Do Hybrid & Electric Vehicles Require Special Maintenance?
Over the last decade, we’ve witnessed the rise of electric vehicles and the creation of a new field of alternative fuel options.
Since 1999, nearly 5.4 million hybrid electric vehicles and over 1.4 million plug-in electric cars have been sold. And these numbers continue to increase.
While electric vehicles have a different mechanical makeup than conventional vehicles, they all require maintenance.
Hybrids have nearly the same maintenance requirements as traditional cars. All-electric cars will require significantly less maintenance due to fewer serviceable parts.
Let’s take a closer look at electric vehicles and their maintenance.
All-Electrical vs. Plug-In Hybrid vs. Hybrid Vehicles
People usually associate “electric vehicle” with the all-electric type, but the term is also sometimes used to describe both plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars.
Let’s differentiate some electrical vehicle types to clear the confusion:
- All-electric or battery electric vehicles (BEVs): They run only with electricity and can be recharged through an external power source.
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs): They have batteries that can be plugged into an external power source. They also have an internal combustion engine that can recharge the battery.
- Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs): Like PHEV, they have both a battery and an internal combustion engine. However, the battery can only be recharged through the engine.
Hybrids vs. Traditional Vehicle Maintenance
The maintenance of hybrids and plug-in hybrids requires nearly the same maintenance as traditional vehicles and at the same frequency. Some standard hybrid maintenance services include:
Hybrid vehicles are notably different from traditional vehicles in terms of these three aspects:
- Brakes: Brake pads of hybrids and plug-in hybrids may not need replacement as often as conventional cars, which saves you money on brake repairs over the long run.
- Battery: The biggest concern for hybrid maintenance is the battery. It’s best to regularly service the battery by replacing the air filter. Doing so can help extend battery life, which is a welcome proposition considering the high cost of battery replacement.
- Coolant: Some hybrid battery systems use liquid coolant to ensure safe operating temperatures. If so, this system will need to be regularly inspected.
Fortunately, most hybrid vehicles come with an 80,000-mile or 8-year warranty. This warranty will usually offer battery replacements while the vehicle is within this period. By having this preventative maintenance service performed along with good driving habits, you can extend the life of your battery.
Understanding the Requirements of All-Electric Vehicle Maintenance
All-electric vehicles may cost more to purchase. But they can be cheaper to operate and own, thanks to affordable home charging systems, saving money on long-term maintenance.
The reduced maintenance costs can be directly attributed to over two dozen mechanical components being absent. For instance, all-electric car maintenance doesn’t include transmission, oil changes, tune-ups, cooling system flushes, spark plugs, air filter, and drive belts.
Some sources suggest that the maintenance costs will be around a third of that of a conventional vehicle. Even so, you will need to do maintenance.
For a start, every manufacturer will require periodic services and inspections to keep the warranty intact. Failure to follow these recommendations could cause your warranty to be voided.
Outside of replacing the cabin air filter, tire rotation, replacing wiper blades, and topping off washer fluid, most of the maintenance of all-electric vehicles involves inspections.
Contact Repair One for EV & Hybrid Maintenance in The Woodlands, TX
When you need hybrid or electric vehicle maintenance, the experts at Repair One in The Woodlands, TX can help. Our ASE-Certified mechanics have the skills and expertise to perform maintenance and inspections on hybrids and electric vehicles.