Wear and tear on a gas engine in a hybrid?

Is there more wear on the gasoline engine

due to all the starting and stopping it does in normal driving? I mean that while driving, every time the gas pedal is released the engine stops, and then restarts again when the gas pedal is pressed. This is normal SOP for the vehicle. My initial wondering is about oil

pressure. Starting is supposedly the most wearing event for an engine.

Say I am going 50mph on a hilly road. Going downhill the gas engine stops. When starting to go uphill again the gas engine

kicks in immediatly. So is the oil pressure

in the engine dropping to zero and then when the engine is require to start at 50mph pulling uphill is there enough oil pressure

to prevent wear? (The oil pressure light doesn’t come on)

I’m sure Toyota has this figured out, but I’m just wondering. Thanks.

No more wear, I’d think. While it does start/stop more often, it’s not every time the gas pedal is released, at least no in my Ford. More wear would be in the starter, which is designed to handle the extra load. As for the oil pressure, I’m sure that’s designed for. No engine wear issues have been reported in Priuses, just the occaisional battery failure. I think the carefully controlled operation of the engine as part of the hybrid system will likely result in extended engine life.

It takes a while for the oil to drain back, so the pressure builds quickly, and there is residual oil in the system, too. Not like starting a gas engine in the morning after sitting all night.

I feel, the biggest problem would be the starter motor, not the engine. When you consider the shock load on motors of regular cars as for example, spinning wheels suddenly hitting dry pavement, asking them to the work in unison with a high torque electric in parallel or just drive a generator like an old Briggs and Statton, doesn’t seem too much to ask. I feel there is less demand and the motors will last much longer and with less maintenance.
Golf cart motors get abused unmercifully for their size starting and stopping…they can handle it for years often.

Not sure how the engine kicks in…but are you sure it’s the starter and not just momentum of car that starts the engine…The electric motor gets the car moving first…Just wondering…why use a starter when the vehicle is moving.

COLD starts cause the most wear in internal combustion engines. Once the engine is warm there is no additional wear caused by starting.

There’s no extra wear on the engine, and we should all ask ourselves, “Do these vehicles have conventional starters?”

Perhaps some hybrids do, but perhaps others do not. I seem to recall reading about electric motor/starters in hybrid vehicles.

It’s possible that the electric motor acts as the starter, in which case there’s not even any starter wear.

There may be no additional wear on anything.

If I owned a hybrid, this is not something I’d spend any time worrying about.

I don’t think the Prius engine even has a conventional starter or alternator for that matter. There’s not even a fan belt.
The engine is started through the transmission gears by one of the two traction motor/generators in the prius transmission or possibly even the car’s momentum if the car is already moving.

As far as the engine being “dry” everytime it starts, I don’t buy it. Having taken apart engines that have sat for a long time, I notice that the main/rod bearings can be hard to separate thanks to a capillary thin layer of oil that stays in the bearing clearance.

Not sure, you tell me. But the gas motor is not engaged all of the time. The starter motor for the gas engine could be the transmission working by way of the electric motor, which is what a starter motor is and is dual or full function use in this case. Either way, that’s the weakest link, not the gas engine.

Thanks for all the great responses. There is a starter and from the auto parts pix it looks like it is constantly engaged, I mean no bendix to kick it in. The dash touch screen shows when the motor is powering it and when the batteries are and the motor does stop each time I let off on the gas pedal.
At a stop light the motor can be off but I still have power steering, brakes and ac/heat.
Still getting used to it.
Thanks again to all.

Please guys, it’s a starter drive. Bendix? is a registered trademark.

I recently took a 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid out for a quick demo ride…Wow is all I can say…It’s light-years ahead of anything on the road…When you “start” the car, (turn on the key) nothing happens except the Star Wars dashboard comes to life and the car goes into motion smoothly and SILENTLY…At some point the gas engine starts, but you will have trouble detecting when that happens. It doesn’t really “start”…It’s either running or not running and you can barely detect the event happening…There is no starter engagement, no engine cranking. It’s just running or not running…

When you come to a stop-light, the car stops silently, engine not running…The light changes, you floor it, the car leaps ahead instantly, silently, the engine begins running, you will barely be aware that has happened, the acceleration is constant…

That half second when there is no oil pressure is not a problem…The bearings and other parts are coated with oil. There is no metal to metal contact in that brief interval…

So is Kleenex…but if I have to sneeze I don’t care what the box says. Bendix has really become as much a generic term as kleenex has, which is a compliment and a credit to both companys.

Caddyman, your Fusion Hybrid experience is spot-on with my Highlander performance, except under, say 20mph, I can discern a slight “bump” when the gas motor assists the takeoff.
One other factor which one has to accept is having no control over the gas motor.
The gas pedal is connected to a computer which controls all functions. When the transmission is in park and the motor is running, flooring the gas pedal does not cause the motor to rev more than a few hundred RPMs.
The Highlander is very spunky in acceleration; on-ramps are nooo problem. Love those electric motors.
All in all we like the vehicle which is a replacement for our Isuzu Trooper which saved out lives.

Thanks again to all who responded. (Wikipedia does have a good writeup about hybrids)

On the Prius, the engine is connected to the gear train all the time even when it’s not turning. The transmission is just a set of planetary gears. Motor/generator #1 is connected to the sun gear. Motor/generator #2 is connected to the ring gear. The engine is connected to the planet gears. If the engine is not running, m/g 1 and m/g 2 are turning in opposite directions. M/g 1 brakes the sun gear by becoming a generator and this forces the planet carrier to turn thus starting the engine.

It’s like a car with one rear wheel jacked up off the ground, the engine spins the wheel that’s jacked up and the other wheel doesn’t turn. Applying the brake on the spinning wheel forces the other wheel to turn and the car drives off the jack.