Maintenance & EV charging
We now offer L2 EV charging. Find us on PlugShare or the Flo app
MYTH: Electric vehicles are maintenance free
TRUTH: No matter the method of propulsion, all vehicles require maintenance.
While it is true that EVs will require less maintenance than an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle, there is still a maintenance schedule that should be followed and in harsh environments (extreme cold and heat, humidity swings and road salt) like where we live, it is very important to keep your EV in good running order. Unlike an ICE vehicle where you can fill up in an instant, things that will negatively affect range have an even greater impact on your driving experience. A lot of the items below are also relevant to Hybrids.
Worn tires are likely the first thing that will bring your EV to the shop for the first time — but they might not be as straightforward a choice as the tires on an ICE-powered vehicle. Even though the tire sizing may be similar, EV tires need to handle the extra load. For example, a Hyundai Kona electric weighs about 300 kilograms (or 21 percent) more than its gas-powered equivalent. Translation: EVs demand a tire with a higher load index. New EVs are also fitted with low-rolling resistance tires. These tires are stiffer, have a harder compound and typically start off with a lower tread depth than other tires. Using these ‘special’ tires is how that range figure is achieved. This also means they may wear faster due to the demands and the extra load placed on them by a heavier vehicle that has a lot of torque. In most cases, if you are willing to give up a bit of range, we can advise on a tire that might wear better and provide better performance and comfort.
Depending on the amount you drive, frequent tire rotations and annual balance checks are also important to maintain that smooth, quiet ride that EV-owners adore.
Alignment and suspension
There’s just no getting around the fact that an EV owner faces inherently higher tire costs compared to the owner of an ICE powered vehicle. Poor alignment will result in the car wearing the tires even faster and reduce your range. When your wheels are out of alignment, the tires are literally being pushed rather than rolled down the road. An alignment check every six months to a year can help to reduce those costs.
EVs will also encounter the same steering and suspension issues as any other vehicle. Shocks, struts, ball joints, tie rods, etc. will all wear out and should be checked during any maintenance visit.
EVs rely on regenerative braking. This uses the resistance of the electric motor to recharge the battery and slow down the car when the driver lifts their foot from the accelerator. The car slows, but the regular friction brakes — which typically slow the car via brake pads and discs — don’t come into play until you are ready to stop. This means the friction braking system should last much longer than in an ICE-powered vehicle, right? Sure, in theory. In an ICE vehicle, heat from the stopping friction boils the moisture out of the rotors and keeps them from prematurely corroding. Without this heat, the bare steel rotors will corrode to the point where they will no longer provide adequate stopping power. An emergency stop is not the time to find out your brakes are not functioning at their peak. Proper servicing is vital to keep those brakes functioning and optimize their lifespan. This area of the country is one of the harshest where it comes to brakes and corrosion. Most brakes if not serviced will need replacing well before they wear out. Our signature brake service and subsequent inspections every time you come in for service is the key to safe driving.
Brake fluid is also something that needs attention. Even though the system is sealed, the vent on the top of the master cylinder does allow for a tiny amount of air to get in. The brake fluid will absorb moisture in the air that will then corrode the brake system from the inside out. That moisture reduces the boiling point of the fluid and in an emergency braking situation will contribute to brake fade. Automakers like Nissan and Tesla recommend a brake fluid check and/or change every two years or 24,000km.
Cabin air filter
The cabin air filter is something that often needs attention in any vehicle. This is the filter that takes care of the air you breath. It is positioned to filter all the air entering the cabin and is exposed to dirt and moisture. A perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Tucked away out of sight, it’s not an obvious maintenance item to the owner, who may not even be aware of its existence. Failing to replace it at the right interval may lead to a musty smell in the interior or worse exposure to mold, bacteria and a reduction in HVAC efficiency which will also impact range.
When it comes to batteries, we tend to focus on the long-term health of the car’s high-voltage drive battery. But all EVs have a 12V battery that’s far more likely to cause problems. In an EV, the 12V battery is essential to the control system of the high-voltage battery and all the accessories in the vehicle. If it fails to recharge or hold sufficient charge, the result can be unusual error messages and erratic operation of the vehicle that could potentially leave you stranded at the roadside.
Checking the health of the 12V battery in an ICE-powered vehicle is a typical item on just about every shop’s checklist. But the 12V battery can fall through the cracks during an EVs inspections and EV drivers won’t be coming in for regular oil changes. As part of our EV service, we will (if available) check the health of both your HV and 12V batteries.
Some EVs and hybrids also have air filters for their air-cooled batteries. These must be maintained to prevent the HV battery from overheating. Overheating a battery will reduce its lifespan and could even result in a fire.
Brake maintenance is one of the most overlooked items on your car. Yearly service can extend the life of one of most important systems in your car. This is why we check your brakes each and every time you drop by for service.
When we do our signature brake service, we disassemble all moving parts, Removable parts are put into our vapor honing machine and corrosion is carefully removed from all sliding surfaces. We then dry and paint the part to prevent the return of the corrosion. All sliding and mating surfaces are lubed with high temp ceramic brake lube. We also de-glaze the pads and rotors. Then everything is reassembled to a like new condition.
We will also test your brake fluid for moisture content and contamination. If it is too high, we will recommend a complete brake flush. Not only does this prevent corrosion from the inside of all brake parts, but will also prevent brake failure in an emergency stop due to the moisture boiling in the fluid.
The result is extended brake life and the restoration of braking power.
ICE & Hybrid maintenance
We used to call this a "lube, oil and filter" service. The truth is, most cars have no ‘lube’ points or grease fittings any more. Steering components are filled at the factory with grease and are not serviceable.
At Seamless Auto Care we treat service differently. Our Essential Service consists of an oil filter change and the use of premium quality oil that conforms to your vehicles specifications, be it full synthetic or conventional oil. If your vehicle has grease fittings, we will grease them at no additional charge. all hinges will be lubricated and washer fluid topped up.
We also do a quick inspection of your vehicle, which includes all exterior lamps, accessory belts, brakes (visual), suspension, and air and cabin filters (when easily accessible). We will also do a battery health check.
You only pay for what you need! We have a flat rate for the labour and we only charge you for filter(s)* and how much oil your engine requires. The ‘lube’ and inspection are free! Package prices might sound like a bargain, but are typically priced for the largest of vehicles.
* some vehicles require addition labour charges to change filters. You will always be advised before we proceed.
WHEELS & SUSPENSION
Tires don't stay balanced forever. We firmly believe that tires should be balanced each and every time they are installed on your car. And for that reason we price our install & balancing the same as other shops charge for a basic install. This means you will be riding nice on each seasonal changeover. Balancing not only makes the ride smooth, but also helps extend the life of other components affected by vibration.
Every car should have an alignment once a year. As parts wear and the roads pound your suspension, settings will change and this will cause excessive tire wear and poor handling. On newer cars with stability control, this is even more critical for proper operation.
DIRECT INJECTION TECHNOLOGY
Gasoline direct-injection (GDI or DI) technology provides substantial improvements in power and efficiency on internal combustion engines and has become widely adopted in most newer models. This technology is inherently more efficient than port fuel injection and allows for increased horsepower and torque throughout the powerband, as well as lower emissions and better fuel economy.
How it works
In a multi-port system both air & fuel flow across the intake valve. The detergents in the fuel wash over the intake valves and keep them clean.
In a GDI system, only air passes across the intake valve meaning there is no fuel wash to reduce carbon build-up. Fuel is introduced into the combustion chamber similar to how a Diesel engine operates.
Blowby gasses, a product of combustion that collect in the crankcase are recirculated into the intake tract, contain oil and fuel that condense and bake onto the back of the hot intake valves. This and exhaust gas recirculation that uses valve timing, contaminate the intake valves.
CARBON DEPOSITS & BUILDUP
While the benefits of direct injection are well documented and worth the added level of hardware and software complexity, there is an inherent downside to eliminating port injection. Direct injected engines are prone to carbon buildup on the intake ports and valves, which over time becomes detrimental to engine performance and efficiency. These deposits accumulate over time, inhibiting airflow, and can even break off and fall into the intake tract, where they can cause damage to the valves, internals and in some cases the turbocharger. Symptoms are reduced power, increased fuel consumption or ignition misfires. These can result in a check engine light and possible damage to other components.
Seamless Auto Care CARBON CLEANING SERVICES
Our expertise has led us to the development of a comprehensive preventative carbon cleaning program as well as a more intense solution for sever carbon buildup.
For newer vehicles, we recommend an Induction Service every 30,000 Km, which consists of injecting a strong cleaner into the intake tract to remove the soft sticky deposits before they have a chance to solidify. We also add an in-tank detergent to help clean the fuel injectors. This should be done before an oil change to ensure no residue is left in the oil. As with all preventative maintenance the cost is far less than the more intense service.
For vehicles that are experiencing the effects of severe buildup that has now solidified, we will remove the intake manifold, and physically clean the carbon deposits from the intake ports and valves using media (similar to sand blasting, but with walnut shells). We will also clean the intake manifold before reinstalling with new gaskets and seals. Then we add a high detergent cleaner to your fuel tank.
CARBON BUILDUP & CARBON CLEANING FAQ
Can I use fuel additives to prevent carbon buildup on my direct-injected engine?
You can use fuel additives, but they won't help clean carbon buildup from the intake valves and intake tract. Because fuel is sprayed directly into the combustion chamber on a DI engine, none of the fuel or additives will reach the intake ports or valves. It will however keep the injectors clean.
Should I use a different type of oil to prevent carbon buildup on my direct-injected engine?
YES! We recommend using a premium synthetic oil that meets or exceeds the correct specification for your engine. Synthetic oils have a higher detergent content and are more resistant to evaporation at higher temperatures. These qualities can reduce oil consumption and the amount of blowby being created and subsequently entering the intake. Add in a premium oil filter and oil change intervals that better reflect your driving conditions, and you will be doing the best you can for your vehicles engine health.
Using a top-tier fuel with the correct octane will also ensure complete combustion and the proper operation of your engine.
We can advise you on the specific needs of your vehicle during your visit.
Can I remove carbon buildup on my direct-injected engine by introducing Seafoam or other chemicals into my intake manifold?
No. Most of these products are oil based and while they do create a great smoke show, they do little to really clean anything.
Chemical cleaning should be done under controlled conditions by a trained technician that has the proper tools to perform the service. T
he only effective way to remove hard carbon buildup from the intake valves is to remove the intake manifold, and physically clean the valves. This is a time-consuming and labor-intensive service that is definitely not a DIY project.
During business hours we can provide you with a CCS to Tesla adapter.