A claim that many electric car owners often make while trying to convert their non-electric car friends is that EVs require no maintenance. While electric cars do not always have an engine or an automatic transmission to work with, they are not quite as maintenance-free as presented. Fewer parts mean there’s less to break down, less to repair, and less to replace.
However, here are some electric car maintenance tips to remember if you own an electric vehicle and want it to last as long as possible.
Resolve Any EV Battery Issues Promptly
More important than any other component in your electric vehicle is the battery. If your battery charging is malfunctioning or you notice anything suspicious, have it examined by an electric vehicle mechanic who knows what they’re doing. Your battery is the power source for everything. If it’s not delivering the performance promised, that’s a sign your entire electric vehicle could be days away or moments away from being immovable.
Keep Your Battery In The 20-80 Percent Range
Never overcharge your battery. Most electric vehicle owners do not charge their EV’s battery up to 100 percent. There is no need unless you know you’re making an extended driving trip.
Too much charging to 100 percent and overcharging the EV battery at its max could cause the internal components to wear out faster. For this reason, always keep your battery in the 20-80 percent range. If you are running low, replenish your car with commercial EV chargers.
Don’t Have Your EV Battery Under 20 Percent
Yes, there is a risk with under-charging your EV battery as well. When the battery is under 20 percent, or your electric vehicle battery has little to no charge for an extended period, this could affect the battery’s overall health. It will likely degrade faster than it would otherwise if it was in that optimal above-20 percent range.
Oil Change Schedule
Battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, do not use oil. However, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, or PHEV, does use oil. Accordingly, it will require routine oil changes and inspections of its cooling, fueling, and air intake systems.
Do not neglect to stay up-to-date with these oil changes. They are necessary to keep your ride going and the overall maintenance of your electric car.
A visual inspection of the high-voltage cabling is key to determining whether the protective outer layer has been worn down or its connectors are breaking apart. Alongside the electric motor battery pack, high-voltage cabling is the other major electrical component that could require maintenance. At the very least, a visual inspection during a routine check-up by a professional will tell you what, if anything, needs to be done.
Inspect and Refill Electric Car Fluids
An electric car with an engine may not have an automatic transmission, but it may have liquids that must be inspected. Look at the cooling systems. If your electric car has a gear reduction transmission containing lubricant, that may need to be inspected. The brakes and windshield wipers also use fluid that requires replacing on occasion. This should be included in your electric car’s manual and service schedule.
Maintain Your Electric Car Brakes
Like oil changes, this may not apply to your electric car. If your electric car has a regenerative braking system, however, this means it’s using conventional friction brakes that need to be assessed occasionally and could encounter issues. The brake fluid, rotors, and pads should all be looked at with routine brake inspections as a part of your EV’s scheduled maintenance.
Tire rotations reduce tire wear and ensure even tread depth across all four tires. This minimizes how often you will need to replace your tires. Like gas vehicles, all-electric and hybrid vehicles should have their tires rotated once every 6,000 miles. If your EV manufacturer suggests another maintenance schedule, it’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s advice.
Other Electric Car Maintenance Tips
Every six months, flush corrosive materials and winter salt stains off your electric car. To do this, use a neutral or acidic cleaner, such as a combination of water and white vinegar. Also, check tire pressure monthly to ensure you are within the recommended range, and note any excess tear.
Other parts of your electric car may need maintenance over time, such as the suspension, steering, and lights. While the system EVs are built on are significantly different, they are not entirely so unalike a gas-powered vehicle that they won’t require some upkeep.