Hybrid vehicles come with a lot of the same features of other vehicles, but they are more environmentally-friendly. Your business can benefit from them in a variety of ways, including saving money on gas and maintenance. However, hybrid vehicles also need regular servicing in order to keep them running well. If your fleet includes hybrid vehicles, follow these easy maintenance tips.
How is Hybrid Maintenance Different?
The first thing you should know is that there are not many differences in maintenance requirements between a hybrid and a regular business vehicle. They still need a regular check-up and tune-up where the mechanic will check fluid, rotate the tires, change the oil, and be sure everything is running smoothly. It is important that you keep up with this maintenance, otherwise you could be facing more costly issues down the line.
These are the most important hybrid maintenance areas to consider.
All hybrid vehicles come with low-rolling-resistant tires, making this one of the differences between hybrid and regular vehicles. When you have your vehicle inspected and have the tires checked, if the tires are determined to need replacing, it is important that the tires replaced are equivalent to low-rolling-resistant tires. If you opt for the wrong tires, you could realize decreased fuel mileage.
You should also be aware that the battery in your vehicle is different than a battery in a traditional business vehicle. Hybrid vehicles take nickel metal hydride batteries, which can degrade over time and need to be replaced. Once this starts to happen, the performance and efficiency of the hybrid will decrease as well.
You need to have the battery checked and conditioned during every check-up in order to avoid potential complications with the battery. The main battery in a hybrid is large and expensive, much more so than a regular vehicle battery. Proper hybrid battery maintenance can save you a lot of money.
In your hybrid vehicle, you have a regenerative braking system to help gather natural energy when you slow down the car. It provides energy for the car that is used later on, which reduces wear and tear and causes your brake pads to last longer. However, just because the brakes might last longer than with a traditional car, you still need to have the brakes looked at regularly.
The general suggestion is having them lubricated around every 60,000 miles.
Providing regular check-ups and maintenance for your hybrid vehicle is a great way to allow the vehicles in your fleet to last. It is important to keep up with repairs to reduce risks to your drivers and prevent more expensive maintenance work down the road.
In addition, have a good commercial auto insurance policy for your business hybrid vehicle. This protects not only collisions, theft and vandalism, but provides coverage for maintenance and repairs in many cases.