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Check Hybrid System: What Does the Warning Mean?

hybrid system

Over the years, more and more hybrid vehicles are being sold. From just 84,000 in 2004 to nearly 401,000 in 2019 alone. Similar to typical vehicles, hybrid cars are no exception to malfunctions once in a while.

Most drivers are clueless about these malfunctions. A “Check Hybrid System” alert is enough to make most of them panicked, worried that their cars are no longer drivable. 

The first step to making the problem go away is to understand it. After reading this guide, you will know everything about the “Check Hybrid System” error and what to do about it.

What Does The Warning Mean?

Whenever this warning pops up, it usually means that the computer has detected a fault or an error within your car’s hybrid system. The warning often appears in two colors: Yellow and red.

The yellow light is often a sign of an error detected by your car’s computer system and is something to diagnose. 

While both light colors warrant a quick diagnosis, the red light may be a sign of more severe issues within your car’s hybrid system that needs to be addressed immediately (Note that some vehicles, like the Toyota Camry only use yellow). If possible, you should avoid driving your vehicle before resolving the issue.

It is likely that whenever the “Check Hybrid System” warning pops up, you may experience a couple of other symptoms in your vehicle, such as:

  • Reduced engine performance (in terms of speed and acceleration).
  • Malfunction of the car’s hybrid system, which could cause the vehicle to run solely on gas
  • Increased fuel consumption.

What Causes the “Check Hybrid System” Warning?

The alert that you get on your dashboard may occur because of several issues. The hybrid warning systems are integrally more complex than typical vehicle warning systems, making it difficult to understand what is causing the warning to pop up. 

Because of this, you should take your vehicle for a diagnosis to establish what is causing the alert.

Once you run the diagnostic tool, it is possible to determine that the warning is caused by one of the following:

Blown Fuse

Hybrid car batteries are usually connected to a fuse. Whenever there is a fault in the fuse or if the fuse fails, then the battery consequently stops working. The good news is that replacing a blown fuse is generally a simple task and can be quickly done by your local mechanic or even by yourself.

Inverter Failure

Inverters are responsible for converting Direct Current (DC) energy into Alternating Current (AC) energy in battery-driven systems. When the inverter is faulty, it could cause the hybrid system of your car not to function at its maximum capacity.

Inverter problems are, in most cases, as a result of overheating, usually a development of low inverter coolant or a malfunctioning cooling system. The hybrid system must be kept cool at all times for it to function effectively.

Battery Cell(s) failure

When the “Check Hybrid System” light pops up, and at the same time, you notice that your car’s battery charge state changes quickly from full to empty or vice versa, then it is possible that your battery pack contains a faulty cell in one of its modules. 

Read more: How Long Do Hybrid Batteries Last?

The good news is that is where Exclusively Hybrid comes in. As dealers of both new and refurbished batteries for Toyota and Lexus hybrids, you will receive massive savings (up to 50%) when you purchase batteries from Exclusively Hybrid. 

If saving you some money is not enough, you will be glad to know that the unique design of Exclusively Hybrid batteries includes a circulation configuration that allows the cells to stay cooler and prolongs the lifespan of your hybrid battery.

Related: Can You Drive a Hybrid Without the Battery?

12V Battery needs to replacing

There are times when your car’s 12-volt battery causes hybrid-related warnings. This usually necessitates the replacement, and it is often a simple task once you purchase a new battery. Some other signs that your battery needs to be changed are your car not starting or even problems with the electronic accessories in your vehicle (radio, lights).

Diagnostics for Hybrid System Warning

Depending on your experience with hybrid cars, you might be able to conduct a diagnosis of the problem yourself, or you can take it to the experts who, through advanced tools and code readers, can effectively troubleshoot and determine the problem. 

Sometimes, the computer may have detected a tiny fault, especially when the yellow warning comes on. Turning the vehicle off for a few minutes then back on can reset the system and allow the computer to recheck. This method often solves the problem, especially if it is nothing serious.

However, if even after the reset, the warning light still displays or if the warning is red, then it would be advisable to have your vehicle scanned using a code reader. 


It is possible that the “Check Hybrid System” warning might freak you out, especially if you have had past experience with hybrid parts dealerships or even if you have heard of others’ experiences. The main worry may come from not knowing the problem and fear that you may get ripped off by the repairers. 

However, it is possible to have your car checked for error codes by a trusted mechanic within your area. If it is determined that you need a new hybrid battery in your Toyota or Lexus, contact Exclusively Hybrid and have them shipped to you affordably to any part of the world.

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