Electric car servicing 101: The lowdown on EV servicing
By 2030, it is inevitable that electric vehicles will account for the vast majority of new vehicle sales as more and more automakers move away from the internal combustion engine in favour of relatively cleaner electric powertrains.
Speaking of electric cars, they are packed to the brim with impressive technologies, but the lack of a combustion engine raises questions for the average consumer as to what an EV service consists of.
Even without a combustion engine, let’s not get carried away, electric cars still require routine servicing. So what happens when an electric car rolls into the service station? Let’s pull back the curtain and see.
To begin with, the battery pack will be inspected for performance using diagnostic testing equipment, and any damaged cells will be replaced accordingly. Most EV manufacturers offer a battery warranty as standard.
High-voltage cables and connections
Normally wrapped in a bright orange colour, the high-voltage electric cables will also be visually inspected for any damage or loose connections. If these are faulty, they can be a safety concern as well as affect the car’s charging speed, efficiency and reliability.
These are checked to ensure the proper function and safety of the vehicle.
Unlike the combustion engine with thousands of moving components, electric motors have fewer moving parts, making them less likely to wear out or break, but even with that, they also require inspection during a service.
The motors can be checked visually for signs of corrosion, overheating, or loose connections. They can also be checked using a diagnostic machine. Even though some manufacturers claim that their EV motors have been designed to last much longer than the average lifespan of a normal engine, they are prone to defects.
While an electric car transmission isn’t as complex as a normal gearbox with multiple gears, it isn’t exempt from regular checkups. Generally, most EVs have single-speed transmissions and factors such as lubrication of the bearings and gears might need attention.
Apart from that, most single-speed transmissions are usually sealed systems that don’t require regular servicing or fluid changes but it’s still recommended to check it for any signs of damage, wear, leaks, noises, vibrations or reduced performance.
Brakes, brake fluid, and tyres
It is commonplace for EVs to use regenerative braking, where friction plays a significant role in slowing the car while recharging the battery pack. Even with that, the brakes are susceptible to wear and also need to be replaced.
As for the brake fluid, it will be checked and topped up as per the vehicle’s manual. The tyres, on the other hand, will be visually inspected for any damages, tyre tread, alignment, and pressure. The tyres may also require to be rotated to balance the wear and extend their lifespan.
While EVs are essentially less mechanically complicated, their cooling systems have multiple components that generate heat and require cooling. These include cooling systems for the battery pack, the electric motor, and other electronics.
The cooling systems make use of different methods and fluids to regulate the temperature of the systems. These need to be inspected and refilled if need be.
Air conditioning system
The air conditioning system provides comfort to the passengers and it should be checked during the vehicle’s service for temperature, pressure, flow rate of the refrigerant, and wear or damage such as cracks, leaks or noises.
Servicing an EV is still crucial
EV or not, a regular vehicle service ensures the optimal functioning of the car while also ensuring safety, reliability, and extending the lifespan and value of the car. Not only that, but it also ensures that your electric car remains efficient and reliable for many years to come.