Hybrid - A hybrid car, especially a Japanese car, is considered practically trouble free and economical. However, if a battery failure occurs, beware of high costs. What else is spoiled in used hybrids?
Toyota i Lexus hybrids have been working on their reputation for years. The Japanese manufacturer has almost reached perfection in creating economical and quiet hybrid cars. What makes a hybrid drive stand out? The presence of another, smaller electric motor that supports the combustion unit when driving at low speed. The electric motor draws energy from batteries located under the seat or in the trunk. Similar to other types of batteries, their capacity with the number of charge / discharge cycles decreases with time until it reaches a critical level. Then there is nothing left but to replace or regenerate the batteries in the hybrid car.
The hybrid has no eternal battery
Batteries in hybrid cars prefer "normal" daily work. Prolonged standing is extremely harmful due to the high temperatures outside. Among other things, complete damage is caused by floods and short circuits in the car's electrical system. For these reasons, buying a used hybrid from an unknown source can prove to be an expensive trap. The biggest risk of failure is covered by cars from the USA, which wait for months for a new owner and are taken to Europe. It is also not worth buying batteries from such cars, because a long break in their work is certainly not good for batteries.
Hybrid batteries are rechargeable
Fortunately, a person who unknowingly purchased a hybrid with a used battery is not necessarily doomed to replace the entire element. Now in countries where there are many hybrids, there are many companies that provide battery regeneration services. This includes measuring the capacity of all cells and replacing those in which it has fallen below the required level. Sometimes it is enough to buy a few, sometimes, especially in hybrids with 300-400 thousand km, it is necessary to replace everything. Knowing the price of a cell makes it easy to calculate the cost, knowing their number in your car's battery: for example, in popular Toyota The Prius and Auris Hybrid have 28. In some batteries - a few dozen or even a few hundred. With a full battery regeneration service, you usually get a one-year warranty with no mileage restrictions.
What goes wrong with used hybrids?
With a hybrid car, you may not only need to replace or replace the drive batteries. Here are examples of other possible failures for used hybrids.
1. Damaged converter
The inverter is responsible for regulating the battery voltage. It is cooled by a liquid whose circulation does not depend on the operation of the internal combustion engine, so it uses a separate liquid pump. When damaged, it compromises the entire hybrid system.
2. It is difficult to disassemble the battery
Batteries are considered to be long-lasting in hybrid cars and are often placed in hard-to-reach places, so it takes several hours to remove them. Often, at the same time, this requires removing the upholstered luggage compartment elements or around the seat and unscrewing all the supports and covers. Then you have to remove the cooling system and cells, which can weigh several tens of pounds.
Some people think that hybrid performance will be improved by simply cleaning the contacts. The copper plates that connect the cells become darker over time, but this rarely causes a break in the electrical circuit.
4. Vehicle electronics errors
The technical sophistication of the hybrids has forced manufacturers to use extensive in-vehicle electronics. It takes care, among other things, of the proper filling of the cells, but it also affects our safety, e.g. by turning off the power at the time of the collision. When buying a hybrid or electric car after an accident, the system must be "unlocked". A qualified mechanic will help you with that, as well as in diagnosing more serious problems caused by breakouts or moisture.
5. Improper operation of the ventilation system
Too much temperature gradually destroys the cells in the hybrid system. Before you start using the hybrid daily, it is worth getting acquainted with the locations of the ventilation systems. If we cover them e.g. with luggage, the ties will overheat. Similar consequences will also occur if we do not control the purity of the filter or the operation of the fan.
Hybrid - what to look out for
In hybrid cars, in addition to managing the typical components that are shared with combustion cars (suspension, brakes, engine and its accessories), we must also pay attention to the condition of the electrical part. If we do not neglect this, the car will serve for many years. Long-term operation at any cost for battery recovery will result in savings from modest fuel consumption.
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Hi there, I am Mladen and I am an auto enthusiast. I started this blog years ago to help like minded people share information about latest cars, car servicing ideas, used car info, exotic cars, and auto technology. You will find helpful articles and videos on a wide variety of cars - Audi, Mercedes, Toyota, Porsche, Volvo, BMW and much more. Ping us if you have anything cool to share on latest cars or on how to make older cars more efficient, or just want to say hi!