There are many benefits to owning an electric vehicle, including being better for the environment, saving you money when it comes to gas, and avoiding other gas engine related maintenance like oil changes. But even though electric vehicles might require less maintenance than traditional engine cars, this does not mean they don’t require any maintenance at all.
Keeping up with these five aspects of maintenance will ensure that you can get the most out of your electric vehicle and save you from problems down the road.
Arguably the most important component when it comes to electric vehicles, your car’s battery is the equivalent of a traditional car’s engine. Therefore it is crucial to maintain the battery as this can affect its performance, longevity, and residual value later on.
While electric car batteries degrade over time just like engines do, there are some things drivers can do to help prevent the battery from degrading and extend its life lifecycle.
- Do not drain your battery completely empty often, this can also be said for charging the battery to full capacity often as well. Charging your battery repeatedly and draining it to empty can degrade the battery over time. Instead, it is best to keep your battery between 80-20%. Road trips are an exception as you can take full advantage of your battery’s mileage range, but during everyday driving, it is best to avoid overcharging and draining the battery to empty.
- When possible, avoid leaving your electric car in extreme temperatures as both hot and cold temperatures can negatively affect your battery’s performance. Try keeping your car in a shaded area during hot temperatures and in a garage during cold temperatures as this can help increase your battery’s range.
Electric vehicles have a regenerative braking system that differs from traditional engine cars. This system uses the car’s battery resistance to slow the car down, minimizing the use of traditional friction brakes. Even though the regenerative braking system is doing most of the work when braking, electric cars still have friction brakes. Therefore keeping up with your brake pads and rotors, along with brake fluid, will ensure your brakes are always performing the way they were designed to.
Tire rotation and alignment are important aspects to maintain in all car types. While electric vehicle owners should follow the manufacturer’s maintenance timeline, it is important to routinely check tire pressure and tread as electric vehicles can wear down the tires faster. This is suspected because of the increased torque and weight of electric vehicles. Additionally, there are tire options specifically designed for electric vehicles that can help prolong any wear and tear.
Maintaining your electric vehicle’s fluids is necessary to avoid overheating electrical components such as the charger, inverter, and battery. Additionally, air conditioning systems in electric vehicles will require coolant flushes that can range from 50k miles up to 150k miles. Drivers should consult with their owner’s manual and be aware of when and how often these procedures should take place.
Although rare, direct-drive or multi-speed transmissions of electric vehicles may need lubricant. This is usually a sealed system that does not need to be changed but that isn’t always the case. Drivers should consult with their owner’s manual and find out if and when these services are required for their electric vehicles.
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