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Hybrid maintenance tip #4: Why a transmission fluid service is so important

You want your hybrid transmission fluid to be red and transparent like the image on the left, not black and sludgy like the coffee on the right. Flushing the fluid every 50,000 miles in your hybrid is even more important than in a gas-powered car. Here’s why.You want your hybrid transmission fluid to be red and transparent like the image on the left, not black and sludgy like the coffee on the right. Flushing the fluid every 50,000 miles in your hybrid is even more important than in a gas-powered car. Here’s why.

In any vehicle with an automatic transmission, it’s important to service the transmission fluid periodically in order to prolong the life of the transmission itself.

In a hybrid vehicle, this service is even more critical because the hybrid transmission serves three purposes:

  1. It helps slow down the car when the driver applies the brakes.
  2. It helps to recharge the battery.
  3. It delivers power to the wheels to move the car forward–just like in a car with a gasoline engine.

The hybrid transmission fluid becomes contaminated over time. The cast iron planetary gear sets in the transmission are exposed to humid air and develop rust (more scientifically called iron oxide), which contaminates the fluid.

The transmission fluid is not just used to lubricate the gears. It also cools the components in the two electrical motors. The iron-oxide-contaminated oil being sprayed onto the motors causes electrical degradation and failures.

Because the hybrid transmission assembly in hybrid cars is doing much more than your father’s Oldsmobile transmission, it is necessarily more expensive. If this fails out of warranty and you take your car to the dealer, they’re going to replace the entire unit at a cost of up to $11,000.

But at CARS of America, we have the equipment to disassemble, diagnose and replace individual parts of your transaxle. This will save you significantly. So our recommendation for today:

  1. Perform a hybrid transmission fluid service every 50,000 or 60,000 miles for about $125.
  2. Call CARS of America in Glenview or Evanston if you’re having any transmission issues. We can get you back on the road for far less than the dealer. Schedule an appointment now.

Categories:

Hybrids
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