Buying used - what breaks on EVs?

Discussion in 'General' started by prestoOne, Mar 25, 2018.

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  1. prestoOne

    prestoOne Member

    The battery condition I think can be checked on the dash and a printout of its history and health can be printed out.
    They have wheels and brakes.

    What breaks on EVs?
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  3. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    For the most part, a lot of things that that break on an EV are the same things that breaks on a regular car. There is no engine, however. So obviously that cuts out a lot of potential failures! But in my years of car ownership, I've spent way more combined on things that had nothing at all to do with the engine or oil changes.

    The major potential cost for repair on an EV would be the battery pack. Except most car makers are now providing very strong warranties on the battery pack specifically. So any premature degradation or failure should be covered.

    Other than that, ICE and EV cars share a lot of the same elements that are just as prone to failure. Software glitches, tires, suspension issues, general wear and tear to all kinds of things like switches, knobs, doors, displays, wipers, AC Refrigerant / repair, power seat and window motors etc etc etc.

    One major exception is the brakes! A car with strong regen will be very light on the friction brakes so they should last a long time. But even then, they will eventually need repair.
    prestoOne likes this.
  4. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    ICE engines, treated properly, are pretty reliable these days. An electric motor plus the drive electronics is potentially even more reliable, but obviously not totally immune to failures. I suspect the latter may be more expensive to put right however, if they DO go wrong.
  5. Marcel_g

    Marcel_g Member

    If you're looking at used Leafs, get an ODB-II adapter and LeafSpy for your phone. You can plug it in and check the SOH - State Of Health of the battery, and how many DC fast charges have been done. The bars on the dash give you a rough estimation, but you have to assume that the top bar is just about to drop out.

    Otherwise, yes, it's normal car issues with suspension and tires, heaters, AC, etc.
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  6. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    What about its exposure to temperature extremes? I don't know for sure, but I'd be surprised if that didn't have a bad effect on the battery too.
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  8. prestoOne

    prestoOne Member

    The current Nissan warranty states the car cannot be left sitting in -X degrees for 7 days or longer.
    The length of time it sits discharged is also taken into account if I recall correctly.
  9. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    Would you be able to determine if the car had exceeded these limits from the OBD2 port? I think I'd want to take it for a long run to see how the battery behaved before buying, anyway, but perhaps I am being a bit paranoid.

    I begin to wonder how the Tesla battery monitoring works. I understand that cells that pack up can be switched out of service, but it seems unlikely that they would be replaceable. With 7,000 of them I'd expect to see a fair rate of failure over a year or two, even if they are much more reliable than the batteries I know and love!

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