Hybrid Owners May Want to Reconsider Buying Refurbished Batteries, Experts Warn

Batteries in hybrid cars

As hybrid vehicles continue to make their way onto American highways, owners are often faced with a battery pack that gives way well in advance of the warranty. Although gas mileage for a hybrid vehicle can approach 45 mpg, sometimes owners can get worried at unexpected dashboard lights. Experts say that when the IMA — Integrated Motor Assist — light flashes in tandem with the “check engine” light, hybrid owners may want to take their vehicles in for further diagnostic tests.

While the need to replace hybrid batteries around the 100,000 mile mark is common among hybrids, there are some battery packs that last much longer. Many Honda Civic Hybrid IMA batteries have been in continuous operation for almost 15 years; used hybrid vehicles may have refurbished batteries, but experts warn that batteries may drain at different rates unless they are all replaced at the same time.

Hybrid vehicles, which switch seamlessly between gas and electric power, may get up to 45 mpg. Along with admirable fuel economy, hybrid cars minimize greenhouse emissions by up to one-third; new owners often qualify for incentive programs that encourage the purchase of eco-friendly products. While a Honda Civic Hybrid IMA battery may have outlasted the terms of its warranty, owners of hybrid cars are still encouraged to get their batteries tested on a regular basis.

Battery replacement may be an eventuality for many hybrid car owners, but the cost of replacement can be offset by long-term savings in gasoline. Replacing a hybrid car battery may be most effective, experts note, if handled by staff who have been comprehensively trained on hybrid engines and hybrid battery replacement. Hybrid owners should also keep in mind that refurbished batteries may eventually lose their ability to fully charge, experts report.

With millions of new hybrid vehicles on America’s roads every year, the gradual shift toward cars that use less gas and have a less negative impact on the environment continues. American consumers are willing to invest in fuel-efficient cars, and with financial incentives often available to new owners, the direction of the automotive industry has shifted for good.

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