Winter is right around the corner, and with it, frigid temperatures and precipitation that make the trek to work treacherous. Cold temperatures are hard on cars and especially so on cars that have a hybrid battery. Here are some winter maintenance tips for to keep your hybrid vehicle performing in the cold.
Park It Inside
Cold temperatures and a hybrid battery do not act well together. Keeping your hybrid vehicle in a garage, even if it is not heated, will maintain the battery from feeling the brunt of freezing temperatures and the biting wind. This will make starting the car in the morning easier on the battery. It may not make a huge difference in performance, but every degree of warmth surrounding the car, the better because it will make the battery work less on keeping warm.
Keep It Plugged In if You Own a PHEV or Plug-In EV
Hybrid vehicles that require being plugged in should be left plugged in during the winter. This may seem counter intuitive, especially when the battery is fully charged; however, this help keeps the battery at an optimal operating temperature. This means more range when you unplug in the morning and start your day. It also means your battery is put under considerably less strain when it has to not only heat itself but the cabin as well.
Properly Heating the Inside
When leaving in the morning, the one thing many of us do not like to do is climb into a chilly vehicle cabin where we can see our breath and our hands freeze to the steering wheel. Before you leave, make sure your cabin is heated before unplugging. This will often take power from the grid instead of the battery, and the less energy you use from your battery, the longer the range your hybrid battery has. Also, using seat heaters means using a lot less energy than warming the cabin air. Less energy usage means more capacity from the battery.
Hybrid Battery Conditioning
At The Hybrid Shop, we offer a service called hybrid battery conditioning. Over time, a hybrid battery can wear, which affects energy, power and capacity. Hybrid battery conditioning, often called reconditioning, restores up to 95 percent of a battery's original performance. Heading into the winter season means your battery will be working hard to not only keep you warm when driving but keep itself at an optimal operating temperature. Any of the Hybrid Shop Dealer partners can perform a top-notch hybrid battery conditioning service--which should be a regular part of your hybrid's regular maintenance schedule.
Keeping Up on Your Battery's Health
Proper hybrid care throughout the year will guarantee your hybrid vehicle will perform outstandingly through a harsh winter. Knowing the state of your battery's health through regular maintenance can keep your car and its hybrid battery performing for years to come.
The Hybrid Shop's battery state-of-health service will provide a documented picture of the state of your lithium ion and nickel metal hydride battery. This report shows how each battery cell is performing, allowing you to decide the best course of action before any cells die. Any unbalance in the battery can negatively affect the whole battery pack and cause premature degradation or catastrophic failure.
Keep Up with Regular Maintenance
Even though your hybrid vehicle packs a battery, it is still a car at its core. This means keeping up with all regular maintenance, such as changing the oil at regular intervals. Another suggestion to ensure you get the most from your hybrid battery during the winter months is making sure the car's tires are properly inflated. If you keep up on your vehicle's regular maintenance, your hybrid vehicle will sail through the winter season with ease.