Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


Benefit & Problem of Hybrid Cars - Vol.79

The cost of operating a car these days is pretty crazy when you think about it. People are searching for ways to reduce these costs and because of this, many have turned their attention to hybrid cars.

What exactly is a hybrid car?

Well hybrids are being sold as THE car to have, to counteract the high price of fuel. Investing in one of these eco-friendly modes of transportation will save you money on gas and you'll be giving the economy a boost.

That said, there are 2 different kinds of hybrids: the electric ones (Honda Civic) and the gas powered money-savers (Ford Escape). The gas version is powered by a specialized gas engine and the electric hybrid has a rechargeable battery, just like you remote control porsche you had as a kid.

Bottom line is that both version are designed to create less polluting exhaust emissions.

Now you may assume that you 'automatically' save on fuel with a hybrid and although highly likely, it's not always so. There are many factors that will determine this. First off, how much more does it cost to buy a hybrid vs a non-hybrid vehicle? Your location and style of driving also comes into play here.

For example, if you've got a heavy foot and commute long distances on major highways to work every day, a hybrid isn't going to save you very much money in the long haul. If you happen to tinker around town a lot with lots of stopping and going, a gasoline assisted hybrid may be beneficial. It's usually started by the electric motor, hence your constant stops will use the electric portion of your engine, not the gas.

Make note that this only occurs if you keep your speed below 25 mph because after this the gas engine will be utilized. So if you are one of those drivers that slams on the brakes to made a stop and guns it when the light turns green, just to beat the driver beside you, then you aren't really going to benefit from purchasing a hybrid.

Funny thing is that the electric assisted hybrids tend to work better on the highway and on hilly roads. Although the electric motor isn't used for start up, it will partake when more speed is needed or your motor needs more muscle to work harder.

Here are a few pluses to ponder:

* They run cleaner
* More gas efficient
* Batteries are less harmful to the environment
* Bonus tax reductions
* Warranties are extra long (7-9 years)
* Specialty driving privileges
* Cosmetically appealing

And for the negatives:
* May not benefit in the cost department (vehicle vs gas)
* Driving habits may defeat the purpose (heavy foot)
* Bottom line batteries are toxic
* They aren't cheap to buy

So now that the hype has disappears with regards to these awesome, environmentally friendly vehicles that will save you loads of money and help the environment. People are starting to see that although a step in the right direction, these hybrids are far from perfect and they really are only advantageous for certain types of drivers. As well, there is only limited availability with regards to styles and models.

If a hybrid suits your life and driving style then go for it. If not, I would suggest you wait until the next big thing in the car industry!