Hybrid cars are consolidated as an increasingly popular alternative in the automotive market. They use at least two different energy sources, which lead to considerable savings on fuel. We have made a list of the most frequent breakdowns and problems with hybrid cars.

Problems in the electrical wiring system

The problems in the electrical wiring system are probably the most common breakdown in hybrid cars. They usually emerge when the vehicle has covered more than 60,000 kilometres. This is when cables become seriously deteriorated, and may even get burnt. This can damage the electrical system, and the whole system may have to be replaced. The cost of repairing this kind of breakdown varies. If we only have to replace the cables, the cost would be less than EUR 100, but if the damage is more serious and the battery also has to be replaced, the final outlay would be around EUR 7,000.

 Problems with the service plug

The service plug is one of the most delicate components of plug-in hybrid cars. When the car is being charged, they can reach very high temperatures, which may damage the component or even burn it. The solution would be a preventive change of the plug, or replacing it when we see it is beginning to deteriorate.

 Breakdown in the gearbox associated with the inverter

The gearbox in a hybrid car has three functions. In addition to changing the gears like any other car, it also acts as an alternator to generate power, and also acts as the car's starter motor. This means that a gearbox failure would affect all the car's functions. Even though this is one of the most serious breakdowns, it is not very frequent.

Cylinder head joint

After the car has travelled 300,000 kilometres problems may arise in the cylinder head joint, and this is a costly breakdown. The cylinder head joint is subjected to very high temperatures and pressures, and so it is manufactured to be particularly robust. It also has to be extremely elastic to cover any cracks appearing in the cylinder head's supporting surface and the engine block, especially when the car is moving. Whenever you find a fault in the cylinder head, take it to a workshop you trust to have it repaired.

Maintenance and care of hybrid cars

In hybrid cars, as with other vehicles, to prevent these breakdowns and any others, what is required is proper maintenance.

In a hybrid we have at least two energy storage systems, and another two pieces of machinery to transform the energy into movement. This means that we have to be careful on two counts. We must pay attention to the combustion engine, and also to the electrical system. Both of them need to be checked periodically. 

  • The transaxle must be replaced every 50,000 kilometres, and it must also be lubricated with the proper oil.
  • In order to prevent any wiring or battery breakdowns, the cooling system must be cleaned regularly. There are two fans in plug-in cars, and one fan in non-plug-in cars. The objective is to prevent overheating.
  • Turning to the battery, we must keep the space between the condenser and the water radiator clean to prevent excessive temperatures and deterioration of the electrical system's battery.
  • If we notice that petrol consumption has risen or the air conditioning is malfunctioning, we must pay attention to the cooling system.
  • After 250,000-300,000 kilometres we have to change the battery, and at the same time we should also replace the service battery.

The problems in the electrical wiring system are one of the most common breakdowns in hybrid cars. Preventing any malfunctioning in these cars requires basic proper maintenance, with particular attention paid to the cooling system. As the owner of the car, you must be aware of the advantages and disadvantages associated with hybrid technology. If you have undertaken a car renting service, these potential "problems" would be covered by the monthly rental.


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