How is Servicing a Hybrid Car Different than a Standard One?
All cars need to be serviced regularly, whether they are electric, hybrid, or traditional gasoline fueled engines. The question is, how do these regular check ups differ? Does one type of car need more frequent service than the others, and what are the costs like? Many people assume that hybrid cars require more service than a traditional car, and at a higher cost. While this is the general perception, that does not mean that is necessarily the case. Let’s look at what differences, if any, there are in regular maintenance appointments for hybrid and traditional gasoline fueled cars.
What are the Service Needs of a Hybrid Car?
Surprisingly, the maintenance needs of a hybrid car differ very little from those of a traditional gasoline engine. The hybrid’s battery air filter is the only thing that needs additional maintenance in some models, but not all. Because the hybrid’s engine also runs on gasoline, it requires all the same maintenance as a regular car does, with the same frequency. Hybrid cars still need regular oil changes, belt replacements and tire alignment and replacement. One benefit of a hybrid car however, is that the brake pads generally do not require service as frequently as those on a regular car, saving owners money on brakes in the long run. Battery replacements are also a concern for many people considering a hybrid car, because they can be very expensive. Fortunately all current hybrid models come with a eight year, 80,000 mile warranty, so battery replacements will be 100% covered for car owners during that period.
Are there any Drawbacks?
The investment cost of a hybrid is by far its biggest drawback, however maintenance costs are nearly the same, and fuel economy is much better. The only maintenance item that could potentially cost more for a hybrid is coolant changes, simply because they can be more labor intensive. The initial cost of the car is at least party offset by the ongoing fuel cost, making them worth considering, especially for heavy commuters. Apart from the obvious fuel savings, many people choose to go with a hybrid vehicle for the lesser impact it has on the environment, and for the convenience of less frequent trips to the gas station.
If you are in the market for a new car, don’t let maintenance costs scare you out of considering a hybrid. While they do cost more initially, it is estimated that you will have saved that additional cost in gas within five years of purchasing the car. And while many people just assume a more expensive car means more expensive repairs, that is simply not the case. At Hillmuth we are experts in our field, which includes all types of cars, whether they be electric, hybrid, or gasoline fueled. If you have any specific questions about hybrid maintenance prior to purchasing a new car, give us a call, we are happy to answer any questions you have!