Indicators You Might Need to Recondition or Replace Your Hybrid Battery
You’ve bought a vehicle designed for amazing fuel economy and reliable performance. Beneath the bonnet is a powertrain that combines the dependability of fossil fuels and advanced green energy – a hybrid vehicle. Hybrid batteries are designed to last for years.
It’s working perfectly, until one day it isn’t. Whether you have a light illuminated on your dash or you aren’t getting the performance you used to, it needs to be fixed. Could it be the long-lasting hybrid battery needs attention?
While manufacturers commonly claim hybrid batteries can last a vehicle’s lifetime, it’s not always the case. Certain conditions can indicate it’s time to recondition or replace your hybrid battery.
Warning Light Is On
Whether you drive a Toyota, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, or hybrid from any other make, there’s a hybrid drive warning light that can illuminate, as well as the Check Engine Light. A warning light doesn’t immediately indicate hybrid battery failure – it can come on for many reasons like regenerative braking issues, poor electrical connection, or a glitch in the PCM among other things.
Still, a hybrid drive warning light could be an indicator your hybrid battery is weak or failing.
Reduced Torque and Acceleration
Hybrid models often use both electric and petrol power under load, as in when you’re accelerating or starting from a stop. The electric motor provides incredible low-RPM torque especially, drawing from the hybrid battery stores to power the electric motor. Should your vehicle feel less powerful when you’re accelerating, it may be a sign the battery hasn’t sufficiently charged or may not be able to deliver the power the motor needs in the moment.
Battery Depletes Quickly
When you look at your hybrid’s dashboard, the charge indicator’s full bars should last close to the manufacturer’s rated use. For example, a hybrid car with an all-electric range of 30km should be able to get near that distance on EV mode alone. If your battery loses its charge well before reaching that distance, it can indicate a hybrid battery issue.
Battery Won’t Charge
Likewise, a hybrid battery should always be able to reach a full charge. That’s shown by full bars on the hybrid battery gauge on the instrument cluster. If your battery doesn’t fully recharge – either through regenerative braking or when the petrol engine is running – that can be a sign the battery needs attention.
Reduced Fuel Economy
For many, the main reason for driving a hybrid is to spend less on fuel. If you notice you’re visiting the petrol station more often than usual for the distance you’ve driven, alarm bells are probably ringing in your head. While many things can contribute to decreased fuel economy, one potential factor is the petrol engine running more due to the hybrid battery’s inability to keep a charge.
Car Won't Start
While hybrid cars have a 12-volt battery in addition to the hybrid battery, its purpose is to power accessories, not start the car. The hybrid battery is also the starting battery. So, if your car won’t start, it may be a problem with a depleted hybrid battery. If you find yourself needing to jumpstart your hybrid, it’s a solid idea to have the battery checked out.
While none of these symptoms alone are enough to diagnose your hybrid battery as the culprit, they can help point you in the right direction. If it is the hybrid battery at fault, it may require reconditioning, repair, or even replacement to restore your car’s performance.
Do you need help getting your hybrid car working again? Contact us to discuss how our hybrid battery experts can get you back on the road again.