Do Hybrid Cars Require a Different Kind of Oil?

January 27, 2012

As hybrid vehicles become more popular in the market, many drivers are asking about the standard maintenance issues with a conventional vehicle, such as a simple oil change. Some drivers do oil changes on their own, and some rely on shops. Either way, the car owner needs to know what oil is recommended in a hybrid vehicle.

Low weight oil

A common recommendation for a certain kind of hybrid vehicle is that the oil weight should be lower. One standard that experts commonly cite is a 0W20 range. That is, the oil that a car owner uses shouldn't be over 20W. by contrast, a lot of conventional vehicles often use a 30W oil. Take a look at the shelves of the local gas station to see what weight (W) of oil is commonly sold.

Synthetic oil

Another recommendation that lots of hybrid mechanics make is that the car owner switch to a synthetic oil type. This is largely because synthetic oil has a thinner property than conventional petroleum-based oil. Lots of mechanics are even recommending synthetic oil for conventional vehicles. The issue is that synthetic oil can cost more. However, some experts differentiate between conventional and synthetic oil change requirements, stating that while an oil change every 3000 miles is standard for conventional oil, synthetic oil may only need to be changed every 5000 or 7000 miles.

The general answer to questions about hybrid oil changes is that every hybrid vehicle is different. To see what kind of oil your hybrid vehicle needs, contact your local hybrid mechanic and use the above information to agree on what is necessary for your hybrid engine.