Do Teslas have brake pads? Electric Car Maintenance 101September 15, 2022
We know that “regular” gasoline cars need brake services like brake pads and rotor replacements. But how does that apply to electric vehicles like Teslas? Do the brakes have to be replaced less often? What are the maintenance and costs like? This is electric car maintenance 101.
What maintenance is required for an electric car?
Although an electric car requires less maintenance than a conventional gasoline model, you still need to take thorough care of your vehicle.
Every electric car automaker suggests a routine maintenance schedule which includes checking tire pressure, rotating your tires, conducting visual inspections of your brakes, and replacing the cabin air filter. Your electric car has fewer mechanical components that need servicing so you’ll never need an oil change or even transmission servicing, but you do still have brake fluid and coolants, which need to be refilled and flushed every few years for dirt. And of course, your electric car’s brakes are different because they use regenerative braking, which captures your car’s deceleration energy and repurposes it to power the electric motor.
Do regenerative brakes last longer?
First, it’s critical to mention that every electric vehicle and hybrid still has conventional brakes, because regenerative braking alone isn’t strong enough to stop a vehicle in an emergency situation. The combination of both brakes allows you to use your traditional friction brakes much less, which results in longer wear and fewer brake pad replacements.
But, with the popularity of one-pedal driving, some drivers use their friction brakes so rarely, that the brake pads start to accumulate moisture, which is usually burned off by the heat of braking, which can damage the materials of your pads. Did you know there are now premium brake pads specifically engineered for electric vehicles to prevent this from happening?
Tesla brakes replacement
Just like we said above, your Tesla still has traditional brake pads, whether you actually use the brake pedal or not. Brake pads on a Tesla would still need to be replaced periodically, depending on how often you drive the car, and in what climate—de-icing agents and chemicals used on the roads in the winter can corrode your brakes and the entire underside of your vehicle, if not maintained often enough.
A special note on Teslas—if your Tesla needs routine maintenance or a bigger repair, it’s best to take it to an authorized Tesla repair shop. These can be hard to find in your region and with the current supply chain delays of automotive parts, you may end up waiting months for a new part. Teslas also need special tools and equipment for repairs, so you likely wouldn’t be able to tinker on your electric vehicle at all.
Although electric vehicles enjoy longer brake wear and considerably less maintenance, they still need proper care and attention so make sure you know your maintenance schedule and that you have a reliable shop that can work on electric vehicles in your region.