Do Electric Cars Need Engine Oil? - Indus Used Cars

12 Apr, 2024

Do Electric Cars Need Engine Oil?

Do Electric Cars Need Engine Oil?

The straight answer to this question is NO. EVs or electric cars do not need engine oil. However, this doesn’t mean that EVs do not require any type of oil. A traditional engine has moving components like pistons and valves. They have to be kept lubricated constantly for smooth and efficient functioning. That is why they need engine oil.


Having said that, EVs will have to be replenished with other fluids for lubrication and cooling. These are for systems like transmission, suspension, air-conditioning, etc. Bearings in the electric motor, bearings on the wheels, door lock systems, and other parts would need oil for lubrication. Nonetheless, constant oil replacement is not required on these systems and components. 

Why Electric Cars Do Not Require Engine Oil?


The answer to this lies in the working methodology and functioning fundamentals of the engine. Unlike an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) that uses fossil fuel, EVs are powered by electric motors. Traditional engines or ICEs have several moving parts that need constant lubrication. Towards reducing wear and tear, maintaining friction-free functioning, and obtaining optimum efficiency. Lack of adequate quantity of oil, of stated specification, can result in engine damage or engine seizure.


The scenario is a bit different in the case of hybrid vehicles. Hybrid cars are installed with both electric motors and traditional engines. The ICEs on the hybrid vehicle will need engine oil. Nevertheless, engine oil replacement or replenishment will not be required as frequently as a traditional engine. Because the electric motor would be handling the majority of power requirements. And the usage of ICE is much lower compared to a traditional vehicle. Further, the ICE in a hybrid car will be smaller than a normal car; therefore, the quantity of engine oil required is also low.


Owners of EVs do not have to worry about engine oil. The only requirement in electric vehicles is the lubrication of specific parts. Additionally, the areas where lubrication is required are closed or sealed. Preventing loss of lubricating oil effectively. Hence, they do not have to be maintained frequently.  

Engine Oil in Hybrid Cars

Hybrid vehicles have both electric motors and traditional engines onboard. The major work is done by the electric motor. And the ICE is for supporting it whenever required. The frequency of engine oil changes in hybrid vehicles will differ depending on the model. The engine oil replacement periodicity in hybrid cars will vary from 5000 km to 7500 km generally.


The hybrid car will be switching between electric motors and ICE constantly. The frequent changeover may cause increased friction on the components. Due to this, the manufacturer will specify engine oil of the requisite specification. Make sure to replenish the car with the engine oil of the stated specification. Otherwise, you would be damaging the engine.

Also Read: Why Your Next Car Should Be a Smart Hybrid? 

Types of Fluids Used in EVs

Even though EVs do not require engine oil there are some other types of fluids and oils for cooling and lubrication. The fluids used in electric cars are:


  • Brake System Fluid: The brake system comes under emergency systems onboard a vehicle. The brake system in an EV is different from that of a traditional car. It uses regenerative technology, in which the kinetic energy while braking is converted into electric energy that is saved in the battery pack. Consequent to the usage of this technology, the load on brake pads comes down phenomenally, reducing wear and tear. At the same time, the system has to be lubricated properly for its smooth functioning. Hence, the brake system fluid must be replaced within the specified periodicity correctly.

  • Engine Coolant: An ICE will need a constant supply of coolant to keep it cool, which is vital for safe functioning as well as obtaining optimum power. Similar is the case here. The coolant will reduce the heat on the battery pack of the EV. Engine coolant of the proposed specification must be available all the time. Do replace the fluid in the given periodicity. The coolant condition must be inspected during servicing to confirm that enough quantity of fluid is available and it has the stated quality. Note that, lack of coolant can cause fire and hence is a safety concern.

  • Transmission System Fluid: Electric vehicles do not require maintenance as often as other cars. This does not mean that they don’t require maintenance at all. Meticulous servicing and maintenance have to be undertaken as stated by the manufacturer. Servicing periodicity is suggested based on the studies and analysis by the experts at the manufacturing company. Those should not be neglected in any case. Transmission system fluid in the EV has to be refilled as and when required in the suggested periodicity. Inspection of the transmission fluid may be undertaken during the periodic maintenance process.


Hope this article has been useful for you in understanding different fluids used on EVs. You may call us if you still have doubts regarding the need for engine oil in electric cars. We would be happy to help you.


EVs and hybrid cars are the future. Owning an EV would be a preferable choice, considering the present scenario. You may talk to us if you are looking to buy a used EV. We offer excellent deals on pre-owned EVs and other cars.








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