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Thursday, September 23, 2021

What Kind of Maintenance to Hybrid Vehicles Need?

Have you ever thought about buying a hybrid vehicle? Many of us have test driven them when we searched for a vehicle. But so many of us have questions about them. Will I be blindsided by maintenance costs? Will my mechanic be able to repair or maintain this car? Does he know how? We’ve all asked ourselves these questions. You might be surprised by the answers. For the most part, owning a hybrid is just like owning a gas-only vehicle.

Batteries

The batteries in hybrid cars come with generous warranties. They last 100,000 miles or more, easily. In fact, many come with an 8-year, 100,000 mile warranty. Some have been known to last 200,000 miles before being replaced. The cost to replace them has come down a lot since the early days of hybrids. It should be around $2,000 and that may continue to decrease as hybrids become more and more common. There are hybrid battery recycling centers popping up here and there, too. They will reduce the cost of replacing batteries and reduce environmentally-harmful waste.

Oil Change

Many hybrid vehicles require an oil change only once every 5,000 miles, with standard oil. In comparison, most gas-only vehicles need standard oil every 3,000 miles. Hybrids need fewer oil changes because their engines usually don’t run when they’re standing still or accelerating slowly. Therefore, the engine is used less.

Brakes

Of course, the lifespan of your breaks depends on your driving habits. But hybrid vehicles with regenerative breaking systems conserve their brake pads longer. Regenerative breaking generates power when you break and stores it in the car’s batteries. So, it conserves break pads and battery power.

The Hybrid System

No maintenance is needed for the hybrid system itself. It will outlast the gasoline engine, most likely. Besides the batteries, there’s not much to worry about.

Fluids

You’ll need to change the following fluids just as you do for a gasoline car. Most of them only need to be changed once in a long while. Check your owner’s manual for details.

  • Transmission Fluid
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Radiator Fluid
  • Windshield Washing Fluid
  • Brake Fluid

Tie Rods, Suspension, Tires, Belts and Other Odds and Ends

The chassis, suspension and steering of a hybrid vehicle are just like that of any other vehicle. They will be checked out when you have your inspection. Most of these parts will last quite a while, meaning upwards of 70,000 miles (with the exception of tires). When you go over 50,000, start learning about the maintenance you’ll need to do or have done by reading your owner’s manual.

Summing Up

Although hybrid maintenance costs are still somewhat high, procedures for hybrid-specific parts isn’t needed often. Price will continue to come down. Hybrid systems don’t require much work. The largest cost associated with them is replacing batteries. Most other maintenance is specifically for the traditional parts of the car.

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