Electric Car Maintenance

RTU'd

LE
So does anyone on arrse have a pure electric car?

Ok, so an electric car runs on an electric motor powered by rechargeable batteries.
However does the electric motor need lubrication like oil to cool it or is it nearly maintenance free?
With just certain points to be greased on a normal car like gearbox & driveshaft.

Sorry if this is a Mr Thicky question.
And yes google does have interesting answer's on the subject & varies from different makes & models.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
Pretty much it's cabin filters, tyres, brakes (eventually), brake fluid and check coolant circuits, there is oil in the drive motor gears but I've not seen any service schedules for that to be changed. Nothing has been greased on passenger cars, drivetrain-wise for many years. that applies to M-B and JLR by the way.

ETA - just checked all the services on an EQC up to 75k, pretty much as above +kick the tyres, no mention of gear oil - although it's the same oil used in manual transmissions which is pretty much 'filled for life', although the electric motors don't seem to have a long life due to coolant leakage into the bits it shouldn't be in....

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Last edited:
So does anyone on arrse have a pure electric car?

Ok, so an electric car runs on an electric motor powered by rechargeable batteries.
However does the electric motor need lubrication like oil to cool it or is it nearly maintenance free?
With just certain points to be greased on a normal car like gearbox & driveshaft.

Sorry if this is a Mr Thicky question.
And yes google does have interesting answer's on the subject & varies from different makes & models.

I'll guess things like motor bearings will be "run to failure" - they want to make money from all those expensive repairs. I'll also guess control systems will throw up the same sort of problems we see with ICE car electronics.

I think the big question mark is the Battery, how it loses performance over time, and any early failure of cells.
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
Some of the more modern batteries have replaceable individual cells so that if one fails it can be replaced without replacing the whole battery.

Motors are generally reliable, but I've heard of a few issues with the cooling systems, although this seems to apply to higher powered cars. Other problems seem to be electrical / electronic as in other modern cars.

Build quality of Teslas is utterly crap BTW and on a par with a 1960s Ford Anglia. Neighbour across the road has one on lease. It occasionally shuts down for no reason and then re-starts 30 seconds later although a software update seems to have fixed this. The touchscreen has also been replaced after becoming unreadable and it's been in the body shop for rust on the door bottoms.

Nissan leaf batteries are crap and can lose 30-40% of their capacity in 3 years.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
No cars coming from a North American plant have acceptable build quality, maybe due to the labour and rates of pay, maybe due to unions, maybe due to historic practices, I dunno which but every manufacturer I've had dealings with with North American built vehicles has problems, much more than they do with EU / UK / Chinese built vehicles. I'm not sure / heard about swappable cells but the battery management systems are generally capable of shutting down individual problematic cells - some batteries have a few 'spares' built-in, just in case....
BTW, low-profile and/or runflat tyres are not friendly to batteries - as some manufacturers are only just finding out.
 

9.414

War Hero
UK Tesla Model 3 are now almost all from the China factory and so will be Model Y. Build quality is excellent.

In reply to RTU'd's query there is very little maintenance to Tesla's as far as I can see. Just got a Model 3 a month ago. They used to have a maintenance schedule as with "normal" cars but now have an "as needed" policy. For example:

Tesla Maintenance “As Needed”​

Like all major car brands, Tesla had a recommended maintenance schedule. That is, up until 2019. The schedule included yearly inspections to make sure everything was going right. But in 2019, the company switched from recommending yearly checkups to only recommending particular services on an as-needed basis.

The website now says that Teslas do not require regular maintenance, and it instead lists a few items that should be changed periodically. This is the main reason why Tesla maintenance costs are on the affordable end.

Tesla made some changes to its Model S and Model X vehicles in 2021 that influenced certain maintenance requirements. We'll go over current maintenance requirements for all models here.

  • Cabin air filter: The filter should be changed every two years or every three years if it’s a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. For the 2021 S and X models, you only need to replace the standard air filter every three years.
  • Tire rotation: Tesla recommends rotating the tires every 6,250 miles or when the difference in tread depth between tires is 2/32 inch or greater.
  • Brake fluid test: Tesla owners should have the brake fluid tested every two years and replaced as needed.
  • Winter care: Drivers in cold-weather regions should clean and lubricate their cars' brake calipers every 12 months or 12,500 miles.
  • Air conditioning service: Tesla recommends servicing the air conditioning and replacing the desiccant bag every two to six years, depending on the model and year. See the table below for details.
Tesla ModelAir Conditioning Service Interval
Model 3Every 6 years
Model YEvery 4 years
Model S (2012 to 2020)Every 2 years
Model S (2021)Every 3 years
Model X (2012 to 2020)Every 4 years
Model X (2021)Every 3 years
 
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