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Everything You Need to Know About Electric Car Maintenance Basics

Everything You Need to Know About Electric Car Maintenance Basics

While many people may become intimidated by the unfamiliar, thinking electric cars are much more difficult to maintain than conventional cars — the truth is that HEVs (hybrid electric vehicles) and PHEVs (Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) require the same general maintenance as conventional vehicles. And EVs actually require less maintenance due to fewer moving components and fluids to change. Some of the electric car maintenance basics include checking tire condition and adjusting it as necessary and checking windshield washer fluid done monthly, tire rotation upon reaching 5,000 to 10, 000 miles, fluid change of its direct-drive or multi-speed transmission and checking coolant level to avoid your key electrical components from overheating. We will discuss electric car maintenance basics further in this article.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


Do electric cars cost less to maintain?

 

Not only are the electric car maintenance basics fewer but it also costs less. Though electric vehicles are still more expensive to buy than their gasoline-powered counterparts, they are often less expensive to keep running because of low-cost home charging. Electric vehicles also save their owners money in the long run by requiring less maintenance.

 

This is because electric vehicles eliminate more than a half-dozen mechanical components that would otherwise need to be serviced on a regular basis. Tune-ups, oil changes, cooling system flushes, gearbox servicing, and replacing the air filter, spark plugs, and drive belts are all things that an EV owner avoids paying for. According to sources, electric car owners pay around a third of what conventionally powered vehicle owners do on routine maintenance.


 

EVs are not, however, maintenance-free. To keep the vehicle's warranty valid, all automakers require owners to perform a series of routine inspections and servicing. Your car may not be covered if it needs repairs if you don't follow the prescribed schedule.

 

How often does an electric car need to be serviced?

 

Here is a list of electric car maintenance basic schedule:

 

  • Monthly done by yourself

 

Inspect the tire pressure and make any required adjustments. You'll need to check your tire pressure just like any other car if you want properly inflated tires that can provide higher mileage. Check the windshield washer fluid level and top it up if needed.

 

  • Every 5,000 – 10,000 miles:

 

Make sure the tires are rotated every 5,000 – 10,000 miles. But you must follow the manufacturer's recommendations here as well, especially if your vehicle has directional rubber or staggered front/back tire sizes. To be clear, the tires on electric automobiles wear out just like those on gas-powered vehicles. You may need a wheel alignment in the future, depending on how the tire tread wears. One symptom of worn out tires is if the car pulls to one side or the other.

 

Look at the battery, cabin heater, power inverter, accessory power, and charger modules for coolant levels. Most electric vehicles use coolant or refrigerant to keep important electrical components like the charger, inverter, and battery pack from overheating. However, maintaining the cooling system's performance may necessitate infrequent coolant flushes or (in the case of air conditioning) refrigerant recharges. To discover the suggested interval for doing this service for your specific EV, consult your owner's manual.

 

Check for fluid leaks visually. Examine the brakes. Check for damage to the steering, suspension, and chassis components visually. Excessive wear, leaks, or damage should be checked on the power steering, half shafts, and driveshafts.

 

Check the restraint system like the airbags. Body parts like the door locks should be lubricated. Check for damage, excessive effort, or binding on the accelerator pedal, and replace if necessary. Look for signs of wear, cracks, or other damage on the gas struts (suspension). If your vehicle has one, look at the tire sealant's expiration date.

 

  • Bi-annual electric car maintenance basics

 

Using plain water, flush corrosive elements (such as road salt) from the underbody. Road salt can cause rust to form on your car's concealed parts, slowly eroding the metal. Rust might take years to appear on the car's exterior. As a result, you must wash it off thoroughly before it develops corrosion.

 

  • Every 15,000 miles:

 

Replace the wiper blades on your windshield. Wiper blades are constructed of rubber, so after a few months of wiping snow, rain, and dust off your windshield, they will gradually wear out. You could get them replaced at a mechanic's shop, but it's just as simple to do it yourself. For the vast majority of cars on the road, the installation procedure is the same.

 

  • After every 36,000 miles or even more frequently

 

The cabin air filter should be replaced (more frequently if necessary). Cabin filters protect the vehicle interior and occupants from aerosols, foul odors, fine dust, bacteria and fine dust. Replace them every 15 000 kilometers or once a year, according to Bosch, especially before pollen and hay allergy season.

 

  • Approximately every 75,000 miles:

 

Replace the gas struts that support the hood and/or body lift. Your car's shocks and struts are part of the suspension system, and they assist in protecting your engine and the rest of your vehicle from road bumps. Although individual struts can be replaced, it is more common to have both struts replaced at the same time.

 

  • Five times a year:

 

Drain and refill the vehicle's cooling system. Brake fluid should be replaced. It's critical that you study all of the handbooks that came with your vehicle to understand more about its specific requirements. However, most big electric vehicles, such as Tesla brand vehicles, have their braking fluid checked and refilled every two years on average. For Nissan branded automobiles, replace every five years.

 

When it comes to electric vehicles, the most common maintenance issue is changing the brake fluid. But it's crucial to keep in mind that more brake services may be required in the future. Electric vehicles include regenerative braking, which means that when you take your foot off the gas pedal, the electric motor turns into a generator and utilises the kinetic energy in your vehicle.

 

Your vehicle will recharge the lithium-ion battery to generate electricity, slowing down your vehicle in the process. Though this may appear perplexing to the ordinary driver, it essentially means that your electric vehicle will use the braking rotor and pads far less than a traditional vehicle. As a result, your brake pads and rotors will last much longer.

 

Even in electric vehicles, brake pads and rotors must be replaced eventually, although lasting much longer. You'll have to keep an eye on them and have them examined if they start to show symptoms of wear, but they should last up to twice as long as regular brake pads and rotors. Brake calipers should also be cleaned and oiled once a year.

 

  • Seven times a year

 

Change the desiccant in the air conditioner. (In a mobile air conditioning system, it collects and stores moisture to assist avoid corrosion.) Heating a vehicle consumes a significant amount of energy. Electric vehicles (EVs) produce very little waste heat, and using battery energy for heating could consume a significant portion of the energy storage capacity, lowering vehicle range, which is one of the most critical factors in evaluating EV acceptance.

 

Because it absorbs the water vapor generated by the passengers, a desiccant dehumidifier can lower the heating load in a vehicle by preventing water condensation on the windows without requiring a high external air ventilation rate or a high window temperature. The results show that under typical conditions, the desiccant dehumidifier can lower the steady-state heating load by 60% or more.

 

Under most ambient conditions, waste heat may be sufficient to provide the required heating due to the reduction in heating load, making the replacement of desiccant one important element of electric car maintenance basics.

 

But just because an electric car requires less maintenance does not mean it is bulletproof. Owners of electric vehicles will eventually need to replace tires, have their brakes serviced, and may be necessary to replace steering and suspension components, hoses, headlamps, and taillights, among other things. If your automobile pulls to one side or has uneven tire wear, you'll need a wheel alignment, just like any other vehicle.

 

There's also the battery pack, which is by far the most expensive component of an electric vehicle. Over time, all electric car batteries degrade and lose some of their ability to retain a full charge, however this occurs gradually. It's more of a problem with older EVs that could only get 80 miles on a charge than with today's crop of 200-mile-plus vehicles.

 

Only a small number of electric cars have apparently degenerated to the point where they need to be replaced. Even yet, if you hold an EV long enough, its range may deteriorate, and if it becomes inconvenient, you may need to replace the battery pack or trade the vehicle in for a new one.

 

Battery Pack Maintenance

 

One of the most important electric car maintenance basics is taking care of your electric car battery. The electric motor and battery pack in an EV degrade with time, just like the mechanical parts that drive a car or truck with an internal combustion engine. Owners can, however, take a number of steps to extend the life of their electric vehicle's battery pack.

 

One of the things you must do to take care of your electric car battery is avoiding extreme temperatures. Extremely hot and cold temperatures both have a detrimental impact on battery performance. Nonetheless, during vehicle construction, manufacturers usually account for such temperature extremes, and most EVs have appropriate auxiliary cooling and heating systems to keep battery pack temperatures comfortable.

 

Secondly, you must be careful not to always fully charge and completely deplete the battery. Charging an electric vehicle to full capacity and then turning it off risks damaging the battery pack. Many EV manufacturers, thankfully, disallow full-capacity charging to prevent battery degeneration. Also avoid utilizing fast chargers on a regular basis. Fast-charging “Fast Chargers” degrade battery packs faster than traditional, slower charging techniques like a Level 2 charger.

 

 

Do electric cars need lubricants?

 

Yes. Electric cars need lubricants but not just any other lubricants. Developing lubricants for electric vehicles is a tough task because each original equipment manufacturer has their own unique electric motor design, necessitating the development of a specific lubricant for their electric motors to meet their performance requirements.

 

EV lubricants have more stringent technical requirements than ICE lubricants. Antiwear performance, friction reduction, efficiency, electrical compatibility and insulation, and electric motor and battery pack cooling are just a few of the critical characteristics that lubricants must meet.

 

With the importance of CO2 emission reduction, electric vehicle (EV) advancements have taken massive jumps in global interest. This is in line with the worldwide goal of creating a society that is green and eco-friendly. As the automobile industry progresses toward a new era in which electric vehicles will dominate the world's roads, a new set of lubricants and oils must be developed specifically to meet the performance requirements of the electrical and gear components in EVs.

 

The purpose of current and future EV lubricant development is to reduce friction loss, improve durability, boost efficiency, and improve other performance factors. Satisfying those key EV objectives will pave the path for a more environmentally friendly future.

Should I charge my electric car every night?

 

Although you may be tempted to charge your electric car each night in fear of not being able to cover your driving distance the next day, you still should not charge your electric car every night as a general rule. Kia.com reported that in actuality, most people travel an average of 37 miles/59.5 kilometers every day. Many of the newest electric cars have a range of over 200 miles (322 kilometers) on a single charge, allowing them to easily cover daily driving.

 

What you should be worried about is overcharging. There's no need to be concerned whenever you plug in, but keep in mind that every time a battery is charged whether by 5% or 55% it goes through a charging cycle, which stresses the battery. So the habit of charging an electric vehicle every night can reduce the battery pack's lifespan. It's still vital to remember that the battery charging instructions in the car's owner's manual should always be followed.