Where to get a hybrid or electric car serviced?

electric vehicle charging station Market32

Mark emails:

I've been on the hunt for a mechanic that specializes/is-well-versed in electric/hybrid cars, but have failed to bag anything.
I have taken my traditional vehicle to a shop that I am very pleased with, but I hesitate to bring this new space-age vehicle to the same place, because...well, I don't know. Am I overthinking this? Is a car just car? ...
P.S. Dealerships are sure to be the knee-jerk answer to this, but, you know, they're dealerships.

This is something we hadn't really thought about before. And the fundamental question Mark seems like a good one: Is a hybrid or electric car "just" like any other car when it comes to getting it serviced, or is there special expertise involved.

So, got experience or thoughts or a suggestion on this topic? Please share! If you're recommending a shop, a sentence or two about why you're recommending a place can be helpful.

+ Capital Region Recommended Mechanics
+ New York State is now offering a rebate for electric cars


It depends on the type of work you need done, and whether it is a hybrid or a pure electric vehicle. I am on my second hybrid, and have never had any problems that were specific to it being a hybrid, so I've always gone to my regular mechanic for things like tire service, oil changes, etc. If I had a problem that was specific to the electrical aspects of the car, I would either go to the dealer or try to find a specialist. But regular maintenance and most minor repairs are no different for a hybrid than for a traditional gas engine.

Mine is a plug-in hybrid, and so perhaps I didn't have as much angst about this question as I might have with a wholly electric vehicle, but I had full confidence in Larry's Foreign Auto from their work on my prior vehicle, and they were not daunted by a hybrid. Thus, I was happy to continue to benefit from their faithful service. If you presently frequent a shop you think is honest and good, and they are happy to service it and not afraid to answer your questions, you might not need to change a good thing.

I'm still driving a 10 yr. old Toyota Highlander Hybrid which has never had any problem with the hybrid electrical system. I agree with John and Kendra that all regular maintenance and repairs seem to be easily handled by my long time, local reliable mechanics.

The electrical aspects of a hybrid electric (or a fully electric) car, in general, does not need much if any maintenance outside anything specified in your car's manual. For example, the Tesla vehicles show a cost-of-ownership maintenance schedule that is nearly $0 since there are no oil changes, no transmission servicing, no coolant flushing, etc.

What I'm saying is, the aspects of your car that are likely to need servicing are either going to be specific to the combustible engine, or not specific to anything about the car's electrical components (brake pads, shocks, struts, etc--all cars have these, electric, hybrid, or ICE).

I would stick with a dealership on an electric vehicle, but you will need very little maintenance with an EV. There is no oil, no belts. You will need tires and windshield wipers.

If you are considering an EV and have questions about how to maintain, where to buy, etc. I highly recommend getting in touch with the folks who are part of the Capital District EV Drivers Group. You can find them on Facebook and they will answer any and all of your questions.

For more info on EVs, hybrids, and other alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technologies visit www.capitalcleancommunities.org.

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