Most people assume that car repair for hybrid cars are more expensive than those for gas-powered vehicles. While this is not always the case, routine repairs and maintenance for a hybrid car are no higher than a regular vehicle. It may even be lower, unless something goes seriously wrong with the vehicle’s hybrid system.
Knowing the maintenance needs of your hybrid can help you keep it out of repair shops and on the road for as long as possible. For starters, you need to understand how hybrid cars differ from regular gas-powered engines.
The number one reason why anyone would want to drive a hybrid car is because it’s a major fuel saver. Hybrids combine battery-stored electricity with power of gasoline – making the best of both worlds. Excess energy produced by the gas tank is stored in the battery through electric drive systems. The battery takes over whenever possible, allowing the gas engine to shut off for a while.
Hybrid cars are designed in such a way that they are able to bear some of the gas engine’s burden. As a result of this, some parts of the car are preserved, and this includes the braking system. Although every manufacturer’s design is different, however most designs use the regenerating braking system to store electricity in the car’s battery. If you’re driving a hybrid, you should learn to always slow down gradually in order to make the most out of the electricity from the braking system. This way, you wouldn’t be needing brake pads replacement as often as would regular vehicles. The technology reduces the tear and wear of the brake pads.
The warranty of most hybrid cars’ batteries lasts up to 10 years or 150,000 miles. If you have battery problem after the warranty expires, you could be coughing out a lot of money to get a repair or replacement. However, this is the only potential extra maintenance cost for hybrids.
For hybrids, the gas engine is used less compared to gasoline powered vehicles. So, you don’t have to change the oil as often as you would do for other cars.
Besides battery problem not under warranty, you can expect to spend the same amount of money or even less as owners of gas-powered vehicles for repairs. The cost is almost same for issues such as drive shaft repair, car window repair, timing belt replacement, etc. Below are some tips to help you avoid unexpected repairs for your hybrid:
- Slowly pick up speed after coming to a stop in order to preserve fuel.
- Come to a stop slowly to allow the regenerative braking system to store electricity. Your car’s battery’s life will be extended if you don’t allow it to drain completely.
- Always use synthetic oil for your hybrid car.
- Never diagnose problem yourself – it’s best to leave repairs to a licensed car mechanic.
As the owner of a hybrid vehicle, make sure to always employ the services of an experienced, licensed mechanic to conduct routine maintenance checks.