Edition: March/April 2012
Spring is here and that means that the ever infamous “Spring Cleaning” is due. So it is a great time to get in touch with all of your customers and offer a “Spring Cleaning & Tune Up” for the electric vehicle that they own!
It is also a great time to get your customer base back into the showroom and provide them a value added service that will improve the satisfaction and reliability of their vehicle. It will also offer you an opportunity to get them to consider purchasing a new vehicle, add/sell accessories such as a watering system as well as service the vehicle they currently have and provide refresher training on “How to take care of their EV”.
What should a “Spring Cleaning & Tune Up”
- Inspect the vehicle from top to bottom with the customer present. Note any type of wear or blemish (this is a chance to sell your services to make that vehicle look just like new again).
- Drive the vehicle to check the drivability performance. Note and document any and all findings.
- Perform a full battery inspection and cleaning to include:
• Testing the charger for proper operation. Check and update the Algorithm if required.
• Clean the batteries and battery terminals (be sure to accurately torque the nuts to (this is critical for peak performance) 100-110 inch pounds.
• Apply a new coat of “Battery Terminal Protective Spray” to each terminal.
• Inspect the electrolyte level and fill to the proper level with distilled water if necessary. Note: Only add water after charging is complete.
• Perform an “Equalization Charge” This mixes up the electrolyte in the batteries and allows them provide peak performance. To perform an “Equalization Charge” simply charge the batteries as normal. After the charge cycle completes disconnect the charge for a few minutes and then re-connect the charger and allow it to go through the charge cycle a second time (we recommend the end user perform this task once a month).
• Check the specific gravity of each battery cell (document this and keep on file for future reference).
• Perform a discharge test if necessary (document this and keep on file for future reference).
• Recharge the batteries.
- Inspect the controller assembly.
• Clean with a soft bristle brush and or low air pressure (do not use water, always avoid water directly on electrical devices and or connectors).
• Check all connections for corrosion clean and repair if necessary.
• Check the torque on all of the high power connections.
• In general check all electrical connectors throughout the entire vehicle to make sure they are connected properly.
- Inspect and clean the motor and rear axle.
• On vehicles with 1500 or more miles inspect the motor brushes and replace if necessary*. (Document the mileage replaced at for future reference).
• If you do need to pull the motor be sure to be sure to apply a new coating of grease to the spline of the input shaft and motor coupling. We recommend using NYE Grease 774VHF-MS.
• Change the lubricant in the differential.
• Inspect the rear suspension; make sure that all nuts and bolts are tight.
- Inspect the brake system
• Check the fluid level
• Check the pedal feel (if it feels spongy the system may need to be bled).
• Inspect all brake hoses and lines for wear and or leaks repair/replace if necessary.
• Check for wear on the pads and shoes replace and adjust if necessary*.
• Check to insure the brakes are not dragging and adjust if necessary.
• Check the parking brake and adjust if necessary.
• Inspect the parking brake cables for damage, replace if necessary*.
• Inspect the limit switches on the hand and foot brakes to make sure they are activating the brake lights properly.
• Brake fluid is hydroscopic and will absorb water and become contaminated. It is a recognized industry practice to drain and flush the brake system fluid and replace it with new DOT approved fluid every 2-3 years. We recommend Shell™ DOT 3 fluid for most applications but, be sure to reference the manufacturer’s guidelines to insure system compatibility.
- Inspect the tires
• Check for wear/cracks/cuts. Replace if dam
• Check inflation pressures and adjust to proper psi.
- Inspect the front suspension
• Make sure all the nuts and bolts are tight.
• Check the front wheel bearing for play. Re-pack and adjust if necessary*.
• Grease all zerk fitting including the steering rack.
• Check the alignment and adjust toe if required.
- Inspect the lighting system
• Brake lights
• Turn signal indicators
• Reverse buzzer
• Replace/repair any items not functioning properly.
- Perform a final test drive to insure that everything on the vehicle is performing as expected.
- Perform a detailed cleaning and wash and wax. Make the car shine like new.
Finally, keep in mind that many of the repair or replacement items considered necessary* may incur additional costs and you will need to get your customer’s approval to perform any work that will be charged additionally.