An electric car requires remarkably little maintenance. That’s one of its great attractions. A hybrid car, on the other hand, combines and electric motor with a regular engine and of necessity that means more maintenance is involved. Before purchasing either of these vehicles it’s important to know what kind of maintenance is involved.
Check the Tires
It doesn’t matter whether you own an electric car or a hybrid, you need to be aware of the fact that tires need to be checked and replaced. Tire pressure is important on every vehicle. The correct tire pressure give a good ride and slows down the wear on the tires. With a hybrid vehicle it will ensure good mileage, too.
As with other vehicles, it’s also good to rotate the tires. When this should be done will vary from vehicle to vehicle, although the information will be in your owner’s manual. If you have the equipment it’s easy to do at home. If not, a garage can accomplish it in a matter of minutes. Eventually, tires need to be replaced. Be aware of the amount of tread left on the tire and when it’s reaching the level where it’s no longer safe, replace the tire. Remember that when you’re checking tires for air pressure you should always check the spare as well.
Monitoring the Battery
The battery is vitally important in an electric car and also a vital component in a hybrid. This it why it needs to be checked monthly to ensure the connections are tight and that there is no corrosion on the terminals. Water levels in the battery should be observed and filled when needed.
With an electric car the brushes on the motor will have to be replaced eventually, but this operation won’t be needed until the vehicle has covered about 80,000 miles.
All vehicles, including electric cars and hybrid cars, need brakes. As a general rule these should be checked every 20,000 miles. In most cases no brake shoe replacement should be necessary until around 40,000 miles, although checking regularly will ensure that the brakes don’t wear down.
Suspension is common to all vehicles and needs to be checked. In most instances there’s no maintenance necessary until the shocks or struts eventually have to be replaced and this only occurs rarely.
There’s a great deal more maintenance involved with a hybrid vehicle. As it uses a conventional engine, it’s necessary to change the oil regularly. Check the owner’s manual for a schedule.
Transmission fluid is also important and you’ll need to check this and replace or top up as necessary.
As hybrids also use a radiator it’s vital to keep an eye on coolant levels and fill when needed. Periodically the radiator will have to be flushed and filled to stop the accumulation of rust and debris in the radiator, which can prevent it performing efficiently. The fuel filter also needs to be checked and should be replaced at intervals. This, too, prevents clogging in the engine.