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The Truth About Owning and Maintaining a Hybrid Vehicle

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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!

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