Take Steps to Prepare Your Electric Vehicle for Winter

As the temperature drops and meteorologists start to predict snow, Milex Complete Auto Care encourages customers to winterize your electric vehicle to keep it running at peak performance and stay safe on the roads.

 

Americans have purchased 1.6 million electric vehicles since they hit the market in 2010, according to the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The new line of electric vehicles are sporty, environmentally friendly, and run quietly. Many new electric vehicles can drive longer before requiring recharging, versus earlier models, according to Duke Energy, an energy provider. Tax credits and gas savings make them a cost-effective option for drivers. Electric cars are also good for budget-conscious drivers because they require less maintenance than regular cars. Electric cars run on batteries. They do not require regular oil changes. Duke Energy estimates an electric car owner will save more than $1,100 annually.

 

To maintain cost savings and ensure your electric vehicle performs well this winter, it’s important to take a few simple steps during the cold months ahead. Winter can drain your car’s battery and reduce your typical mileage range. Recent research reveals electric vehicles lose nearly 20 percent of their driving range in winter weather, according to a study in Norway by the Norwegian Automobile Federation. Milex Complete Auto Care technicians recommend taking these steps to winterize your electric vehicle.

 

Get your car a winter check-up. Take your car to get it serviced before it gets too cold. Technicians will make sure you have the proper level of antifreeze and replace worn air filters to maximize heat flow.

 

Check your tire pressure. Monitoring your tire pressure will help extend your vehicle’s range this winter. Colder temperatures cause the air level in your tires to contract and the pressure to fall, which decreases your car’s efficiency. Proper air pressure can extend the battery life of your car by 3 to 7 percent, according to ExxonMobil. If you live in an area that sees a lot of snow, investing in snow tires will improve the way your car handles and increase safety.

 

Treat the windshield. Defrosting the windshield drains the battery. To ward off fogging, make sure to clean your windshield with an ammonia-based cleaner. Dirty windshields retain moisture that can lead to fog. Our technicians also recommend purchasing an inexpensive gel dehumidifier desiccant to keep on the dashboard to help prevent you from having to turn on the defroster. Install quality windshield wipers to aid snow and ice removal.

 

Precondition. During the winter, you can extend your car’s range by remote starting the vehicle approximately 30 minutes before unplugging it from the power source. Preconditioning allows the interior of the car to heat up without draining the battery. Some electric cars can be programmed to begin preconditioning at a set time to make sure your car is ready when you need to leave. 

 

Activate your car’s economy mode. Many electric cars offer an economy mode, or Eco Mode option, which limits the amount of power to the motor and other parts of the car that deplete the battery life, like the heater. Operating in this low-energy mode can be a benefit during icy weather conditions because the car will accelerate more slowly and prevent your tires from spinning.

 

Limit use of the cabin heater. Turn off your cabin heater to extend your vehicle’s range. Our experts are not recommending you don a snowsuit before hitting the road during the winter months. Milex technicians suggest relying as much as possible on the seat and steering wheel heaters to cut down energy consumption.

 

Plug in every night. Electric vehicles take longer to charge in cold weather, according to the NAF. Ensure your car is properly charged before hitting the road this winter by keeping it plugged in at night.

 

If temperatures are dropping in your neck of the woods, take your electric car to the nearest Milex Complete Auto Care where our service technicians can get your vehicle ready for winter.

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