Anyone dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint has likely either purchased or is looking into purchasing one of Toyota’s hybrids. Not only is a hybrid better for the environment than a traditional car, it is also a good way to save some money on fuel and upkeep. The most essential part of a hybrid car is the battery, and because of that, these batteries have some impressive longevity – anywhere from five to 10 years, which may vary based on factors like driver habits and how often the car is used. If you take certain measures, however, you may be able to extend the life of your hybrid’s battery even further, and that’s why we here at Westbury Toyota have written up a quick list of tips for you to follow.
Much like regular cars, hybrids require regular maintenance. Keeping up with tune-ups ensures that the car as a whole is operating as it should be, which means the battery does not have to overwork in order to keep everything going. Letting maintenance fall by the wayside will eventually take its toll on the battery, so be sure to book your car in when recommended either in the owner’s manual or by one of our Toyota specialists.
Hybrid batteries can be a bit complicated, as the writers from Oards Automotive Hub explain, in that keeping them charged 100 percent can lead to quicker drainage and going lower than 20 percent can ruin the battery so that it will not hold a charge. Ideally, you want the battery at no more than 80 percent and no less than 20, as this will ensure the battery is operating optimally.
This is a good tip for any type of car, particularly if your car does not get driven that often or in situations like what we face now with quarantine lockdown measures in place. It applies to hybrid vehicles specifically because their batteries require kinetic energy to stay charged. To prevent the battery from dying, find a reason to take your hybrid out for a 15 to 20 minute drive, whether it is to go get groceries or to just go out for a change of scenery. Try to do this at least twice a week to keep the battery topped up within that optimal 80/20 range.
It may surprise you to know that the ambient temperature can affect the battery life of your hybrid. Extreme temperatures can have an adverse effect on the battery, so always try to park in the shade during brutally hot days, and on the bitterly cold ones, try to park in a place that is heated or, at the very least, insulated. Doing so will ensure there is no unnecessary toll being taken on the battery.
Flooring your car into movement from a standstill wears out the battery more than accelerating at a more reasonable pace will. This does not mean you have to move forward sluggishly – all you need to do is gently tap the accelerator in order to speed up at a steady pace. The same applies with braking. It is far better on a hybrid battery to coast to a stop than it is to slam on the brakes, because rolling to a stop provides the kinetic energy needed for the battery to gain a little charging boost.
Toyota’s hybrids are renowned already for the long life of their batteries, but by following the tips we laid out above, you can extend that life even more. Doing so will let you get more usage out of your Toyota hybrid in the long run, cutting down on pollution as well as letting you save money.