Are all electric cars really almost maintenance-free?

In the 1980s, record companies told us that CDs were indestructible, now car manufacturers tell us electric cars are almost maintenance-free. It is true that electric motors have fewer parts than combustion engines, but you would be unwise to avoid an annual service. Your car still has wheels, brakes, steering, suspension, coolants and many electrical parts. These components need the same attention in any vehicle, and there are additional electrical systems and sensors, such as those for braking.
 

 

 
Our qualified fitters advise yearly or six-monthly service inspections for electric cars, just like conventional cars. If there are no problems found, this will cost less, but good maintenance will still optimise the lifespan of your components, including the battery, as well as keeping you safe and maximising the range between recharges.
 

Battery care

Batteries are very expensive, and you should budget for the day your battery needs replacing. They can’t be serviced directly but other parts affect their performance. If the car isn’t serviced, the battery will degrade more quickly because it has to work harder. When it weakens to under 80% of its original power, it is approaching the end of its life. Battery condition therefore affects the resale value of the vehicle.
 

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Cooling systems

The biggest threat to batteries is heat, therefore your coolant system and linked air conditioning system are both important. Without sufficient cooling, batteries degrade quickly and may even catch fire. Summer temperatures and steep hills contribute to overheating.
 
Some batteries and motors are cooled by air, others by water or a combination. These systems should be checked regularly to guarantee maximum performance for the longest possible time. Some models require a coolant flush every 4 years, while others may last longer. A regular service will catch any problems early.
 

Suspension

The weight of the battery and the high torque of the motor put a high strain on the transmission, steering and suspension components. If these degrade, the car’s energy efficiency declines and the battery and motor have to work harder. Therefore, it makes sense to maintain these components in electric cars.
 

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Tyres

Monitoring tyre wear is especially important on electric cars. This is because the heavy battery and high torque motor exert more force through the wheels. Many drivers request that the front and rear tyres are rotated during service, to get equal wear from a set of tyres. This could be more worthwhile for electric cars.
 
If you have concerns about tyre wear it might be sensible to choose durable tyres such as the Michelin Premier, Bridgestone Dueler. To extend your range between re-charges consider the Bridgestone Turanza range.
 

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Braking

Regenerative braking returns energy to the motor instead of ‘wasting’ it when applying the brake pads, so this can extend their expected lifespan. On the other hand, the electronics in some vehicles may stress the braking system more than a driver would. This can lead to more, rather than fewer, issues with pads, discs and brake fluid.
 

Book now

You can use the finder on our website to locate your closest Protyre garage. Why not call our tyre professionals for advice, or use our contact form to book a free check?
 

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About the author

Lindsay-Marie Gorman

Lindsay is a Digital Marketing Content Creator for Protyre and joined the company in March 2020. After gaining a ...

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