How Long Do Hybrid Batteries Last And How To Extend It?
Hybrid cars have a zealous fan base due to their better gas mileage and lower carbon emissions. But, the hybrid car battery life could be a matter of concern. Remember Honda facing lawsuits in the US courts in 2012 regarding problematic batteries in a batch of Honda Civic Hybrid? How long do hybrid batteries last? Is there any way you can increase their lifespan?
How Long Do Hybrid Batteries Last?
The incident with some batches of Civic Hybrid batteries manufactured between 2006 and 2008 seems to be an anomaly. In reality, the time varies depending on the make, model, mileage, and a few other factors.
The hybrid cars are likely to provide many years of trouble-free driving. The expected lifespan could be minimum 5 years to more than a decade.
How long does a hybrid battery last according to the automakers? Toyota confidently claims the batteries to last the lifetime of the vehicle. The truth is Toyota hybrids can run almost 180,000 miles without showing any sign of deterioration. Honda hybrid batteries are designed to perform at least 10 years under normal driving conditions. Both brands, along with Ford, offer an 8-year warranty or minimum 80,000 miles whichever comes first) for their hybrid battery packs.
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How Long Do Prius Batteries Last?
According to Toyota, the battery is likely to last the car’s lifetime. Even if you are not that lucky, it will survive at least for 10 years or more than 150,000 miles. Replacing a battery pack will require $3,500 to $4,500, which seems too expensive for an old car. But, investing in a hybrid car is still worthwhile since the car is unlikely to give up before 150,000 to 200,000 miles. Also, if you can manage a third-party battery unit (use it at your own risk), it won’t cost more than $1,500.
The Secret Behind Long Hybrid Battery Lifespan
You know how long do hybrid batteries last but what do they enjoy such a long course of life? Well, there are several reasons behind this. Most hybrid cars these days use nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery packs that have 30% to 40% more capacity than standard Ni-Cd batteries. For this reason, the vehicles get more mileage than regular cars.
There are two more reasons for the longer lifespan of these batteries:
Auxiliary Fan System
Battery life gets extended when it does not get overheated. The auxiliary fan system keeps the hybrid batteries cool. The fan pulls fresh air in and circulates it efficiently to keep the battery temperature down.
Hybrid cars are equipped with a function that prevents the battery from drawing energy when the charge hits 80% of its full capacity. The same feature will show that the battery is empty when the charge goes down to almost 20%. It is an approximate estimation because the automakers don’t reveal the exact figures. So, the automakers ensure a long life for the hybrid batteries by under-using their energy.
How To Increase Hybrid Car Battery Lifetime?
You know how long do hybrid batteries last but how to make them last even longer? Well, a hybrid vehicle features a combination of a petrol engine and an electric drivetrain. Poor engine performance will put a strain on the battery and drain its energy.
Also, when a vehicle runs smoothly without giving any trouble, the driver does not give much attention to its maintenance. When you neglect the upkeep, the battery is going to take a hit. Take these measures to extend your hybrid car battery lifetime:
You should not neglect the regular maintenance of your hybrid car. A Toyota Prius can run more than 180,000 kilometers without showing any single trouble. But, you run the risk of running its battery when you don’t take it to the garage for regular checkups.
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You should have diagnosed the battery once the car is more than 8 years old or crosses 80,000 miles. After that, take it to the auto shop every 12 months.
Clean The Auxiliary Fan
The fan keeps the battery cool but it becomes dirty and requires periodic cleaning. The oil residue coats the propellers, which then begin collecting dust. Layers of dirt and dust block the air duct and make the fan less functional. Cleaning the fan regularly will definitely increase the battery life.
Conduct A Health Checkup
Some auto servicing shops perform a health test of the hybrid batteries to detect weak cells. They have services to regain these cells to almost 97% of the original strength. In this way, you can restore the battery power without spending thousands on a new one. But, it will only be possible when you take the car for regular battery checkups. If you wait until the check engine light is on, the battery will be beyond repair.