Electric Car Servicing: A Comprehensive Guide to Keeping Your EV in Optimal Condition
Published 13 October 2023
Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, as they offer a number of advantages over petrol and diesel vehicles, such as lower running costs, reduced emissions, and a quieter driving experience. However, electric cars do still require regular servicing, just like any other vehicle. To enjoy the full benefits of owning an electric car, it’s crucial to understand the unique maintenance requirements that come with these vehicles.
In this article, we will take a look at everything you need to know about electric car servicing, including:
- What is electric car servicing?
- How often do electric cars need to be serviced?
- What is involved in an electric car service?
- Where can I get my electric car serviced?
- How much does electric car servicing cost?
- The Role of Warranty
What is electric car servicing?
Electric car servicing is the process of inspecting and maintaining an electric car to ensure that it is running safely and efficiently. It involves checking a number of different components, including the battery, motor, brakes, tyres, and suspension.
How often do electric cars need to be serviced?
The frequency of electric car servicing can vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Most manufacturers recommend servicing an EV every 10,000 to 15,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first. However, it’s important to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, as they may vary. Regular servicing helps identify and address issues before they become major problems, saving you money in the long run.
What is involved in an electric car service?
An electric car service typically involves the following checks:
- Battery: The battery is the most important component in an electric car, so it is essential that it is regularly checked. The battery pack is the heart of an electric car, and its maintenance is paramount. Fortunately, modern EVs come with long-lasting lithium-ion batteries that require minimal maintenance. However, regular inspections and software updates are necessary to keep the battery in optimal condition. This is usually performed during routine servicing. The battery pack will be inspected for any signs of damage or wear and tear. The battery’s range and performance will also be tested.
- Motor: The electric motor is responsible for driving the wheels, so it is also important that it is regularly checked. The motor will be inspected for any signs of damage or wear and tear. The motor’s performance will also be tested.
- Brakes: The brakes are essential for safety, so they must be regularly checked and maintained. EVs often feature regenerative braking systems that capture kinetic energy during deceleration, reducing wear on traditional brake components. While brake pads may last longer in an electric car, they still need periodic inspection and maintenance. The brake pads and discs will be inspected for wear and tear. The brake fluid will also be checked and changed if necessary.
- Tyres: The tyres are another important safety component, so they must also be regularly checked and maintained. Electric vehicles can be heavier than their ICE counterparts due to the weight of the battery. This additional weight can lead to more rapid tyre wear. Regular tyre maintenance, including rotation, balancing, and alignment checks, is essential to ensure even wear and maintain energy efficiency. The tyre pressure and tread depth will be checked. The tyres will also be inspected for any signs of damage or wear and tear.
- Suspension: The suspension is responsible for keeping the car’s wheels on the ground and providing a comfortable ride. The suspension components will be inspected for any signs of damage or wear and tear.
- Cooling System: EVs rely on cooling systems to keep their batteries and electric components at the right temperature. Regular checks of the cooling system are necessary to prevent overheating and ensure the efficient operation of the vehicle.
In addition to these checks, the technician may also carry out other tasks, such as:
- Software updates: Electric cars are often equipped with sophisticated software that controls the battery, motor, and other components. The technician will check for any software updates that are available and install them if necessary. Manufacturers release updates to improve performance, efficiency, and even safety features. Staying up-to-date with these updates is crucial for your EV’s health.
- Fluid checks: The technician will also check the levels of all fluids, such as the brake fluid, coolant, and power steering fluid, and top them up if necessary.
- Air filter replacement: The air filter cleans the air that enters the cabin of the car. The technician will inspect the air filter and replace it if necessary.
Where can I get my electric car serviced?
When it comes to servicing your electric car, it’s crucial to choose a service provider with experience in working on EVs. Not all mechanics or service centres are equipped to handle electric vehicles, so doing your research is essential. Manufacturers often have certified service centres that are well-versed in the intricacies of EV maintenance.
You can get your electric car serviced at a number of different places, including:
- Main dealer: Main dealers are the most expensive option, but they have the most experience and expertise in servicing electric cars.
- Independent garage: There are a number of independent garages that now have the necessary training and equipment to service electric cars. This is often a more affordable option than going to a main dealer.
- Mobile mechanic: There are also a number of mobile mechanics who can service electric cars at your home or workplace. This can be a convenient option, but it is important to make sure that the mechanic is qualified and experienced in servicing electric cars.
How much does electric car servicing cost?
One of the appealing aspects of electric cars is their lower operating costs. Generally, EVs have fewer moving parts compared to conventional vehicles, meaning there are fewer components that can wear out or fail. This translates to reduced maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle. However, when maintenance is needed, it can be more expensive due to the specialised knowledge and equipment required to service EVs.
The cost of electric car servicing varies depending on the make and model of the vehicle, the type of service, and where you have the service carried out. However, as a general rule of thumb, electric car servicing is typically cheaper than petrol and diesel car servicing.
For example, a basic service for a Nissan Leaf is typically around £150, while a full service is around £250. A basic service for a Tesla Model 3 is typically around £200, while a full service is around £300.
The role of warranty
Electric cars often come with longer warranties for their battery and electric components, which can give owners peace of mind. Be sure to understand the terms and conditions of your warranty and how regular servicing and maintenance can affect it. Following the manufacturer’s recommended servicing schedule is typically a requirement to maintain the warranty.
Tips for getting the best value on electric car servicing
Here are a few tips for getting the best value on electric car servicing:
- Compare quotes: Before you book a service, be sure to compare quotes from different garages. You can get quotes online or by calling around.
- Ask about discounts: Many garages offer discounts for electric car servicing. Be sure to ask about any discounts that are available before you book your service.