How To Save Money On Hybrid Maintenance

By Alison Lakin, Associate Editor
It’s a given that you hybrid owners already save money on gas. Most of you also received tax breaks from the government for your purchase too. Congrats! You’ve already saved money. But can you take cost cutting even further? DriverSide has gathered a few tips that can help you save even more money on hybrid maintenance. 
Read Your Warranty
As an incentive for people to purchase hybrids, and to assuage apprehension about the new technology, most hybrids have incredibly long warranties for their hybrid systems – like Toyota’s eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty. It will save you money to double check whether the repairs needed for your vehicle are still covered by the manufacturer. There’s no reason to spend money at an independent shop if it’s free at the dealership. 
Take it to an Independent Shop
Many hybrid owners are fearful of cutting their dealership’s cord after their warranties expire. It’s true that hybrids have more complicated electrical systems than regular cars, but qualified mechanics have been cropping up all over the place now that hybrids are more ubiquitous. Find one in your area with DriverSide’s Find a Mechanic feature. Most of the time they’ll get the same repairs done for a fraction of the cost. Do yourself a favor and make sure that the mechanic specializes in hybrids, though. 
Stick to the Manufacturer’s Maintenance Schedule
You may feel uncomfortable with the fact that you haven’t changed your oil at the 7,000-mile mark or that the brakes are still going after 40,000 miles, but hybrids need less conventional maintenance thanks to the hybrid system powering the car for part of the drive and cool features like regenerative braking. Follow the owner’s manual to time your visits to the auto shop instead of popping in when you’re used to going. 
Stop Worrying about Battery Replacement
When the battery in your hybrid dies, you’ll no longer be forced to sacrifice your kids’ college dreams just so you can pay for a replacement. Though, you might have to give up Friday pizza nights. Battery costs have dropped steadily since the first hybrids were brought to market and, while it’s not going to be the cheapest maintenance you’ll ever pay for, the replacement will most likely be under $3000 depending on your particular model. Of course, that’s if you even keep it the eight years it takes for the warranty to expire.

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