Hybrid Car Maintenance

There's always a fear factor when reaching out into the unknown. With hybrid cars, that fear factor seems to center around car maintenance and repairs. People who are considering buying a hybrid car are often worried that their cars will have costly breakdowns, or that they'll be in for a shock when they open the owner's manual to look at the scheduled maintenance requirements. If you're thinking about a hybrid, relax! You won't spend any more time or money at the dealership than anybody else.
  • Batteries: The batteries in a hybrid car are designed to last as long as or longer than the engine and transmission. They've been tested up to 180,000 miles, and manufacturers of hybrid cars have been carefully watching their babies since they've been on the road to make sure that they'll run how they're supposed to. Honda has had hybrids on the road since 1999, and Toyota for almost as long, so by now, manufacturers know that they've designed a good product.
  • Brakes: Because hybrid batteries charge themselves using recaptured braking energy, it makes sense to ask if owners of hybrid cars need to replace their brakes any more often. The short answer is no. In fact, because the heat that accompanies normal braking is used to recharge the brakes, the brakes actually receive less wear and need replacement less often.
  • Other Scheduled Maintenance: To maximize fuel economy and to keep their manufacturer's warranties valid, hybrid owners should definitely keep up with their maintenance schedules. These maintenance schedules look the same as other cars' schedules, so you won't be in for any shocks. One minor exception: the Ford Escape Hybrid needs an air filter every 40,000 miles. [Source: Edmunds.com]

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