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Do electric cars use oil?

13th December 2022

What is an electric vehicle? 

Electric cars, also known as all-electric vehicles (EVs), run solely on battery power that charges from an electric charging point. Unlike conventional vehicles, electric cars have an electric vehicle engine and use an electric motor powered by electricity from batteries or a fuel cell. Hybrid electric vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors which uses energy stored in batteries. The battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the combustion engine and cannot be plugged in to charge.  

Do electric cars use oil? 

Electric cars do not use oil due to their electric motors generally not having oil in them that needs to be changed like traditional engines. As there are no valves, pistons or any other moving parts that require lubrication, traditional engine oil does not need to be used to help maintain those parts.  

What fluids need maintaining in an electric vehicle? 

Although electric vehicles do not use oil, there are other lubricants that should be checked periodically. Routine checks on these three fluids are required. 


Electric cars rely on coolant fluid to prevent the batteries from overheating. Adding and replacing the coolant is vital during maintenance.  

Brake Fluid

The braking system in an electric car relies on the brake fluid to work smoothly. Typically, brake fluid in electric vehicles should be replaced after operating about 25,000 miles.  

Windshield Washing Fluid  

Maintaining and replacing windshield washing fluid depends on usage and should be refilled as often as needed.  

What maintenance do electric cars need?

Parts that are common to electric vehicles such as brakes, tyres and battery will need to be checked regularly.  

  • Brake maintenance – replace brake pads and discs when needed and be sure to replace brake fluid when required  
  • Tyre maintenance – rotate your tyres according to the owner’s manual and keep tyre pressure topped up. You should also replace tyres when worn.  
  • Battery maintenance – be sure to charge your battery according to the owner’s manual and never let it run out of battery completely  

It’s particularly important to check these components before you book in for an MOT or service. Here at Merityre, our service branches have fully trained experts who can provide maintenance checks and services for electric vehicles. Locate your nearest Merityre Specialists garagenow or contact our friendly team to find out more about the about the benefits of electric cars