Hybrid Battery Replacement – Alternatives and Some Warning Tips

The special battery packs that power hybrid cars use are among the most expensive components of hybrid cars, hybrid battery replacement being an expense dreaded by most owners. Hybrid battery packs are the special units that assist the gas engine and they come with special, 100,000 – 150,000 miles warranty, which allows most car owners to use their batteries for a good ten years or more, but if that warranty runs out and the battery starts showing signs of aging, the costs of a new pack run well into the thousands of dollars. Even so, you needn’t worry if your battery is little by little coming of age – there are several good alternatives to buying a brand-new battery, here are some.

Battery Replacement with a Used Pack

Most hybrid cars that are taken to junk yards because they have been involved in some sort of accident and not because their batteries have failed. This also means that the used hybrid car batteries you can buy at junk yards are probably in great condition and they will also cost you a fraction of the price of a new pack.

Battery Reconditioning

A hybrid battery that is getting tired is not necessarily a pack beyond remedy. Many old batteries can be reconditioned with the help of special technologies. If you choose this solution, you must be prepared that you will have to remove the battery from your car and send it to the company that provides the reconditioning services, which also means that you will not be able to use your car for a while, but the costs of the reconditioning are really affordable, so it is probably worth the temporary discomfort.

Buying Refurbished Batteries

Many dealerships that sell hybrid cars also offer refurbished battery packs and reconditioned packs are available from online vendors as well, usually for prices under a thousand dollars. The solution can also significantly reduce the costs of hybrid battery replacement, but it is a good idea to check the reputation of the vendor you are planning to use by visiting online forums or review websites.

Some Warnings

Hybrid cars are complicated machines that require mechanics to possess special professional knowledge to be able to repair them. If you suspect your hybrid battery pack to be the cause of the problems you have been experiencing with your car lately, do check whether the mechanic you are planning to turn to has the right kind of experience to be able to determine the cause of your issues.

In some cases, inexperienced or unqualified mechanics might mistake the problems for battery pack issues and recommend costly battery replacement even when the battery is completely healthy and the source of the fault is to be found elsewhere. You can easily avoid such costly mistakes by turning to a mechanic who knows hybrid cars, indeed. These guys will be able to help you not only with professional repairs, but also by recommending you the best replacement method, so their special expertise is definitely beneficial.

Catalytic Converter Replacement – Why It Is Important and How It Works

Catalytic converter replacement is not cheap, but in some cases, it is inevitable. Catalytic converters are sensitive and at the same time very resilient components and their faults can cause many different symptoms – here are some signs that might make you suspect the converter and also a few ideas about what to expect if your mechanic checks your car and determines that your catalytic converter is beyond remedy.

 

What Are Catalytic Converters

 

Catalytic converter units are modern devices that have the role of converting the harmful chemicals generated by the car’s engine while burning fuel into less noxious substances before the exhaust gases leave the system. The health of the converter is essential not only in order to pass emissions tests, but also for the performance and proper functioning of the entire car. The converter might get clogged, blocked or otherwise damaged by the particles it needs to filter, faults that will reduce the performance of the engine and might also cause fuel consumption to jump.

 

Diagnosing Catalytic Converters

 

Catalytic converter faults are usually detected with the help of various testers. The engine of the vehicle to be tested is connected to testers that measure the vacuum at idle and analyze the composition of the exhaust gases. Vehicles made after 1996 can be diagnosed using on-board diagnostic devices (OBD testers). The tester is connected using a plug, the test program is run and the results returned in the form of codes will help the mechanic identify the cause of the problem.

 

Determining Whether Catalytic Converter Replacement Is Necessary

 

If the mechanic concludes that the symptoms you notice are caused by the fault of the catalytic converter, he will remove the unit to see whether it can be repaired or you need a replacement. In some cases, the converter fault can be corrected by cleaning and un-clogging, but very often the unit is clogged or damaged beyond remedy, which makes replacement inevitable.  Failed emissions test Denver area can be related to a faulty catalytic converter.

 

Choosing the Right Type of Unit

 

Your mechanic can not only diagnose your converter – he can also get a replacement for you. There are two basic types of converters you can choose from:

  • Direct fit units that match the converter you need to replace in terms of dimensions and other parameters and can be mounted without requiring any modifications to the system such as welding,
  • Universal converters that are usually cheaper, but require the mechanic to make adjustments to be able to install them.

 

Second hand converters are also available, but it is difficult to determine whether they are in condition, so it is probably a better idea to get a new unit.

Catalytic converters work in synergy with oxygen sensors, so be prepared that the sensors will need to be replaced along with the faulty converter.

When the replacement process is complete, it is a good idea to connect the vehicle to the tester one more time to determine whether the car has other faults that need attention, too.

How To Find Good Aurora Auto Mechanics?

The complexity of modern vehicles makes most people rely on good mechanics able to keep their cars up and running. But how can you find them and how can you be sure of their professionalism?

  • First step: look for the right certifications

Certification is one of the best proofs of competence and dedication, so look for qualified technicians. The best certifications for auto mechanics are The Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and manufacturer certifications, indicating areas in which the mechanic is specialized.

  • Second step: Check the website of the American Automobile Association and you can find reliable auto repair shops Aurora CO locations, with verified credentials and business policies.
  • Third step: Get recommendations from other car owners. Their positive experience with an auto shop is a good indicator that the shop is reliable.

After going through these steps, you should make a list of a few auto repair shops Aurora CO locations in your neighborhood. The next thing is to check for reviews about each of them. Use the internet and read about what satisfied and unsatisfied customers have to say.

Contact a few mechanics and ask about services, procedures and costs. Check their working facility and make sure it looks good; check the quality of other cars in the shop and look around for taxis or work vans; professional drivers are typically well-informed about car shops, so you may consider trusting their experience.

Costs may vary quite a lot from one shop to another. Remember that choosing an expensive shop is not necessarily a guarantee for quality services, so you would better also consider other factors such as a convenient location and transit options.

Another thing to look for is how busy the shop is. Being agglomerated may be a sign of good services and satisfied clients, but it is equally true that an auto shop that does less business has more time to talk with its clients and answer their questions.

Look for auto shops that can provide new parts as well as all original-equipment-manufacturer. Many Aurora auto mechanics use rebuilt and aftermarket parts which is ok, considering that they cost much less, but only as long as they ask before installing something second hand that could make your insurer use the betterment clause.

If you own a luxury, exotic or antique car, look for a mechanic specialized and experienced to work with similar cars, able to make authentic replacements. Alternatively, you can look for dealerships who know the vehicle and can perform the job perfectly – although for higher costs.

The final step

Once you selected a mechanic that you think is good to dedicate your car to, you should see how he treats clients.  Drive to his shop and ask for something minor like an oil change. This will give you the occasion to test your relationship with him. Stay away from overzealous Aurora auto mechanics that push you into doing more than you asked for, because they may be scammers up-selling their job. Keep in mind that it never hurts to ask for a second opinion somewhere else, just to be sure.