Scraping ice!

Last week, we wrote about the effects of cold weather on hybrid vehicles. This week, we’d like to follow that story up with some tips on how to actually prepare your hybrid for the coming cold winter months.

The companies who work in hybrid motor manufacturing care greatly about how those motors perform after they leave the assembly line. Eagle Technologies creates the systems that help companies like GM, Ford and Chrysler generate thousands of hybrid cars each year. Many of these cars end up in places such as the freezing ‘M’ states: Minnesota, Maine, and Montana among others. However, these customers often don’t know what it takes to prepare a car for the sub-zero temperatures that these states hold for weeks. Here are a few important tips that you should be aware of:

4 Important Hybrid Motor Winterization Tips

  1. Add grill blocks keep the cold air out from under the hood. Cold air rushes into the car as it runs, making it difficult to warm up a car with climate-sensitive parts such as hybrid batteries. A grill block is as simple as a piece of cardboard behind the grill or customized blocks that fit your car perfectly without being obvious. The latter takes time to obtain, so September is a perfect time to place the order.
  2. Have the car’s lights, heaters, and defrosters inspected. These items run simultaneously in the winter, and combined with the cold air, will dampen the hybrid car’s performance and gas mileage. Make sure that these components are functioning appropriately to mitigate the performance and fuel economy losses that you cannot avoid.
  3. Replace your tires with ones that are designed to handle the snow and cold. Michigan winters are long and harsh on your hybrid car. There’s no need to send it out on tires that are ill-equipped to handle the car outside of normal circumstances.
  4. Invest in a block heater if you live in places, such as northern Minnesota, that see extremely low temps for extended periods of time. A block heater warms up the car enough to start it up in such weather.

Proper care of a hybrid engine begins the day you drive it home. Just keep in mind that your half electric, half gas car was not meant to run in frigid conditions that the state of Michigan sees each year. Start early, in September, working with your mechanic to ensure that the hybrid engine in your car keeps running despite the cold.