Your EV Needs More Maintenance Than You Think

Electric Vehicle Maintenance Doesn’t Have to Be Hard- or Expensive.


With Battery Electric Vehicles pretty much taking over the roads in 2024, new owners are bound to have some questions about how to maintain their new battery electric vehicles.

New EV owners are usually completely unaware of what the car they are buying can do. Does the oil need to be changed? Is there any maintenance required to keep the batteries in good condition? Does the transmission fluid need to be changed? I know EV’s don’t have spark plugs but do they need a different type of tune-up? It’s the things like this keeping new owners of hybrid and battery electric vehicles awake at night.

Don’t forget that often when people buy a new battery electric vehicle, they know very little about it. My intent with this post is to provide some education on electric vehicle maintenance so you can either perform the work yourself or at least know what the technician is telling you.

Remember not every tech out there is honest and many will try to pull the wool over your eyes, especially if you are a woman. We’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen because after reading this post you will know how to maintain an electric vehicle and all of the parts you will need.

Overlooked tip- Read the Owners Manual (it might be digital) before you start asking questions. I say documents because several auto manufacturers are going digital and brand new EV’s won’t come with a paper Owners Manual.

It’s certainly possible you won’t get an answer looking at the owners manual but you will familiarize yourself with your brand new electric vehicle. Something you are likely buying for the first time at this point.


Also Read- NOCO Versus Nexpow; Which is Better?

Electric Vehicles Require Less Maintenance But EV’s Are Not Maintenace Free
tire and wheel need to be replace as part of the preventative maintenance to prevent future breakdowns
One of the maintenance items on an EV are the tires. As you know, electric or gas the tires will wear.

The first thing i’ll tell you is the same thing the header says. Electric vehicles may require less maintenance than a traditional vehicle because they don’t have an internal combustion engine. With that being said, EV’s still do need to be maintained like any other piece of equipment that is used regularly.

Consider this excerpt from an article at Kelley Blue Book regarding the annual cost of maintaining a Tesla. KBB has been a highly regarded source of price data on vehicles for many years.

“Our experts found that over five years, the owner of a Tesla Model 3 can expect to spend an estimated $3,115 on maintenance”

I know several people that use a log book like this one I found on Amazon for like eight bucks to keep track of what and when repairs have been done on their EV. It’s a good idea to also document where you had your car serviced.

I’ll explain some of the reasons why companies claim EV’s need less maintenance than cars, trucks and even industrial equipment with gasoline or diesel engines.

Electric Vehicles Have Less Components That Need Maintenance.

Maintenance costs of EV battery hybrid versus ICE PHEV
Here you can see that electric vehicles require the least maintenance in terms of cost versus ICE, PHEV and HEV.

The main reason that electric vehicles can sometimes be easier to maintain than ICE vehicles is there are far less mechanical components that need to be inspected and maintained. Some of those systems include the following listed below.

  • Electric vehicles do not use a traditional ignition system which has many parts like coil packs, spark plugs, spark plug wires and sometimes other expensive modules.
  • The motor is an electric drive that does not require the same  oil changes like gas and diesel engines. The reason that EV’s dont need motor oil is because there are very few moving parts which means the vehicle does not require lubrication.
  • There is no engine cooling system in an electric vehicle so you do not have to check antifreeze or change thermostats every couple years.
  • Internal engine work on EV’s is something that only trained technicians that specialize in battery electric vehicles and more specifically electric drive motors.
  • Instead of an engine coolant system, electric vehicles have a battery cooling method that is very similar to the traditional ICE engine cooling system. .

Less Maintenance Doesn’t Mean No Maintenace on Battery Electric Vehicles

It is true that electric vehicles come with a lot of benefits when it comes to maintenance but that doesn’t mean that EV’s don’t require any of the regular maintenance that cars with gas and diesel engines need.

Just because your new car doesn’t have an ICE engine doesn’t mean you are free to drive the EV with no care about preventative maintenance.

Here I will list some of the maintenace items that still apply to vehicles with electric motors. Pay attention because it’s important that you know this stuff. Instead of paying a mechanic a ton of money, you might be able to do it yourself.

If you do decide to work on your EV a home versus taking it to a dealership, I would just recommend a couple things in the interest of safety. Electric Vehicles produce anywhere from 400-800 or more volts. Without proper tools you can get killed working on an EV.

Bilitools insulated tool kit rated to 1000 volts for working on EV’s red and yellow in color with carrying case
Click for more info, reviews and how to buy this insulated tool kit designed for working on EV’s

If you’re more serious about working on EV’s or if you work in an Indy shop and want to prepare for the era of electric vehicles, this next set might make sense for you.

Wiha 32800 insulated tool set screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, etc rated to 10,000 ?Volts
Click for more info, reviews and where to buy the Wiha 32800 at the lowest price.

Battery EV Maintenance Items

Once you get into some of these electric vehicles systems, you may want to seek the help of a professional auto technician. If you are a technician and you’re starting to see more EV’s roll into the shop, this Autel EV Diagnostic Kit might be something worth looking at. The EV specific upgraded diagnostic kit works with most Autel handheld scan tools. Autel makes the best electrical diagnostic tools in the world and I’ve covered them in depth. Back to the lithium high voltage battery in your new EV though.

How can you maintain the battery in an electric vehicle that produces hundred of volts?

Experts on battery electric vehicles recommend following some of these best practices to make the battery in your electric vehicle last longer.

  • The first and probably most important way to increase the lifespan of your EV battery is to minimize exposure to heat. Lithium batteries are sensitive to heat, so making sure the cooling system in your EV is functioning correctly will increase the life of your battery.
  • Don’t charge the battery to 100% often. Experts say that electric vehicle batteries last longer when they are maintained between 20 and 80 percent charge.
  • Experts actually recommend that you avoid using fast chargers like the ones you see popping up all over the place. Instead, they recommend slow charging which can be done at home with something like the Autel MaxiCharge.

So essentially, there are three things that contribute to EV battery degradation. Battery temperature, battery cycles and fast charging of the battery.

Autel ev diagnostic kit with hard shell case 2024
If you are a tech or training to become one, this Autel EV diagnostic kit is going to become relevant with every day that goes by.
Transmission Service and Inspection 

If you thought that because your EV was electric and runs on a battery that there would be no more transmission, well you were incorrect. Although there is no engine or six-speed transmission, with most battery EV’s on the market, power is transferred from the electric motor to a single speed transmission. It is then transferred to the wheels “through a series of complex gears”.

It is extremely important then that an EV has transmission fluid (or gearbox fluid) and that it is maintained in the correct way. With so much of the cars output reliant on this single-speed transmission, it would be ideal to always have the system in tip-top shape.

Above most other things, maintaining the transmission fluid or gearbox oil in your EV should be a priority due to the all of the points mentioned above. With the resources available in 2024, most people can change this oil at home and save a ton.

Just hop on YouTube and there’s a good chance someone has already changed the transmission or gearbox oil in your make/model of electric vehicle. Once you find out what oil you need for the transmission in your EV, go over to Amazon and get it dirt cheap.

Hint: This information will be in the owners manual, not likely on the internet. 

WatchGuy changes reduction gear oil in Mazda.

Tires (Rotating and Tread) 

No matter if you drive an electric vehicle, an ICE or a pedal bike, tires will always be a wear item that will need to be watched and replaced when needed. Once the tires on your EV get past the legal tread on your state, it’s time for new ones.

If the tires on your hybrid or BEV are up to specs, it’s important to rotate them to keep the tread wearing evenly and prolong the life of the tires. Rotating tires is one of the most oft overlooked maintenance items and it shouldn’t be. It’s important.

The process of how to change tires on an EV is no different than any other rim and tire. You will need a tire machine and balancer unfortunately which will make this a hard job to do at home.

Air Conditioning System 

Although there is no car no crankshaft to drive the air compressor belt in an electric vehicle, there is still a system very similar to an ICE.

Parts diagram breakdown of air conditioning system in an electric vehicle
Here’s a good parts diagram that shows how similar the AC system in an EV is to an ICE vehicle.


The AC system is an EV includes most of the same components as gas and Diesel engine vehicles. There’s an AC Compressor, evaporator, a condenser and an expansion valve most of the time in a BEV. It works a little different, but essentially you can check out this post if you want to understand how the AC works in an EV.

The point is, electric vehicles still have parts that need to be maintained and replaced when they fail.

Heating System

Another essential accessory of the electric vehicle is the heating system. Who  would want a car without heat? I live in Northern Ny so not having heat in my car is not an option.

So how does the heating system work in an EV and how does it affect maintenance on the electrical vehicle? Are there any parts that fail or need to be replaced in the heating system of a battery electric car?

Not surprisingly the electric vehicle heating system works very similar to the AC system.

Battery Coolant LeveL

One unique maintenance task specific to electric vehicles is checking the battery coolant level instead of the engine coolant. Luckily for you it only needs to be checked every 7,500 miles. The downside the coolant should be  checked and replaced by a trained technician with experience in EV cooling systems. In my opinion, adding battery coolant to your EV is not a DIY job.

Maximizing the Life of Your EV Battery.

How can anybody know how long a battery will last? I buy brand new batteries for a TV remote and they might last two days. Of course, battery electric vehicles are using the latest and greatest lithium-ion battery technology.

Although not so much maintenance, but more of a tip regarding how to increase the lifespan of your cars EV battery. Most experts will tell you a vehicle battery that is constantly run to zero or close and then charged is more likely to experience degradation.

Electric vehicle batteries are essentially maintenance free in terms of you actually having to touch the pack or do any work on it. As one reputable site said, “You will probably never even come into direct contact with your EV battery pack.”

Software Updates and Technical Maintenance

I’m sure this maintenance item is one you may not be familiar with at first. Learning how software updates work in electric vehicles can take some getting used to.

Many electric vehicle manufacturers choose to send updates “over the air” and how often those software updates go out can vary from one car to another. It’s important to research the specific EV you have to provide more information on software updates.

12 Volt Battery and Existing Circuit

Wait. You didn’t know that electric vehicles have a regular 12 Volt battery like the one in your ‘84 pickup? Just because tech has come light years, they still haven’t found out how to make a lead-acid battery that isn’t heavy blah.

Surprisingly the 12 Volt system in an electric vehicle is actually extremely important and you would be well served to look for corrosion or other signs of wear.

The 12 Volt system in your fully electric car is responsible for starting the car and also for the radio, security systems and other onboard accessories. The 12 Volt battery is also responsible for starting the high-voltage battery.

Brakes, Suspension and Steering Maintenance on Your EV

I think everyone realizes when they buy an electric vehicle, that they will still have to maintain some parts such as brakes, suspension and maybe steering components depending how your battery electric vehicle is configured.

After doing a little research I found the price of brakes on electric vehicles to be quite expensive from the dealer. I did find some better deals on Amazon but you would have to search your make and model when you get over to Amazon.

Steering and suspension parts will probably last you longer than brakes on the electric vehicle. It’s likely you won’t change anything related to the suspension for at least 100,000 miles. The interval of replacement for suspension will be the same as an ICE for the most part.

Brake Pads and Regenerative Braking. 

As far as how long the brakes on an EV will last, most experts agree that electric vehicle brakes tend to last as much as twice as long. and in some cases up to 100,000 miles. Regenerative braking is the reason that brake pads last longer on electric vehicles.

Regenerative braking is a large part of the reason that brake pads last longer on electric vehicles.
Here you can see a diagram of regenerative braking and why it helps prolong the life of brake pads.

Even though brake line issues have become far less common with the change in materials but since your electric vehicle will have a hydraulic brake system it’s worth watching for brake fluid leaks.

Some Other Minor Maintenance Items to Consider in Your EV

Since we covered all of the important battery electric vehicle maintenance items in this post, there’s only some small things like wiper blades, cab filters, etc.

Wiper Blades-

Im not sure if anyone has ever told you that electric vehicles have different wiper blades, but if they did they lied to you. Any brand of wiper will fit on your BEV as long as the length is correct and it has the right adapters. You can buy wiper blades stupid cheap on Amazon.

Cabin filters-

Many customers over the years didn’t know cabin filters existed and I had to explain to them why can air filters are a central part of the vehicles HVAC system.

Any air that comes into the vehicle from outside is filtered by the cab filter. It keeps any pollutants or particles in the air from entering your EV’s blower motor. Usually a good sign that the cabin filter needs to be replaced in your EV is a musty smell when the heat or air conditioning is on. Most manufacturers will recommend replacing the cabin filter in an electric vehicle every 15-30,000 miles.

The first step to replacing it is finding your new EV’s user manual to find the location of the cab filter. Once you find the cab filter and any relevant part numbers, just go buy it on Amazon and change it.

Most cabin filters are under $20 online and can be changed easy once you know where it’s located.

Check the Fluids ie Windshield Washer Fluid, etc. 

Another maintenance task that may not be common on battery electric vehicles (or any vehicles) is checking things like windshield washer fluid, the transmission fluid like we talked about, brake fluid, etc. Whatever else your EV has under the hood that can be checked and again I would tell you OPEN THE  MANUAL!

Cars have changed dramatically going into 2024. It’s not feasible to think you’re going to get in your new Tesla and know how the seats work, how you turn the heat on, how you make a phone call or how you put it into FSD mode without reading the owners manual.

Electric Vehicles Require a Bit Less Maintenance

In my conclusion, I’m going to say that Battery Electric Vehicles without an internal combustion engine do require a little bit less maintenance- but not much.

It’s true that you will no longer need a routine oil change in an electric vehicle, but there are still many other routine things that need to be done to keep a battery electric vehicle in good running condition.



By John Green

I’m John Green. I’m a 33 year old auto technician from Upstate New York. I have 18 years of experience as an automotive light duty and heavy duty truck mechanic. Cars, trucks and anything with moving parts are my passion in my professional life.

Aside from my life as a technician, I am also a seasoned investor and consider myself very financially literate. I use this other passion combined with my passion for cars, trucks and tools to look for ways to save money for my technician friends.

Raising my three girls and teaching them the proper way of life is my personal passion in life. If you want to know more, just ask! I’m on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as well!