EV oil changes… wait, what?

Now that we’ve got your attention – no, EVs do not need oil changes, for obvious reasons. But what does EV servicing entail? We take a quick look here!


Owning a car for a full 10-year cycle in Singapore means you’d probably have visited a workshop about twenty times. Give or take a few for unscheduled repairs, and you’ll have spent a good chunk of time dealing with car servicing (top tip – there’s AutoApp for that).

Now, want to get out of your internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle and say goodbye to servicing once and for all? Uh, we’ve got bad news, unfortunately. Maintenance of an EV entails more than just charging, with scheduled service intervals too.

what needs changing?

Certainly, things you’d be used to replacing regularly in an ICE car don’t exist. Engine oil, engine coolant, air filters, spark plugs… these are some things EVs do without.

You might’ve seen this meme of someone holding up a Tesla oil filter:

Might seem like a hoax at first, but it’s not – it’s a real transmission oil filter for a Tesla Model 3. Other items that need regular maintenance on an EV include brakes, suspension, and tyres. Items like the air conditioning system might also need looking at as the mileage increases.

EV servicing also includes software updates. Much like how your iPhone prompts you to update to the latest iOS, EVs do need periodic updates to the software controlling the car’s systems. While some brands, such as Tesla, do this over-the-air, some EVs require a trip to the dealer.

right, will my EV need this every 10,000km?

Battery and wire installed on electric system of eco car engine, Automotive part concept.

Due to the lower number of moving parts, EVs will need to be serviced less frequently. For example, Hyundai recommends replacing parts on their Kona Electric only every two years.

You might want to have the dealer look at your EV every year for complete peace of mind. Even then, servicing costs should just be a fraction of that for an ICE car – approximately 70% lower on average.

can I just service my EV myself?

The answer to this is both yes and no. While the technically-inclined amongst you might be able to replace some parts yourself, EVs are largely interconnected with complex electronic systems.

This means that while yes, you can replace the part on your own, it’ll need to be plugged in before the car will play nice with the new part. For example, the Nissan Leaf EV throws up a fault code when a different battery pack is introduced to the car. To resolve the issue, the vehicle control module and the battery controller needs to be programmed before regular operation is possible.

Over the course of an EV’s COE lifespan, you’re quite certainly likely to see significant savings over the cost of running an ICE vehicle. However, if you’re still not ready to take the plunge into full-EV ownership, the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) route might be for you – our electric vehicle guide provides all the details you need.


Enjoyed this article? Check out more EV news and reviews in our Rides section!

marcus lim

In between reviewing cars on burnpavement.com, Marcus loves corgis, roadtrips, and searching for new places to eat.

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