Keeping up with vehicle maintenance requires careful planning and discipline. While short-term expenses can be budgeted, some long-term savings goals take time to anticipate, such as the cost of future repairs or replacement parts.
Electric cars are different from traditional gasoline or diesel engines, as they don’t need fuel or an engine to keep running. They also have 90% fewer moving parts.
Check the Battery
Electric vehicles (EVs) possess more moving components than traditional vehicles, leading to an increased maintenance requirement. Fortunately, the majority of these maintenance tasks are straightforward. Nonetheless, one critical yet frequently neglected service is examining electric car parts, emphasizing the essential component – the battery.
The most expensive and most significant component of an EV is its battery pack, which needs to be checked regularly. Over time, the battery pack’s performance degrades and becomes less efficient. Regular checkups can spot problems before they become costly repairs.
Other items to check include the power inverter, AC system, and chargers. It’s also wise to keep track of how the vehicle is used. It is preferable to minimize the use of specific services, such as pre-heating and cooling, as they consume a lot of energy and deplete the battery.
Besides performing these routine checks, staying up-to-date on software or firmware updates is essential. This ensures your EV operates at peak efficiency and includes the latest features. Some manufacturers offer these upgrades over the air, while others require a visit to the dealership. These upgrades are essential for improving an EV’s performance, safety, and security.
Check the Tires
Like any car, EVs have tires, brakes, and other parts that require regular inspection, rotation, maintenance, or replacement. EVs are heavier than most gas vehicles and have instant torque that can cause the car to slip on slippery roads. This can be prevented by a good set of snow tires in winter, sensible driving habits, and regular tire rotation and inspections.
Also, EVs use regenerative braking to recapture energy and boost range, which requires less wear on the brake rotors than a conventional car. However, the brake pads still need to be replaced periodically.
Fortunately, an owner can efficiently perform many of these routine maintenance tasks. In addition to primary cabin air filter and wiper blade replacements, it is essential to maintain adequate coolant levels in the battery and engine and keep up with software updates. Keeping up with the recommended maintenance plan will protect the EV’s warranty and help it run efficiently and safely for years. Following a safe and efficient charging schedule for the battery pack is also crucial.
Check the Brakes
Just like traditional cars, EVs need regular maintenance to function correctly. According to Bruce Chidsey, a vice president of automotive technical support, these services should include flushing corrosive materials such as road salt. It is also essential to check and replace brake fluid to prevent corrosion. Similarly, checking and rotating the tires will ensure proper handling and a smooth ride.
While regenerative braking systems may reduce the need for traditional brake pads, they still wear down and must be replaced. EV owners should consult their manual for specific maintenance recommendations, including how often to change the brake pad.
EVs also need coolant to manage battery temperatures, which can otherwise cause lasting damage and possibly even a fire. While most mechanics are now familiar with working on EVs, it is still essential to check the coolant levels regularly and top them off as needed. This is especially true for drivers in hot climates where the batteries can be exposed to intense heat. They also need to keep the tires inflated at their recommended pressure level, improving driving performance and safety and increasing the range.
Check the Electrical System
An electric car needs a few other essential electrical parts besides the battery and motor. These include the alternator, which recharges your battery every time you turn on the vehicle. Without a working alternator, your car won’t be able to start. A professional can check out if you suspect something is wrong with your alternator.
Another essential part of an EV’s electrical system is the fuse box. A fuse shuts off the current flow within a circuit if it becomes overloaded or damaged, which helps prevent dangerous situations such as fires and explosions. If you notice that your fuses are frequently blowing, it’s likely time to replace them.
Maintaining an electric vehicle is much less expensive than a traditional gas-powered vehicle. EVs don’t require oil changes or have to deal with many moving parts like transmissions and radiators. Furthermore, most EVs have regenerative braking that reduces brake wear, reducing maintenance costs.
Check the Engine
Like any car, an EV needs maintenance. However, the standard electric vehicle has fewer parts than traditional cars—typically half as many. This means less to go wrong with and a lot of savings in potential repair costs.
However, EVs have other maintenance items, such as cabin air filters, tires, and suspension components. Additionally, EVs may need to replace other parts unique to the vehicle’s function. For example, EVs use regenerative braking to slow the car, which can place extra stress on brake pads and discs. To help avoid this, you can monitor brake fluid levels in your EV and top them up as needed.
Some EVs also use liquid-cooling systems to manage their batteries’ temperatures. These systems require coolant that can be flushed and replaced as needed. It is essential to check the level of this liquid regularly and to avoid complete charge cycles to help prevent damage and corrosion to the battery system. You should consult your owner manual for recommended maintenance intervals for your specific model.