Staying at Home Can Kill Your Car’s Hybrid Battery

by Motorcells Staff

In this quick-tip article, Motorcells™ advises hybrid vehicle owners on the importance of regular driving to maintain the health of their car's hybrid battery. Highlighting that prolonged periods of inactivity, such as those experienced during stay-at-home orders, can detrimentally affect the battery's function.

**Although not as relevant as when we originally wrote this article (during COVID-19 pandemic), we are leaving this post up because it still has some good information about extending the life of your hybrid battery.**

SHORT VERSION: We recommend driving 1-2x a week for at least 10 miles to maintain your Prius, Camry Hybrid, or other hybrid vehicle’s higher-voltage traction battery.

With all the madness surrounding COVID-19 – quarantines, travel bans, school closures, shelter-in-place – it would be easy to overlook your car’s maintenance. However, failing to drive your hybrid vehicle can turn a bad situation into a worse situation.

Your higher-voltage traction battery consists of about 28-34 individual battery cells. When one of those cells loses voltage, it can not only set off every one of your dashboard indicator lights, but it can also prevent your car from going over 40 MPH or even starting. Batteries naturally lose their voltage over time, even when the vehicle is not in use – this is especially true for older cars (with older hybrid batteries).

Your best bet is to drive your Prius, Camry Hybrid, or other hybrid vehicles at least twice a week for at least 10 miles on each drive. Driving will give your battery a chance to recharge, and it will minimize the opportunity for one of your cells to drop down below the acceptable voltage threshold, thus preserving your hybrid’s ability to get you down the road.

While we may not be driving as much, for the time being, people still need to make trips to the grocery store, post office, and doctor’s office. It’s also important to be ready for emergencies. The best bet is to choose to drive your hybrid vs. any gas vehicles because gas vehicles aren’t nearly as affected by sitting idle for long periods of time.

Of course, these are just best practices – and your car’s health is not more important than your own health.

Hopefully, you won’t experience any issues with your hybrid battery during this pandemic, but if you do, please give us a call, and we’ll do whatever we can to get you back on the road. Motorcells™ is a mobile repair and renewed hybrid battery installation service that will continue to serve our clients as long as possible during this crisis.

Stay safe out there!

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