How do I maintain my electric car?

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Every car needs to be properly maintained if you hope to optimize its lifespan. But an electric vehicle is different from a combustion engine car. In addition to different parts, the particularities of an electric vehicle mean that not all garages will accept to service it. In addition to garage maintenance, there are a number of precautions and techniques for washing electric cars. What methods are available for washing a vehicle? Which is the best way to wash an electric car? What are the essential precautions to be taken before washing an electric vehicle?
To make sure you make the right choice and maintain your electric car without risk of damage, we've listed and compared the different car washing techniques available on the market.

Here are a few tips on how to maintain your electric vehicle. Did you know that it's now possible to simplify the booking and washing of your vehicle? WashMee makes it easy for you to book a service at a local station or directly at the location of your choice, in just a few clicks! We'll tell you more at the end of the article.

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Maintaining your electric car

What's different compared to a combustion-powered car

How do I wash my electric car?

Unlike a "classic" car, an electric car doesn't run on a combustion engine. As its name suggests, it is powered by an electric motor.

All mechanical parts and combustion-related components are therefore absent from your electric vehicle. This meansfewer parts to change or maintain, for example:

  • Candles ;
  • Oil;
  • Timing belt ;
  • Cylinder head gasket ;
  • The carburetor.

These wear parts can be expensive (€600 on average for a distribution kit), which makes maintaining an electric vehicle considerably cheaper.

So you can forget about changing the oil, many wear parts and even the clutch and gearbox, since there are none on an electric car.

⚠️On the other hand, you'll have to rely on the presence of an extensive electrical system, the components of which obviously need to be checked.

Things to check when servicing your electric car

An electric vehicle is powered by an electric motor and a battery. Checks on the battery vary from one manufacturer to another: some require annual checks. Fortunately, today's batteries are lasting longer and longer.

However, an electric car battery needs to be recharged regularly and, like any other battery, can wear out if not used properly. To make sure it lasts for many years, don' t leave your car plugged in unnecessarily. Some have a charging time indicator: use it to plan your recharge.

The electrical system requires you to check its components (charging system, electrical circuits, etc.), which are also checked during the technical inspection. So it's important to have them tested periodically by your mechanic, if you don't want to have to undergo a second inspection.

Finally, an electric vehicle still has traditional mechanical components and wear parts: braking system components (pads, discs), tires, fluids, etc. But an electric vehicle's braking system is less stressed than that of an internal combustion engine. But the braking system of an electric vehicle is less stressed than that of a combustion-powered car, so parts need to be changed less frequently thanks to regenerative braking.

Find a garage to service your electric vehicle

Whatever your vehicle, finding a garage is not necessarily easy: competition is fierce and the choice is vast! Independent garages stand side by side with auto centers (Norauto, Midas, etc.) and dealerships. Alternative practices such as solidarity garages have also developed.

These different garages sometimes charge very different rates, not only for the parts themselves, but also for the hourly cost of labor, which even varies from region to region (up to 40% more expensive Île-de-France than the French average). From one garage to another, invoices can therefore vary significantly.

There's an added difficulty when driving an electric vehicle: not all garages accept electric cars. You need to be a certified technician to work on your vehicle's electrical system.

This type of authorization has existed for several years: it is the NF C 18-550 standardstandard, which guarantees that your mechanic can handle your electric vehicle. Don't panic: with the growth of the electric vehicle market, more and more garages have this certification, and there are even specialized garages, in addition to your dealer who can of course handle your car.

On the other hand, conventional services such as changing brake pads or tires, or any routine maintenance that does not involve work on the electrical system, can be carried out by any mechanic.

Ensuring proper maintenance of your electric vehicle

As you can see, the maintenance of an electric vehicle differs from that of a combustion-powered car, and involves finding an approved professional to work on the electrical system.

The differences with a combustion-powered car also mean that maintenance is simpler and less expensive, as your vehicle has far fewer parts and can wear out the ones it does keep, such as the braking system, less quickly.

The battery also needs to be well maintained, paying particular attention to its temperature (indoor parking is recommended) and charge.

For the rest, maintenance of an electric vehicle is fairly standard and similar to that of any other vehicle. It's up to you to regularly check tire pressure and windshield washer fluid levels, change worn wiper blades and regularly clean your car to prevent corrosion that could damage it.

Washing your electric car

How to prepare for washing your electric vehicle?

Driving an electric car in the rain or washing it are practices you can carry out without fear of electrocution, even if your science teacher has taught you otherwise! 

You can travel with peace of mind and enjoy your clean electric car in good condition if you follow a few basic rules: 

  • Do not clean your car while it is charging.
  • Deactivate all automatic components that are not essential to the operation of your vehicle, such as windscreen wipers. 
  • Keep the engine and batteries, which are usually located underneath the vehicle, free of water. 
  • Do not wash the charging station with water, as this may cause short-circuitsing...
How do I wash my electric car?

Car wash comparison

Washing an electric vehicle doesn't require any special facilities compared with a combustion-powered car. Before washing your car with one of the techniques listed below, it is important to refer to the manufacturer's user manual. Some manufacturers recommend specific washing techniques, or give model-specific advice and more details on the location of batteries.

Tunnel cleaning: a new, quick and easy method

During tunnel cleaning, your vehicle goes through a succession of stages and machines. You should therefore leave your car switched on, in "N" (neutral) position, make sure it has enough battery power, do not engage the handbrake, deactivate all automatic aids not essential to vehicle operation, and don't forget the rear-view mirrors. If you have a fold-down or detachable antenna, don't forget to remove it. 

Note: Before having your car washed in a tunnel, make sure that the program does not include washing the chassis and underbody with high-pressure jets. This is strongly discouraged for electric cars, as this is often where the batteries are located. 

Gantry cleaning - let the machine do the work for you!

Very similar to the tunnel wash, our advice will therefore be identical in terms of the antenna, automatic functions, mirrors and program selected. Unlike a tunnel wash, however, you'll need to stop the engine, apply the handbrake and get out of your vehicle. 

How do I wash my electric car?

High-pressure cleaning, beware of the water jet...

Practical, economical and fast, high-pressure washing is one of the most popular car washes for drivers who wash their vehicles regularly. When it comes to electric vehicles, it's important to ensure that water is only applied to parts that do not contain electrical components, such as the underbody, the engine or the connector. After each high-pressure wash, drying the vehicle with a microfiber cloth or chamois will reduce the risk of water seeping in or stagnating and damaging the car's system. This drying technique will leave your car looking quite shiny, which is always a pleasure to admire! 

Hand-washing with little or no water, THE environmentally-friendly solution

Yes, you read that right! Today, it's possible to wash a car with little (max 10 L of water for a complete cleaning) or no water at all (I assure you) in an environmentally-friendly way, using biodegradable products. This is the technique we recommend, of course. There's no risk of short-circuits, and you're guaranteed to find your vehicle as good as new!
What's more, you don't have to worry about a thing, whether you're at home, at the office or in a fixed center, all you have to do is entrust your keys to a washer. Car washing will no longer be a hassle or another task on your to-do list!

How do I wash my electric car?

Now that you know all about the different washing techniques, all you have to do is choose.
To simplify this task and find the wash station or washer near you, WashMee is the reference in the field. Find out, compare, select the wash of your choice and book in just a few clicks.

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