Electric vehicles (EVs) are rapidly transforming the automotive landscape, offering eco-friendly and efficient transportation solutions. While EVs are known for their low maintenance requirements compared to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, proper upkeep is still crucial for maximizing their longevity and performance.
In this guide, we’ll provide practical maintenance advice and debunk common misconceptions surrounding electric vehicle maintenance to help you ensure your EV stays in optimal condition.
1. EV Battery Care and Management
The battery is the heart of an electric vehicle, so proper care is essential. EV batteries are also pretty expensive to replace. Fortunately, they are designed to last for many years with appropriate care. Here are a few tips to get the maximum longevity out of your battery.
First, avoid extreme temperatures whenever possible. Extreme heat or cold can degrade the battery’s capacity. For Austinites, that means parking in shaded areas and taking other precautions to protect your car from heat. While we don’t always get freezing weather in the winter, it’s best to keep your car inside if you have a garage.
Next, try to maintain moderate charge levels. While EVs have sophisticated battery management systems, it’s still best to avoid charging your battery to 100% or letting it drop to 0% frequently. Aim to keep your battery between 20% and 80% charge for optimal longevity. It’s unlikely the battery will fail entirely if you fully charge or deplete it, but it can shorten the lifespan.
While fast charging is convenient, frequent use of rapid chargers can lead to slightly quicker battery degradation over time. Use them when needed but rely on slower charging for daily use. Fortunately, frequent charging should be fine for your battery, so don’t be afraid to charge more often to maintain a comfortable level.
2. Brake System Maintenance
Due to regenerative braking, EVs experience less wear on traditional brake components. However, it’s still essential to inspect and maintain your brake system.
We recommend regular brake checks by a professional. Even with reduced wear on the brake system, it’s wise to have inspections at recommended intervals to ensure proper functionality.
Your mechanic can also tell you if it’s time for a brake fluid replacement. Brake fluid absorbs moisture over time, affecting brake performance. You can also follow manufacturer guidelines for brake fluid replacement to maintain braking efficiency.
3. Tire Maintenance
Taking care of your tires is crucial, no matter your vehicle type. EVs are no different; there are even some added considerations regarding MPGe.
First, be sure to maintain the correct tire pressure. Properly inflated tires reduce rolling resistance, improving energy efficiency. Check tire pressure regularly and inflate them to the recommended levels. You can handle this yourself, although we’re always happy to lend a hand.
Remember to have your tires rotated. Regular tire rotation ensures even wear and extends tire lifespan. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended rotation schedule as part of your regular electric vehicle. If you book a full oil change service with us, we’ll get your tires rotated when necessary.
4. Cooling System and HVAC Maintenance
EVs use a cooling system to regulate battery temperature and maintain efficient operation. Ensure the cooling system is functioning correctly to prevent battery overheating. If you notice unusual temperature readings, consult a professional.
Did you know using your vehicle’s HVAC system can impact your EV’s range? Especially in our hot Austin summers, try preconditioning your EV while charging to optimize cabin temperature before driving. Your car will be comfortable when you get in and still start with a charged battery.
5. Transmission and Drivetrain
Unlike internal combustion engine vehicles, EVs have fewer moving parts in their drivetrain, resulting in less maintenance. However, if your EV has a transmission, follow manufacturer guidelines for fluid checks and replacements.
6. Software Updates
Modern EVs often receive software updates that can enhance performance, fix bugs, and even extend battery life. Regularly check for and install software updates the manufacturer provides to ensure your EV’s systems are current.
7. Professional Electric Vehicle Maintenance
While EVs typically require less maintenance than traditional vehicles, professional inspections are still essential.
Stick to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule to address potential issues early. It’s also best to seek out technicians experienced with electric vehicle maintenance and repairs. We have several technicians with specialized EV training on staff who can help you get the most out of your vehicle.
Electric vehicles offer a promising future of eco-friendly and efficient transportation, but only with proper maintenance. Ensure your EV’s longevity and performance by following these practical tips. With a bit of care and attention, your EV will continue to deliver a smooth, efficient, and enjoyable driving experience for many years. Schedule an appointment today to help stay on top of your Electric vehicle maintenance.