Hybrid cars were a paradigm shift in the world of the automotive industry and a stepping stone for greener mobility. With newer technology, refined components, and enhanced fuel economy, the late 90s was the era of the beginning of hybrids.
Not only are hybrid cars great for fuel economy and comfortable to drive, but reliable as well. How many miles can a hybrid car last? What problems occur in high mileage hybrids? And how can the durability of hybrid cars be improved? Let’s have an in-depth look at the facts.
What is High Mileage for a Hybrid Car?
The figure of 150,000 miles can be regarded as high mileage for a hybrid car. There are multiple additional components in a hybrid car, some delicate sensors, and batteries that have a defined service life and need frequent maintenance and replacement after a particular time or miles.
Hybrid cars are sophisticated vehicles meant to churn out extra miles for less fuel. There is an electric motor, powered by batteries, to augment the engine in propelling the car.
Around 100,000 miles, a hybrid car would need a major maintenance haul and replacement of certain components. After 150,000 miles, some problems start to appear in mechanical parts and glitches in software or electrical components. One should be careful while buying a hybrid that’s driven around 200k miles or more.
How Long Does a Hybrid Car Last?
If a hybrid car is looked after through proper maintenance and regular servicing, it can easily last 300,000 miles. It is important to note that hybrid batteries have a certain lifespan and require replacement after that. The battery of a hybrid car would need replacement after 8 years or 125,000 miles, which would ensure the longevity of the vehicle.
Hybrid cars are different from conventional gasoline and diesel-powered cars. They have an electric motor, batteries, a few extra sensors, and other mechanical components. If the proper maintenance schedule is followed and crucial components are replaced when required, a hybrid car would easily last 300,000 miles or more before the engine or complete drivetrain requires major repairs or replacement.
All those 1st generation Toyota Prius are still going strong, thanks to the excellent build quality and proper care by the owners. With enhanced technology and the latest software at hand, hybrid cars have become even more reliable in these recent years.
Why Do Hybrid Cars Last Shorter than Gasoline and Diesel Cars?
In comparison to gas or diesel cars, hybrid cars have sophisticated technology and delicate components that require frequent maintenance and expenditure. In case low-quality fuel is used, environmental conditions are not optimal, and maintenance is delayed, hybrid cars start to show signs of wear and different issues.
Diesel and gasoline cars are around for more than a century and technology has evolved. There has been a continuous phase of hit and trial, that led to improvement in these vehicles and they got refined over time.
Hybrid cars on the other hand were a need of time and a hope towards sustainable mobility. The technology at hand has developed a lot, but is still very sensitive and delicate. The batteries haven’t developed that much and are not that long-lasting, sensors and evaporative systems in hybrid cars are very delicate and need frequent servicing or replacement. Because of these reasons, hybrid cars last shorter than gasoline or diesel cars.
What are the Most Common Problems with High-Mileage Hybrid Cars?
Packed with great technology, offering a quieter and more comfortable driving experience, and exquisite fuel economy, hybrid vehicles do have some common problems. These problems include weaker hybrid batteries, catalytic converter issues, oxygen sensor problems, not-so-great highway mileage, and evaporative emissions system problems.
These are some of the most common problems with high mileage hybrid cars that you should be careful about, and keep in mind while buying one with too many miles on the odometer;
- Weaker batteries
The hybrid car batteries are fragile in comparison to conventional batteries and need repairs or replacement after a certain time or mileage. The technology and mechanism are different, and their function is to power the motor that drives that car. Moreover, the battery in a hybrid car constantly gets charged-discharged, switch on/off frequently because of functionality. Rendering them to wear and decreased lifespan.
- Catalytic converter problems
Hybrid cars have a catalytic converter that needs replacement more frequently as compared to conventional cars. Mainly because they filter more harmful exhaust gases to comply with the emission standards. Problematic catalytic converters are a major problem with high mileage hybrid cars and are costly to replace.
- Faulty oxygen sensors
Faulty oxygen sensors can hurt the engine’s combustion cycle, timing, and other components. Oxygen sensors in hybrid cars are more sensitive and need replacement more often once the 100,000-mile mark is crossed.
- Evaporative emission system problems
Evaporative emission system or EVAP is a crucial component in hybrid cars, important for controlling emissions. After 150,000 miles, valves or lines in this system start to get leaks or damaged, which is a costly problem to get rid of.
- Underwhelming Highway mileage
Hybrid cars use the kinetic energy recovery system to coup up most of the energy and charge the batteries via regenerative braking. Once on a highway, brakes are not applied that often and batteries don’t synergize the engine that well. In older hybrid cars, the regenerative braking system also has faults and does not work well on long drives.
Cost of repairing problems in hybrid cars with high mileage
|2||Faulty oxygen sensor||$800-1,200|
|4||Catalytic converter replacement||$1,000-1,200|
|5||Regenerative braking issue||$700-800|
How to Make a Hybrid Car Last Longer?
Hybrid cars are delicate in comparison to conventional vehicles and require extra care for optimal functioning. If you’re wondering how to make a hybrid car last longer, keep these points in mind, and implement accordingly;
- Stick to the maintenance schedule firmly and use the manufacturer-recommended engine oil grade.
- Get the oxygen sensor and catalytic converter serviced every 25,000 miles.
- Get the battery and motors serviced as per the manufacturer’s schedule, and calibrated every time by the certified technician.
- The regenerative braking system needs extra care, avoid parking your hybrid in damp places and get the brakes maintained by the authorized dealership.
- Replace the battery every 100,000 miles and get other engine components inspected as well.
- Get all the filters changed timely and use the OEM parts only.
- The transmission oil is also very important and must be replaced every 40,000 miles.
What are the Best Hybrid Cars with High Mileage?
If you’re looking for a used hybrid car with high mileage, these vehicles might be your best option. The top 5 picks include Toyota Prius, Hyundai Ioniq, Honda Insight, Nissan Note e, and Toyota RAV4 hybrid.
When it comes to a high mileage used hybrid car, your priority should be reliability and maintenance expenditure. Keeping in mind the running costs, dependability, and overall performance, these are the top 5 best hybrid cars with high mileage;
- Toyota Prius
No surprise here, the pioneer of hybrid technology with 3 million+ sales since its debut, you cannot go wrong with Toyota’s reliability and Prius’ portfolio. You can totally rely on a used Toyota Prius and it won’t let you down with its 55 MPG fuel economy and high-tech convenience and safety features.
- Hyundai Ioniq
The only non-Japanese car on the list, Ioniq offers superb mileage (58 MPG) and a refined driving experience. With an extended warranty and latest features, this car is a dependable option in used hybrid cars.
- Honda Insight
Honda’s first shot at hybrid and they didn’t disappoint. Insight offers superb reliability, refined driving dynamics, and excellent fuel economy (52 MPG). Honda Insight is definitely a car to shortlist.
- Nissan Note e
Although late to the party, Nissan made a statement with their electric hybrid vehicle, Nissan Note e power. The car of the year in Japan in 2018, it offers superb ride comfort, is handsomely equipped, and uses electric hybrid technology to offer a staggering 85 MPG fuel economy. A good Nissan Note e Power should sit at the top of your buying list.
- Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Why not mix up the trend of SUVs with reliability and fuel efficiency. Toyota RAV4 ticks all the boxes that anyone needs in a hybrid car and with superb driving experience, latest technology, and dependable fuel economy, RAV4 can be a perfect choice in used hybrid cars.
Also read: 3 Things Thieves Do with Stolen Cars
Is it Worth Buying a High Mileage Hybrid Car?
If the maintenance history is not optimal, and the condition of the car is not pristine, it does not make sense to buy a high mileage hybrid car. As the repairs and maintenance, cost would kill the essence of saving some money on fuel expenses.
A high mileage hybrid car has usually seen much of its glory days and needs frequent, costly repairs and maintenance to perform the job it was bought for, good fuel efficiency.
If you’re in the used car market and wondering if it’s worth buying a high mileage hybrid car? The answer is No!