What is regenerative braking?
Regenerative braking is a system used in electric and hybrid vehicles. When the driver applies the brakes, the kinetic energy produced by the braking system is converted and stored via a generator into the vehicles high voltage battery. It is then used from the battery to help power the vehicle, improving its overall efficiency. In a traditional braking system, the kinetic energy of the braking system is dissipated as heat. In regenerative brake systems, that same energy is sent to the batteries and stored for later use. This is accomplished through the mechanical connection between the tyres and the battery packs by way of the traction motors and generators.
When do hybrid/electric vehicles need brake pad and rotor replacements?
Due to the way regenerative braking works, it is not uncommon for hybrid vehicles such as the Prius to have the same brake pads and rotors after over 100,000 km. This is because the regenerative braking system reduces strain on these components. Despite this, drivers may experience problems with rubber seals, boots, and other smaller components at the same rate as they would with traditional petrol vehicles. Additionally, corrosion may occur in the backing plate located behind the brake rotor. This can go unnoticed for long periods of time.
For non-electric or hybrid vehicles, we recommend you look at our general brake services page.
Common symptoms of problems in the regenerative braking system include:
- Grinding or squeaking noises when the brakes are being applied.
- Leaking brake fluid from around the wheel
- The car pulling to one side when brakes are applied
- Increased stopping distance when the brakes are applied.
At Grimmer Motors, we recommend that get your electric/hybrid vehicle’s braking system thoroughly checked every two years (or once per year at every service). This will allow a mechanic to detect any less obvious issues and fix them before they become a safety risk.
Replacing calipers, wheel cylinders, and brake hoses:
Replacing hydraulic components such as calipers, brake cylinders and hoses requires a unique approach for electric and hybrid vehicles. Firstly, the regenerative braking system must be deactivated to prevent damage to the components. Secondly, extra care will need to be taken in order to protect the valves and solenoids during this service.
Electric & hybrid regenerative braking system services in Hamilton
Is your electric or hybrid vehicle displaying symptoms of brake problems? If so, we can diagnose and fix the problem. Brake issues can create safety risks when ignored. To make things harder, they can be difficult to diagnose on vehicles with a regenerative braking system. At Grimmer Motors, our expert team of mechanics can quickly and accurately diagnose brake issues in your Toyota Prius, PriusC, Camry, Aqua, Hybrids and Nissan Leaf or other electric/hybrid vehicles.
For hybrid or electric regenerative brake inspections and diagnostics in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!