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EV maintenance tips and tricks

As electric vehicles continue to gain popularity, it’s essential for owners to understand the unique maintenance requirements that come with these eco-friendly machines. While EVs typically have fewer moving parts than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, proper maintenance is still crucial for ensuring longevity and optimal performance. In this article, we’ll explore some essential EV maintenance tips and tricks to help you keep your electric vehicle in top shape.

Battery health management

EVs are all about the battery. The battery is the heart of any electric vehicle, and its health directly impacts overall performance. Therefore, it’s essential to understand how to properly maintain and care for your EV’s battery. To maintain optimal battery health:

Regular charging habits

Remember to charge your EV regularly. Most modern EVs come with sophisticated battery management systems, but charging within the recommended range (often between 20% and 80%) can help to prolong battery life. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for charging your vehicle as overcharging or undercharging can often have negative effects on battery health and longevity.

Avoid extreme temperatures

Both very high and very low temperatures can affect battery performance. To combat this, park your EV in shaded areas during hot weather and consider using a garage during colder months. Note that some EVs also offer battery preconditioning, which warms or cools the battery before driving.

Maintain firmware updates

Keep your vehicle’s firmware up to date. Manufacturers often release updates that improve battery management algorithms, optimising performance and longevity. Stay informed and make sure to update your EV’s firmware regularly.

Tyre maintenance

Tyre maintenance is crucial for both traditional and electric vehicles. “It’s important to remember that your EV requires tyre changes just as a traditional car does,” says Marcus Newton, owner and operator of LeMans Motors. “Like with a traditional vehicle, it’s crucial to regularly check your tyres and replace them when needed.” Proper tyre care ensures safety, efficiency, and a smooth driving experience:

Regular tyre checks

Monitor tyre pressure regularly, as underinflated tyres can reduce range and efficiency. Overinflated tyres can lead to a harsher ride and uneven wear. Follow the recommended pressure for your specific EV model.

Rotate tyres

Regularly rotate your vehicle’s tyres to promote even wear and extend their lifespan. This is especially important in EVs, as the instant torque they deliver can contribute to uneven tyre wear. The recommended rotation pattern may differ from traditional vehicles due to the specific weight distribution of electric cars.

Choose high quality tyres

The quality of your tyres affects not only safety but also range and efficiency. Where possible, choose high quality tyres and avoid retreads, as they may not provide sufficient traction or wear evenly.

Avoid overloading your vehicle

Be mindful of your vehicle’s weight limit and avoid overloading it. Overloading can lead to premature tyre wear and negatively impact range and efficiency. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended weight limit and adhere to it.

Brake system maintenance

EVs often use regenerative braking systems, which can reduce wear on traditional braking components. However, even with regenerative braking, it’s essential to regularly maintain your vehicle’s brake system for optimal performance and safety.

Brake pad replacement

While EVs may not require brake pad replacements as frequently (due to regenerative braking), it’s still crucial to monitor their condition and replace them when necessary. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your specific model, or have a professional mechanic inspect them regularly.

Brake fluid flush

Brake fluid should also be flushed and replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule. This will help prevent corrosion and maintain optimal brake system function.

Inspect brake components

Regularly inspect your vehicle’s brake components, such as rotors and callipers, for signs of wear or damage. If you notice any issues, have them replaced or repaired by a qualified mechanic.

Software updates and diagnostics

EVs often come equipped with advanced software systems that can be updated remotely. Regularly check for software updates and have diagnostics run by authorised service centres.

Remote updates

Manufacturers may release software updates that improve performance, address bugs, and enhance energy management. Make sure your EV’s software is up to date at all times.

Diagnostics

Schedule regular check-ups with authorised service centres to run comprehensive diagnostics on your EV. Early detection of potential issues can help to prevent major problems and ensure long-term reliability.

Proper maintenance is key to keeping your electric vehicle in top shape. By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure that your EV remains efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly for years to come. Stay informed about manufacturer recommendations, adopt good driving habits, and address issues promptly to maximise the benefits of owning an electric vehicle.