Hybrid cars posses one of the finest technologies in the automotive industry. Having one is a dream come true for some people who like hybrid cars.
Notwithstanding, when buying a used hybrid car, proper inspection should be done before purchase as the technology is complex and some parts and repairs can be expensive.
When inspecting a hybrid car, general pre-purchase inspection guidelines should be followed then in addition, this guide should be strictly followed.
There are general car pre-purchase inspection checklist but since hybrid car technology is quite different, there are a host of other things to be checked to ensure you don't acquire a lemon.
What to check when buying a used hybrid
1. Use a scantool to see if there are trouble codes.
2. There should not be check hybrid system or check VSC (vehicle stability control) system on the dash. They can signal problem with the high voltage system, batteries, engine, braking system and stabilty control system.
3. A constant loud high voltage battery fan noise signifies a weak and overheating battery module(s). Pay attention to this noise.
4. Check the brake pedal to see that it is not hard or spongy when braking as this can signify problem with stoke sensor, brake cylinder or brake actuator.
5. Excessive brake actuator priming signifies a brake actuator that is already faulty or near end of life. It is supposed to prime to maintain desired pressure in the brake lines but not to frequently and not too loudly.
6. There should not be knock sounds as this can be a sign of mechanical problem. It can also be a sign of issues with the ignition or fuel supply system since the Atkinson cycle engine used in hybrid cars is high compression engine that can give knock sounds easily when there are issues. Even when an ignition coil is bad, it will vibrate and give this knock sound.