Common problems with hybrid cars

Common problems with hybrid cars

Hybrid cars might as well be the perfect balance between EVs and traditional combustion engine cars because they are efficient, but are a lot more convenient than an EV. This means that living with a hybrid car tends to be considerably cheaper and less stressful when compared to living with an EV which can only rely on its electric powertrain.

Given the fact that hybrid cars sit on both the ICE and the EV chair at the same time, they can often experience issues that plague both EVs and ICE cars. Therefore, hybrids could theoretically be cars that can experience the highest amount of problems. It’s no secret that Lexus and Toyota are some of the world’s most reliable brands, but are also heavy on the hybrid powertrain.

All of this means that hybrid cars are not as bad as they initially seem, but there are some problems worth talking about. The most common hybrid problems are weak batteries, issues with oxygen sensors, dual-powertrain issues, EVAP system issues, and the fact that you don’t really get the economic benefits on a highway.

All in all, hybrids are a really interesting proposition these days, but you need to consider these before you make a move and finally get yourself a hybrid car.

Weak hybrid battery issues

Many modern-day hybrid cars come with relatively small batteries which means that they don’t benefit from considerably electric mileage. However, the biggest issue is not mileage as much as it is cost. These batteries tend to wear out a lot sooner which means that they need replacing a lot sooner as well.

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These batteries are known to be some of the most expensive expendable parts on hybrids and EVs, and they can often cost a few thousand dollars. Therefore, if you are interested in buying a higher mileage hybrid, you need to take into account that a replacement battery could cost you a lot of money.

Oxygen sensor issues

Oxygen sensors are a fairly known issue with many ICE cars, but hybrid cars also tend to suffer from oxygen sensor-related issues. The oxygen sensor is tasked with monitoring the amount of unburnt oxygen so it can be effectively released through the car’s exhaust pipe.

Whenever the sensors start malfunctioning, they will cause issues with the combustion process which inevitably leads to bad gas mileage. Many reports state that hybrids suffer from oxygen sensor issues even more frequently than ICE cars do which means that these issues are indeed worth talking about.

Dual powertrain issues

One of the best aspects of owning a hybrid could potentially also be one of the worst aspects of owning a hybrid. We already know that hybrids come with both a combustion engine and an electric engine. This gives you great flexibility, but it also means that you will have to maintain two engines instead of one.

Furthermore, these can often cause issues related to the car’s ability to properly decide which engine to use. Hybrid systems are complex and come with lots of computing power and wires which can, and likely will, malfunction at some point.

EVAP system issues

An evaporative emissions system (EVAP) is designed to store unburnt gas fumes into a proprietary canister which helps the car’s efficiency while also reducing emissions. These are known to cause issues in combustion engine cars and hybrid cars as well. A hybrid car typically comes with a more complex powertrain which also means that these are a lot more complex.

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After a while, the canister or the valves wear out and the car starts struggling with maintaining constant fuel efficiency. This is even more of an issue because it virtually deletes all of the emissions benefits you get from a hybrid. Therefore, these need to be fixed whenever they fail.

Poor highway fuel efficiency  

The main reasons why people buy hybrid cars is because they want to save money on various fees and taxes and to enjoy superior fuel efficiency when compared to most combustion cars. However, this is not necessarily the case while traveling at higher speeds for prolonged periods as the combustion engine is the one always providing enough power.

This is why hybrid cars suffer from worse fuel economy on the highway, so much so that it makes little to no sense to even go for a hybrid if you often drive on the highway. There are considerable differences between different hybrids, but most of them are not all that efficient on the highway.

FAQ Section

Is a hybrid car worth it?

It depends on your benefits from using a hybrid on a daily basis. If you are able to benefit from various savings typically associated with hybrid cars, it makes sense to own one. However, if you spend most of your driving time on the highway, or you don’t charge the car often, it makes little to no sense to own one.

The truth is that most people buy hybrids due to considerable tax cuts. EVs and hybrids are a great addition to every garage if they are being utilized to their fullest potential. This means charging them often and mostly driving at lower speeds.

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Are hybrids better than EVs?

Electric cars are the natural next step when coming from owning a hybrid car because electric cars are more reliable, more efficient, and typically more advanced than hybrid cars are. Some of the world’s most popular cars are electric, and the most valuable car company is also electric.

If you can’t be bothered with charging the car up whenever that is necessary, you are better of with a hybrid. On the other hand, if you can use an EV for what it is, an EV is the better choice overall.

 Is a hybrid car cheaper to run?

A hybrid car typically uses up to 30% less fuel per mile which means that fuel costs are considerably lower. If you are able to maximize a hybrid powertrain potential and you only drive at slower speeds while often charging the car, those saving could go up a lot more.

However, hybrid cars are more complex, more expensive to maintain, and are definitely not cheaper to run if they are not being used as hybrid cars should.

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    Marko Mikulic

    Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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