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How Long Do Hybrid Batteries Last? 

Hybrid vehicles have become relatively common over the past two decades, and they center around a battery-powered electric motor. Their high-voltage batteries are designed to store energy generated by the vehicle's regenerative braking system and power the electric motor, helping to increase fuel efficiency as well as reduce tailpipe emissions.

One of the main concerns for hybrid vehicle owners is the battery's lifespan. How long will it last before it needs to be replaced? It’s a costly component that ranges from around $1,500 to $4,500 for the parts required and sometimes more, and labor charges can elevate that price significantly higher. It’s something that factors into a decision to purchase a hybrid.

How long do hybrid batteries last, what should you look for as they age, and how can you keep your battery pack as healthy as possible?

Average hybrid battery lifespan 

Car manufacturers are required to warranty a hybrid battery for at least eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, according to federal law. Some warranties are even 10 years. However, that isn’t necessarily the battery’s lifespan. It’s possible for a battery to fail before that time or mileage, and it’s also common for a hybrid battery to last much longer than its warrantied period.  

Properly cared for, some hybrid owners have achieved 150,000 miles and, occasionally, more than 200,000 miles before replacing the battery. An average lifespan tends to be around 10 years or between 100,000 and 150,000 miles. Newer cars with the latest technology might stretch that average further. 

Factors that affect the lifespan of a hybrid battery 

Seldom will two drivers have the same results from their hybrid vehicle’s battery life. How soon a battery fails is affected by a handful of factors like:  

  • Usage – a higher number of charge-discharge cycles will cause the battery to deteriorate. 
  • Driving conditions – the battery can be strained by extreme hot or cold, high altitude conditions, and even heavy loads like hard acceleration or towing. 
  • Maintenance – keeping the battery charged for storage and periodic battery balancing can help prolong its life. 
  • Materials and chemistry – a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack will tend to last longer than a nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery. 
  • Age – internal degradation happens naturally in a battery of any design, reducing its lifespan. 
  • Brand – certain carmakers have a better track record of hybrid battery life than others. 

Signs of a bad hybrid battery 

How do you know when your hybrid battery is failing? It can manifest differently depending on the car and the driver. 

1. Warning Light

A hybrid battery warning can illuminate on your instrument cluster. A red or yellow triangle with an exclamation mark in it could show up or a written message like “Hybrid System Warning”. While it’s a general warning for the hybrid system, it’s often related to the battery. 

2. Reduced Performance

You could notice reduced power or performance while you drive. When it’s in electric mode or sport modes that use both the gas and electric motors combined, you might not feel the same acceleration that you’re used to. 

3. Lower Fuel Efficiency

Your fuel efficiency can suffer. That’s because the battery isn’t contributing as much or as often as it normally does, and your gas engine is running more. 

4. Reduced Driving Range

Reduced driving range is often detected. On your dash, the distance to empty could be significantly less than you’re used to seeing. 

5. Strange Noises

As well, strange noises can occur if the hybrid battery is failing. It can range from clicks to whining to buzzes, and it might come from any area of your vehicle’s electric propulsion system. 

A hybrid battery warning can illuminate on your instrument cluster. A red or yellow triangle with an exclamation mark in it could show up or a written message like “Hybrid System Warning”. While it’s a general warning for the hybrid system, it’s often related to the battery. 

You could notice reduced power or performance while you drive. When it’s in electric mode or sport modes that use both the gas and electric motors combined, you might not feel the same acceleration that you’re used to. 

Your fuel efficiency can suffer. That’s because the battery isn’t contributing as much or as often as it normally does, and your gas engine is running more. 

Reduced driving range is often detected. On your dash, the distance to empty could be significantly less than you’re used to seeing. 

As well, strange noises can occur if the hybrid battery is failing. It can range from clicks to whining to buzzes, and it might come from any area of your vehicle’s electric propulsion system. 

Recommendations for maximizing your hybrid battery lifespan 

While things like battery chemistry and weather conditions can’t be changed, there are certain ways to get the most life from your hybrid battery pack.  

Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations for the hybrid system. That includes keeping the hybrid cooling system filter clean and changing the inverter coolant, if so equipped. 

Operating conditions play a large role in how long your hybrid’s battery will last also. Extreme temperatures should be avoided when possible, so park in the shade when the temperatures are hot and attempt to keep your vehicle in a moderated climate if it’s extremely cold outside. Use your car normally, avoiding hard acceleration and hard braking when you can.  

Prevent the battery from becoming deeply discharged. The optimal charging criteria are to limit your discharge to 50% of capacity rather than running the battery down completely. Avoid storing your car when the battery is either overcharged or undercharged – that’s when accelerated deterioration occurs. 

For your hybrid battery maintenance needs and any tools to service your vehicle, choose AutoZone. You’ll always find Trustworthy Advice and high-quality parts from top brands in the industry like Duralast. If the job is too big for you, seek out one of our Preferred Shops to help you do the job.

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FAQ/People Also Ask 

How much does it cost to replace a battery in a hybrid? 

The pricing varies based on the size, chemistry, and model. Generally, the range of pricing is from $1,500 to $4,500 but it can be higher. 

Is it worth it to replace a hybrid battery? 

A hybrid vehicle that’s in good shape might be able last for another eight to ten years, and installing a new hybrid battery could prove worthwhile. 

How often do hybrid batteries need to be replaced? 

Most hybrid batteries last between 100,000 and 150,000 miles or around 10 years before a replacement is necessary. 

Do hybrid batteries last 20 years? 

If a battery is cared for well, it’s possible that it could last 20 years or more. Due to natural degradation, it’s unfeasible to expect a battery to last much longer than 20 years, though. 

What is the downside of a hybrid car? 

Most drivers love their hybrids. However, they tend to be less powerful than comparable gas-powered models and the battery pack can add an unexpected expense after several years. 

Advice, how-to guides, and car care information featured on AutoZone.com and AutoZone Advice & How-To’s are presented as helpful resources for general maintenance and automotive repairs from a general perspective only and should be used at your own risk. Information is accurate and true to the best of AutoZone’s knowledge, however, there may be omissions, errors or mistakes.

Be sure to consult your owner’s manual, a repair guide, an AutoZoner at a store near you, or a licensed, professional mechanic for vehicle-specific repair information. Refer to the service manual for specific diagnostic, repair and tool information for your particular vehicle. Always chock your wheels prior to lifting a vehicle. Always disconnect the negative battery cable before servicing an electrical application on the vehicle to protect its electrical circuits in the event that a wire is accidentally pierced or grounded. Use caution when working with automotive batteries. Sulfuric acid is caustic and can burn clothing and skin or cause blindness. Always wear gloves and safety glasses and other personal protection equipment, and work in a well-ventilated area. Should electrolyte get on your body or clothing, neutralize it immediately with a solution of baking soda and water. Do not wear ties or loose clothing when working on your vehicle.

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