Since the invention of the classic automobile, the evolution of vehicles has been an ongoing process. With each generation of vehicles, manufacturers pay attention to the needs of drivers as well as the need for global change. The hybrid vehicle was the first step toward reducing the negative impact that cars have on the environment; but if there’s anything we’ve learned about the process of evolution it’s that it takes a long time. It takes a lot of testing and research to perfect the hybrid vehicle, and the auto industry certainly isn’t there yet.
Beyond reducing our environmental impact, hybrid cars also deliver consumers the promise of reduced fuel costs. Moving in the right direction of change, hybrid vehicles have a lot to offer drivers who are looking to move away from the traditional gas-guzzling motor. However, along with all their positive attributes, they have some drawbacks. Like any other machine, design and engineering are improved upon over time; however, current hybrid designs have specific issues that drivers deal with on a daily basis. If you’re a hybrid driver, here are some of the most common issues that arise in hybrid cars and how you can best prevent or remedy them:
MANUFACTURER RECALLS ARE COMMON
Since Hybrids are a pretty new development, all things considered, there are improvements that must be made over time by the various manufacturers who engineer them. Of course, with each discovery of parts or technology that don’t quite work for hybrid drivers for various reasons, recalls must be made for quality and often safety purposes. Whether related to safety, efficiency, or performance, recalls have remained a steady accompaniment to the release of new hybrid vehicles. Over time, these recalls are anticipated to reduce significantly; however, it’s important that you’re aware of any recalls your own hybrid might need to address—it could affect your gas mileage, but more importantly, your safety.
BATTERY PERFORMANCE ISSUES
As the alternative to wasteful gasoline use, the invention of the hybrid battery was a revolutionary step in the automotive business. However, the design of the hybrid battery has a ways to go before it’s perfected. These batteries significantly alter the overall weight of the vehicle, which causes the car’s engine to need to work harder—this will also affect how often the battery must be recharged. Furthermore, the material makeup of some hybrid batteries are extremely dangerous, especially upon impact with another vehicle. In some cases, these batteries have even been known to blow up, putting the driver and other passengers at significant risk. Additionally, some hybrid batteries aren’t able to perform as well under extreme weather conditions.
CATALYTIC CONVERTER FAILURE
Yes, your hybrid vehicle has a catalytic converter! Unfortunately, they’re prone to malfunction or failure, causing them to be repaired or replaced at a higher rate than traditional automobiles. Catalytic converter problems are generally expensive to address, and require a higher degree of skill to repair. Therefore, automotive technicians often charge an arm and a leg to fix catalytic converter issues in hybrid vehicles.
EMISSION AND EXHAUST SYSTEM PROBLEMS
The emission and exhaust system in your hybrid is a complex system, and still entails many of the same parts that other automobiles have. One part that frequently needs replacement in hybrids is the oxygen sensor. The O2 sensor plays a huge role in the exhaust system, as it dictates the amount of gasoline your engine needs to run optimally. This is especially critical in hybrids, and must be addressed immediately to avoid unnecessary added fuel expenses.
WHY YOUR HYBRID REQUIRES SPECIALIZED CARE
The hybrid experts here at Autobahn Automotive have helped maintain and repair hybrid vehicles for a range of clients in the areas nearby San Antonio and Longhorn, TX. We applaud hybrid drivers for engaging with this new automotive technology, and taking the necessary steps in maintaining your hybrid will help you reaffirm your decision to do so. Since many of the common issues pertaining to hybrids require specialized knowledge, it’s critical that you enlist the help of specialists who have expertise working with various hybrid models. If you are experiencing performance issues in your hybrid vehicle, including increased fuel consumption, contact our shop to schedule an inspection immediately, your continued safety could depend upon it.