maintenance tips for electric cars

maintenance tips for electric cars

There are many reasons why it would be a smart thing to buy an electric vehicle. First of all, there’s all the green talk and yes, we do realize they are not completely green but they are still noticeably better in this respect compared to cars with internal combustion engines.

Secondly, if you have had the chance to drive a proper electric car, you have probably noticed a nice little push that they give the moment you press the pedal. There is virtually no lag and power delivery is incredibly smooth. The reason for this is that electric motors deliver all the torque from virtually zero RPM.

There is next to no delay in throttle response and no turbo lag. You get an immediate, smooth and constant surge of power. The force, of course, depends on the actual power of the motor(s), but even less powerful electric vehicles have that lovely throttle response that makes them feel zippier.

Lastly, there’s a rise in petrol duty rates in Singapore. It is a part of government measures aimed at pushing people towards electrified transportation in the future. Similarly, more road tax rebates will be introduced which is expected to ease the transition for drivers. The petrol duties are raised by 15 cents and 10 cents per litre for premium and intermediate petrol, respectively.

Furthermore, they have been a push for more charging points in private and public car parks to enable electric car owners to charge their car.

Still, many people still see electric vehicles as a novelty. However, aside from the range anxiety that isn’t much of an issue in Singapore, electric vehicles also have the benefit of far lower maintenance costs, having fewer moving parts and no internal combustion engines. There are no regular oil changes, no fuel filters to change, and no spark plugs.

But there are some things to pay attention to.

This is why we decided to give you some maintenance tips for electric cars. These tips should give you a better overview and an idea of what you can expect as an electric car owner.

1. Battery

Battery checks are imperative as that is the thing providing the push and the range. This is something we would recommend you always use a professional for as they will be able to check connectors, fluid levels and filler openings. They can also give a good assessment of the cycle count.

In the cast majority of cases, there will be nothing to do, but checking your battery regularly should prevent any issues and make sure the life of your battery is as it should be.

Another point to keep in mind is that electric car manufacturers are aware of the anxiety some people feel when it comes to replacing expensive batteries, so most of them offer comprehensive battery warranties that are usually longer than the car warranty.

If you want to make your battery last longer, make sure you read the owner’s manual as it gives some great info from the manufacturer directly. Things like limiting your charge to 80%, not leaving the battery empty for long or frequent use of quick chargers.

Many of these will depend on the type of battery you have, so do make sure you are familiar with the recommendations from the owner’s manual. Limiting the charge to 80% is very important for making your battery last longer.

2. Brakes Maintenance

Generally speaking, brakes on electric cars last longer than those on cars with internal combustion engines. The reason for this is regenerative braking performed by the electric motor. It can actually stop the car completely and in many models, you can choose how hard regenerative braking is. This means you can use this feature instead of the brake system very often and thus prolong its life.

However, despite lasting longer, your brakes will need to be serviced and parts will need to be replaced. Brake fluid level needs to be checked regularly and, should it start reducing (you should get information in the instrument cluster), make sure you top it up with the correct type of liquid (found in the user’s manual) and keep an eye out for leaks. If there are any leaks or if the level decreases again, make sure you visit a service centre.

3. Parking

This has to do with the battery once again. If you park your car in the sun on a hot day, the thermal management system will detect the heat and keep running to manage the temperature. Doing this as little as possible will make your battery last longer.

4. Transmission

Electric vehicles usually have single-speed transmissions, so people often think there is no gearbox or maintenance. Admittedly, there are fewer moving parts, much less complexity and weight but there are things to do. For example, you have to reverse the car at some point right? This is what transmission is for.

In some of them, you will have to change the transmission fluid. Tesla Model S is one of those. Although, due to the fewer parts and easier job, fluid changes, if needed, are much less common than on regular cars. Once again, see your owner’s manual for the complete info.

5. Coolant

While there is no engine to cool, electric cars still need a coolant system. The reason for this is that the battery can get pretty hot and that is detrimental to its performance and durability. This system keeps the battery temperature at its optimum level. Regular maintenance of electric vehicles includes checking coolant levels and also flushing them at the intervals found in the service manual.

6. Air Filters

Electric cars have no engines that use air filters to keep impurities out of the cylinders, but they still have cabins and most of them use air filters to prevent things like pollen, road dust and similar from entering the cabin through your interior air vents. These filters need to be replaced regularly and the intervals greatly depend on where you are.

For example, if you live in a city, you may need to replace your filters more often. A general rule for most Tesla vehicles is to replace the air filters every two years. However, this is just a general guideline for you. Make sure you consult your user manual for the correct interval for your vehicle and area.

7. Wheel Alignment and Tyres

Replacing tyres when they are no longer good enough should go without saying but tyre rotation is something mostly performed at oil changes. As there are no oil changes on electric vehicles, you should rotate your tyres after every 10,000-15,000 km.

Similarly, wheel alignment is very important. If your car pulls to one side or shakes at a certain speed, you should have your wheels aligned. Aside from making your car more comfortable and safer, wheel alignment also makes your tyres last longer.

Should You Buy An Electric Car?

They are more expensive, but if you can afford one, it’s an option worth considering. As you can see, most of the maintenance points mentioned are present on regular cars as well and often less troublesome on electric cars. If you drive a lot, just the driving costs and reduced maintenance cost could make it more worth it in the long run.

You can also consider a hybrid like our Toyota Sienta Hybrid if you do wish to have the benefits of both an electric and petrol car.