Car Warranty Coverage on a Hybrid Battery

If you have a hybrid car, you know the battery plays a vital role in its performance. Fortunately, this part is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty when a hybrid is purchased new. So what’s the scoop on car warranty coverage for hybrid batteries, and what protection does it provide? Let’s find out.

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What Is Car Warranty Coverage on a Hybrid Battery?

Car warranty coverage on a hybrid battery is protection that pays for repair or replacement if the battery fails. This coverage spans a set time or mileage limit. For example, Toyota’s hybrid battery warranty lasts 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first.

A hybrid battery warranty is just one of an automaker’s different types of warranty coverage. For example, new cars come with bumper-to-bumper coverage that provides comprehensive coverage from top to bottom. And they also come with a warranty that covers parts related to the powertrain, such as the engine, transmission and driveshaft.

Car warranty coverage on a hybrid battery doesn’t take the place of these other types of protection. Instead, it’s a separate coverage focused on a specific range of parts. For example, the Toyota Prius hybrid offers bumper-to-bumper coverage for three years or 36,000 miles, and powertrain coverage for five years or 60,000 miles. This coverage is separate from its hybrid battery warranty.

What Does a Hybrid Battery Warranty Cover?

A hybrid battery warranty covers parts that are unique to hybrid-electric vehicles. Here are some items that are typically covered, along with an explanation of what role each component plays in the operation of your hybrid:

Hybrid Battery

A hybrid battery supports the gas engine in powering the vehicle. It is rechargeable and recoups power through a process called regenerative braking. In this process, the battery recharges every time you press the brake pedal. Because of regenerative braking, a hybrid battery is automatically recharged when it gets low so you don’t need to plug it in.

Battery Control Module

The battery control module keeps track of a hybrid battery’s state of charge. It calculates the battery’s charge on an ongoing basis. Once it determines this information, it sends it to the car’s hybrid control unit.

Hybrid Control Unit

The hybrid control unit receives information from the battery control module. It uses this data to determine whether it should charge or discharge the battery.

What Is Not Covered by a Hybrid Battery Warranty?

Hybrid battery coverage excludes specific items and situations. Here is a list of exclusions:

  • Damage from installing parts that the automaker hasn’t approved
  • Inadequate maintenance
  • Accident damage
  • Car vandalism
  • Improper vehicle storage
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Non-standard charging
  • Elements found within the cabin

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How Long Does Hybrid Battery Warranty Coverage Last?

Hybrid battery warranty coverage typically lasts longer than bumper-to-bumper or powertrain coverage. Federal law has rules that anchor this warranty, setting a minimum coverage span for hybrid batteries. This law requires carmakers to provide warranty coverage for hybrid batteries for at least eight years or 100,000 miles.

California has laws for hybrid battery warranty coverage that go beyond the rules set by the federal government. All hybrids sold within California must have hybrid battery coverage that lasts 10 years or 150,000 miles. Toyota has adopted these limits as part of its coverage all across the country.

How Long Does a Hybrid Battery Last?

When considering hybrid battery warranty coverage, it’s essential to consider the typical lifespan of these batteries.

Car manufacturers who make hybrids say hybrid batteries typically last from 80,000 to 100,000 miles.

So what does that mean for lifespan when measured by year? According to the Federal Highway Administration, Americans drive roughly 14,000 miles per year on average. So a hybrid battery will last approximately six to seven years using that average.

When Does a Hybrid Battery Warranty Start?

Coverage for a hybrid battery warranty begins at the date and mileage when the car is first sold. So, for example, if you purchased your hybrid on September 2, 2022, that’s the start date of your warranty coverage.

When Does a Hybrid Battery Warranty End?

Your hybrid battery warranty lists a mileage and time limit; coverage ends when you reach one of these milestones. It’s important to note that coverage ends when you reach the first milestone. It doesn’t matter whether the milestone relates to mileage or time,

For example, let’s say your car has eight years or 100,000 miles of coverage. If you log 100,000 miles on the odometer but have only owned the car for five years, coverage ends at the 100,000-mile mark. Conversely, coverage ends at the eight-year mark if you have owned the car for eight years but only have 60,000 miles on the odometer.

Are Hybrid Battery Warranties Transferable?

Many carmakers transfer warranties when ownership of a hybrid car changes. If you’re in the market for a used hybrid, you should inquire whether the car has a transferable warranty protecting the hybrid battery.

How Much Does Replacing a Hybrid Battery Cost?

So what happens if your hybrid battery is out of warranty and requires replacement? How much will it cost to get a new battery?

A hybrid battery can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000 to replace. The price will depend on the make and model of the car. The service center you choose can also affect the price, so it’s wise to shop around if you find yourself in this situation.

How to Maximize the Life of Your Hybrid’s Battery

Warranty coverage provides excellent protection for your car’s hybrid battery. But many drivers would rather maximize the battery’s life than replace it.

So what steps can you take to ensure your hybrid battery lives a long and healthy life? Here are some tips:

Follow the maintenance schedule recommended by your carmaker

Maintenance is vital to keep all cars healthy, including hybrids. Remember that the hybrid battery and the gas engine depend on each other to a certain extent. If one isn’t working correctly or hasn’t received adequate care, it can impact how the other performs. Get the battery tested during regular service visits. If the tests show weak battery cells, you can recondition the battery to strengthen it and extend its life. If you don’t schedule regular check-ups, you may shorten your battery’s life.

Drive regularly

As mentioned, a hybrid battery recharges via regenerative braking. If you leave the vehicle parked for an extended period, the battery won’t get the braking-derived energy it needs to remain charged. The battery will begin to die with time. Try to drive your hybrid at least once or twice a week to keep its battery healthy.

Avoid aggressive acceleration

Aggressively slamming your foot on the throttle can wear out your hybrid battery more quickly. A gentler approach is best. Aim for more gradual acceleration from a stop sign or red light.

Decelerate slowly when it’s safe to do so

It’s better to decelerate slowly than to suddenly slam on the brakes. Try to apply the brakes in a more gradual way. This gentle deceleration creates energy that can help charge the battery.

Limit driving in extreme temperatures

Extreme temperatures – from scorching heat to frigid cold – can shorten your hybrid battery’s life. Of course, you’ll need your car to provide essential transportation regardless of the weather. But if temperatures are very hot or very cold, it’s a good idea to try and limit your driving until the weather improves.

Pay attention to dashboard warning lights

Hybrids have sophisticated warning systems that alert you if a problem arises. It’s vital to heed these warnings. Ignoring them could cause damage that ultimately affects the life of your hybrid battery.

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