About high-voltage batteries:
The high voltage (HV) battery pack is one of the most important components in a hybrid vehicle. Alongside the engine, it provides your car with the necessary power to move forward. Hybrid batteries are constantly being charged by the engine and electrical generator plus regenerative braking, a process where the energy created from braking is converted into electrical energy to power the battery.
Like any battery, a hybrid battery will eventually lose its ability to hold a charge correctly. This can affect the operation of your vehicle and lead to several noticeable symptoms.
How long do hybrid batteries last?
Most car manufacturers offer warranties on high-voltage batteries for around eight years. However, under normal driving conditions, the battery in a hybrid vehicle should last at least ten years or 150,000 km. With the correct care, the battery may last the life of your vehicle.
Common symptoms of a failing hybrid battery:
- Increase in engine runtime – If you notice that your car’s combustion engine is running more than usual, there may be issues with your car’s battery or high voltage system. Although it is normal for your engine to run frequently on highway conditions, it shouldn’t be running very often when stopped in the city. If it is, it may mean that the engine and generator are not charging the battery properly.
- Increased fuel use – As the engine begins to run more often, more fuel is used. If you notice an increase in fuel consumption, it may be a good idea to get the battery examined.
- Sudden changes in charge – If your car’s state of charge is constantly changing, it may be a sign of a defective battery. Keep an eye out for the state of charge dropping to around 20% and then quickly charging back up to 80%.
- Red triangle on the dashboard – Commonly known as the “red triangle of death”, many Prius owners report a red triangle icon on their dashboard when the battery isn’t functioning properly. A diagnostic tool can be used to determine what is causing the warning to appear. You may also see warnings on your dashboard saying “check hybrid system”
How to increase the lifespan of your hybrid’s battery
- Drive your car regularly: Hybrid batteries benefit from regular use. Extended periods of inactivity or leaving the vehicle unused for prolonged periods can have a negative impact on the battery’s performance. If possible, try to drive your hybrid vehicle regularly to keep the battery engaged and functioning optimally.
- Avoid deep discharges: Minimise deep discharges of the hybrid battery. Deeply discharging the battery frequently can put additional strain on it and decrease its overall lifespan. Aim to keep the battery charged above a certain level, typically around 20-30% or higher.
- Brake smoothly to charge the battery gradually: When charging your hybrid vehicle, it is beneficial to use gradual or slow charging methods whenever possible. This gentler charging process helps reduce stress on the battery cells and promotes better longevity.
- Optimal temperature management: Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can impact the performance and lifespan of a hybrid battery. Whenever possible, park your vehicle in shaded or covered areas to minimise exposure to high temperatures. In colder climates, consider using a block heater to pre-warm the engine and battery in cold weather.
Hybrid Battery Diagnostics & Repairs in Hamilton
Is your hybrid vehicle showing signs of a weak or malfunctioning battery? If so, we can diagnose and fix the problem for you. Our team are skilled in servicing and repairing hybrid vehicles, meaning we are able to get your battery running correctly again in no time.
We believe that hybrid battery replacement shouldn’t have to cost you a fortune. For this reason, we offer competitive new battery options to keep it functioning healthily. For hybrid repairs in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!