Curry’s Auto Service, which serves the Washington, D.C. area, is offering high-voltage battery pack charging and conditioning for hybrid vehicles in and out of warranty.
Curry's Auto Service has partnered with Automotive Research and Design (AR&D) to provide this unique and valuable service to hybrid owners. Conditioning a battery pack restores the amount of energy available to the electric drive system, permitting the vehicle to use high voltage battery electric energy instead of the much lower efficiency gasoline engine. Conditioning significantly increases fuel economy and vehicle performance.
Curry’s Auto Service is one of the only repair shops in the country to be able to diagnose and perform the proper testing and conditioning procedures. This technology offers not only increased vehicle performance and gas mileage but positions Curry’s Auto Service as a leader in “green technology.”
"We are investing about $25,000 worth of equipment and another $25,000 worth of advanced hybrid training," said Matt Curry, president and CEO of Curry's Auto Service. "This is important because we will be better trained than the dealers. Dr. Mark Quarto, chief technology officer of Port Angeles, Wash.-based AR&D, worked for GM for 28 years as one the lead alternative fuel program engineers, Mark is one of the foremost experts in the country on the technology of hybrid and electric cars."
Curry was on board with the cutting-edge service technology from the start. “These systems need service to perform optimally,” says Curry, who has already performed battery conditioning on his own Hybrid fleet. “We are seeing an incredible 11 to 14 mile-per-gallon increase in fuel efficiency.”
"Hybrid cars are becoming more and more prevalent in the market," said Curry, "and most people don’t understand how to work on them. We do. With 57 production models currently available, experts expect more than 100 hybrid models to be available on the market by 2015; so this is a definite and growing field."
Curry, as well as Dr. Quarto believes that the service will fill a void in aftermarket offerings for Hybrids. “It is important to remember that conditioning is not offered by the dealer,” says Dr. Quarto, “They will replace entire battery packs unnecessarily when the reality is that eight out of ten existing batteries with diminished performance only need to be conditioned. After having the battery conditioned, the customer will see a restoration in vehicle performance and increased fuel economy, closer to what they expected and experienced when they purchased the vehicle new."
To serve the Greater Washington, DC, area, Curry’s Auto Service has trained 20 of their staff from the company’s nine locations. The services will be available at approximately half of Curry’s service centers. Additional information about Curry’s Auto Service, including locations and service specials can be found at www.currysauto.com . Information regarding aftermarket Hybrid Vehicle service technologies from AR&D can be found at www.go2hev.com.
Joint venture offers service package for dealers and auto repair shops.
Franchised, Virginia-based chain hopes to utilize technology that will extend the life of a hybrid battery and pump up a vehicle's "gas" mileage in the process.
Although hybrid vehicles currently represent only around 3.5 percent of new car sales, that number is expected to increase consistently in the coming years.