A couple days back, James Could put out a online video demonstrating us a minor challenge he ran into that turned something a whole lot additional really serious, and it can instruct us some thing essential about EVs: some of them are a ton harder to operate on than many others.
To immediately recap: His 12-volt battery went lifeless (“flat” in British parlance), and he went as a result of in excess of an hour of work just to get to the terminals and charge it. Not only did he have to connect with Tesla to figure out how to open up the hood (or bonnet), but then he had to consider a bunch of sections off to expose the terminals. Even aspect of the HVAC tubing experienced to arrive out to get at it.
Now, let us compare this to the occasions I experienced to soar-begin my Nissan LEAF.
When I would obtain my LEAF’s 12-volt battery had run flat, I had a significantly easier time of items than James May well did. I pulled the little backup mechanical essential out of the critical fob, utilized it to unlock the driver’s doorway, and then pulled the mechanical hood launch. I elevated the hood, propped it up with the prop rod, and the battery was proper there, prepared to hook the cables to.
When I was completed and the auto was holding by itself going all over again, I unhooked the jumper cables, eliminated the prop rod, dropped the hood, and was all set to generate absent. The complete system, from noticing the battery was dead (essential fob didn’t work) to getting all set to generate away usually takes 2-5 minutes, and that involved having to the Jetta’s battery (open hood, expose posts, clamp on the jumper cables).
So, in 1/12 the time James Might invested, I was equipped to obtain the battery on not only one car or truck, but two.
This was so easy, in truth, that I expended practically a year carrying out this 4-5 periods a thirty day period. I was mad that the factory 12-volt battery was likely undesirable following just a year and a half, so I limped along on it right up until I felt like I could not deal with it any more time. With the LEAF, it was simple enough to get away with this. Experienced this been a Product S, I would have adjusted the 12-volt out the first time it went dead prematurely. The variation in energy demanded is that drastic.
The F-150 Lightning’s design outdoes each Tesla and Nissan on this. It is likely to come with a Large frunk, but also will make it effortless to get at the 12-volt battery.
— Karl Henkel (@karlhenk) Could 20, 2021
It’s tricky to see in most of the photographs delivered by Ford, but there’s a minor entry door at the back of the Mega Power Frunk that gives simple access to not only the 12-volt battery, but also other frequent maintenance things. It’s as quick to get to as my LEAF, but also provides heaps of storage!
12-Volt Batteries Aren’t The Only Thing Which is More difficult On Some EVs Than Some others
It turns out that other prevalent routine maintenance objects are an issue, way too. Positive, Tesla tells you that its automobiles really do not need servicing, but it’s good to be capable to place typical troubles just before they develop into a major problem that strands you someplace.
When Loaded experienced his Product X in the garage to correct a CV joint concern (it appears that Tesla and Nissan have a mutual challenge there), and they were being below the automobile wanting at things, the dude at Electrified Garage found that coolant was leaking in the vicinity of the front of the battery pack.
In the video (following they remove the rat’s nest, a widespread automotive dilemma for all brands) you will notice that the coolant tank is powering the cabin air filter. This implies that just to check out your coolant amount and capture a leak ahead of it results in being a difficulty, you’d have to get rid of every thing in entrance of it. The parts surrounding the frunk, the frunk carpet, frunk tub, and air filter must all come out to even be in a position to see the coolant stage. If that’s far too tricky to do each couple of weeks (and you really don’t have a clear garage in which you see each and every very little location of fluid that will come from a automobile) you’ll as a substitute find out the coolant leak when the Tesla shuts down and leaves you stranded.
In most automobiles (which includes my LEAF), the coolant tank is ideal there prepared to look at the amount of as soon as you open up the hood, and you can give it a rapid check out the moment a month along with other factors you need to inspect on your car or truck regularly.
If a motor vehicle (gasoline or electric) does spring a tiny coolant leak at a lousy time, you can limp it home or limp it along for a couple of months by halting off at Automobile Bone and including coolant to that reserve tank. Just be sure to fall some kitty litter the place it leaks so no animals get poisoned by the coolant. As soon as again, most vehicles will permit you do this by popping the hood, popping the cap, and then pouring in coolant. The Model X, on the other hand, requires a whole lot of operate with instruments just to get to the coolant cap and top it off.
Transforming the cabin air filter (they had to get it in) took a entire great deal much more perform than most EVs, and additional price for most persons. Not only did the frunk tub experienced to arrive out, but Tesla expects people to adjust the entire assembly as an alternative of just the filter’s paper component. The good news is, Rich’s shop dude at Electrified Garage understood how to get all over that concern. Most people today will just crank out some further plastic squander and swap the complete assembly.
At the time yet again, Ford bought this correct. The coolant tank is accessible inside of the minor doorway at the again of the F-150 Lightning’s frunk. Not a issue.
Upkeep Is Even now A Good Idea For EVs
In principle, you can preserve a large amount of dollars with a auto that does not have to have routine maintenance. If you are a DIYer like me, it’s not a enormous expense drain to accomplish some regimen maintenance. If you are shelling out stores to do your plan servicing, the fees add up rapidly.
In observe, however, not undertaking some regimen upkeep isn’t good. Examining for frequent challenges just about every couple months can avoid you from ending up with a big invoice when items that you could have spotted early turn into big, costly nightmares. It’s the previous “an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure”.
Here’s an outdated Tesla servicing checklist you can look at to get an plan of complications to look for, or you can watch a video clip right here likely over upkeep merchandise.
If you’re continue to a believer in Tesla’s “no maintenance” idea, it is nevertheless a fantastic notion to at minimum examine for popular difficulties prior to you go on a road trip. Examining coolant degrees, supplying the brakes an inspection (or a brief use), checking brake fluid, examining other hoses for cracks and leaks, and earning certain the travel device isn’t leaking any fluid are all fantastic factors to do.
All of this would be easier for proprietors if Tesla created these issues more accessible, and ideally they do at some position.
Highlighted image: Screenshot from the Abundant Rebuilds video above, displaying the cabin air filter and coolant reservoir.