Electric vehicles (EVs) carry the potential to be a game-changer for the environment. Given their zero tailpipe emissions, EVs are at their best when used as a primary source of transportation. However, your EV will need proper care to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. This list is helpful tips to ensure your EV stays in top shape.
1. Stay on Top of Tire Pressure and Rotation
Tires are the only contact points between your EV and the road, so inflating them properly is essential. Tire pressure is one of the most overlooked maintenance issues by drivers. Even if you’re not driving at high speeds or on rough roads, tire pressure can still affect gas mileage. The more air in your tires, the more rolling resistance (and less fuel efficiency) they will have.
On average, tires should be checked once per month and filled to at least 80 percent of their recommended pressure level for optimal performance. The easiest way to check tire pressure is with a digital tire gauge (you can get one as cheap as $10). It’s helpful to know what kind of tires you have on your vehicle as well—some tires require special inflators—but most gauges will show which PSI value applies based on what type of vehicle you drive.
2. Don’t Ignore Warning Lights
If you have a warning light on your dashboard, don’t ignore it. It’s there to help you avoid a problem down the road that could be costly to fix. If you are unsure what the light means, look it up in the owner’s manual or do an online search with your vehicle’s make and model.
If the warning light stays on longer than 30 seconds after starting your car, turn off the engine immediately and call a mechanic for assistance.
3. Keep Your Car Clean
To keep your car running smoothly, you want to keep it clean. You don’t have to wash it every week, but you should wash the car at least once a month. This will keep dirt and grime from accumulating on your vehicle’s exterior. Washing your electric vehicle regularly also helps with resale value. It makes it easier for you to find where there are any problems with charging ports or other parts of the vehicle that might be covered by dirt buildup.
Clean the charge port regularly: One crucial step in keeping your electric car running smoothly is cleaning out its charge port. The charger may need more attention than usual when using public charging stations because they’re often shared by multiple vehicles, which means they can get dirty over time if one person doesn’t take proper care of them (or doesn’t even know how!). You should always wipe down and disinfect any areas exposed during charging sessions – this includes any plugs or cables connected directly into the ports themselves – but don’t use high-pressure hoses!
4. Keep Up With Scheduled Maintenance
You can keep your EV running smoothly by following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. This includes having your car serviced at a certified EV repair shop. EVs have fewer moving parts than gas vehicles and therefore require less maintenance overall, but there are still some things you should be aware of.
EVs don’t need oil changes like gas-powered cars, but they need to have brake fluid replaced every two years or 20,000 miles (32,000 km). You should also change the antifreeze or coolant every three years or 36,000 miles (58,000 km).
5. Test the Brakes
Test the brakes safely, such as on a flat road. If you do so while driving on the highway, that’s probably not going to be very safe for anyone involved. You should also avoid testing the brakes while driving up or downhills.
When you’re ready to test your brakes, pay attention to how hard it is for them to stop your car and whether any unusual noises are coming from them. The pedal shouldn’t go all the way to the floor when you apply pressure and shouldn’t feel soft or spongy when pressed; if it does either of these things, then something needs fixing (more on that later).
It’s also essential that your vehicle’s braking system doesn’t unevenly pull toward one side while being used—this could indicate issues with calipers or rotors which need replacing.
6. Get the Battery Checked
The battery is the heart of your car, so it’s essential to check your condition of yours at least once a year. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, get the battery checked before winter arrives. You can also check your car’s battery if you notice that your vehicle isn’t performing as well as it used to—this may be because of an aging or failing battery. The final reason to have a professional look at your vehicle’s electrical system is if you experience an unexpected drop in the range between charges.
7. Check Your Bike Rack if You Have One
Check the bolts on your bike rack. They should be securely tightened but not so tight that they crack the paint or strip a vital screw.
Look for damage to both your car and the bike rack itself. A damaged car could be a sign of more significant issues with your EV’s charging system, while a damaged bike rack might mean that it’s no longer safe to use—but it may also just mean that you need to replace one part or another of it (like a light fixture).
Inspect each bike closely; look for bent rims, dents in the frame, loose spokes, or cables…you get the idea! If you see any damage on one of your bikes, consider taking it off ASAP and bringing it back into town for repairs…or just replacing it entirely if possible.
8. Winterize It if Necessary
You’ll want to take special care of your EV battery in the winter. The cold can cause it to discharge faster than usual, which will shorten its life. Luckily, there are ways to keep your car’s battery warm in the winter—and we’re going to tell you how!
First things first: Get a heated blanket for your car’s battery. Like a snuggly puppy dog or an adorable kitten, your car also needs warmth! Suppose you have an electric car that uses a plug-in charger for charging (instead of one powered by solar panels). In that case, this is especially important since most electric vehicles don’t have built-in heaters for their batteries that would otherwise help keep them from freezing.
Next up: Before getting into bed at night while it’s cold outside and/or without access to heaters/stoves inside homes due mainly to nationwide blackouts caused by climate change.
9. Get Roadside Assistance if You Can Afford It
If you can afford it, buying a roadside assistance plan is excellent. Many dealerships offer memberships with their vehicles, and many plans are inexpensive, so this is something worth asking about when buying a new car. You’ll likely be covered for towing, trip interruption, rental car reimbursement, and essential battery jump-start services.
Owning an EV is not much more complicated than owning a gas-powered vehicle. Many maintenance routines can be performed by the owner, and they’re often much more straightforward than those for a gas-powered vehicle. A local EV dealership can provide more information on maintenance routines, or you can check out the manual yourself online.
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