Do Electric Cars Need Oil Changes? – the Ultimate Guide

Do Electric Cars Need Oil Changes - the Ultimate Guide

You probably have some inquiries if you’re looking to buy a new electric vehicle. Do electric cars need oil changes? 

Electric vehicles don’t NEED oil changes because they don’t have any moving parts like valves and pistons that require lubrication. You won’t ever need to worry about regular oil changes that are required for conventional cars because electric cars employ entirely different drivetrains.

You won’t ever have to think about the oil change topic during your EV maintenance tasks because electric cars have entirely different drivelines. Oil is necessary for traditional gas cars’ combustion engines to keep their moving parts lubricated. An engine’s moving parts must pass each other smoothly and quickly as pistons, valves, and other moving parts.

In this way, the close-tolerance interactions make an oil change for the engine necessary. Atomic metal flakes that have accumulated in the oil as a result of all that metal-on-metal contact must be removed in order to ensure the safety and longevity of the gasoline-powered engine as well as to keep it running smoothly.

In this article, we examine why this is the case and whether EVs in general need less maintenance.

Why Don’t Electric Cars Need Oil Changes?

Numerous moving components, including valves and pistons, are found in conventional internal combustion engines. To maintain smooth operation, we must keep the engine’s oil level topped off.

In an ICE, the oil travels through galleries, which are the tubes, channels, and pipelines used to deliver oil to various parts of the engine. Oil is sprayed on the crankshaft and bearings, and galleries run through them to keep them cool while they spin.

Pistons move up and down in the cylinders with less friction thanks to spurt holes, which spray oil on the undersides of the pistons. Additionally lubricated for smooth motion are the camshaft, valves, and valve springs.

There are a lot fewer moving parts in an electric vehicle. There are no valves, valve springs, camshafts, cylinders, or pistons.

Do Hybrid Cars Need Oil Changes?

Many of the advantages of owning an EV are present in hybrid cars, but without the drawbacks (such as long recharging times, ‘range anxiety’).

Sadly, oil changes are still necessary for hybrid vehicles because all of them have internal combustion engines, whether they are plug-in hybrids (PHEV), mild hybrids (MHEV), or full hybrids (HEV). This is so because they contain identical moving parts to a typical ICE.

Read about What Oil Does My Car Take?

What Does Need Replacing Or Maintaining on An EV?

Although EVs don’t require as frequent engine oil changes as ICEs, they still have some fluids that need to be changed now and then.


Coolant is used in electric vehicles to control battery temperatures. Check the owner’s manual for your specific vehicle to determine how frequently the coolant needs to be flushed or topped off. As they are sealed, EV cooling systems should only be topped off by a trained EV technician.

You should expect to replace the coolant after the first 50,000 miles, though each vehicle will have its own schedule for doing so.

Transmission Fluid

EVs also have “gear oil,” also known as transmission fluid, which occasionally needs to be replaced. According to the Tesla Model S manual, this should be done once every 12 years or 150,000 miles.

Brake Oil

Regenerative braking is also used by electric vehicles. By using the magnets inside the motor to slow down the vehicle instead of the brakes, this extends the vehicle’s range and minimizes the amount of wear and tear on the brakes.

Elon Musk expressed such faith in the effectiveness of regenerative braking that he even asserted that the brake pads on a Tesla “literally never” need to be replaced throughout the lifespan of the vehicle.

However, brake discs and pads cannot always be replaced by regenerative braking. They come in very handy during emergency braking situations.

The same hydraulic fluid used in conventional cars is used when the brake discs and pads are pressed together to stop the vehicle. Because brake fluid is hygroscopic, it gradually absorbs water from the atmosphere. It can corrode the brake system if the fluid isn’t flushed frequently.

Brake fluid should ideally be changed every two years.

Do Electric Cars Need Oil Changes - the Ultimate Guide
Do Electric Cars Need Oil Changes? – the Ultimate Guide

What Doesn’t Need Replacing Or Maintaining on An EV

In general, EVs require much less maintenance because they have fewer moving parts. Moving forward, this is likely to be a key selling point for EVs.

To give you an idea, these are just some of the issues that you won’t need to worry about in an EV:

  • Replacing the spark plugs
  • Blown head gaskets
  • Replacing belts/hoses
  • Ring and cylinder wear
  • Bearings/crankshafts/camshafts
  • Swapping the drive belts
  • Changing fuel filters
  • Replacing the water pump
  • Carburetor flooding
  • Radiator problems
  • Exhaust system

When you own an EV, all of these savings add up to be fairly substantial.

And driving an EV can help you save money in other ways as well.


Compared to gas-powered vehicles, electric vehicles require less frequent maintenance and no oil changes.

The internal combustion engine of a gas car operates in a hot, high-friction environment, and without new oil, the engine’s valves and pistons may grind against one another and lose efficiency.

The engines and all ancillary moving parts are absent from electric cars. Electric motors and a battery power them. Because of this, engine oil is not required.

Unlike conventional gas cars, you won’t have to worry about any of these with an EV:

  • Oil changes
  • Timing belt changes
  • Spark plug replacements
  • Fuel filters
  • Emission checks

For an electric car, even brake pad replacements are uncommon.

However, this does not imply that EVs are totally self-sufficient. The coolant, brake, and transmission fluid levels must still be checked. Manufacturers also advise professional maintenance every two years.

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