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Licensed vs. Unlicensed - Choosing The Best Hybrid Mechanic

Posted on June 11, 2018 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Licensed vs. Unlicensed – Choosing A Hybrid Mechanic For Your Toyota Prius


If your Toyota Prius or Camry hybrid system needs service, you want confidence in your mechanic. When you take you car in for repairs, you want assurance the technician doing the work not only knows what he’s doing but has proper training to deal with unexpected problems. YOU WANT A LICENSED & INSURED TECHNICIAN! PERIOD! No Exceptions!

Ideally, you need a licensed & insured mechanic, someone who has the education and hands-on experience, and , more important, a certification to fulfill such work. We understand, the cost may be slightly higher but think of this, do you really want an unlicensed mechanic from Craigslist or an unlicensed company doing the work on your car? And then some say “we come to you”…Are they insured? If they get hurt on your property will your insurance policy cover them and then skyrocket your rates.


So, Again…Is A License And Insurance Really Necessary?

When you hire an auto mechanic, it pays to be meticulous in selecting the best available professional. Affordable Hybrid Repair Of Tampa Bay is a fully licensed Motor Vehicle repair shop. Doing a quick search online we have found several hybrid battery repair “so-called” specialists operating unlicensed. Most are found on Craigslist and other online websites. As a hybrid owner you must use caution. You may receive the response, ” I can do the job for less“, well, that’s true, but this can later cost you thousands of hard earned bucks and even higher rates on your insurance policy .


How To Find A Licensed Auto Mechanic


It’s possible to find independent shops in your area that are licensed to repair cars. Here, we need to know the reputation the business has and if their license is actually current. Some unscrupulous companies will apply for a license their first year of operation but never renew it or hire mechanics with little to no formal training and hide them behind a valid business license. In this it is best by checking out local review sites to find out which repair shops are licensed, honest, and which aren’t above standard.


The Risks Of Bad Repairs


If the work you’re getting done is happening in someone’s home garage or is half what a dealership would charge, or they claim they come to you without first displaying a license permit there’s a good chance you are you dealing with an unlicensed mechanic. Also, here is another con. If major damage has been done to your hybrid battery or electrical system, can it be traced back to the work performed by an unlicensed tech? The recourse may be timely and expensive going through the court system to regain losses. You might be able to have it reinstated after a court proceeding, but this is a time-consuming and expensive process.

Safety is also an issue with poor workmanship. Mechanics who don’t have proper training cut corners, and that puts you at risk on the road. An improperly installed hybrid battery on a Prius or Camry can result in thousands of dollars in damages.


Our Conclusion:

The licensed professional is worth his weight in oil, and in most states multiple licenses are required to run a shop. If you’re hiring a mechanic to do any work on your car, always make sure he or she has a current certification and experience to back up the price. If you live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida be assured that you are getting the finest work here at Affordable Hybrid Battery Repair of Tampa Bay.

HID Headlight Installation For Toyota Prius Gen 1-3

Posted on January 15, 2018 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

HID Headlight Installation For Toyota Prius Gen 1-3

Headlight Installation For Toyota Prius Gen 1-3


Toyota Prius HID bulbs Headlight Installation – There’s nothing the media loves more than a nice juicy auto problem. Imagine that your Prius headlights fail, and replacing them cost you THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS !!! This is very common to hear.

Well, that’s the premise of a late June story in AdAge, which discussed a potential problem with the optional high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights fitted to the second-generation Toyota Prius in model years 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. Are you aware of this Prius issue?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received hundreds of complaints from Prius owners about HID lamp failures and, according to this bogus story, opened a full blown investigation into the matter.


Watching the statistics of the Prius


The AdAge story cites well over 338 complaints received, although our search of the NHTSA complaints system produced just 117 listings for complaints about the 2005-2008 of the title ….Toyota Prius – categorized under “Exterior Lighting-Headlights”.

The bulk of them, numbering almost 80, were for the 2006 model year. And it’s worth noting that those complaints covered all headlight problems, not just those having to do with the HID lights. So..what should you do if you have headlight problems?

Many of the complaints cite dealer repair costs exceeding $1,000, in some cases as high as $1,800 to replace two entire HID light units and two control modules, which are electronic components that provide power to the lights. We can replace them for just $450.00. That is for 2 headlamps! Really a fraction of the cost!

We’ll wait to see what the NHTSA comes up with, but as the commentor on the AdAge story notes, headlight bulbs are a consumable item for cars–like wiper blades, brake pads, and tires. Which is to say, sometimes they do fail and need to be replaced. My own father-in-law had his Gen 3 lights blow at 85,000 miles where as I, with my Gen 3, never replaced my headlamp bulbs ever and surpassed the 187,000 mile mark.

Whether they are failing at a higher rate than expected will depend on statistical analysis, and the NHTSA wrote to Toyota in May asking for more data.


Price / Sticker shock?


The HID bulbs have a rated life twice as long as standard bulbs, and give three times the light while using about half the power. But they’re also much more expensive: the list price for one bulb is $150, against $12 to $15 for a standard headlight bulb. Ouchhh!

We suspect the high cost of a new HID bulb may come as a shock to Prius owners, making headlight installation them more likely to suspect a defect. Either way, we can replace these at a much cheaper price.

It may be, that unscrupulous dealers are exacerbating the high cost of the bulbs. They may be imposing exorbitant labor charges for unnecessary work, like removing the Prius front bumper shield to swap out a dead bulb, or even replacing entire HID units at $330 apiece. Replacing a single Prius headlight bulb, according to the service manual, takes less than 15 minutes.

It may also be that the problem lies not with the lights themselves, but with a $250 control module and/or associated wiring.

Meanwhile, perhaps inevitably, a lawsuit has been filed in Los Angeles on behalf of a Toyota Prius owner in Putnam County, New York. The firm of Girard Gibbs is seeking class-action status for their suit, calling the bulb failures “a dangerous but undisclosed safety defect.”

This reminds us somewhat of the supposed Prius “sudden acceleration” issue, in which a handful of owners claimed that their hybrids experienced complete brake failure while accelerating wildly out of control.


What should YOU do?


 If you have a Prius with HID headlights, and one of your bulbs fails, it may be worth trying to repair it yourself. But good luck, you will need some specialty tools to remove the rear of the headlamp assembly to access the bulb! I will also add that you may need to get some help, most likely from a dealer, to finish the project! Dealers can charge you $275 to $375 (per bulb).

Do yourself a favor, call Paul and ask him for an estimate. You will thank us later.