Keeping up with electric vehicle (EV) maintenance is much easier and more affordable than maintaining a gas-powered car. However, there are still a few things that you should do to keep your EV running as smoothly as possible. Our friendly team at Huffines Chevrolet Plano will help you review the best practices for EV care to get the ideal performance from your car.
How Can I Extend the Life of My EV Battery?
Extreme temperatures can have noticeable impact on your EV’s battery life. Hot weather degrades the battery and cold weather reduces its driving range. Keep your car in a climate-controlled garage or other protected space to maximize the battery’s life span. If your vehicle is extremely hot or cold when you start it, take the time to preheat or precool the car before you start driving to help the battery charge last longer.
You can also extend the life of your EV battery by using a few best practices. Whenever possible, you should:
- Avoid using fast chargers when not necessary.
- Charge your battery to 80% or 90%, but not over.
- Recharge your battery before it discharges to 0%.
How Often Should I Bring My EV in for Service?
EVs don’t require maintenance as often as conventional gas-powered cars, but you need to take care of your tires more frequently. Plan on a tire rotation every 7,500 miles, and have your air filter replaced at every third rotation.
What Fluids Do I Need To Replace?
Though EVs don’t need oil changes like their conventional counterparts, they do still have some fluids, such as windshield washer fluid, that you need to keep an eye on. The coolant is one of the most important fluids in an EV, as it keeps the battery from overheating. However, not all EVs need to have the coolant changed.
Check your owners manual for specific instructions regarding coolant maintenance. Some manufacturers recommend checking the coolant every 75,000 miles. Others suggest doing so every 80,000 or even 124,000 miles. Chevy recommends draining and filling coolant circuits every 150,000 miles for the 2023 Bolt EV. Keeping an eye on the coolant levels is always a smart idea. If the levels are low, you may need to replace the fluid.
Your EV also uses brake fluid. As a general rule of thumb, you should check this fluid every two years. The maintenance schedule for the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV recommends a brake fluid replacement every 150,000 miles. Have your brakes checked sooner if they feel soft or spongy or if your vehicle takes longer than usual to stop, as this may indicate a leak and low fluid levels.
The gearbox fluid in your transmission may need attention occasionally. This is another area where EVs vary greatly. Gearbox fluid isn’t noted on the maintenance schedule for the Chevrolet Bolt EV or Tesla Model 3. However, Hyundai and Kia recommend that EV drivers change the gearbox fluid every 80,000 miles.
How Do I Clean the EV Charging Port?
Quickly clean out the charging port of your EV with a can of compressed air. This is a fast and convenient way to get rid of debris. You can also gently clean out your EV’s charging port with a cotton swab for a more thorough cleaning. Work carefully around each connection point. Keeping the charging port clean will help ensure efficient charging.
What Tire Care Does My EV Need?
Tire maintenance is an essential part of EV care. EV tires typically wear down faster than the tires on their gas-powered counterparts. EV’s have a lower center of gravity, heavier overall weight, and greater torque, all of which contribute to increased tire wear. In some cases, EV tires wear as much as 20% faster than tires on internal combustion-driven cars. This means that you’ll need to keep proper tire care near the top of your maintenance list if you’re driving an EV.
Fortunately, any long-time car owner will be familiar to the specifics of the tire maintenance routine. The only difference between EVs and conventional gas-powered cars here is in the recommended frequency of these tasks. As with any vehicle, you should plan to:
- Check and correct tire pressure at least once a month.
- Rotate the tires every few months.
- Check the tread depth monthly and replace your tires when the depth is less than 2/32 of an inch. It’s time for new tires if the tread sits even with the horizontal tread wear indicators or if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head when you insert a penny in the tread.
How Often Should I Wash My EV?
The ideal schedule for car washes is once every two weeks. However, this isn’t always possible nor is it necessary for all vehicles. If your car is exposed to a lot of dust and dirt, you may need to clean it more frequently. If you drive on well-paved roads and keep your vehicle safe in a garage for most of the day, you can extend the time between car washes. It’s particularly important to rinse the underside of EVs gently and not allow mud or dirt to build up.
Always cover the charging port before you wash an EV. Some car washes provide special covers that you can use. If these aren’t available, or if you’re washing your vehicle at home, use a plastic bag to protect the port.
If you’re going to a commercial car wash, look for one that offers special settings for EVs. These settings generally use less water pressure, softer brushes, and fewer harsh chemicals, all of which can prevent damage on the car surface and its electric components.
Book Your EV Maintenance
Are you due for EV maintenance? Our service center experts at Huffines Chevrolet Plano can help with all your routine EV care needs, such as air filter replacements and tire rotations. If you don’t have an EV yet, we have outstanding incentives that you can cash in on if you’re thinking of upgrading from your gas-powered car. Visit us today to learn more.