Maintaining a Hybrid Car
Now that you’ve decided to buy a hybrid car as your next vehicle, you should know that owning and maintaining it will be no more stressful than a gasoline car. In fact, the greatest benefit of a hybrid car is how easily it will fit into your lifestyle and existing driving habits. If you’re coming from owning a gasoline vehicle, you won’t really need to change any habits to enjoy the cost savings and environmental benefits.
That’s because, fundamentally, they are gasoline cars with some simple electrical elements added.
Regular Vehicle Maintenance
While it uses less fuel, your hybrid car’s gasoline engine will still need regular oil changes according to the manufacturer’s schedule. Years down the road, you will also need to think about spark plugs, transmission fluid, and other regular mechanical maintenance items. These components are broadly similar to what you’ll find on a regular gasoline car – so they should be similarly reliable and robust.
Like any car, your hybrid will also have a heating and air conditioning system, so you will still need to replace the cabin air filter; also, regularly check and replace windshield wiper blades. These services can be performed by a technician at your local dealership, or you can do them yourself. Again, just like a gasoline car.
Thanks to regenerative braking, a hybrid car’s braking components should last longer than on a conventional car; a lot of the braking in a hybrid doesn’t use the brake pads and discs. Due to the increased weight of the battery and motor, hybrid cars may need tire changes more frequently.
Hybrid Battery and Electric Motor
Over 20 years of experience has shown that hybrid batteries and electric motors are remarkably reliable. Indeed, there are Toyota Priuses being used as taxi cabs in cities around the world with a quarter-million miles on them that are still performing flawlessly.
This shouldn’t be a surprise, as an electric motor has only one moving part – there is so little to go wrong. A battery has no moving parts, and the two are connected by cabling and a computerized brain. In time, if you’ve purchased a new or relatively new hybrid vehicle, the manufacturer may release software updates for the power control system to improve its performance, so make sure to check in with your dealership regularly to see if there are updates available.
Your hybrid battery will also have a long warranty period. In addition to your vehicle’s mechanical warranty which covers major problems relating to the engine, transmission and other essential systems, hybrid batteries typically have an even longer warranty. For example, the Toyota Prius has a 10-year, 150,000-mile limited warranty, providing additional peace of mind.
Keep in mind that each automaker has its own set of terms and conditions for the warranty on its vehicles, so we suggest taking the time to fully understand which make and model is the right fit for you, your transportation needs and how long you intend to keep your vehicle.
Hybrids are not new technology anymore; in fact, they have been on sale for more than 20 years in America. They are a known entity to car buyers, drivers, and the technicians that service them. The good news is that, because they are well-known technology, hybrids are generally very easy to own and maintain, with predictable service needs that are easy to adapt to if you are coming from a gasoline vehicle.
While a hybrid will cost more than an electric vehicle to maintain, thanks to the presence of a gasoline engine and its associated systems, you will still enjoy fantastic range, flexibility, and versatility with a hybrid – all while reducing your fuel consumption and doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint.