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How to Prepare Your Electric Vehicle for Warmer Months

POR: Keith Benline
EV charging station at home

Fluctuating temperatures can have a dramatic impact on your vehicle’s performance. Just like you winterize your vehicle when the temperatures begin to drop, it is equally important to prepare for sunny summer days. As the temperatures rise this summer, preparing your electric vehicle (EV) for the warmer months can avoid major car repairs.

As the seasons change, so should your car’s maintenance routine. Taking some time to prepare can help your EV run better and last longer.

3 Best Practices for Daily EV Battery Care

Rather than running on gasoline or diesel fuel like a traditional internal combustion vehicle (ICE), electric vehicles (EVs) are powered by a rechargeable battery. Most EVs and even some plug-in hybrid vehicles run on a lithium-ion battery, allowing them to run without depending on fossil fuels.

Everything on electric vehicles depends on the battery — from the motor to the power, electronics run on the battery. Just as when you use your phone or other lithium-ion powered devices, usage can generate heat. These batteries can be sensitive to extreme hot or cold temperatures. Therefore, attention to careful thermal management is essential to prevent overheating, especially in the summer.

Not keeping up with proper EV care and maintenance can lead to battery failure or even irreparable damage. EV battery replacement or EV car repairs can be expensive. However, with careful use and keeping up with routine car maintenance, the battery may last the lifetime of the vehicle. These daily practices can protect an electric vehicle’s battery and prepare it for hot summer weather.

1. Monitor Battery Temperature

Monitor the battery temperature to maintain your EVs’ peak performance and durability. Most EV batteries are capable of operating in a wide range of temperatures before battery failure. However, that doesn’t mean that hotter conditions don’t impact them. Studies show that higher temperatures can reduce EV battery performance by up to 31%.

To reduce the impact of the heat of sunny days, try parking your electric vehicle in shaded areas whenever possible. Choosing a parking spot under a shade tree can prevent the battery from overheating. Avoid exposing the battery to direct sunlight for extended periods to prevent early battery degradation.

2. Ensure Proper Ventilation

Heat has a tendency to gather around the battery since it is the powerhouse of the vehicle. If your electric vehicle has a battery cooling system, this built-in system prevents your battery from overheating. Proper air ventilation around the battery pack disperses excess heat to keep your battery within the prime temperature range.

Routine electric vehicle maintenance prevents overheating issues. Regularly remove any accumulated sand, dirt, or other debris around the cooling system to facilitate efficient heat dissipation and avoid overheating during the hot summer months.

3. Avoid Mid-Day Charging

Mid-day charging is a good idea to avoid with an electric vehicle. It is the hottest part of the day, and charging generates heat, too. Consider charging your electric vehicle early in the morning, around sunset, to minimize heat-related battery stress. Charge your EV during non-peak temperatures to maintain your battery’s health and EV performance.

Cooling Systems Care and Maintenance for Your EV

Electric car manufacturers like Tesla, Hyundai, and BMW have designed incredibly effective cooling systems to keep the battery safe since the battery is the heart of every electric vehicle. This highly important cooling system keeps the right temperature range for the battery and onboard charging components. Check each part of your cooling system to prepare your EV for the summer.

Radiator

The EV has a cooling loop that uses an electric pump to circulate air or liquid coolant. This cooling system helps keep the battery, electronics, motor, and related systems cool. The radiator takes excess heat and releases it into the surrounding air. Check the radiator for damage or rust, and make sure it isn’t blocked.

Coolant Levels

If your EV uses liquid coolant, regularly check the coolant levels and scan the system to make sure there aren’t any leaks. In these types of systems, liquid coolant flows through the cooling loop, absorbing heat and then releasing it away from critical heat-sensitive components.

Not all EVs use liquid coolant. Some rely on fan-powered air cooling to regulate their temperature.

Fans

Electric cars that rely on air cooling or have a combination hybrid cooling system use a cooling fan to regulate their temperatures. This fan is an integral part of your cooling system. Just like the liquid coolant prevents heat buildup around the battery, the fan moves air around the battery, keeping it from getting too hot.

Fans are critical for cooling the EV. Their thermoregulation systems adjust the fan speed based on the surrounding outside temperature as well as the driving and charging activities. Make sure the fans are in prime working order to keep your battery cool this summer when the temperatures spike.

Hire a Professional

Due to the complexity and importance of the electric vehicle cooling system, it is a good idea to have an ASE Certified professional help maintain your EV. A cooling system check-up can help spot any issues that might not be obvious during a regular inspection, ensuring your cooling system is ready to handle the additional cooling demands of summer.

Software Updates and Vehicle Settings

Updating the software and EV vehicle settings is another summer maintenance step for electric vehicle owners. Software updates enhance both the efficiency and performance of the vehicle. They also improve battery management, optimize energy consumption, and enhance overall EV functionality.

EV settings can boost vehicle performance while also enhancing the EV owner experience. For example, climate control settings keep the interior temperature of the electric vehicle at a comfortable temperature without making the vehicle work too hard. You can even use these settings to pre-cool the interior of the cabin before getting in. Effectively using vehicle settings reduces the impact of excessive strain and heat buildup on the battery.

Additionally, adjusting regenerative braking settings and modifying energy recovery levels improves the EV’s range and efficiency in hot weather. Regenerative braking gives a small amount of energy from breaking back to the battery rather than losing it to heat, maximizing energy usage. You can access these settings on the vehicle’s onboard computer system or manufacturer-provided software updates.

4 Tips for Tire Maintenance and Efficiency

Summer often means summer road trips to exciting vacation destinations. Unfortunately, being stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire with the sun scorching down isn’t high on anyone’s summer bucket list. Get your electric vehicle ready for the hot summer months with these tire maintenance tips:

1. Check Tire Pressure

Check your tire pressure regularly, especially during hot weather. Tires are more likely to pop in summer than at any other time of the year. Hot summer days (and hotter summer pavement) can cause the air in the tire to expand, increasing tire pressure, potentially beyond what the tire can handle. Maintain the recommended pressure levels to avoid dangerous overinflation.

2. Inspect Tire Tread

Examine your tire tread depth to ensure sufficient grip on the road. The tread pattern on your tire sheds water and debris off the tire while maintaining traction. Tire tread also helps your EV accelerate and brake safely. Worn-out tires with low tread can be dangerous, especially in hot weather conditions.

3. Rotate Your Tires

Your tires tend to wear out as you rack up mileage. Think of the rubber eraser on the end of the pencil. The more you use it, the more it wears down. Similarly, tire rubber also wears out.

Treads can wear out unevenly, creating potentially hazardous driving conditions. Regularly rotating your tires helps promote even wear and extends their lifespan. This maintenance practice is essential for optimal traction and stability, especially in hot weather and extreme temperatures.

4. Get an Alignment Check

Every jarring pothole, speed bump, and accidental drive-thru curb check can knock your tires out of alignment. Out-of-alignment tires often wear unevenly, reducing mileage capabilities and making your vehicle harder to handle, which can be exacerbated in hot temperatures. Get your tires aligned to ensure they are properly positioned.

Extended Car Warranties for Electric Vehicles and EV Care

Although electric vehicles are considered reliable, they can still experience mechanical issues. In the grand scheme, EVs are still a relatively new concept and have some systems to perfect. For example, some EV owners have claimed that they experience issues with charging systems, batteries, and other motor functions, all of which are costly car repairs if paid out of pocket. An extended warranty can help absorb and protect you from these unexpected costs.

Endurance Warranty’s planes de protección de automóviles for electric vehicles and hybrids provide comprehensive coverage for major components, like the ever-important battery and cooling systems, particularly in Tesla models. These plans are tailored to the unique needs of EV owners during the summer months. However, coverage will vary depending on your vehicle and contract.

We offer protection against the expensive costs of unexpected repairs or part replacements, giving car owners peace of mind knowing they are safeguarded from mechanical breakdowns during the hot summer. Extended car warranty plans, more accurately known as vehicle service contracts, allow electric vehicle owners to proactively prepare financially for unforeseen malfunctions or mechanical breakdowns related to EV battery or cooling system, ensuring a stress-free driving experience — even in extreme summer conditions.

Plan de protección automática Endurance customers can take advantage of all of the included perks, such as round-the-clock 24/7 roadside assistance, towing and lockout services, and trip interruption coverage, to name a few.

When you purchase any of our auto protection plans as a new Endurance customer, you’ll also receive a year of Beneficios de élite at no extra cost. This includes two annual tire repairs or replacements, key fob replacement, and up to $1,000 in total loss protection, among other benefits. A nominal activation fee is required.

How to Prepare for Summer Road Trips

According to a recent study, more than 200 million Americans plan to take road trips during the summer. This accounts for more than 80% of the population. If you are one of these drivers, you’ll want to take these steps to prepare an electric vehicle for summer travel:

1. Plan Your Route

Before heading out on your summer road trip with your EV, it’s a good idea to map your route to include charging stops. Make sure charging stations are available at regular intervals along the way to avoid running out of battery power.

Some of the most common charging stations are the Tesla Superchargers, which you don’t necessarily have to own a Tesla to use. If the station is equipped with a Magic Dock adapter or if you have an NACS-equipped vehicle, you can use these chargers, too. Non-Tesla CCS1-equipped vehicles can also use them with a NACS DC adapter provided by Tesla or the vehicle’s manufacturer. Unfortunately, vehicles using an incompatible CHAdeMO plug, like the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, cannot use these charging stations.

2. Consider the Impact of Higher Temperatures

Higher summer temperatures affect the travel range of your EV, and reduced mileage can impact your summer plan. Be sure to adjust your charging stops accordingly. Additionally, be sure to choose shade over the closest spot. Try to park your electric car in shaded areas whenever possible to prevent battery overheating.

3. Check Charging Infrastructure Availability

Before beginning your summer vacation, check the availability of charging infrastructure on your route. You may want to make sure that charging stations are operational and accessible to avoid any inconvenience during your trip.

Electric Vehicle FAQs

Do I need to precondition the battery in the summer?

Electric vehicle batteries charge best around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Preconditioning the battery of an electric vehicle in the winter warms it up so it can charge more efficiently, but it is not necessary in the summer.

How hot is too hot for an electric car?

Electric vehicles function in a wide range of temperatures, but extreme heat can still impact their performance. Temperatures above 100°F (38°C) can start to affect an electric car’s efficiency and range. Keep an eye on the battery temperature and take precautions to prevent your EV from overheating, especially in sweltering summer heat.

Do electric vehicles need to be warmed up before driving away from a charging station?

While it isn’t necessary to warm up the battery before driving away from a charging station, “warming up” the vehicle allows your vehicle’s interior to come to a comfortable temperature. Your car has to use some of its battery reserves to cool (or heat) the cabin, reducing overall vehicle range. Maintaining the interior temperature uses less battery power than using the air conditioning to bring it to the right temperature. Therefore, having it warmed up before unplugging can keep you on the road longer.

How does temperature impact EV range?

De acuerdo a Informes de los consumidores, cold weather resulted in the shortest EV range. Surprisingly, warmer days resulted in a more extended range. However, it is interesting to note that electric vehicles get a better range in stop-and-go traffic than on the highway, the opposite of a gas-powered car.

Prepare for Summer with an Extended Car Warranty

Maintaining the EV battery, cooling systems, and software is important for keeping your electric car running smoothly, even in hot summer weather. However, mechanical breakdowns are inevitable, no matter what kind of car you drive. Endurance Warranty plans for Tesla EVs and hybrid vehicles can help you feel confident on the road ahead.

Contact our top-rated customer support team at (800) 253-8203 o Solicite una cotización GRATIS. Alternatively, you can visita nuestra tienda electrónica to check your pricing and plan details now.

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