Environmental preservation initiatives have reached the vehicle industry in recent years, with the invention of hybrid cars. As the technology and supporting infrastructure improves, they are gaining popularity among vehicle owners who are both environmentally conscious and budget-minded. However, worry about hybrid car repair is a very real thing!
As with any new technology, advances are made but issues arise as well. If you currently own a hybrid vehicle, or are considering one in the near future, you should be aware of some of the most common maintenance issues you may encounter by owning such a vehicle.
Common hybrid car repair items
- Manufacturer recalls – Any vehicle can be subject to a manufacturer’s recall at any time. Hybrid vehicles, however, may be more prone to recalls simply because they have newer technology that has not yet been proven over years of use. Recalls may be related to something as simple as improving gas mileage, or they may be important for safety reasons. Do not ignore them!
- Battery problems – A hybrid vehicle’s battery is a unique solution to reducing gasoline usage and improving gas mileage. Its makeup, however, can lead to other problems. For example, a hybrid battery is heavier than a traditional car battery, forcing the engine to work a little harder. It also contains materials that have been known to blow up upon impact, potentially putting the driver and passengers at risk. Furthermore, hybrid car owners who live in areas that experience extreme temperatures may find that their vehicle’s battery doesn’t perform as well.
- Catalytic converter issues – Unfortunately, hybrid vehicles are more apt to have catalytic converter failure than traditional gas-powered vehicles. More frequent replacement or repair means more maintenance expense. Since this type of auto repair requires a greater level of knowledge and skill, it typically must be done by a qualified auto repair technician.
- Oxygen sensor failure – Similar to traditional vehicles, hybrid cars have exhaust and emission systems. They also have oxygen sensors, which are prone to malfunctioning or complete failure. Neglecting to replace this important part will mean impaired fuel efficiency and increased fuel costs. Since a hybrid’s emission and exhaust system is very complex, it can be more difficult to work on, necessitating the use of a trusted auto repair shop instead of doing the repair yourself.
Purchasing a hybrid vehicle vs. a traditional one
As with any major purchase, you should research all of your options ahead of time. Being a knowledgeable consumer will help you make an informed decision that makes the most sense for you and your family.
While hybrid vehicles do have some different maintenance problems than traditional vehicles, no vehicle can last without maintenance. And, even though hybrid cars often come with a higher initial price tag, they offer environmental benefits and savings in terms of fuel economy. The choice is ultimately yours. Whether you purchase a hybrid vehicle or a traditional automobile, Good Works Auto Repair is ready to support you with all of your vehicle maintenance needs.