13 electric cars winter maintenance tips:
- Consider parking inside
- Invest in thermal insulation
- Keep the vehicle plugged in
- Consider heating the cabin
- Use power save modes
- Lower the wheel pressure
- Consider winter wheels
- Limit long trips
- Check your windshield wiper fluid
- Keep up with your scheduled maintenance
- Invest in heated seats or steering wheels
- Review your driving speed
- Follow eco-driving
Electric vehicles are now part of our daily life, considering the rising number of people switching to electric cars. With most environmental specialists advocating for saving the environment and preventing automotive pollution, it is expected that you will see more and more electric vehicles on the roads worldwide.
Most automotive experts and writers focus on the impact of the winter season on regular gasoline cars, and very few focus on how to maintain your electric vehicles in winter. Unfortunately, this makes it challenging for many people who prefer to DIY to take care of their vehicles during the winter season and prevent major breakdowns.
This article collects and summarizes 13 electric cars in winter maintenance tips to help you enjoy your electric vehicle during the winter season without dealing with any sudden issues that impact your driving experience.
13 electric cars winter maintenance tips
Since it's already November and winter is right there, we must be proactive about protecting our electric vehicles and maintaining their health to help our vehicle service during the entire winter season.
1- Consider parking inside
One of the first things that help improve the performance of your electric vehicle in winter is to maintain parking inside and a covered or closed garage. Even if your garage is not fully heated, it is still better than leaving your vehicle to get impacted by the strong wind that could drop the vehicle temperature significantly.
According to automotive experts, you'll notice a difference for every 1 degree warmer impacting your vehicle, and the more you keep it inside, the better it is for the battery's life.
2- Invest in thermal insulation
If you don't have a closed garage, consider investing in certain thermal insulation to help keep your vehicle warm during the winter season. Keep in mind that some vehicles might have certain heating systems to prevent them from freezing during low temperatures. However, it might be worth investing in thermal insulation to prevent any potential drop in temperature.
3- Keep the vehicle plugged in
There is a very common discussion that you must never overcharge your electric vehicle. However, if you own a PHEV and have a hybrid car, some experts showed that it is better to keep it plugged in during the winter season because this keeps it much warmer and therefore enhances the lifespan of your battery.
4- Consider heating the cabin
Before you take your vehicle and head to work or your errands, you must consider heating the cabin before unplugging the vehicle. When hitting the cabin, you'll use much more energy than usual, and that's why allowing your vehicle to hit up when it's plugged in helps you save on battery and expands the lifetime of your vehicle.
Therefore, if you're planning to head for an important errand or trip in the morning, consider waking up a little bit earlier and starting the heating system in the vehicle to warm it up before leaving.
5- Use power save modes
One of the biggest advantages of driving an electric car is enjoying the first initial torque that helps your vehicle go without needing to read first. In other words, if you start an electric car and compare it to how you start a gasoline vehicle, you'll see a big difference, especially in that initial immediate torque.
While this is a great feature of many electric vehicles, it can be challenging during the winter season. In other words, when your vehicle provides you with this initial immediate torque, you'll see that your wheel performs a complete spin to generate this Turk, and that could cause slip situations. Therefore, experts recommend using some power save modes to help prevent the wheel slip.
6- Lower the wheel pressure
Lowering your wheel pressure is another great winter electric car maintenance tip related to the previous point. When you lower the wheel pressure, you'll prevent the complete wheel spin at the initial immediate torque, preventing vehicles from slipping and improving traction to the road.
7- Consider winter wheels
Whether you're driving an electric vehicle or a normal car, it is critical to understand the importance of your vehicle’s wheels. If you live in an area with a very harsh winter, it might be worth investing in these winter wheels.
Winter wheels are designed to provide you with more capabilities to get your vehicle attracted to the road properly this way; you don't have to worry about slipping or other issues related to icy or snowy roads.
Keep in mind that winter wheels are more expensive. You must carefully evaluate the situation before you spend a penny on these wheels because certain all-season wheels might do the job for you, so you don't have to worry about changing the wheels every season.
8- Limit long trips
One of the very common issues about most electric vehicles is the limited range. The range causes a lot of anxiety to too many drivers, which can be a big deal when it comes to driving in the winter season. In addition, when the temperature drops below a certain point, your vehicle's battery will not function as it should; therefore, you'll even deal with shorter ranges.
Therefore, if you're used to making long trips with your electric vehicle during any season, you should think twice when you drive in the winter season. Note that if your vehicle ran out of power, the only way to get out of the situation is to get it towed to your house. Towing an electric vehicle is not a simple job because it requires a certain flatbed service, which is way more expensive than most common services.
Thus, to avoid getting stuck in nowhere or paying extra money for towing service, consider limiting or reviewing your trips and eliminate longer ones as much as possible.
9- Check your windshield wiper fluid
If you're driving an electric car or any other car, you'll need to have enough windshield wiper fluids because this fluid might be useful during certain situations. There are many types of windshield wiper fluids that you might want to consider, including those designed specifically for the winter season.
Winter windshield wiper fluid has certain additives to prevent ice from building up on the windshield, making your life easier during the winter season. Note that the winter windshield wiper fluid might not be the best for summer, which means that you'll have to flush it out and use a different one for the summer season.
Again, before investing in a winter windshield wiper fluid, evaluate your situation and see whether you want to use the all-season type wiper fluid that works perfectly for all seasons, depending on how harsh winter is.
10- Keep up with your scheduled maintenance
Finally, you must go through your vehicle's owner’s manual to know what other scheduled maintenance you must perform. Yes, electric vehicles do not require an oil change or other common types of scheduled maintenance. Still, they have their own, which means that before dealing with the winter season, consider reviewing this maintenance and perform what's needed to illuminate sudden breakdowns during winter.
11- Invest in heated seats or steering wheels
Since heating the cabin will take a lot of energy from your vehicle, some experts recommend investing in certain extra accessories that help illuminate the heated cabin as much as possible. For example, some drivers might prefer installing heated seats or other aftermarkets steering wheel heaters.
In some instances, many drivers prefer to wear jackets rather than turning on the heated cabin to save as much as possible on energy.
12- Review your driving speed
According to recent statistics, if you reduce your driving speeds on an older car, you'll achieve a significant improvement in your vehicle's range. Therefore, allow yourself to slow your vehicle down for a couple of miles per hour to enjoy longer ranges and prevent running out of power in nowhere.
13- Follow eco-driving
There's a whole field of recommendations about certain tips to implement when driving your vehicle, referred to as equal or economy driving modes. For instance, you might want to slow down when you accelerate or probably slow down when using the braking system. This way, you'll maximize the amount of power and improve your vehicle's efficiency.
It's also important that you eliminate consecutive breaking for no reason because it impacts your battery's efficiency and wastes energy without any reason. Therefore, it is critical that you be mindful about wind to engage the braking system and how to engage it.
Do electric cars need oil changes?
The short answer is no.
Electric cars are equipped with electric motors that do not require any oil. Therefore, if you thought that oil change is a necessary maintenance tip for electric vehicles, that's incorrect.
Unlike electric vehicles, vehicles equipped with a gasoline engine require a specific amount of oil to keep the engine lubricated and prevent engine overheating. This oil must be maintained at the optimum level and needs to be changed depending on what's specified in the vehicle's owner’s manual.
That's one of the best luxuries about driving an electric car that you never need to think about oil changes, and you don't have to worry about your engine overheating because of low oil levels. But, of course, this doesn't mean that electric vehicles don't overheat, but they have specific systems to cool them down, and these systems are linked to neither the cooling system nor the motor oil.
How cold is too cold for electric cars?
According to recent statistics, vehicles' temperature problem is 40 degrees Fahrenheit, considered a cold temperature. Therefore, you must maintain an optimum temperature surrounding your electric vehicle to prevent battery issues.
The biggest problem with dropping the temperature on your vehicle's battery is related to how your battery performs. Whether you’re driving an electric car or any normal vehicle, batteries are expected to lose some of their efficiency when the temperature is very cold. Since the battery is the core component in an electric vehicle, you will notice a significant drop in the vehicle's overall performance because of an issue that impacted the battery.
With the increase of electric vehicle production nowadays, many automotive experts are working very hard to design cars that withstand colder temperatures much better by having certain modes that help keep the vehicle warm and reduce cold weather impact on the battery.
Winter impacts your electric car in many ways, and you must implement all necessary maintenance to extend the lifetime of your electric car and prevent sudden breakdowns during winter.
This article walked you through 13 winter electric car maintenance tips to help you get out of the winter season without needing a different vehicle than your favorite electric car. However, if your electric vehicle is not in good condition and you're about to enter the winter season, it might be the perfect timing to sell your vehicle and use its money to buy a vehicle that doesn't have any problem.
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