Do Hybrid Batteries “Go Bad”

Hybrid vehicles provide commuters of all kinds with an effective and environmentally-friendly way to get around. These unique vehicles utilize a special battery that’s surprisingly similar to the ones found in your smartphone and other modern electronic items. These super-powered batteries are simply a Lithium-Ion battery with a much higher capacity than the ones you’d find in your digital camera. With this new technology, a common question is do these hybrid batteries ever go bad and need to be replaced?

Battery Lifespan

A typical hybrid battery should last approximately anywhere from 10 to 15 years. This, of course, can vary depending on how often you drive and how far of a distance you typically go. As you drive the car, the battery’s internal components like chemicals and other materials can begin to deplete and deteriorate over time. Most modern hybrid batteries are designed to charge the battery to about 80-percent capacity, then allow it to deplete to around 40-percent before it needs to be recharged. Any battery that goes from 100 to 0 percent before recharging again will certainly face a shorter lifespan than those being charged according to special software programs that keep charging levels in check.

Signs of Battery Depletion

As your hybrid car gets closer to the 100,000-mile mark, expect the battery system that operates the drivetrain to wear out. One telltale sign is that you’ll notice your fuel economy has begun to lessen. A properly functioning hybrid battery should not change your vehicle’s normal or average fuel consumption. Once the battery begins to fail, the gas part of the engine will start to use more energy, and you’ll start to see a decline in the number of miles per gallon you normally get. Pay close attention to your average miles per gallon and if it seems to drop, it may be time to get your battery checked.

Replacing Your Hybrid Battery

Depending on your make and model, most hybrid vehicles utilize a variety of differently-sized batteries. The cost of replacement can also vary. You’ll commonly find the location of the battery in the trunk of the car or underneath the back seat where the technician will need to remove the clamps that hold the battery in place. Once the clamps are removed, it’s usually just a matter of unplugging the old battery and installing a new one, and then clamping it back into place. Hybrid batteries require a special technician to replace them due to the high level of voltage they contain. Special tools are also needed. In essence, yes, hybrid batteries do need to be replaced from time to time, but they should last you much longer than a typical car battery.

If you’re unsure of your hybrid battery’s condition, contact the knowledgeable staff at Luscious Garage in San Francisco, California. Give us a call at 415-213-2336 to make an appointment for your hybrid vehicle today!