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How to Maintain Your Electric Car

There are tons of benefits to owning a fully electric car. First, there is the environmental factor, of course, then there is the lack of expensive gasoline and a total absence of toxic fume emission. This all leads to a cheaper, ongoing maintenance cost as well. It takes less money and effort to keep these electric cars running smoothly and trouble free. Of course, this is somewhat offset by the higher initial investment when actually purchasing an electric car, however in he long run, generally they will be cheaper to operate and maintain. Additionally, there are often government subsidies and tax breaks offered in order to sweeten the deal.

Because there are fewer moving parts, electric cars have a lower need for regular check up. however there a few things that should be monitored regularly.

1. Battery maintenance

Batteries in electric cars are huge and take up most of the space under the hood. They are complex, technical marvels but actually need very little care. There is no day to day need to keep an eye on it. It is understood that with time the battery’s capacity will decrease, meaning that it will not be able to charge as fully as it used to. In result, this can reduce the mileage over time. When this reduction is noticed, it should be time to start considering a replacement. Although with a typical eight year warranty (and expected life time), this is not an initial concern for many electric car owners.

2. Brake wear

Electric cars use what is known as the regenerative braking system, which means that they are able to harness energy from the parts stored in the system for later use. This actually means that brakes (rotors and pads) will wear much less than a conventional car, lasting twice as long. This means that brake maintenance, although still required, is reduced.

3. Tire wear

This is a standard type of care for any vehicle and it makes sense to inspect tires and tire pressure on electric cars as well. It should be noted that electric cars are typically heavier than conventional ones (because of battery weight) and thus, are harder on tires. Premature wear is possible and this makes tire check an important part of regular car care.

4. Update software

This is not something typically done on conventional cars, but updating software can be critical in electric cars. There could be major updates, improving battery life or car performance for example. Thus, it is very important to include software updates in the regular car care.

How to Choose the Right Car Care Professional

We've all been there or heard stories about bad car professionals. Many have a bad reputation of trying to get more money out of you by justifying unnecessary repairs or simply don't know what they're doing. Your vehicle is part of your every day life and routine. It's important that it gets taken care of properly so you're not wasting time or money or worse, jeopardizing you and your family's safety. Here are three ways to help you choose a skilled and trustworthy car care professional:

1. Look for professionals that are willing to show you what needs repaired

Mechanics seem to be notorious for coming up with repairs your car needs that are very pricey. Choose a mechanic that respects you when you ask for proof or additional information. A good, trustworthy professional will always be willing to show you the problem and explain it further. If he or she is hesitant to show you what’s wrong, there’s a chance they’re not telling the truth. It’s important to go with someone who is transparent with you. Often times, mechanics can speak in difficult terms that people may not know. Don’t be afraid to have them stop and explain something until you understand.

 

2. Check reviews, reputation, and certifications

The beauty of the internet is that you can do research on the company before going in. You may find Angie’s List useful. Check people’s reviews of the place whether it’s a mechanic or even just car washing. A little homework is required, but your vehicle is very important and should only get treated by professionals. You can also ask for the mechanic’s certification. If you do this, you want to check for a certification by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence. This certification requires at least two years of experience along with several different tests.

3. Listen to yourself

If something doesn’t seem right about a certain car professional or business, listen to your gut. It may take some time to find the right person, but it’s worth it. I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of mechanic horror stories. However, there are many great mechanics and other car professionals out there. Just be sure to listen to yourself and do your research before taking your car in.  

A trustworthy mechanic typically won't mind you watching them work. 

A trustworthy mechanic typically won't mind you watching them work.