As more and more people make the switch to electric vehicles, we’re reminded of the numerous benefits of EVs – they’re less impactful on the environment, soaring fuel prices are of no concern and you’ll save time and money on maintaining your vehicle.
While it’s certainly true that you shouldn’t need to see your mechanic as often as with standard petrol or diesel vehicles, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to conduct basic maintenance on electric cars.
So, what should you do to ensure your electric vehicle continues to run safely? Find out our top 5 tips for maintaining EVs below.
1. Battery Maintenance
Although expected to last the lifespan of the car itself, the advanced lithium batteries used in most electric vehicles have a limited number of charging cycles and so the most important maintenance task you should carry out on your EV is a regular battery check.
Certified EV mechanics can determine the health of your battery by assessing the battery fluid levels, filler openings and connections, as well as checking the battery’s cycle count.
Most Electric cars are able to surpass 100,000 miles with regular servicing, but there are still a few situations you should avoid in order to extend the life of your EV’s battery:
- Charging the battery to 100% (between 20% and 80% charge is the optimum level for the lifetime cycle count)
- Braking too aggressively
- Charging in direct sunlight
- Consuming battery power with multiple in-vehicle devices
- Frequently using the “quick charging” feature as opposed to completing a full charge cycle
2. Brake Fluid Change
Electric vehicles primarily use regenerative braking rather than traditional friction brakes, meaning brake discs and pads are subject to less wear and tear. It’s important to note, however, that the battery packs in EV’s make them heavier than traditional petrol or diesel cars and all that extra weight means that the brakes work harder when they are used and so can still deteriorate over time.
You’ll need to ensure you check the brake fluid regularly as this is crucial in keeping the brakes functioning optimally. Fluid changes are completed by qualified mechanics, usually every two years, but it’s worth visually checking your brake fluid levels frequently to ensure there are no faults or leaks in the system.
Keeping your fluid levels topped off can reduce the likelihood of brake system failure and save you a potentially eye-watering repair bill.
3. Tyre Rotations
EV tyres are known for their strength, efficiency, light weight quality and long-lasting properties. With prices for replacing these tyres, extremely costly, it’s recommended to rotate your electric vehicle’s tyres to get the most use from them before inevitably having to fork out for a replacement.
It’s common practise to rotate your tyres with every or every alternate oil change, but since electric cars don’t require oil changes, it can be more difficult to keep track of when you should next rotate your tyres.
The recommendation for completing electric vehicle tyre rotations is every 5,000 – 10,000 miles and with sensible driving habits and the correct maintenance, it’s likely you can make them last to the higher end of the mileage spectrum.
4. Wheel Alignments
If you notice that your electric vehicle is pulling to one side or shaking violently, it could be time to get your wheels re-aligned.
The correct wheel-alignment on your electric car will not only improve its mile range but will reduce tyre tread wear and ultimately increase your tyre’s lifespan by up to 15,000 miles.
5. Maintain Your EV Charging System
Your home EV charging station needs maintenance as well which is primarily a matter of storing cables securely and checking the equipment periodically for damage or wear.
Exposure to the elements can also cause parts of the EV charging system to fail prematurely and so it’s recommended to cover your charging system or store it indoors where possible, especially in harsher climates.
A Typical EV Maintenance Schedule
While maintenance will vary per model, here are some general guidelines for maintaining your electric vehicle:
- Check coolant level
- Inspect windshield fluid level
- Inspect interior and exterior lights
- Inspect tyre pressure and tread wear
Every 6 Months:
- Use plain water to flush corrosive materials such as road salt from the underbody of the vehicle
- Check battery fluid levels and connections
- Check cooling system fluid level
- Inspect seat belts for efficacy
Every 12 months:
- Annual electric vehicle Service
- Annual MOT (Yes, you still need an MOT for an Electric vehicle)
- Inspect and test brakes
Every 2 years or 10,000 miles:
- Tyre rotation
- Brake fluid change
Electric Vehicle servicing, Repairs and MOTs at Autocare Centre Chepstow
If you are searching for a fully qualified mechanic offering electric car servicing in and around the Chepstow area, including Major, Caldicot, Rogiet and Newport, we can help.
At our Autocare Centre in Chepstow, we provide full servicing for electric vehicles and have the skills and equipment in-house to deal with common faults exclusive to electric cars, including issues with the charging cable and battery.
To find out more, or to arrange a service or MOT for your electric vehicle, call us on 01291 627137 or fill out our contact form.