What Sort of Reliability Issues Might Hybrids Have?

With the dire warnings about global warming hitting the news outlets on a daily basis, it’s hard not to think about purchasing a hybrid vehicle for your next automobile. Are they worth it? Well, we here at Pit Shop Auto Repair have noticed the technology behind these hybrids has come a long way since their introduction into the automobile market. They do have a few issues, but depending on where you stand on global warming, the reduced emissions just might outweigh the concerns.


Because the technology is new, manufacturer recalls are common with hybrid vehicles. If you work in the automotive industry as we do, you understand this. Anything new, no matter how much it has been tested, has to have bugs worked out, and the only way to do so is to release a product once it’s deemed safe to find out how it performs. Hybrid vehicles are quite reliable overall, but that doesn’t mean that the manufacturers aren’t ironing out kinks. After all, they’ve only been in the U.S. market since 1999 when Honda released the Insight in the States.

Battery Issues

You’ve probably heard nightmare stories about hybrid battery issues and some makes and models do have problems with their batteries. Hybrid batteries are heavy and, as such, they place additional stress on the vehicle’s engine. Oftentimes, when driven for extended distances, the battery must be charged more frequently because the engine is working too hard. In rare instances, hybrid batteries have also exploded upon impact, but this is uncommon. Finally, sometimes, hybrid batteries don’t perform well in the frigid Libertyville, IL, winters.

Catalytic Converter

The hybrid vehicle has a catalytic converter just as the fuel-driven vehicle does and it can fail as well. Should the catalytic converter malfunction in your hybrid, the repairs will be costly, but they’re also costly in a traditional automobile. The catalytic converter is part of the vehicle’s emission and exhaust system, and the hybrid is also prone to common issues with this system that frustrates gas-driven vehicle owners often. One example is the oxygen or O2 sensor. It can fail just as it can in a traditional vehicle and will be required to be replaced.

As mentioned above, however, hybrid vehicles have come a long, long way and they’re reliability often exceeds that of gas-driven machines. We here at Pit Shop Auto Repair in Libertyville, IL, maintain and repair hybrids, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about the technology behind these earth-saving vehicles.