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Maintenance

  • 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid

    Ford Canada told a Fusion Hybrid owner to drive at highway speeds more after sludge appeared in her car's oil cap.

  • 2005 Toyota Prius
    Toyota Prius hybrid is cheapest car over 10 years that you can buy

    The Toyota Prius has the lowest average maintenance costs over 10 years of any model, according to website YourMechanic.

  • 2013 Tesla Model S owned by David Noland, Catskill Mountains, NY, Oct 2015
    Tesla Freakonomics: Why Fans Should Hope Early Drivetrain Data Was Correct

    Our recent article on the reliability implications of a Plug-In America survey of early Tesla Model S owners was met with skepticism from the company's supporters, and support from its skeptics. But in a counter-intuitive Freakonomics-style twist, it's the firm's fans who should hope the results...

  • 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid
    Dead Hybrid Battery: What Should I Do? (Owner Question)

    Every once in a while, other media outlets will ask for advice from Green Car Reports on various fuel economy or car technology questions. We recently received one concerning a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid, which the owner had left unused for several months. The car wouldn't start after that, and when...

  • Onsite service by Tesla Motor technicians on 2013 Tesla Model S, upstate NY [photo: David Noland]
    Life With Tesla Model S: Service Centers Get Crowded, Cost More

    One of the coolest things about owning a Tesla Model S for almost three years now has been the service. When first revealed back in the spring of 2013—a few months after I had taken delivery of my car—the Tesla service model sounded almost too good to be true. If a problem occurred, CEO...

  • 2014 BMW X5 xDrive50i
    Why BMW Boosting Its V-8 Twin-Turbo's Fuel Efficiency Kills Batteries

    Turbocharger cooling demands overtax batteries in V-8 BMWs.

  • 2015 Nissan Leaf

    One of the benefits of battery-electric cars is that they have far fewer moving parts than gasoline vehicles, so they require less servicing. Or as the old saying goes, "Nothing but tires and wiper blades"--which is a bit reductive, but pretty close to the truth if you add in occasional brake-fluid checks. DON'T MISS: Life With Tesla Model S: At Last, Some Maintenance Needed (New Tires) So imagine the surprise of one Nissan Leaf owner in the U.K. who found he'd paid £8.94 (about $13.60) for a new oil filter and £17.50 ($26.60) for a new air filter during his very first annual...

  • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan [photo by owner David Noland]
    Life With Tesla Model S: At Last, Some Maintenance Needed (New Tires)

    After 20 months and 26,000-plus miles, I finally spent my first dollar on maintenance for my 2013 Tesla Model S. Almost 2,000 of them, in fact. The total was $1,858--the cost of four new tires and Tesla's recommended annual service. Up till that point, tire rotations, washer fluid replacements...

  • Nissan Leaf electric car at Crater Lake, Oregon  [image: C. Bonville Photography]
    Why Electric Car Owners Don't Want Gasoline Loaners From Their Dealers

    It's often said by electric-car owners and advocates that once you start driving electric, you never want to go back. Now it appears that at least a handful of car dealers are learning that the principle extends even to loaner cars from the dealership. A recent Facebook thread on the BMW i3 Owners...

  • 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV, Newport Beach, California, July 2012
    Buying An Electric 'Compliance Car'? Think Hard About Servicing First

    There are now more than a dozen plug-in electric cars for sale in the U.S., but not all electric cars are created equal. And a pair of recent articles about service challenges experienced by owners of the Toyota RAV4 EV underscores that buyers should be fully aware of the context in which their...

  • Onsite service by Tesla Motor technicians on 2013 Tesla Model S, upstate NY [photo: David Noland]
    Life With Tesla Model S: Electric-Draw Vampire Slain, At Last

    This started out as a feel-good article about another great experience I had with Tesla's extraordinary service program. But it morphed into a detective story that apparently solves the mystery of why my 60-kWh 2013 Tesla Model S still suffered a significant "vampire" power drain, even after...

  • 2013 Tesla Model S P85 service loaner vehicle [photo: David Noland]
    Life With Tesla Model S: Three Days Of Service Nirvana

    A few months ago, some minor glitches in my 2013 Tesla Model S were fixed at the Tesla service center in White Plains, New York. It was a perfectly satisfactory experience, pretty much like any other service visit: Drive to the shop, read magazines for a couple of hours, get the car back, drive...

  • 2013 Toyota Prius liftback

    There was a time when the average vehicle could be expected to go wrong on a fairly regular basis. That's not the case these days, and in general cars are more reliable than ever--even if repair costs are increasing. Well, they are for regular vehicles anyway, as a study by CarMD suggests the cost of repairing hybrid vehicles is going in the opposite direction. According to Auto Week, CarMD's third annual Auto Health Index says car repair costs went up 10 percent in 2012, compared to the previous year. That's despite actual visits to the shop going down slightly. CarMD attributes the increase...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf Software Update
    Think You'll Work On Your Electric Car Yourself? Think Twice, Please

    Electric cars, as you might have gathered, are quite different from their gasoline or diesel-fueled counterparts. Sure, they might look similar on the outside--for the most part--but under the skin that alternative source of propulsion brings with it a host of new challenges. That continues to...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf SL
    Electric Car Maintenance A Third Cheaper Than Combustion Vehicles?

    Driving an electric car has plenty of advantages, but many owners also like the simplicity of their vehicles. An electric motor is incredibly simple in operation. In contrast, internal combustion engines can be made up of hundreds of parts--even thousands, in particularly advanced engines. That's...

  • 2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011
    Tesla Model S Service Contract: $600/Year, Or Warranty Voided

    One big advantage of electric cars is reduced maintenance. With no internal combustion engine, there is no oil to change, no exhaust system, no transmission, no myriad of moving parts to break or wear out, and no air or fuel filters to clog up. With regenerative braking, brake pads last virtually...

  • 2002 Honda Insight
    Hybrid Owners: Still Happy After 200K-300K Miles

    You'll probably remember stories about Hummers being greener than hybrids over a dust-to-rust car lifecycle from a few years back. Much of the heavyweight Hummer's supposed advantage was down to spurious claims that a hybrid would become unusable after 100,000 miles, where the tank-like off-roader...

  • Nissan Altima Tire Pressure Assistant
    2013 Nissan Easy Fill Tire Alert System: Helpful, Or Annoying?

    Over the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in the amount of driver-friendly technology being added to cars to make them easier to use. Normally, that includes things like iPod connectivity, satellite navigation and bluetooth hands free, but the 2013 Nissan Altima -- along with all of...

  • Oil cap

    There was a time, not so long ago, when car owners were expected to carry out basic maintenance and regular servicing on their car using a handful of wrenches and common automotive tools. Nowadays, most of the maintenance is carried out by professional garage mechanics and dealers. but there are some things -- like checking the tire pressure, condition and washer fluid -- that the driver is still expected to do regularly. Checking your car’s engine oil is also on the list, but do you know how to do it? According to a recent study by ExxonMobil, a shocking 50 percent of drivers in the...

  • 2012 Chevrolet Volt
    2012 Volt Cheaper To Own Than 2012 Leaf, Says Kelley Blue Book

    The 2012 Chevrolet Volt might cost nearly $5,000 cheaper more than the 2012 Nissan Leaf, but over the next five years, it might cost you less to run. At least, that’s the verdict of Kelley Blue Book (KBB) which crowned the 2012 Chevy Volt the electric choice in its inaugral Total Cost of...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf SL
    Want To Keep Your 2012 Nissan Leaf Clean Inside? Here's How

    They say that every cloud has a silver lining - in other words, there's a bright side to even the darkest of situations. That being the case, what's the opposite? What's the disadvantage to the bright, air-conditioning friendly, heat-reflecting, inviting interior of the 2012 Nissan Leaf electric...

  • 2004-2009 Toyota Prius battery pack, second generation
    Life After Death: What Happens When Your Prius Battery Dies

    Believe it or not, the humble Toyota Prius has been on sale in the U.S. for 12 years. While many of these original 2000 Priuses are still giving their owners the same gas milage they did when new, traction battery packs inside early cars are reaching the end of their predicted 10 year, 300,000 mile...

  • Evans Waterless Coolant
    Waterless Coolant Improves Engine Life, Boosts MPG 10 Percent

    Engine coolant isn't something you often think about when considering the running costs of your car. Beyond regularly filling up the gas tank and changing the oil every so often, that other liquid doesn't really get a look in. If we told you that a special waterless coolant would improve your fuel...

  • Construction
    Fuel Efficiency Hurts: Gas Tax Revenue Plummets, Roads Crumble

    Cars with higher gas mileage pay less per mile in gasoline tax. And plug-in cars pay no gas tax at all. With far tougher fuel economy standards looming--34.1 mpg by 2016 and no less than 54.5 mpg by 2025, assuming final rules are issued by the NHTSA and EPA--the problem is only getting worse. $400...

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