Do Hybrid Cars Need Oil Changes? (Including Plug-In Hybrids)

Have you recently purchased a hybrid car and wondered if it needs oil changes? Or perhaps you are considering buying a hybrid vehicle and are curious about the amount of maintenance required?

Or maybe the question wandered into your head a few days ago, and you just can’t shake it? Whatever the reason for your curiosity, you have come to the right place to have it satisfied!

The last thing any of us want is to have car-related problems due to poor maintenance. Not only is it time and effort to take it to a mechanic to be repaired, but it can be expensive too. So why not avoid the unnecessary expense and find out what your car needs today? 

You have us to help you navigate the lesser-known waters of hybrid cars! We will explore whether or not hybrid vehicles (including plug-in hybrids) need oil changes!

We will also tell you why they need oil changes and how often you should do them to help you and your hybrid car live a happy and peaceful life. 

Just keep reading to find out all you need to know!

Why Do Cars Need an Oil Change? 

Before we get into hybrid cars and their needs, let’s take a step back and remind ourselves why cars need oil changes.

Most cars feature internal combustion engines (ICE), running on gasoline as fuel. These engines have a lot of moving parts that require protection and lubrication to prevent them from grinding, seizing, or breaking. 

To combat this, combustion engines have motor oil pumped through the points where these moving parts make contact. The oil keeps the parts lubricated and helps to even out heat caused by friction. 

But even the best oil in the world won’t last forever, and it will need to be changed regularly. Failing to do so can leave you with ineffective oil or none at all, damaging your vehicle’s engine! Synthetic oil lasts longer and often features additives that can aid your engine too. 

So now that we have established that most cars need oil changes, let’s see if the same applies to our hybrid cars (that use a mixture of electric and combustion engines). 

Do Hybrid Cars Need Oil Changes?

Yes, hybrid cars need oil changes. Like other vehicles, a hybrid car needs oil changes to keep them well maintained and running smoothly.

As hybrid cars are designed differently, some owners believe they don’t need to change the oil as frequently as with an internal combustion engine.

But this is not the case! It can be surprising, but your hybrid car needs to change its oil just as frequently as a regular car.  

Even though hybrid cars don’t use their internal combustion engine as often as other vehicles, an oil change is still necessary. You might find that you don’t use your internal combustion engine for weeks or months at a time, but it still needs maintenance.

Failing to change the oil regularly can cause your engine to seize up or the components to grind against each other, damaging them and leading to costly repairs. While you need to change the oil for your internal combustion engine, you won’t need to do the same with your electric components.

The electric components in hybrid cars are in sealed motors, where no oil enters, so you don’t need to worry about oiling these parts; focus your attention on your internal combustion engine instead!

Read next: Are hybrids costly to run?

How Often Do You Need To Change The Oil In A Hybrid? 

Well, it depends on the oil that you choose! If you go with a standard oil, follow suit as you would with a regular car and change the oil every 5,000 miles

But for those using synthetic oil, you can go between 7,000 and 10,000 miles before changing the oil. Synthetic oil can be a bit more pricey than standard oil, but it does come with the extra protection and additives that many people think makes it worth the money.

You should consider your budget and needs when deciding which oil to purchase, though. 

It’s best to check with your car manufacturer or dealership if you must use a specific oil with your hybrid car. You can usually find this information in your owner’s manual, too, allowing you to buy the correct oil and prevent any damage to the engine. 

You can also take your hybrid car to a quick lube place where they will run oil through your vehicle and perform quick inspections if needed.

These can be handy and saves you the trouble of changing your oil, but it’s tricky to find places that can service your hybrid car in this way. So instead, it’s best to take your vehicle to the dealership or a hybrid car professional who can change the oil and ensure it’s the correct oil for your car. 

What About Plug-In Hybrids?

Yes, just like other hybrids, a plug-in hybrid must have its oil changed too! It’s best to follow the advice outlined above and change the oil in your plug-in hybrid as you would with a regular car. 

Be sure to check what oil is suitable for your car to avoid any issues or long-term damage! You can check in your owner’s manual or speak to the dealership or manufacturer for tailored advice.

Often hybrid cars will come with specific synthetic oil recommendations that can keep your engine lubricated and provide longevity and durability to the engine’s components. 

Final Thoughts

Hybrid cars do need to have their oil changed! In this respect, they are no different from regular cars and will require frequent oil changes to ensure it runs as normal. 

Be sure to check what oil is suitable before placing it in your car, and remember to change it regularly to keep your vehicle moving as it should!