The differences between hybrid and regular cars are many, but they share more than they differ. Hybrids use less gas, but they still use an internal combustion engine. Like any car, a hybrid needs regular maintenance to keep it running at its best and occasionally needs a replacement part. Most of the standard maintenance of a hybrid is getting oil changes on time. And like any car, they occasionally need a new battery to replace a bad one.
Just like a regular car, a hybrid needs oil changes at regular intervals. The number of miles to wait between oil changes varies with the specific model. Like most cars, it is generally recommended by the manufacturer to change the oil every 3,000 miles for as long as you have the vehicle. If you are using conventional oil (natural) in your hybrid, the 3,000-mile rule may be a smart one to remember.
However, by switching to synthetic oil, you can increase the distance between oil changes to about 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Getting an oil change with natural oil will cost anywhere from $20 to $40. If you get synthetic oil, expect to pay around $40 to $70 per oil change.
The oil lasts longer in hybrid vehicles than it does in regular ones. When you drive at a low speed, your hybrid car will turn off power to the engine. This allows the engine to go longer without needing to be lubricated, stretching out the life of the oil in your vehicle. If you haven't gone 5,000 to 7,000 miles after six months, get the oil changed at that point in time. By changing the oil every time it needs to be changed, you extend the number of miles your car can go.
Like a conventional car, hybrid cars will eventually need to have their battery replaced. In a hybrid vehicle, it's the battery that makes the car what it is. While hybrid batteries will last a long time, they tend to be extremely expensive. Expect the battery to last your car about 100,000 miles, or about eight years. While a conventional battery costs just a couple of hundred dollars, you can expect to pay from $1,000 to $8,000 for a new hybrid battery. While this is an enormous range of prices, the exact price you pay will have a lot to do with your vehicle's make and model and the battery age.
Why does a hybrid battery cost so much more? These batteries have to supply a higher level of power to the vehicle, supplying some of the power that the engine would have provided in a regular car. The hybrid battery is rechargeable, so there is no need to replace it just because it runs out of power once.
Like regular cars, there are assorted things that must be replaced as a regular part of wear and tear to the car. The light bulbs will eventually need to be replaced, and these are no different from those in a regular car. You will also have to replace air filters and have the fluid replaced in the air conditioner. There is also window washer fluid to refill and tires to replace as needed. None of these maintenance items will cost more for a hybrid than it does for a regular car. Each of them can be done for a few hundred dollars or less.
Replacing the brake pads generally has to be done less often on a hybrid. The regenerative braking system used on hybrids uses less heat, so the brakes and brake pads on a hybrid will generally last longer. On the Ford Escape, the battery system needs a new air filter every 40,000 -50,000 miles. Other hybrid models don't have this need.
Naylor's Auto Repair specializes in Toyota Prius repair. In fact, owner Steve Bowshier has been factory trained by Toyota to repair the Prius as well as other hybrid models from Toyota. If you need Toyota hybrid repair or maintenance, contact us today.