There is no denying that cars have gotten more complicated. The associated repair costs for conventional gas and diesel vehicles in the US have increased for the first time in six years by 11.6% in the Northeastern United States, and 10% for the rest of the country. But meanwhile, the cost of repairing hybrid-electric vehicles has actually decreased.
The study was published by CarMD, maker of a handheld automotive diagnostic device. CarMD looked at the most expensive repairs in the industry, and for awhile that ignoble title belonged to hybrid cars. Hybrids have a very expensive part, called the hybrid inverter assembly, which was known as the most expensive part to replace in the industry. Fortunately, the cost of this repair decreased by almost 5%.
“The most expensive repair in 2011 was ‘replace hybrid inverter assembly’ at $4,098, which decreased by nearly 5 percent in 2012,” wrote CarMD’s researchers. “Hybrid repairs no longer hold the top spot, which is now ‘Replace Transmission Assembly and Reprogram Electronic Control Module’ at more than $5,400.”
So in fairness, it isn’t just that the costs for hybrid car repairs dropped, but that modern transmissions are increasingly complicated devices as well. Even so, cars like the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius need less maintenance overall, despite secondary drivetrains. This is definitely a selling point the industry needs to push.
The increased repair expenditure for conventional gasoline-powered automobiles can also be attributed to the fact that people are keeping their cars longer than they used to. While $5,400 for a new transmission is expensive, buying a whole new car is even more expensive, and many people simply can’t afford it.
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