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Should I buy a hybrid vehicle?

Question: I’m looking to buy a new vehicle, and I’m considering a hybrid to replace my 2007 Ford Expedition, which only gets about 16 mpg. (I also drive from Libertyville to Chicago 4 times a week, so you can imagine how much gas I go through.) However, I’m concerned about auto repair costs on a hybrid long-term, particularly the battery. What has your experience been with hybrid vehicles?

Gus Guzzler

hybrid auto repair lake forest illinoisAnswer: We field a lot of questions about hybrids from our customers, especially when we see a surge in gas prices like we’re seeing right now. Our very easy, straightforward answer is: “Buy whatever gets the best gas mileage.” That is, if you’re not concerned about having the most horsepower or being the quickest car to accelerate from a green light.

We recently replaced my wife’s gas guzzler with a hybrid, and we couldn’t be happier. She goes to the gas pump maybe twice a month now vs. 1-2 times per week in her previous car.

As far as the battery goes, they have proven to be more reliable and longer lasting than (most) anyone predicted when hybrids first came onto the market. They rarely fail. And the warranties on those are long: 8-years/100,000 miles on a Prius and 10 years or more. Here’s a great article that talks about the reliability and estimates the cost of replacement if one does fail: hybrid battery replacement.

And when it comes to routine maintenance and repairs on hybrids, your auto repair team at Auto Lab can take care of that for you.

There are some other factors to weigh when considering a hybrid, such as the fact that the sticker price is a little higher than a non-hybrid car. You’ll want to look at your daily commute, annual miles overall, how you use the vehicle, and what convenience and comfort features you want in the vehicle. Will the hybrid models you’re considering deliver what you need?

One more question we’ll pose to you: Are you looking to buy a new vehicle because you want one or because you want to save money on gas? If the latter, consider how much you’ll have to spend on a new vehicle just to save money each time you make a visit to the gas pump. It’s often better to hold onto that older vehicle a little longer. Here are some tools and resources for calculating the true cost of a new car.

If we can answer any more questions for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or Sherman at 847-367-4488 or email us at

Happy driving!

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