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Hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly common on our roads. They’re a great in-between for folks who want the fuel efficiency of an electric but also still want the range that a combustion engine offers. However, hybrids have unique maintenance needs that comes with this flexible vehicle type. Hybrids often have two batteries, one that every combustion engine has for the dash and the lights, and one that acts like an engine on its own: the latter being much bigger in size and capacity. Along with other discrepancies, hybrids need difference type of maintenance than solely combustion or solely electric vehicles. Though, owners of hybrids should rejoice as they often need less maintenance overall due to their electric components. While we wait at home during this viral time, there are few points of maintenance that hybrid owners should be aware of as they let their vehicles sit in disuse.  

#1: Batteries: 

First and most importantly is the battery of hybrids and EVs. These batteries will maintain their charge for a while, though 4 to 5 months might be pushing it. While your Clarity or Insight sit in your garage, you should not keep it plugged in as that will damage the battery, however, the service battery that maintains the dash and lights should be put on a battery tender for periods of disuse.  

If your electric battery of your hybrid or EV loses all its charge, you will need to take it to the dealer for a special recharge that won’t damage the battery.  

#2: Engine: 

Since hybrids also have a combustion engine, you need to maintain that engine as well during long periods of disuse. For your combustion engine, you should top off the oil and make sure all the fluids for it are full. You should also keep the gas tank full so condensation cannot form in the pipes of the vehicle and cause rust or corrosion.  

#3: General Maintenance: 

Along with the specific maintenance needed for hybrids and EVs, you should remember to do the general maintenance needed for vehicles left sitting for long periods of time. For instance, remove the parking brake if possible, as long periods of contact between the brake pads and rotors can cause them to fuse.  

#4: Tires:  

Prevent flat spots on your tires but using tire chucks or tire sneakers to keep the weight of the vehicle from flattening the rubber of your tires. If you know you won’t be driving your vehicle for over a month, you should consider removing your tires and place your vehicle on jack-stands.  

#5: Location: 

Make sure where you’re storing your vehicle is also a good spot for long periods of time. It’s recommended to keep your vehicle in a garage but if that’s not an option, keep it under a covered or shaded area so the sun cannot damage your interior. If you decide to keep your vehicle in a garage, assess the area for possible rodent or insect infestation as you do not want to open up the door of your vehicle months later to find a huge nest of nightmares inside.  

There are more detailed instructions on how to keep your maintained for long periods of timebut these are points that owners should be aware of as we let our vehicles sit idle during this time. Remember, if you are unsure of what to do, please email the service department for professional and expert help in vehicle maintenance.