Do Electric Cars Use Oil?

Charging Electric Car

One of the perks of owning an electric car is the fewer maintenance actions you need to keep up with. For starters, without an internal combustion engine, there’s no need for conventional motor oil. Some all-electric vehicles will use a type of lubricating oil, but this oil will last far longer than regular oil.

With an electric vehicle, you can wave goodbye to oil changes every 3,000 miles, allowing you to keep your vehicle out of the shop and on the road! But while there are certainly far fewer things to keep up with an electric car, it’s not maintenance-free.

Other Maintenance Actions You Need To Keep With an EV

While your EV won’t have any engine oil for you to change, you’ll need to keep up with a few other maintenance actions. No car is maintenance-free, and below we’ve highlighted five things you’ll need to keep up with if you own an electric vehicle!

Brake Fluid

The exact service interval will vary a bit depending on the manufacturer’s specifications and what you drive, but typical intervals range from once every 1 to 3 years.

Brake systems in an electric vehicle work with the same hydraulic principles that you can find in vehicles with an internal combustion engine, although most electric vehicles will use some form of regenerative braking to help recharge the batteries.

Check out your vehicle’s service manual to see how often you should change the brake fluid for optimal performance.


Electric vehicles don’t have the same type of coolant system that you’ll find in a vehicle with an internal combustion engine, but they do have a cooling system. Electric vehicles need this system to keep the batteries from overheating, and keeping up with the coolant flushes is an essential part of EV maintenance.

This system lasts quite a long time though, and a typical service interval is once every five years or 150,000 miles. Check the owner’s manual for the exact service interval for your vehicle.

Brake Pads

While electric vehicles use a regenerative braking system to help recharge the batteries, the rest of the braking system works the same way! Just like you need to change out the brake pads on any other vehicle you need to do the same with an EV.

How long the brake pads will last depends on the type of pad on your vehicle and your driving habits. When changing the brake pads ensure you resurface or replace the rotors.

Tire Rotations

Your electric vehicle uses the exact same kind of tires you can find on other types of vehicles, and to get the most out of them you need to keep up with regular tire rotations. Stick to a consistent interval for the rotations. We recommend once every 5,000 miles or so.

Cabin Air Filters

Your electric vehicle doesn’t have a regular air filter for you to change out, but it does have a cabin air filter. This filter protects the vehicle’s HVAC components and ensures you get clean air to breathe in. Change it out about once a year or every 15,000 miles.

Keeping Up With Your EV

While an electric vehicle has fewer parts to keep up with, that doesn’t mean you can neglect the things it does have. Furthermore, each electric vehicle is a little bit different, so you need to check out all of the recommended service actions for your vehicle.

You can find this information inside the owner’s manual, or you can reach out to a local dealership and they should be able to give you all the necessary information.

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