I saw an AutoAid customer at a local restaurant the other day. We were chatting, and Jeannie mentioned that she might have to stop using my services as she was buying a new car. I have to admit I was blind-sighted. She always seemed more than satisfied with how we took care of her current vehicle. I asked her why, she replied, “To save gas, of course.”
Now, I was baffled. “No, I didn’t ask you why you would purchase a new car. I wondered why you believe you can no longer use my repair services? Did we do anything that upset you?”
“Oh no, Jack,” she laughed. “I’m going to miss you guys. I always enjoy bringing my car in. Your techs are great, and I feel well taken care of. Besides, you guys don’t service hybrids, do you?
Then, I had to laugh. If it has a motor, we can fix it. “Yes, Jeannie, we service hybrids. Our ASE-certified technicians repair and maintain a range of cars, foreign and domestic. What kind are you getting?”
“Well, I’ve narrowed it down to three, but to be honest, every time I think I’ve decided on one, then someone else brings up another hybrid. So, I’m still a bit up in the air about it.”
“If you have time, stop by the shop. I’ve got something I want to give you.”
Jeannie explained it was her day off, so she would come by after eating lunch. I went back to the office and downloaded an article I just saw titled “The Best Hybrid Cars of 2022-2023.” When Jeannie came in, I handed it to her.
“Jack, this is great,” Jeannie said, glancing at it. “And, I’m happy to see that at least one of my choices is in the top three recommended hybrids.”
“Which one is that?”
“Oh, the Honda Insight sedan. Although, I noticed this article gives other options. Thank you, Jack. What’s this?” She asked, looking at a separate printout I gave her.
“As a fellow hybrid owner, I wanted to give you some advice on how to get the most out of your new hybrid.” I gave her my “9 Ways to Maintain Your Hybrid” sheet.
Here’s what it said:
- Use lightweight oil as it works best with hybrids.
- Don’t slam on the brakes. It uses up battery power and interferes with the regenerative braking system that feeds the battery. The same goes for accelerating too fast. It puts stress on the engine and uses more gas.
- Don’t weigh the car down with a heavy load. We’ve all done this at one time, but it’s not a good idea. Extra weight affects how the vehicle performs because the engine has to work harder to stay at a certain speed. This rule goes for gas-powered cars too.
- Most hybrid vehicles can go 5,000 and 10,000 miles between oil changes and about 40,000 miles between air filter changes.
- Hybrids tend to work best on city streets. If you have a long trip, go at a slower speed or take alternative routes. If maintaining a constant speed is an issue, use the cruise control. It will save you gas usage.
- Some hybrids have an Eco or economy mode for driving short distances. This mode is not intended for higher speeds or in high traffic, where speeds may vary. This mode inhibits the engine’s performance and transmission by reducing the throttle’s response, which boosts fuel economy.
- Bring the car in for all manufacturer’s suggested maintenance—oil, brakes, tires, etc. It helps maintain your car before something leaks, breaks or gets worn out.
- Don’t ignore your Check Engine light. It can affect how your car runs. Stop by, and we can do our Car & Truck Courtesy Check visual inspection. We look at 38 vehicle points to ensure everything is in proper working order.
- Hybrid batteries typically last the lifetime of the car. However, if your vehicle is older or needs a new battery, we sell and maintain them.
“I appreciate all this great information, Jack. My husband will be so jealous when I get my new hybrid. He’s still driving around our gas-guzzling SUV.”
“I get it. My son has a monster RAM Truck 2500 series that costs more than $150 to fill up, maybe even more now. My Chevy Volt is parked most of the time, so I offered it to him. He is thrilled. You can imagine how much money he is keeping in his pocket now. Everyone wants to save money on gas these days.”
To get some useful tips on getting the most out of your hybrid car, contact AutoAid. We invite you to visit our 5,000 square-foot facility in Van Nuys either in person or at our website. If you go to our website, you can also make an appointment on our Appointments page, Appointments for AutoAid - Van Nuys, CA | AutoAid (autoaidrescue.com), or call us at 818-305-6632. AutoAid has been a AAA-Approved Auto Repair and Customer Service Award Winner for over 30 years. We service many Domestic, Asian and European vehicles as well as fleet automobiles for small and large companies. Our highly trained staff is here to answer any questions you may have about your vehicle.