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Hybrid and electric vehicles are primarily powered by an electric motor that uses a high-voltage battery. Hybrid cars also typically have a small gasoline motor to charge the battery and give the electric motor a power boost when needed. Either way, a non-functioning battery can cause serious issues with the operation of your vehicle. We are trained and certified to service batteries and electrical systems for all major hybrid and electric car brands.
Batteries all have a life and its no different for High Voltage Hybrid and Electric Car Batteries. Most manufacturers will tell you 10 years is about all you are going to get out of your battery. Even if you are not experiencing a problem today, and your battery is over 10 years old, you may want to consider a replacement, so you don’t have any problems and you can get it done on your terms.
A check engine light can mean many different issues are happening depending on your vehicle’s make and model. When you get a check engine light, even though it’s called a check “engine” light, it doesn't necessarily point directly to your engine. It could be your High Voltage Battery System, The Hybrid Drive System, or any system on the vehicle, so it's important you have the codes retrieved from the vehicle’s computers to allow for a pinpoint diagnostic of the system and problem. In many cases, a red triangle will appear if you have a major issue with your Hybrid Drive System and will often cause the vehicle not to operate.
If the Check Engine light is flashing, that could mean a severe problem that is causing other damage to the engine and or transmission, so do not delay contacting a Hybrid Battery repair shop for service.
Often with Hybrid Vehicles, very high fuel mileage can be accomplished with careful, moderate driving using only the electric motors and the High Voltage Battery. When you demand more power or speed from the vehicle, the gas motor will kick in to help and as the High Voltage Hybrid Battery needs recharging, the gasoline motor will also start up and run to generate a charge to the High Voltage Hybrid Battery. As your High Voltage Battery becomes weak and won’t hold a charge very long, the gasoline engine must work harder and longer to generate power to charge the battery, help power the vehicle and will use more gas than usual.
Many Hybrid vehicles will give you an energy monitor display to tell you what mode of charge or drive the vehicle is in. If you see a significant change that your charging, or SOC (State of Charge) rates, are more than normal or if it seems as if the engine is always running according to the monitor, you may have an issue with your High Voltage Battery. A Specialist can look at the data from your vehicle and determine if there are any battery codes, and measure the Delta State of Charge of your batteries. Any more than 20% difference in the Delta State of Charge is an indicator that your battery is ready for replacement.
Check your 12 Volt accessory battery first, that typically is the most common issue. The small 12 Volt battery operates all the dash, accessory, and computer controls. A bad or dead 12 Volt battery and/or dirty connections are the most likely issue. If this battery is more than 5 years old, it may be good insurance to change it now before you run into problems.
You are probably out of gas, the electric fuel pump for the gasoline motor is defective, or the gasoline engine is not running for another technical reason. Also, the electric hybrid motor generator that is typically used as a starter motor for the gasoline motor could have a problem that prevents it from starting the engine. Most likely though, it is one of the other issues above.
If the gasoline engine doesn’t run, the High Voltage Battery will not recharge. There is some regenerative charging when slowing down, but that is not enough to keep the battery charged to capacity.
Unfortunately, it takes very sophisticated equipment to recharge a fully depleted Hybrid battery and it may be a better option for you to replace it and determine why the engine won’t run.
The most common reason is that is runs too hot or becomes discharged. Hybrid vehicles batteries are either cooled by air and cooling fans, or by the air conditioning system. Other parts of the Hybrid Electrical System are cooled by liquid coolant, just like the engine, but typically using a separate system.
Many cases of Battery failures are due to lack of maintenance of the cooling fan. The air passages to the battery which are typically beside, above or under the rear seat can be blocked by debris, bags, dog hair or other things that are restricting airflow. This is a maintenance item that should have regular cleaning and an awareness to not block the vents.