Do electric cars need servicing?
Electric vehicles (EV) are becoming more common with each passing day, as internal combustion engines (ICE) become less standard and electric cars gradually become more popular. But for many people, how they actually work and how they need to be maintained is still a bit of a mystery.
The expert mechanics at Highfields Mechanical are here to help answer any questions you might have about electric vehicle servicing and what you need to know about maintaining an electric car.
What needs servicing in an electric car?
One question you might have is: do electric cars need mechanics at all? It can be easy to think your electric car would only need an auto electrician, but in reality, electric vehicles do need a professional mechanic, just like the car you grew up with.
Your specially-trained electric vehicle mechanic will be able to perform all of the necessary checks and maintenance that your car needs to keep running smoothly. But what exactly makes an electric car service different from a standard service?
What’s different from a regular service?
The main and most obvious difference between maintenance on EV and ICE vehicles is that EVs don’t have an engine that needs to be serviced regularly. The electric motor itself is a fully enclosed unit that doesn’t require any internal maintenance like a traditional car might. In fact, most of these motors are expected to last between 15–20 years without needing to be replaced or even opened.
This means that there’s no need to swap out all of the small consumable parts that make up an internal combustion engine, such as the various belts, fans, spark plugs and filters that are part of a traditional mechanic’s checklist during a routine service. There are also no emissions-related systems like the muffler, exhaust pipes or catalytic converters – with an EV, they simply aren’t needed.
What’s the same as a regular service?
There are still quite a few components in an EV that would be familiar to a traditional mechanic and require the same or similar type of servicing. Most of these fall under the category of ‘auxiliary’ items that do something other than moving the car. They include:
- Monitoring safety systems, such as the traction control and airbags
- Checking the health of the 12V battery that runs the cars internal systems
- Inspecting and replacing windshield wipers and fluid as required
- Assessing the general condition and air pressure of the tyres
All of these are relatively standard operations that are no different in an EV but are still important to the safety and comfort of driving your car.
How to look after your electric car
As a driver, it’s also vital that you understand how best to maintain your EV so that you’re not putting any unnecessary stress on the car and to keep it running smoothly for as long as possible. There are a few simple things to keep in mind as you drive.
More than anything, you need to make sure that you’re looking after your battery. As batteries age, they’re able to hold less and less of a charge, meaning your vehicle will be unable to reach the same range as when it was new. The trick to EV battery maintenance is to keep it as close to 80% charged as often as you can; it’s actually bad for the battery’s health in the long term to be consistently charging it to full, due to its complex chemical makeup.
It’s also important that you regularly inspect your vehicle’s tyres – EVs are much heavier than traditional cars that are a similar size, as the batteries contribute a surprising amount of weight. This means that your EV will be harder on the tyres, and they may wear out sooner than you were expecting.
The best thing you can do to maintain your EV’s health is to find a qualified EV mechanic that will look after it properly and bring it in for its service at least once every 12 months, or every 10,000km (the same as a traditional car servicing schedule).
The electric car mechanic you can trust
If you have any questions about what it’s like to own an EV or how different they are to service, get in touch with the expert team at Highfields Mechanical today. Our staff have the right training to make sure that your electric vehicle is performing safely and at its best.