Despite the exponential growth of the Hybrid-Electric Vehicle industry over the past decade, hybrid owners continue to find themselves at a loss when it comes to servicing their batteries. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) dealers are typically the first consideration, a viable option for hybrid service, but fortunately for consumers the aftermarket service sector has been making strides towards progressive and potentially more-affordable hybrid battery service.
Car dealerships tend to view hybrid service from the design perspective; they were involved in the creation of the vehicle from initial design through production, and their realm of knowledge is necessarily focused on the same arena. Dealers analyze the car in terms of its design. This is certainly beneficial as long as the car performs as expected, but as we’ve all experienced, many issues don’t arise until the car has been out and about, tried and tested by the chaos of the road. After four to five years, battery issues begin to manifest in the form of diminished fuel efficiency and increasing performance problems–most noticeably loss of acceleration.
At this point, hybrid owners often feel obliged to bring their sluggish vehicle back to the dealership for repair, unaware that aftermarket specialists are even an option for hybrid battery service. Dealerships tend to operate under a “replace, rather than repair” philosophy when it comes to hybrid batteries, and to many consumers, this can seem like the only route to getting their car back to its youthful state of vigor. While replacing a battery will most likely result in increased performance, even brand new batteries tend to start out under 100% capacity from the unavoidable degradation that occurs as it moves from the factory floor to under the hood of your car.
After witnessing the frustration of countless consumers with run-down batteries and mysteriously diminishing acceleration, aftermarket specialists have had little choice but to innovate where dealerships have yet to set their sights. The non-dealer sector of the industry has adopted technology and procedures that can maintain the health of hybrid cars through their aging process, ranging from motor and generator repair to battery pack conditioning and testing at the module level: all work that dealerships often don’t perform, and all work that the Hybrid Shop has spent years perfecting.
While dealerships tend to focus on part-replacement, aftermarket specialists remain unshackled by such close relationships to original parts manufacturers, so they’re able to venture into the battery packs and modules themselves in order to make internal repairs. Perhaps the most valuable asset that aftermarket shops retain is this latitude to explore such “unconventional” approaches to hybrid repair and restoration. The Hybrid Shop, for example, is able to condition and rebuild batteries while also running diagnostics on electric motors, generators, power inverters, DC to DC converters, and the like. A newly conditioned battery can often regain up to 88-95% of its original capacity, at a fraction of the environmental and financial cost of a total replacement.
If you have any questions about the work that The Hybrid Shop can perform on hybrid vehicles and batteries, or if you’re debating whether to bring your hybrid to a dealership or an aftermarket specialist, feel free to let us know in the comment section below or contact us directly.
This is another valuable post from TheHybridShop.com. HECN is happy to welcome the TheHybridShop.com, a new green automotive startup, as our first Service Advisor. The mission of The Hybrid Shop is to “provide the highest quality maintenance, service and repair experience for hybrid electric vehicle owners.” Read more about them and servicing hybrid electric cars here. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Google Plus, and YouTube.
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