Hybrid automobiles are becoming more and more popular. With environmental concerns rising, consumers want a vehicle that reduces their carbon footprint – hence, hybrid automobiles.
Yet with this new line of automobiles comes the need for a new need for maintenance. Hybrids are still cars, yet they work in different ways from traditional makes and models.
Complicated repairs to hybrid autos are best left to the experts. However, if you are an expert or if the repair is something you are comfortable making, here are a few facts to remember when servicing a hybrid automobile.
- Make sure the hybrid system is “off” – while this may seem obvious, it is easy to forget that a hybrid automobile is ready to turn on at any time
- Wear lineman’s gloves when dealing with high voltage repairs and keep your hands away from any high voltage wires (normally blue and orange)
- Test that high voltage has been disconnected before beginning any repairs
- Keep the hybrid in park with the parking brake engaged before making any repairs
- If the hybrid will be out of commission for more than three weeks, disconnect the battery
- If you must tow a hybrid, make sure the front wheels do not spin during the towing process – if they spin, they can generate high voltage
- Never run a hybrid automobile out of gas – if the battery is ever fully discharged, you may not be able to recharge it
- Do not use a conventional battery charger to charge your hybrid automobile – use only a manufacturer approved charging station
- Do not leave your ignition in the “on” mode for an extended period of time – this will lead your battery to discharge
Understanding these basic hybrid safety tips will ensure that you are safe while making the necessary repairs. Owning and operating a hybrid is great for the environment – but, just as with any automobile, repairs are sometimes needed. If and when your hybrid is in need of repair, you will be armed with the knowledge you need to stay safe and to keep your hybrid battery in operable condition.