In many ways, the hybrid car and its gas-powered predecessor are very similar. In fact, the similarities
make the transition to a hybrid vehicle a smooth one. Both hybrid and gas vehicles are powered and
propelled by a fuel, engine and battery system. This system must be maintained through oil changes,
tune-ups and other forms of routine vehicle maintenance. Despite these commonalities, there are still
some special considerations for hybrid car owners—especially where the battery is concerned.

Some hybrid batteries stop when the tank’s empty.

According to Popular Mechanics article “What to do When Your Hybrid Battery Dies,” the makers of
the hybrid nickel metal hydride battery created the shut-off procedure in order to protect the battery and
motor. However, for drivers of the Prius for example who are accustomed to pushing their gas cars to
their fuel limits, the shut-off can be quite a surprise. They can also become the first expensive bill for
the vehicle.

Hybrid batteries are programmed to try three times to start the engine before ultimately powering
down. The problem is not easily solved with a can of gas. Once the three attempts to start the engine
fail, an error code is sent through the computer system. This error prevents the car from starting until
the computer is reset by a professional mechanic. The result is a repair bill, towing fees and time
wasted through the entire process. So, whatever you do, don’t let that hybrid run out of gas.

The hybrid battery never reaches a full charge and is never completely empty.

This too is a safety mechanism to preserve the battery. It can also be a pain to hybrid car drivers who
depend on the range estimates. The range estimates tell the driver how many miles they may have
before the charge in the battery is gone. However, the car shuts off before charge reaches a complete
zero to preserve the battery components and the engine. Thus, hybrid drivers must take care to charge
the batteries well before embarking on a trip of any length. In addition, once the nickel metal hydride
battery’s charge runs out, it must be recharged at the dealership using a very special machine. This
jump is not one your can make with cables on the side of the road.

The battery doesn’t need to be replaced as often.

The rumors about the expense of the hybrid battery are true. A replacement can run the car’s owner
well into the four figure range. However, the battery of a hybrid car is created to run for quite some
time without replacement. The cars can reach mileages of 150,000 to 200,000 without a problem. They
also come with warranties that last from eight to ten years. A hybrid owner who does end up having to
replace the battery should only have to do so one time.

When driving your hybrid for the first time, keep the battery in mind. It is a complicated piece
of equipment that can bring your car to a screeching halt if not properly maintained. Follow the
instruction manual that you received with the car for further details.

Eagle Technologies Group is an industry leader in the design and installation of factory automation systems worldwide.