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Can I Take My Electric Vehicle to a Regular Mechanic?

Red and black electric vehicles are plugged in and charging

As the world makes a shift toward more sustainable transportation, electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular. They are a great eco-friendly option, but it’s important to know that maintenance and repairs for EVs are different than for regular vehicles. One common question we hear is, do regular auto shops work on EVs? The answer is: it depends! Read on to understand when a regular mechanic will be fine and when you need to see an electric vehicle specialist.

How EVs are Different

Unique Components

What we think of as “traditional” cars are known as internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Mechanics are well-versed in their maintenance and repair. EVs, on the other hand, are new to many auto technicians, in part because they utilize totally unique components and systems than ICE cars. This means that additional education is needed to fully understand electric vehicles’ components.  

Propulsion System

One of the primary differences between EVs and ICE vehicles is their propulsion system. EVs rely on electric motors powered by batteries, while ICE vehicles use combustion engines fueled by gasoline or diesel. This means that EVs require things like battery packs, electric motors, and sophisticated control systems that ICE vehicles do not — and that your go-to mechanic might not be familiar with.

Training Requirements 

Technicians who work with EVs need to undergo additional, intensive training to understand EV technology. Your EV mechanic needs to have experience working with high-voltage systems, otherwise the repair process could be unsafe and not give you the results you need. So while classic auto training is fine for working with ICE vehicles, EVs require specific training to understand, diagnose, and repair.

When to Use a Regular Mechanic

Though EVs and ICE vehicles are very different, some things about them are the same. You don’t need to seek out an EV specialist for routine tasks like tire changes and rotations, brake inspections, or AC repairs. These maintenance services are generally the same for both kinds of cars, so you should be able to work with any mechanic.

When to Use an EV Specialist

For anything beyond simple maintenance tasks, seek out an auto shop that specializes in EV services. Issues or maintenance involving your engine or propulsion system cannot be addressed by a traditional mechanic. Similarly, if you’re having an issue that seems complex or you can’t figure out, take your car to a certified electric vehicle technician. 

At Pearson Auto, we’re happy to help you with routine maintenance for your EV like tire rotations, alignments, and brake services. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

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