How often do electric cars need servicing?

By Julia Freeman

Electric cars have come a long way; they now almost match the practicality, performance, and functionality of traditional petrol and diesel cars, but with no toxic emissions and a reduced carbon footprint.

Electric Car

Why do electric cars suffer less wear and tear?

It is widely accepted that electric cars will suffer reduced wear and tear due to two key components; the brakes and the engine.
 
Surprisingly, the brakes on electric cars experience less mechanical use because of 'regenerative braking' – in which the electric motor extracts energy to recharge the battery whilst braking. This reduces wear and tear and increases their lifespan.
 
The motor that replaces the combustion engine also suffers less stress, wear and tear because it has considerably fewer moving parts to wear out or to potentially malfunction.
 

Electric car maintenance and servicing

As with any vehicle, it is important to get your electric car serviced at the recommended intervals in order to maintain its safety, retain its value and meet the required standards. Some electric cars have a longer recommended service interval than petrol or diesel alternatives, but some such as the Kia e-Niro actually recommend more frequent servicing (every 10,000 miles versus 18,000 miles for the Nissan Qashqai). You should consult your owner’s manual for the recommended service interval for your specific vehicle.

Condition-based maintenance

A number of electric cars, including some recent BMW models, are moving towards “condition-based maintenance” (also known as “smart maintenance”). This means that the car itself is able to tell you when it needs servicing. At some point in the future this may replace ‘fixed interval’ services, and it will help to ensure that components are only replaced as needed rather than at arbitrary intervals.
 
For the customer, an electric car service is the same as a regular car service – you make an appointment, the mechanics give it a thorough check, highlight any issues, then you come back and collect it. However only electrically qualified fitters can service an electric or hybrid vehicle.

What's included in an electric car service?

Many of the elements of the service are the same as for petrol and diesel vehicles. A full service involves thorough checks of the suspension, brakes, steering, tyres, wheels and lights. However, there are also many checks specific to electric vehicles. These include -
 

  • Checking the condition of charging points and charging cables. Damage could make charging slow, or even prevent the battery from being recharged at all.

  • Visual inspections of the internal high-voltage cables and connections. Again, a damaged cable could lead to issues with charging

  • Rotation of the wheels to check for any signs of brake binding. This is where the brake pads do not release properly and are said to be “binding” with the discs. This could affect your braking distance and control.

  • Checks of the inverter coolant levels. This is a very important check in an electric vehicle because it regulates the engine/motor temperature.

  • Connecting a specialist diagnostic machine to the car’s computer to retrieve and analyse some complex performance data.

Electric cars do not need oil changes, belt changes, spark plug changes, transmission oil changes, or air filter changes.

Service costs

Generally speaking, fully electric cars are the cheapest type of car to service - because of the fact that there are fewer parts to deal with. On the other hand, services on hybrids can cost as much if not more than traditional vehicles, although this does vary by make and model.

Protyre tyre options

All Protyre garages have a significant stock of tyres. They can also get hold of any specific tyre requests at short notice. We offer tyre options to suit all budgets, including premium tyres from major manufactures such as Pirelli, Goodyear and Bridgestone, as well as lower-cost options from the likes of Falken and Sumitomo. Our tyre professionals are always happy to help should you have any queries about your tyres.

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Finding an electric car service near me

A number of Protyre garages currently offer full servicing on electric and hybrid cars – although this is something that we are expanding all the time. These specialist centres also have charging stations for you to use should you need to, and their mechanics are trained specifically in assessing and repairing electric and hybrid vehicles.
 
To find the nearest Protyre garage to you that is offering full servicing of electric vehicles, simply enter your postcode in our “Find your local garage you can trust” search function and tick the box next to “Car Electric Services”. You can also adjust the mileage option.

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About the author

Article Author Photo
By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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