Old 12-19-04, 06:33 AM
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I've seen a lot about the new hybrid cars and their fuel efficiency, but there are two questions I never see answered:

1 How often do you have to replace the batteries and at what cost?

2 Can you tow with a hybrid? The Ford Escape now comes hybrid, but would it still have the same, less or no towing capacity?
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Old 12-19-04, 07:11 AM
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a quick search shows the 2005 escape hybrid has a standard and maximum tow rating of 1000 lbs.
the non hybrid 2005 escape has a standard capacity of 1500 lbs and a maximum of up to 3500 lbs on certain models.
dont know about the batteries.
Old 12-19-04, 04:44 PM
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I've seen a lot of discussions on the hybrids over on edmunds dot com the automotive site. IIRC the life on the batteries is supposedly 5-7 years.

Right now the hybrid probably doesn't make "strict economic" sense, due to the higher initial cost versus the fuel savings at about $2/gallon. Add in the cost for battery replacement (trading the car with the batteries having a couple of years of life left will DRAMATICALLY AFFECT resale value vis-a-vis a similar car with standard powerplant.

Just because it doesn't make pure economic sense doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Let's face it buying a car is never a purely economic decision, it's mostly about emotions.

On the subject of hybrids I noticed that Toyota plans on releasing the Lexus RX400H, the hybrid version of the RX330 sport ute, summer of '05 I think, which is the number one selling Lexus. I'm guessing the Toyota Highlander can't be too far behind. Probably can't touch the Lexus (minimum $40-$45K for hybrid) for close to the Ford price, although Toyota and Honda have been at this "new" technology a lot longer than Ford.
Old 01-23-05, 04:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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We have a 2001 Honda Civic Hybrid, it had about 36,000 miles on it when we bought it. Pre owned Hybrids are hard to come by around here. The only thing I dont like about it, is the road noise, I mean the tires make you hear all the bumps, maybe we can replace the tires later on with quiet tires? I dont know. Also, when you park, you better set the emergency brake, cause it will roll away on you! Its a 5 speed trans. we took it to the dealer , and they couldnt give us an answer for that. I would like to know what a set of batteries would cost? if anyone knows? Thanks, RH
Old 01-23-05, 07:05 PM
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I don't have anything to back it up, but it's my understanding that the batteries go about 10 years (which means probably more like 5-7 as Frank suggests) and that the cost is fairly exorbitant, like several kilobucks.
Old 01-24-05, 06:57 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Originally Posted by roadhawg3
I mean the tires make you hear all the bumps Also, when you park, you better set the emergency brake, cause it will roll away on you! Its a 5 speed trans.
1. Hybrids probably have low rolling resistance tires with very hard compounds to increase fuel economy. Replacing those tires with some quality name brand tires will likey improve the ride and noise level w/o sacrificing much mileage.

2. Are you saying that if you park the car in 1st on an incline it will roll away? That is unusual for a 5spd. If you park it out of a gear it will defanitly roll w/o the parking brake on. You should use the parking brake anyway because it's not great for the trans to use it to hold the car in place, and it's alot easier and cheaper to replace brakes than a transmission.
Old 01-24-05, 06:59 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Info on replacing hybrid batteries here:


Also from this link http://www.canadiandriver.com/roadtest/hybrids.htm

"There is still an element of risk in buying a Prius. Long term owners may be faced with an expensive battery replacement 10 to 15 years down the road - but how expensive is impossible to determine. Much will depend on the popularity of the new Prius - in volume there is economy of scale."

I guess the answer is that no one knows yet.
Old 01-29-05, 04:02 PM
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Yes, it can be in first gear, and I have tried reverse, but it will slowly move away, especially on a incline. but I have never heard that parking a manual trans in gear could damage it? I have done that with many cars thru the years with no problems. Yes the tires could be a harder type of rubber, but when they do wear out, I think I will try to find a smoother ride. Thanks for the feedback, RH
Old 01-29-05, 10:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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If we're talking a sttep hill like 45 degrees, yeah, you might roll even in first. I'd be suprised if it rolled in 1st on a slight incline.

It's not devastating or anything to hold the car in place with the trans, it's just not ideal. Ideally you would set the parking brake when you park, and then put it in 1st as a backup to the parking brake. THat way the weight of the car is on the brakes not the trans.

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