Are you the proud owner of a hybrid car? No matter what kind of hybrid vehicle you drive, you’ll want to be prepared for its common maintenance needs. Like standard vehicles, hybrids require regular service to maintain their peak performance. In addition to general maintenance services, however, hybrid drivers face a few other common issues.
Weak Batteries. Hybrid car batteries are generally weaker than standard car batteries, which means they need replacement sooner. In the long run, this cost may not be substantial considering that drivers of hybrid vehicles typically spend less on gas, depending on their daily driving habits, but it is helpful to be prepared for nonetheless. Replacing a hybrid car’s battery is sometimes more costly than replacing a standard car’s as well.
Oxygen Sensors. Both standard and hybrid cars use oxygen sensors to monitor the amount of unburned oxygen that is released through exhaust. High levels of oxygen in the exhaust signals a major problem with gas mileage, which can become costly over time with more frequent trips to the gas station. Replacing oxygen sensors can be a costly repair, but will save driver’s wallets in the long run from costly fuel inefficiency.
Catalytic Converter. If you’ve ever had to replace the catalytic converter on your car, whether it was a hybrid or not, you know that it isn’t a minor service. Catalytic converter replacement can be costly depending on the specific vehicle and unfortunately, replacement in hybrid vehicles is one of their more costly repairs.
Evaporative Emissions System. Hybrid drivers may also commonly encounter issues with leak or failures of the evaporative emissions system (EVAP). This system is responsible for controlling emissions and often requires replacement parts when valves or lines fail.
Low Highway Gas Mileage. Hybrid vehicles uniquely capture energy through regenerative braking. When you hit the brakes, energy is released through heat. Unlike standard cars, hybrids use this energy to recharge their batteries to be used again. When hybrid drivers spend a lot of time cruising at highway speed without frequent stopping, the batteries don’t get recharged. This doesn’t harm fuel efficiency, but it doesn’t help it either. Essentially, hybrids cars perform similarly to compact cars on the highway.