconditioning may be the best option for you.
So, what are some signs your hybrid vehicle battery needs reconditioning?
- Fuel Economy Drops. If your engine kicks on more than it used to, you’ll notice you get less bang for your buck where MPG is concerned. This is a sign your battery is weak and needs to be checked.
- Rapid Charging/Discharging of Battery. The hybrid battery level indicator may rise and fall quickly, indicating a weakened battery. It simply means the battery is unable to hold as much charge as before.
- “Check Hybrid System” Warning Light. This is an obvious sign, and not one to be ignored. It means the hybrid battery needs to be checked and possibly reconditioned. Not doing so results in added stress to the components of your hybrid vehicle.
Rebuild is the process of partial or full replacement and repair of dead cells from your hybrid battery pack. If applicable, it’s also an option to upgrade bus bars. Computerized balancing and matching of battery packs for your hybrid battery is part of the process.
The signs of that your battery pack needs to be rebuilt are similar to those of a battery needing reconditioning. The best way to find out the difference is to schedule a state of health check performed by a reputable and experienced hybrid battery technician or repair company.
Pros and Cons of Recondition or Rebuild
When weighing options for your hybrid battery, it is best to look at the pros and cons of each service. Whether you decide to recondition or rebuild, each option is less expensive than purchasing and installing a brand new battery for your hybrid.
- Save Money. If you, like most people, don’t have $2500-$4,000+ sitting around to spend on your hybrid battery, a recondition or rebuild is ideal.
- Warranty (limited). A reconditioned or rebuilt hybrid battery oftentimes comes with a limited warranty.
- MPG Restoration. You’ll be able to restore your hybrid’s fuel economy to like-new condition without a costly $2500-$4,000 battery replacement.
- Environmentally Friendly. Rebuilding or reconditioning is much more environmentally friendly than discarding the entire battery pack and replacing.
- Cells Continue to Die. Although the bad cells are replaced during a recondition or rebuild, the remaining cells will also die after time. Replacing the entire battery pack ensures each cell is new.
- Difficult for the DIY Mechanic. This is not one of those services you can easily manage at home with YouTube tutorials. It requires a trained professional to complete.
Still questioning whether or not to rebuild/recondition your hybrid battery pack? It’s time to reach out to The Hybrid Geek for more information. Ask us about the best option for your vehicle by filling out our contact form here or call us at (919) 996-0626.