For individuals wishing to cut expenses on gasoline and lessen their carbon footprint, hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more and more popular options. But this move to greener modes of transportation also means a change in our mindset toward vehicle maintenance.
In this blog, we'll go over all you need to know about hybrid car maintenance / EV maintenance, along with practical tips to keep your eco-friendly ride in tip-top shape. Keep reading for more information!
What you need to know about hybrid electric car maintenance
Hybrid and electric vehicle maintenance is generally more accessible and less frequent than that of a gas-powered car, which has various advantages, such as cheaper operating expenses and fewer adverse effects on the environment. Take a closer look below:
Hybrid car maintenance
Hybrid vehicles need maintenance that includes both standard auto care and specific hybrid tasks, including the following:
Users still need to perform routine oil changes for the gasoline engine, often every 5,000 to 10,000 kilometres.
Air filter replacement
Just like regular automobiles, hybrids also need to have their air filters changed, usually every 15,000 to 30,000 kilometres or as recommended.
Changing tires on a regular basis helps to maintain even wear and extend tire life.
High-voltage battery inspection
The high-voltage battery pack in hybrid cars can endure for many years, but it's essential to check it on a regular basis for damage or wear and tear.
Inspection of the cooling system
The battery packs cooling system has to be inspected for damage or leaks to ensure that it does not overheat and cause damage.
Spark plug replacements
Depending on the specific hybrid system employed and the manufacturer's suggestions, a hybrid car's spark plug replacement schedule can vary between models but is nonetheless an essential maintenance task that needs to be performed.
Regenerative braking system
Regenerative braking is a technique used by hybrid vehicles to turn motion energy into electrical power for battery recharging. Although this method can lessen brake pad wear, it still needs to be monitored.
Brake pad inspection
Although hybrid brake pads might last longer, it's still important to check them for wear and replace them as necessary.
Gasoline engine maintenance
Just as in a regular car, a hybrid's internal combustion engine needs care. This covers regular inspections, cooling system upkeep, and timing belt replacement.
Because certain hybrid cars have continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), their transmission fluids need to be changed on an ongoing basis.
Electric vehicle maintenance
Compared to hybrids and traditional automobiles, electric vehicles require even less maintenance because they are powered exclusively by electricity. The breakdown of Electric car maintenance is as follows:
Battery capacity check
Making sure the battery packs are operating within expected bounds requires routinely checking its ability to store power.
Inspection of the cooling system
EV battery packs have cooling systems, which need to be inspected to find problems or leaks that could lead to overheating which could lead to fires.
Regenerative braking system
Most electric vehicles use a system called regenerative braking, just like hybrids do. Even though brake pads last longer, they still need to be inspected and changed as required.
Tire inspections and care
To maximize performance and prolong tire life, regular tire care is necessary. This includes alignment, balancing, and rotation.
To preserve the cleanness of the air inside an electric vehicle, the cabin air filter should be changed in compliance with the manufacturer's recommendations, just like in a traditional or hybrid automobile.
Manufacturers frequently release software upgrades for EVs. Software updates on a regular basis help your car run better and fix any possible problems that may interfere with your car controls and performance.
Home charging stations
To prevent charging disruptions, owners of electric vehicles should make sure their home charging apparatus is kept in good working order. Checking for wear or damage on the charging cord and connectors is part of this process.
What are some common myths regarding the maintenance of hybrid and electric cars?
There are a few common myths regarding the maintenance of hybrid and electric cars. These myths can lead to misconceptions about the maintenance needs and costs associated with these vehicles. Let's debunk some of these misconceptions:
Myth #1 : Local mechanics can't service electric cars
Fact: Qualified mechanics are capable of maintaining and servicing electric automobiles. Many repair companies are upgrading their knowledge and tools to handle EVs as they become more and more common among drivers.
Myth #2 : Every EV charging station is the same
Fact: There are various kinds of EV charging stations, such as DC fast chargers, Level 1, and Level 2, with varying charging speeds and compatibility for different EV models. Owners of electric vehicles should be aware of the many kinds of charging stations that are accessible to them before having one installed in their homes
Myth #3 : Electric cars don't work in cold climates
Fact: Electric cars can run efficiently in cold weather. Extreme cold can temporarily lower battery efficiency, but heating systems are now standard on modern EVs.
Extra costs associated with hybrid and electric cars
While electric and hybrid vehicles are generally cheaper to maintain than gas models, there are some extra associated costs that motorists may not be aware of. Here is a closer look at some of the additional expenses below:
At-home charging station
If you drive an electric car, you might need to set up a home charging station. The installation's intricacy and place of residence will determine how much it costs.
Although electricity is typically less expensive than fuel, using your home to charge an electric car will raise your utility costs. Using a public charging station could also have additional costs, depending on where you are located.
An electric vehicle's battery pack has a limited life span and will ultimately need to be replaced, which can be quite expensive. But as technology advances, replacement costs should eventually become more affordable in the future.
Accessories & charging cables
You might need to buy extra accessories, including portable cables for charging or converters for various charging station types, depending on your EV model and needs.
It's crucial to remember that, even if these additional expenses exist, they must be balanced against the possible long-term fuel, maintenance, and environmental advantages that are associated with driving an electric or hybrid car.
Preventative maintenance tips
Keeping your hybrid or electric car in top shape while maximizing its lifespan requires ongoing preventative maintenance. The following important tips will help you preserve your new vehicle:
- Make sure the battery in your EV or hybrid is clean and firmly attached, and look for any indications of wear and tear.
- For battery maintenance, follow the manufacturer's suggestions, which may involve checking the cooling system and doing periodic inspections.
- Having your tires at the optimum pressure is essential to optimizing performance and range.
- Follow the directions provided by the car's manufacturer while rotating your tires to guarantee consistent wear and long life.
- Regenerative braking, which is frequently used in hybrid cars, can prolong the life of the brake pads. It's still crucial to have these checked on a regular basis.
- Batteries and electric parts are cooled by cooling mechanisms in hybrids and electric vehicles. Make sure there are no leaks and that these systems are operating correctly.
- Make sure the software on your car is up to date. Updates that could improve performance, resolve safety issues, and maximize efficiency are often put out by manufacturers.
- Check for wear or damage on the connectors and charging cords and substitute them as needed.
- Make sure that your home charging station complies with electrical regulations and that it is in excellent operating order.
- Even while electric cars require less fluid than conventional cars, it's still vital to monitor and maintain the fluid levels in your hybrid's cooling and gasoline engines.
- To keep the vehicle's air quality clean, replace the cabin air filter as advised by the vehicle's manufacturer.
- Pay attention to the suggested servicing plan provided by the manufacturer; your EV or hybrid may need to have certain inspections and repairs performed periodically during the year.
- To keep your car's battery in excellent condition during extremely cold weather, talk to your dealership or mechanic about how you can prepare your car for winter.
- For detailed instructions and manufacturer suggestions for maintenance, you should always consult the owner's manual for your car, as almost everything you'll need to know will be in there.
- In addition, it's always best to seek the advice of a specialist skilled in hybrid and electric vehicle maintenance for more intricate maintenance tasks, such as battery pack assessments or thorough diagnostic tests on your system's performance.
- Keep in mind that regular preventative care enhances both your safety as a driver and the efficiency of your car, beyond making sure that it's performing optimally. So, like any vehicle, ensure that you're prioritizing these tips and tasks.
Advantages of owning a hybrid or electric car
There are several advantages to owning an electric or hybrid vehicle, including better driving experiences, economic savings, and environmental perks. Take a closer look below:
By producing little to no exhaust emissions, hybrid and electric vehicles help to cut down on emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollution. This lessens the effects of climate change and enhances air quality.
Lower fuel prices
As hybrid cars incorporate an electric motor and gasoline engine, they use less fuel than conventional gasoline-powered cars. Since electricity is less expensive to run than gasoline, driving an electric automobile is substantially more affordable.
To promote the purchase of electric vehicles and lower their cost to consumers, numerous provinces and territories provide tax breaks, credits, and refunds.
Driving an electric vehicle is smoother and vibration-free because they are incredibly quiet. This improves driver comfort and lowers noise levels in cities.
Less car maintenance
Compared to combustion engines, an electric motor has fewer moving parts, which lowers maintenance expenses and lengthens its lifespan, making them reliable cars.
Even when there is just one person inside, electric and hybrid cars receive access to extra benefits, including carpool lanes.
Electric cars are a wise investment for the future because they often hold their value well, especially those with long battery lives.
Regenerative braking prolongs the lifespan of brake pads and uses the energy generated by braking to replenish batteries. It is one of the many innovative features found in hybrid and electric vehicles.
Ultimately, having an electric or hybrid vehicle has many benefits. However, whether or not this type of vehicle is right for you will depend on your driving habits, budget, and the infrastructure of where you live.
Protect your hybrid and EV vehicles with quality car insurance
Like all motorists, once you’ve purchased your brand new hybrid or EV car, you’re going to need a car insurance package that takes your unique needs as a driver into consideration.
Electric car insurance is similar to that of a normal vehicle in the sense that it offers the same degree of protection as it would any other vehicle on the road. So, what options are available to you? Here is a closer look at the different types of auto insurance you might want to think about:
A vital and necessary safety measure that shields you from any financial liabilities resulting directly from an accident where you are determined to be at fault is liability car insurance. This policy covers medical bills, rehabilitation fees, and property damages. The minimum coverage required by law varies depending on the province and territory. Having said that, most drivers opt for a greater third-party liability car insurance level to make sure they are fully covered in the event of an emergency.
This covers accidents or damage from animals as well as theft, fires, vandalism, extreme weather, and natural catastrophes. Although comprehensive car coverage is not mandated by law in many provinces and territories, it is often needed when financing a vehicle through a bank, dealership, or other financing entity. In the end, this policy serves as an additional line of defence, protecting your money against a range of unforeseen and unpredictable events.
This policy helps drivers avoid paying higher insurance premiums in the event that they are determined to be at fault in their first accident. After your first at-fault accident, insurance rates typically increase, which can be financially burdensome. This also means that your first accident won't increase your insurance premium.
Remember that each company offers a different amount of accident forgiveness. Which means that they can alter the terms and conditions of the accident forgiveness endorsement rules for their company. Moreover, auxiliary divers are usually not eligible for this type of protection; it is generally restricted to the primary policyholder.
Accident benefits are typically another mandatory insurance plan required by all motorists across Canada. This policy's objective is to compensate you for any injuries or damages to you and any other passengers in your vehicle, no matter who caused them. This insurance covers a broad range of illnesses and medical expenses. It can also be broadened to cover additional costs such as burials or caregiving. The terms and extent of accident benefits coverage may vary based on your insurance provider and the kind of policy you select, even if it is legally required.
Uninsured automobile insurance
In the case of an accident with an uninsured, underinsured, or unknown driver, uninsured automobile insurance is necessary. When the motorist who is at fault does not have sufficient insurance, it takes over and pays for hospital bills, property damage, and other associated costs. It serves as a sort of safety net for your finances, sparing you from having to shoulder the full financial load after a collision.
If you're interested in learning more about car insurance options available to you, reach out to BrokerLink and speak with one of our leading brokers. We'll do the shopping for you –with access to numerous top insurance companies across Canada, so you can get the best deal possible without sacrificing your coverage.
You can also get an accurate estimate for your EV car insurance in Toronto by using our free quote tool online!
Get an auto insurance quote [phone]
Hybrid car / EV maintenance FAQs
How much does it cost to maintain a hybrid car vs EV?
In general, the cost of maintaining a hybrid car is either the same or slightly less than that of a conventional gasoline-powered car. Many parts of hybrid vehicles are similar to those of traditional vehicles, such as the internal combustion engine, which needs routine maintenance, such as air filter replacements and oil changes. Conversely, when considering hybrids and gas-powered cars, electric vehicles usually have cheaper maintenance expenses. EVs don't need to have their oil changed and have far fewer moving parts, which makes maintenance more affordable.
Do EVs need regular maintenance?
Yes, regular maintenance is necessary for electric cars (EVs), but it's usually less complicated and occurs less frequently than for traditional vehicles powered by gasoline. Normal maintenance includes checking the brake system, rotating the tires, replacing the car's air filters, and making sure the battery system and electrical parts are in good working order. Even though electric vehicles (EVs) have a lesser number of moving components and require fewer services over their lifetime, efficiency and safety still depend on routine inspections and following the manufacturer's recommended servicing schedule is essential.
How much is car insurance per month in Ontario?
On average, Ontario residents can expect to pay approximately $300 per month on their insurance. Remember, this is an average price, and the actual amount will vary depending on a number of different factors, including your age, the make and model of the car you drive, your driving history, gender, and more. If you're looking for a more tailored quote, use the free quote tools available online through car insurance company websites or speak with an insurance broker.
How long do cars last in Canada?
While the actual lifespan will vary, one can expect their vehicle to last 10 to 15 years, or 322,000 kilometres travelled. Ultimately, factors that will determine how long your vehicle lasts include your driving habits, the make and model of the vehicle, how well you take care of your car, and more.
If I have more than one car, do I need multiple insurance policies?
Buying a multi-car policy instead of individual plans could make more sense if you own multiple vehicles under one roof. This kind of coverage is perfect for households with several vehicles and shared residents. We advise finding out whether you have access to this option by contacting your insurance provider, as multiple auto insurance policies can be challenging to manage and potentially more expensive.
If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.