FAQ


Somewhere in the back of their minds most hybrid owners have questions, doubts, misgivings about

  • Hybrid battery life
  • Hybrid battery replacement
  • Hybrid battery repair
  • Hybrid battery reconditioning
  • Are you certified?

At The Hybrid Shop of Hampton Roads we have answers and solutions for all of your hybrid concerns.

You Do NOT Have To Go To The Dealer!

In fact, it is against federal law for the manufacturer to deny warranty claims because you have your car serviced somewhere else.  We are fully trained and qualified to perform all types of hybrid vehicle repairs and maintenance.

Here are some commonly-asked questions, and if none of these coincide with any questions you have, just give one of our service advisors a call and they should be able to answer even the hardest question you have.

Q: Do hybrid batteries “go bad?”

A: In general, no. Over time, depending upon how the vehicle is used, they eventually lose some of their ability to charge and discharge effectively. Our conditioning process restores the battery’s ability to charge and discharge like it’s supposed to. it is possible for individual cells in your battery pack to go bad and we will find and replace them during the conditioning process.

Q: What brands of hybrid vehicles do you service?

A: We service all makes and models of hybrid vehicles, including Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, Accord, and Insight, plus domestic hybrids made by Ford and GM. All hybrid and electric vehicles share a common core technology in which we have been thoroughly trained.

Q: How long will you have my car?

A: If we have your car in the morning, in most cases we can get it back to you the next business day.

Q: When will my battery have to be conditioned again?

A: The useful life of these batteries is affected by many factors, among which are temperature, driving style, terrain in the area in which you live. If you got seven useful years from your battery, there’s no reason to expect you won’t get another seven after conditioning.

Q: Why did my battery fail?

A: These batteries thrive when charged and discharged in an ideal environment. Unfortunately, we don’t all do the type of stop-go driving that would insure the maximum life of the battery. Temperature is another factor. extreme heat and cold tend to shorten the life of the battery. These are just a couple of the many factors that cause the nickel in the battery to become less responsive to charging/discharging over time. Fortunately, by carefully discharging and charging the batteries under controlled conditions, we are usually able to restore the battery to more than 95% of its original performance. In some cases, individual cells in the battery actually go bad, but we are able to replace these cells at minimal cost and return the battery to service.

Q: What other hybrid-unique problems should I look out for?

A: Near the top of the list would be transmission problems. the transmission contains motor/generators composed of dense windings of wire. The insulation on the wires can deteriorate, causing intermittent problems at first and finally failing, immobilizing the car. We have acquired equipment that can evaluate the condition of the transmission windings, so we can tell you if there are problems that could affect the future of your car. We do this test during our State of Health check we perform prior to conditioning the battery.

Q: I’m considering buying a used hybrid. What should I look out for?

A: Many things. The State of Charge of the battery, for instance. The health of the gas engine is important. Perhaps most important is the condition of the transmission and associated motor/generators. One of the services we provide is called a State of Health check for hybrid vehicles. Using very specialized equipment, we can evaluate and document the condition of all major components in the hybrid drive system. You can then make an educated decision regarding the purchase of the vehicle and negotiate the best price based on its condition. We also have access to all of the manufacturer’s Tech Support Bulletins and Recalls. Our partners at First Landing Auto Sales generally have great used hybrids in stock. These cars have been thoroughly checked out by technicians at First Landing Autocare and most carry a warranty on the hybrid battery.

Q: I see Hybrid batteries on Craiglist and EBay, so why shouldn’t I buy one of those?

A: This is a real “buyer beware” situation. How do you know what you are getting? We will compare our diagnosis and conditioning process with anyone out there. Ours is science-based, developed by experts who have worked with electric drive systems for many years. We provide statistical and graphic data to show the as-installed condition of the battery. We use equipment and training that is unmatched in the industry. We do thermal monitoring of all battery components during the discharge/charge process. We test other critical hybrid drive components to insure that your hybrid will be reliable and provide years of high-performance service.

Q: Don’t I have to have the dealer work on my car to keep my warranty in effect?

A: No. As long as the required maintenance is performed in a timely manner, the dealer can’t deny your warranty claim. It’s federal law. We can tell you exactly what maintenance services are required to keep your warranty in effect.

Q: Do you offer financing?

A: Yes we do! In fact, we offer 6 month deferred-interest financing through NAPA Easypay. Applying online is quick, easy and confidential.

Q: Are you certified?

A: Yes. Our technicians are certified by ASE – Automotive Service Excellence. In addition we are certified in hybrid and electrical vehicle technology by the Society of Automotive Engineers.