Do Electric Cars Need Brake Fluid?

Gasoline-powered cars have essential, regular maintenance requirements that may become quite expensive. We’ve often heard that EVs require less maintenance than their gasoline-powered counterparts. However, EVs still require periodic maintenance, including a brake fluidOpens in a new tab. change.  

Electric cars need brake fluid because their braking systems consist of brake discs and pads that require brake fluid to function properly. In addition to having regenerative brakes, all EVs have conventional braking systems that regular cars also use.

Braking fluids are considered hygroscopic as they absorb water from the air over time. If this fluid is not changed or flushed out of the braking system regularly, it can cause corrosion. Therefore electric cars still need frequent brake fluid replacements and general brake maintenance. In this guide, we’ll show you how to maintain your braking system as well as the other essential components of your EV.

How To Maintain Your EV’s Brake

As stated earlier, EVs also have conventional braking systems that also require the same maintenance that a regular car needs. However, these conventional brakes are less regularly utilized in EVs and need less frequent maintenance, so corrosion and seizing are not very concerning problems. 

EVs tend to use their regenerative braking more often as they also help charge the battery whenever you use the brakes. With that being said, this does not mean that you should forget about brake maintenance altogether. Here’s how you can maintain your EV’s brakes:

Check The Brake Fluid

You can check the amount of brake fluid your car has from the brake fluid reservoir. Ensure you don’t open the reservoir’s cover to check your braking fluid. Instead, you can check whether the fluid level lies between the minimum and maximum lines. 

If the fluid is near the minimum line you should add the fluid according to the specification of your car’s user manuals. 

It is also critical to understand your EV’s specifications and how often it needs its brake fluid to be refilled by consulting its handbook manual. Generally, most electric cars, such as the ones by Tesla, require their brake fluids to be replaced every two years. Whereas, some EVs such as the one from Nissan require replacement after five years.

Check The Rotors And Pads

An EV’s rotors and pads are prone to rusting unless they are made of a non-ferrous material. Although slight surface rust isn’t a cause for concern, you shouldn’t ignore it for too long. However, if your EV’s brakes are severely rusted, you must clean them. 

This can be done using a brake cleaner and elbow grease, or you could take your EV to a workshop. If you want to clean at home, make sure you use a non-flammable chlorinated brake cleaning compound.

Check The Calipers

No brake maintenance is ever finished until you inspect the calipers, not just for rust but also to ensure they haven’t seized. Lubricating the calipers regularly is crucial if you want the brakes to perform well.

Other Maintenance Requirements

It’s not just the brakes of an EV that require maintenance; your tires, battery, and other components are equally important. Let’s look at how to maintain a few significant electric vehicle components.

Tire Maintenance 

EVs are often heavier than traditional combustion engine cars and have a higher torque. As a result, EVs require more tire maintenance than conventional vehicles.

You first must ensure that your EV’s tires have the correct pressure, which is critical for getting a decent range out of an EV. You should also rotate the tires regularly. Tire rotation ensures that it allows them to wear out evenly. If you observe any abnormal wear, immediately rotate the tires.

The general rule of thumb is to rotate your car’s tires after at least every 5000 miles or what is recommended in your car’s user manual. 

Here are some examples of different car models and the recommended mileage before you should rotate your tires:

Car ModelTire Rotation Interval
Tesla Model S10,000-12,000 miles
Nissan LEAF5,000 miles
Chevrolet Bolt7,500 miles

Battery Maintenance

The easiest way of taking care of your EV’s battery is by not letting it fall below 20% since EVs require a power reserve for warming up. Ideally, you should maintain your EV’s charge at around 50% and a max of 90%.

Fast chargers often reduce the peak charging rate of an EV’s battery. Also, using Level 3 chargers can significantly damage your EV’s battery. Therefore, it’s best to avoid these high voltage fast chargers unless you urgently need to make a long trip.

Windscreen Wipers Maintenance

Most EVs feature standard windshield wipers, which require the same maintenance as traditional vehicle windscreen wipers. For the wipers to work effectively, you should replace them at least twice a year. Clean the wiper blades thoroughly and always be on the lookout for rubber splits. 

Cabin Air Filter Maintenance

The cabin air filter in EVs is responsible for clean air inside the car. Check your owner’s handbook for the filter’s location, although you’ll commonly find it beneath the glove box door in most EVs. The good news is that the cabin air filter doesn’t require too many tools and can be replaced or cleaned within a minute. 

However, if you don’t keep your cabin filter clean for too long, smog and debris can accumulate in the cabin through the ventilation system. 


Q) Do EVs Require Less Maintenance As Compared to Conventional Vehicles?

An EV requires significantly less maintenance than a typical fossil fuel-powered vehicle. Plus, the lubricant oil inside the batteries and the drive unit also doesn’t need replacement. However, standard EVs do require maintenance such as tire rotation, brake fluid replacement, cabin air filter cleaning, rotor replacement, and a few more which you should look out for.

Q) Why Do EVs Require Lubricants?

EVs require lubricants to help the electric drive unit and the motor function properly. 

Q) Do EVs Require Special Tires?

Since EVs are heavier than traditional vehicles and have quicker acceleration, they require special tires that provide considerable traction and better grip. 


Brake fluid is an important component of an EV, and like any other vehicle, it also needs to be replaced if you want to keep your vehicle running smoothly. Apart from that, there aren’t many parts inside an EV that require maintenance, but we recommend you follow the manufacturer’s guide if you think a component is malfunctioning.

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