Buying A Hybrid? Here’s What You Need To Know
Hybrid vehicles are currently in style, especially since gas prices are on the rise. Like every kind of vehicle, however, a great deal of research needs to happen beforehand. Luckily, we’ve already done the heavy lifting for you. Below are the 3 major things you need to know before buying any hybrid vehicle.
Acceleration and Braking Will Feel Different
The former is pretty straightforward: if you want the impressive gas mileage, putting the pedal to the metal is out of the question. Many users and owners of hybrid vehicles have reported a delayed response to depress the gas pedal, and many more report interesting sounds when accelerating. Don’t fret, however, because that’s normal for a hybrid. There is an upside, though! Because of the fact that most hybrids don’t use conventional transmissions, you lose the jerkiness and ‘shift’ feeling of the transmission shifting gears. Another good thing is that hybrids have evolved to using CVTs, or continuously variable transmission, which is highly used and regulated within many regular vehicles today. That makes the feeling of a hybrid a bit more familiar for most, even if one doesn’t realize it.
The braking is a bit of a different story. All hybrids utilize what we call ‘regenerative braking.’ All that means is that the motor(s) within the vehicle also functions as a generator. When braking, it harnesses that inertia energy and stores it in a massive battery pack for future use. This is the one thing drivers complain about the most because, in the beginning, the feeling is a hard adjustment. Some have stated that the brake pedal feels ‘grabbier,’ while others have stated that their pedals feel mushy, or somehow artificial in nature. Either way, it’s a sensation you’ll have to get used to if you want a hybrid vehicle in your possession.
Winter Is A No-Go For Mileage
Another major downside to a hybrid vehicle is that extreme weather conditions tanks gas mileage. The EPA says it can drop as much as 34% in harsh winter conditions. Why? There are many reasons, both in our control and out of our control. However, the most common reasons are:
- Slick roads are not good for traction, therefore using more fuel to assert control over the road.
- The grades of winter gasoline used across the country have much less energy per gallon for safety reasons.
- The engine itself has to run longer and harder to keep itself at optimal temperature for running properly.
Don’t get yourself down, though. This isn’t to discourage you from purchasing a hybrid. Most cars go through a steady drop in gas mileage during long-term, rough weather conditions. It’s just that this kind of vehicle has a tendency to be on the extreme side of the spectrum, and thus a warning is warranted.
Fewer Brake Jobs and Better Warranties
Finally, on to the good stuff! Most people who purchase hybrids are looking to save money on gas, but they might not know that they will also be saving money on brake jobs. Regenerative braking utilizes an electric motor to slow the vehicle. That means no friction is necessary. So, your precious brake pads make far less contact with the brake drum than on a non-hybrid vehicle.
That’s not all, though. The powertrain warranty on a hybrid is superb. Many manufacturers offer 8-to-10-year powertrain warranties or up to 100,000 miles on system components. So, while the fear of expensive part replacements still imbues the minds of shoppers, hybrid owners experience a bit less stress in that area of vehicle maintenance.
Whether you choose to purchase a hybrid or regular, we’ve got you covered. From routine maintenance schedules all the way down to access to the highest quality parts for your particular vehicle, Jeff’s Auto Repair is ready to take on your vehicular needs. With our state-of-the-art machinery and ASE-certified experts standing by, we are ready to diagnose an issue, fix any problem, replace any part necessary, and guarantee your safety when you walk away from our shop. Come by and see us at 21701 Hwy 99, Lynnwood, WA 98036 or give us a call at (425) 771-4588 to schedule an appointment today