EV Servicing

A great advantage of EV over ICE is that they need very little maintenance. Compared to ICE, EV’s have very few moving parts: no crankshafts, pistons, valves, coolant, clutches, torque converters, or even transmissions.

Although the manufacturer has specified a preventive maintenance schedule for all EV s some users question the need for a service. This evaluates the need and the benefits or losses if any.

විදුලි රියක් පාවිච්චියේ තියෙන තවත් විශාලතම වාසියක් තමයි ඉතා අඩු නඩත්තු වියදම්. ඉන්ධන රථ සමග සැසදීමේදී විදුලි රථවල තියෙන්නේ ඉන් 80% පමණ අඩු කැරකෙන සහ හෙලවෙන කොටස්. විදුලි රථයක සේවා කිරීමේදී වැදගත්වෙන්නේ නිවාරණ නඩත්තුවක් බවයි නිෂ්පාදකයින් කියන්නේ. බලමු ඒ මොනවද කියල, කොපමණ වියදමකින්ද කියල.

Nissan Leaf is the world’s No 1, while Tesla is catching up. And we are in the age of online diagnostics and remote repairs as Tesla already eliminates the need of visiting a dealership.

In the meantime, Nissan Leaf built from 2012 upwards is delivering great service and it is still debatable that the need of adhering to manufacturer maintenance schedule even after 8 years of the introduction of this great car. No wonder any manufacturer wants to ensure minimum expenditure on its warranty repairs, and keeping an eye over intervals is justified from their side.

But what about the costs? For the majority, E.V. stands for Economy and Value.

Are we doing too much or too little?

The question needs answering for both cars with warranty and grey. Grey EV s are much popular in most parts of the world, from New Zealand to Sri Lanka, due to their cost-effectiveness and higher features. Even for grey cars, there are third-party warranties where they need you to adhere to specific schedules.

Current issues

It has been noted brake failures in the Gen 1.2 & 3 Leafs built from 2013 to 2016. Identifying the problem might be possible if any DTC presents during your service visit, so regular servicing is recommended.  However, faults in the firmware are different altogether – they may come out of the blue without any warning signs, so there is no guarantee service will prevent you for full.

But this is one example that you scan and store a record of your ECU and DTC screens and clear any of the past codes present. It is useful to clear the codes so that you can better diagnose any new events. The above brake issue is just an example, there are many reasons to conduct preventive maintenance.

Also, a potential link to a weak 12V battery has been observed in many incidences. It’s best practice anyway to check your 12V battery regularly and make sure it is maintained well, which is a pat of your service.

There are two standards for maintenance Nissan has specified two standards. The “severe use” schedule is the default. It’s labeled Schedule 1, and it is listed before Schedule 2 (“less severe operating conditions”). Now, this indicates most owners need to adhere to Schedule 1.

Let’s take Sri Lanka, where there are over 4,500 Gen 1 & Gen 2 Leafs operate. Most drivers live in cities with stop-and-go traffic and less usage on highways at moderate speeds. Again warmer and high humid and dusty conditions make the severe operating conditions are more applicable.

Nissan has mandated a comprehensive MPI to follow with Leaf and theirs no argument that it needs practicing whether the Leaf is Grey or not. And it’s not a costly affair to follow, although a dealership may apply a fee based on their structure. In Sri Lanka’s GoEV executes this for 10$. (25 $ inclusive of the battery and diagnostic scans)

Multi-Point Inspection

So the Leaf’s maintenance schedule largely confirms that there’s lots less to replace in an electric car during periodical maintenance. But there are some new systems (such as the charge port), and owners need to beware that the very lack of use can increase the need for maintenance of some items.

Let’s look at the need of checking some of the critical areas.

Before that, we observed some of the repair places have replaced the transmission fluids and the coolant. This is simply a waste, Coolant is for 15 years or 200,000 km, and the reduction gear is for life. But this does not eliminate the need for checks as scheduled.

Brake service & fluid replacement.

We agree upon the valid need for brake servicing includes caliper lubrication especially in the tropics. But even under Schedule 2 (less severe conditions), the Leaf manual calls for changing the brake fluid every 2 years or every 30,000 kilometers. This is interesting as we are not used to do the brake fluid change under these intervals

So the Leaf’s maintenance schedule largely confirms that there’s lots less to replace in an electric car during periodical maintenance. But there are some new systems (such as the charge port), and owners need to beware that the very lack of use can increase the need for maintenance of some items.

Let’s look at the need of checking some of the critical areas.

Before that, we observed some of the repair places have replaced the transmission fluids and the coolant. This is simply a waste, Coolant is for 15 years or 200,000 km, and the reduction gear is for life. But this does not eliminate the need for checks as scheduled.

Brake service & fluid replacement.

We agree upon the valid need for brake servicing includes caliper lubrication especially in the tropics. But even under Schedule 2 (less severe conditions), the Leaf manual calls for changing the brake fluid every 2 years or every 30,000 kilometers. This is interesting as we are not used to do the brake fluid change under these intervals

However, it is to be considered at what cost the replacement should be. GoEV of Sri Lanka performs the task with 6.5$ labor and another 6.2$ for Caltex DOT 3 fluid of 1L. Still, it needs to know why one should be doing this, whatever the cost is. Waste is a waste.

 

Leaf – Chassis & Body maintenance

This is what we learned of the benefits of fluid change.

  • High humidity contaminates the fluid
  • Lessening lubricity
  • Once you know that the fluid has lost its character or color you are too late

There are some reported cases of failed ABS actuators and also leakages. However, the data wasn’t enough to establish a firm case of the causes.

What Nissan says?

Consumer Reports (www.consumerreports.org) wrote to Nissan to get the Nissan explanation that brake fluid has a fairly high tendency to absorb moisture and should be replaced regularly in any car, especially with today’s anti-lock braking (ABS) and electronic stability control systems. “Increasing the brake fluid replacement frequency reduces the likelihood of braking performance issues due to increased moisture content,” a spokesperson wrote in an email.

It may be that with an all-electric car and frequent use of the regenerative brakes, the company is concerned that the hydraulic brakes may get used so little that increased moisture could build-up, leading to rusted and dangerous brake lines.

Air conditioning system and the cabin filter.

Checking this in at least 6 months intervals will save a major cost of replacing the evaporator coil, especially in high humid areas. You may read further Leaf-undue-ac-failures/

All at what cost?

GoEV offers a preventive maintenance service package which includes the following. You may inquire in advance for variances.

  • MPI inclusive of but not limited to: Preventive maintenance program # Drive shafts & suspension check # Complete brake service (Brake pads, rotors, pins – cleaning and lubrication) # Mounts & boots check # Ball joints & tie rod ends check # Steering gear & linkage # Brake fluid, Inverter coolant fluid check # 12V Battery scan # Charging ports # Cabin microfilter check/clean # Rotate tires # Reduction fluid check # Displays & controls check, etc: – LKR 2,500.
  • HV/Traction Battery scan and consultation – LKR 1,200.
  • Electrical system diagnostic scan – LKR 1,200.
  • Consumables (WD40, Grease, Rubber grease, etc) – LKR 600.

  • Above preventive package cost (if done together) – LKR 5,000.
  • Optional: Undercarriage degrease and pressure wash –  LKR 800.
  • Optional: Motor bay de-greasing – LKR 700.
  • Optional: Body wash and interior vacuum – LKR 700.

The total process will take up to 4 hours if no additional work required

GoEV is situated at Cotta Road, adjoining Sarana Road, in between National Dangerous Drugs Control Board and the Elections Commission.

GoEV පිහිටා ඇත්තේ රාජගිරිය කොටා පාරේ මැතිවරණ කොමිසම සහ අන්තරාකාර ඖෂධ මණ්ඩලය අතර, සරණ පාරට යාබදවයි.

What’s our take?

It’s the user’s call, however, prevention cannot be ignored. Even a simple observation of a cracked boot may save your drive shafts. And we often observe clogged caliper pins, rusted shock mounts which will be causing you a lot of money if not attended on time. Not only, but a clogged cabin air filter is also detrimental to your health. Some issues may impact your efficiency too.

And do not forget when you speak to a knowledgeable service adviser or a technique you may learn better in taking care of your EV. Still, we do not underestimate the knowledge of the majority of EV owners, especially in Sri Lanka.

Another advantage of having the softcopy scans saved in your PC or phone, you will surely be with a much higher resale value if all your scans are available in 6-month intervals to prove the authenticity of your EV. Because, the car trade is not very ethical, and sadly we cannot expect all to be honest.

Prevention is better than cure, and it needs to be within the fundamental principle, maintenance of EV s are a fraction of the cost of an ICE.

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To know more of EV maintenance in general, follow: https:/mobility .lk/maintenance/

වෙබ් සහ FB පිටු සබ්ස්ක්‍රයිබ් / ලයික් / ෂෙයා කරන්න අමතක කරන්න එපා. ඔබව අපි යාවත්කාලීන කරනවා, තාක්ෂනය සහ දැනුම හැමදාම අලුත්වෙන නිසා.

අප සුදානම් ඔබගේ අදහස් සහ ගැටළු දැනගන්න, තර්කානුකුල විසදුම් සපයන්න. අපව අමතන්න මෙතනින් පුළුවන්.  Let-us-assist-you!

5 thoughts on “EV Servicing”

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