Electric Cars

Electric Car Maintenance: How It Works

July 20, 2021

Electric Car Maintenance: How It Works

If you’ve owned a conventional gas-powered car, you’re familiar with the typical maintenance that is required to keep it on the road. There are the engine oil and filter replacements every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, the tire rotations and new tires when needed, the brake pads and eventually, rotors. There’s checking all the fluids including brake, power steering, transmission and coolant. You also have to check and sometimes replace the hoses, belts and seals, replacing the windshield wipers and even the battery every few years.

Compare all of that with what is required for an all-electric car, which is both cheaper in maintenance costs over the long haul and more affordable to keep running when charging at home. Conventional autos have dozens of mechanical components that require service, repair or replacement. With an electric car, you don’t have to pay for tune-ups, oil changes, cooling system flushes, spark plugs, drive belts, transmission and differential servicing. There’s no fuel pump or water pump to go bad, no radiator to service or replace, no leaking engine gaskets, no gummed-up fuel injection system. In fact, electric cars with all their amazing technology are really quite simple to maintain and cost roughly one third of what you’d typically spend to keep a gas-powered car serviced.

How EV Maintenance Works

You’ll be saving money on the fuel and the maintenance costs with your new EV. So, what can you expect to maintain your electric car? Automakers suggest that EV owners follow a series of periodic checks and services in order to keep your vehicle warranty in effect. This comes down to various mechanical inspections.

What You Need to Service

As with any vehicle, you’ll need to check your tire pressure. Properly inflated tires give you better mileage. Rotate the tires and inspect them for wear. Depending on how the tire tread is wearing, you could eventually need a wheel alignment. This is noticeable if the car pulls to one side or the other.

You’ll need to replace the air filter in the cabin, check and replace the windshield wiper blades when needed, and top off the windshield washer fluid. All of these simple services can be performed by a trained technician at your local dealership.

Your EV Maintenance Schedule

The maintenance schedule for an electric car is very simple compared to the traditional 30,000, 60,000, 90,000 services of gas-powered cars that you are familiar with. Servicing is also much less expensive.

Every 30 days:

  • Check the tire pressure.
  • Examine the tires for excess wear.
  • Check the windshield washer fluid and fill if needed.

Every 7,500 miles:

  • Have the tires rotated.
  • Check the coolant level of the battery.
  • Check the cabin heater, power inverter, accessory power, and charger modules.
  • Inspect the brakes, steering, suspension, and chassis components for unusual wear or damage.
  • Check the power steering and drive shafts for wear.
  • Lubricate the door locks and inspect the gas struts for signs of suspension wear.
  • Check the vehicle’s various light bulbs and replace if necessary.

At 15,000 miles:

  • Replace the windshield wiper blades.

At 36,000 miles:

  • Replace the cabin air filter.

At 75,000 miles:

  • Replace the suspension gas struts.
  • Drain and service the coolant circuits.

Battery Life

An electric vehicle’s battery pack is its costliest component to replace but the manufacturers’ warranty on the battery components is generally 8-years or 100,000 miles. Some automakers offer extended warranties on the batteries. After years of service, the batteries in an EV lose some of their range but still offer good performance. Many electric car owners trade in their EV before the warranty ends so they never have to really deal with replacing the battery pack, which can cost over $5,000.

Brakes

EVs use regenerative braking systems. That means they use the kinetic energy from the car under braking to charge the vehicle’s battery. These systems last longer than conventional braking systems because they are much more gentle on the brake pads.

The Worry-Free Road Ahead

All services listed here can be performed by a trained ASE technician at your local dealership. To find a dealership near you, click on our Dealer Locator at https://www.lithia.com/locations/store-locations.htm