toyota prius

The Toyota Prius


The 2018 Toyota Prius stands out as a vehicle that sets the quality and aesthetics standard for the entire hybrid car industry. As much of a showpiece at it is, consumers would expect it to be relatively free from mechanical issues.

However, since its release onto the market, it has become known for being prone to inconvenient and sometimes expensive malfunctions. If you are an owner of a 2018 Toyota Prius, you should have it serviced by a licensed and skilled mechanic if it experiences any of these documented issues.

Excessive Oil Consumption

Excessive oil consumption is one of the foremost complaints that Prius owners have about their vehicles. Consumers have reported having challenges with keeping their oil reservoirs full. The excessive use of oil has also led to engine overheating. If you are constantly having to fill your Toyota Prius with oil, you should have it inspected excessive oil consumption and repaired if necessary.

Incorrect Fuel Gauge Reading

Another common malfunction with the 2018 Toyota Prius involves incorrect readings with the fuel gauge. Owners report that their fuel gauges do not accurately reflect how much gas is actually in their cars’ tanks. Even after filling up, the gauge may read empty or less than full. If your gauge is giving you inaccurate readings, then testing and repairing by a mechanic is your best bet.

Hard Start or Failure to Start After Sitting for Several Days

A number of Prius owners report their cars being difficult or impossible to start after sitting idle for several days. Some cars, if not driven every day, have difficulties starting or refuse to start at all. When your own Prius refuses to start or experiences a hard start after sitting for several days in your garage. This may be a sign that it’s time to have it inspected and repaired by your local Prius mechanic.

Check Engine Light because of a Failed Three-way Coolant Control Valve

Like most modern cars, the Prius has a check engine light that illuminates to alert you to a possible malfunction in the engine. While in some cases you can resolve the check engine light by changing the spark plugs or replacing or tightening the gas cap, the light may stay on if it is caused by a failed three-way coolant control valve in your Prius.

In fact, this issue is relatively common with newer Priuses. When your check engine light will not go off even after checking your gas cap, spark plugs, and other parts in the engine, you may need your Prius mechanic to examine and repair its three-way coolant control valve.

Stalling or Loss of Control

The 2018 Prius has been reported to be prone to stalling or suffering from a loss of power. People report driving their Priuses when all of a sudden the vehicle stalls or loses control while in drive.

The mass airflow sensor is the root cause of the problem. Having the sensor replaced can restore the power to the engine and prevent dangerous stalling. In many cases, this can help prevent a loss of control of the car while you are driving. Your mechanic can inspect the mass airflow sensor in your Prius and replace it if he or she suspects it off causing you to lose control or experience stalling while driving your car.

Premature Failure of the Hybrid Transmission

Another common and expensive malfunction with the 2018 Prius is the premature failure of the hybrid transmission. The hybrid transmission on the 2018 Prius is guaranteed for three years or 36,000 miles. It is also covered under the manufacturer’s five year, 60,000-mile warranty.

If the transmission in your Prius malfunctions before the end of your warranty, you may have it repaired or replaced. This will be at little to no cost to you. You can take it to your local mechanic to determine if it is still under warranty.

These common issues with the 2018 Toyota Prius are a few of those that have been reported and documented by verified owners. You may have them addressed quickly, and affordably by allowing your local hybrid car mechanic to repair your Toyota Prius for you.


hybrid car engine

Your Hybrid Car Needs a Specialized Mechanic

Why Your Hybrid Car Needs a Specialized Mechanic

Hybrid vehicles are no longer the future. These vehicles are on the road now and their popularity is only increasing as time goes on. Unfortunately, some mechanics have an aversion to working on these vehicles. The maintenance and repairs involved in a hybrid or electric car are different than those of a standard automobile, so drivers need to be prepared to find the right people for the job.

What Makes a Hybrid Car Different?

When you turn off the ignition in an internal combustion engine vehicle (non-hybrid), the vehicle is effectively off. The battery still has a connection, but the vehicle’s engine is not going to power up mid-service. You’ll need to unhook the battery to work on it or the related systems. Beyond that, there is no real danger in the power/electrical operation of the vehicle.

A hybrid vehicle has a motive battery that is much more powerful than a standard car battery. It’s also designed to kick on by itself as needed during vehicle operation. For mechanics, this can all become very dangerous. Here are a couple of the biggest issues:

Once you take the key out from the ignition, a hybrid car’s engine may still engage with the use of the battery. If a mechanic does not know to disconnect all power and batteries before starting to work on the car, they may cause damage to the vehicle.

-Hybrid cars have high-voltage electrical systems and often require the use of heavy, thick insulated gloves for a safe repair. The risk of electrical shock is high when working on these vehicles, which is why a trained professional is a must.

The Maintenance on a Hybrid Car is Usually the Same

Typically speaking, there is no special maintenance required for a hybrid vehicle. Most manufacturers recommend that hybrid drivers stick to dealership service since there is not yet any independent training available for specific hybrid makes and models. However, dealership service is not your only option. ASE-certified mechanics can still perform most routine maintenance and repair services on these vehicles. The biggest exceptions will be the drive train, electrical system, and brake system, which require more advanced training.

So What Do I Do?

Your best option, since training on hybrid models, is still limited, is to rely on an independent shop that has experience in working with these unique vehicles. Feel free to ask questions about the mechanic’s experience with hybrid cars and what type of certification the shop has in regard to all vehicle repairs.

Remember that there is no certification or licensing available specifically for hybrid maintenance and repair. If a shop claims to have such licensing, you should know they aren’t being entirely honest with you. ASE-Certified mechanics are important for any repair, but this is just a general certification that all independent shops should carry. Also, as with any repairs, make sure that a shop guarantees all of the work it performs on your hybrid.

It’s our goal to be the very best at what we do. At Cloverdale Auto Service we are committed to taking care of our customers in the same manner we care for our families and friends. That means providing you with the highest quality of service that will ensure safe and reliable transportation.


Our commitment to you is to provide timely and consistent automotive services with integrity, quality, and value. We ensure that each and every client experiences the highest standard of customer assistance and satisfaction. Our experienced staff of highly skilled technicians and customer service representatives provides professional service in a relaxed, clean and friendly environment. We feel comfortable saying that once you try our service you won’t go anywhere else. (If you feel like your mechanic is practicing at your expense or you’re not quite sure that you trust them, it’s time to see us!)

Hybrid Vehicle

The Truth About Owning and Maintaining a Hybrid Vehicle

What does it take to maintain a hybrid vehicle? If you’re considering buying one, you may want to know about the cost and time it takes to maintain a hybrid. Here’s a look at how hybrid technology works, how important hybrid repair is, and why it’s beneficial.

Hybrid Auto Technology

Full hybrids are dual powertrain vehicles, using a gasoline engine along with an electric motor. The engine recharges the battery pack that supplies power to the electric motor. It also draws reserve energy from the brakes enabling the hybrid vehicle to accelerate at maximum power, even from a full stop. Since electric motors augment the internal combustion capabilities of a gas engine, automobiles can use a smaller more fuel efficient 4-cylinder engine to power the vehicle at higher speeds and the electric motor to power at lower speeds and minimal acceleration.

Battery Pack

Hybrids do have an additional battery pack, but it is much smaller and lighter weight than those in the full-electric plug-in models. Additionally, new hybrid batteries contain lithium ion, which is lighter-weight and more efficient than the older nickel-metal hydride batteries used in the earliest hybrid vehicles.

Considering the dual-powertrain and additional electrical components, you may be wondering if hybrid vehicles require more maintenance than their gas engine counterparts. The following section tells you what to expect while maintaining a hybrid model.

How Hybrid Vehicle Maintenance Differs from Gas and Diesel Models

In general, hybrids and gas models have the same maintenance schedules and the costs are similar. Here are four key differences in gas and hybrid maintenance that you should consider.

1. The primary difference between a gas engine and hybrid maintenance is the battery. It’s designed to be replaced after, so many charges and the battery life varies with different models. Since the battery is part of the powertrain in hybrid vehicles, automakers must provide an 8-year 80,000-mile warranty on the battery. In some states, the requirement is 10 years and 150,000 miles. In fact, hybrid batteries have been shown to last more than 200,000 miles. If the battery needs to be replaced, within the warranty period, there’s minimal cost to you. Even if you fall outside of your warranty period, you can get new or used batteries at a reasonable price, and they’ll come with a warranty.

2. Another difference is that hybrid systems require professional maintenance since it contains a lot of high voltage wiring. You don’t always need to go to a dealership auto service department, but you should find a local mechanic or technician who is experienced in dealing with hybrid-electric technology. Other tasks like checking and changing fluid levels, replacing tires, repairing cracked windshields, and other exterior body maintenance can be handled just like you would on a gas or diesel model. The bottom line is that this part of hybrid vehicle maintenance is not for the DIY car enthusiast.

3. You may be able to extend your oil change service up to 5,000 to 10,000 miles on a hybrid. That’s because the electric motor means there’s less use of the gasoline engine, giving you longer oil life. Additionally, hybrids use synthetic engine oil which lasts longer than conventional oils. The combination leads to cleaner burning oil, so there’s less wear and tear on the engine, and the oil filter lasts longer as well.

4. Finally, hybrids give you a longer life on your brake pads. When the hybrid system diverts power from the brakes to the battery, there’s less friction and heat on the brake pads. So, even when you sit for long periods in traffic, your pads wear at a much slower rate than in traditional gas engine vehicles.

Why You Should Consider Owning a Hybrid

Hybrid vehicles are available in compact models like the Toyota Prius. There are many midsize hybrids including the Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, and the Toyota Camry. Popular SUVs like the Acura MDX, Nissan Rogue, and the Toyota RAV4 come in hybrid options. Even pickup trucks like the Chevrolet Silverado are available in hybrid models. There are many other models on the market now, and automakers are planning to introduce more hybrid technology in all their vehicles.

The main benefits of owning a hybrid include the following.

• Hybrid vehicles are eco-friendly. They use less gas, which equals fewer emissions.
• They offer superior fuel economy thanks to the dual-powertrain technology. You’ll save money at the pump.
• In some instances, hybrid vehicles qualify for lower insurance premiums.

Investing in Hybrid Vehicle Technology

Buying a hybrid vehicle is a long-term investment. As more of them enter the market, the initial cost is quickly becoming comparable to, and in some cases less than, the cost of similar gas or diesel models. Over the life of the vehicle, the cost of owning a hybrid is often less.

If you are in need of Winston-Salem hybrid repair contact Cloverdale Auto Service today!

Cloverdale Auto Service