Changing the car’s coolant was a standard part of vehicle maintenance. As time passed, car manufacturers and coolant companies constantly innovated their technology. Changing your car’s coolant is nothing like it used to be in the 90s.
The coolant story takes a different turn with the development of electronic vehicles. How often should you change your Tesla’s Coolant? The answer may surprise you.
You Never Have to Change the Coolant in a Tesla
How often to change Tesla coolant? This question arrives in the mind of anyone when they buy a new car or have been driving it for a year or two. Before your scheduled maintenance checkups, you want to know what services to expect. You also want to ensure that you are treating your Tesla right.
You may have heard stories about electric cars not needing lots of maintenance. You no longer have to change out the engine oil or the
For any car, the user manual everyone dreads to read tells you when It’s time to change the coolant. Some vehicles require you to change the coolant as early as three years. At the same time, others inform car owners to wait longer or until the car reaches a certain mileage.
However, a Tesla isn’t just any car. Depending on the circumstances, you might never have to change the coolant in your Tesla even once. Changing it yourself can void the car’s warranty, so be careful.
There are only very few situations where changing the coolant in your Tesla is necessary. Otherwise, you don’t
Why You Might Never Have to Change the Coolant in a Tesla
Modern electric vehicles are completely different from their internal combustion engine-bearing predecessors. Most companies focus on adding new e-technology to their existing cars. They will come out with gasoline and electric variants of the same car model.
However, Tesla builds an electric car from the ground up. They are the first to observe and adapt to new knowledge about electric vehicles. To understand why you must regularly change the Coolant in ICE vehicles and not in Tesla, you must understand how coolant works.
What is Coolant
coolant is a substance, a liquid, or gas used to cool down a system and prevent it from overheating. It ensures that the system works in its optimal temperature range. This substance prevents your car engine from breaking down due to overheating.
Coolants in cars are usually made with some type of glycol. A glycol is one of a group of chemicals in the Alcohol family. It is identified by the -OH groups attached to it. Tesla uses a G-48 ethylene-glycol coolant mixture to cool its lithium-ion battery pack.
The cooling system distributes this liquid along the battery pack to prevent it from overheating. Want to know a fun fact about electric cars? Tesla’s coolant not only prevents the car’s batteries from overheating but also prevents them from freezing.
Batteries don’t perform their best when the temperature is too cold. So Tesla’s Coolant does two jobs to maintain a narrow temperature range.
How Do Car Cooling Systems Work?
The coolant in a traditional internal combustion engine gets cooled in the radiator. Then it flows to a water pump. The water pump has an impeller driven by the engine drive belt connected via a pulley.
It pumps it to the engine’s block and head. A secure channel allows the coolant to flow without getting in the cylinder or mixing with the oil.
That is where it absorbs the excess heat before bypassing the radiator and flowing again. A coolant temperature sensor manages the speed of the radiator fan and updates information in the driver console.
Once the temperature sensor notices that the coolant’s temperature has increased beyond a certain limit, it sends it back to the radiator. The radiator removes the heat, and the cycle starts again.
Over time the glycol molecules in the coolant break down into their basic components due to the heat. In engines that get much hotter, the heat provides enough energy to break the chemical bonds. Liquids flowing in a closed system get heated, and the pressure increases.
This pressure over time also plays a part in degrading the coolant. You must change the coolant since it does not fulfill its function once it’s degraded. Car manufacturers know precisely when the coolant in your car will no longer be viable.
It is also common for your coolant level to drop due to leaks in the system. When your coolant level drops, you must patch the leaks and add more coolant to your car.
Changing the coolant in your car is such an essential maintenance issue. We weren’t surprised that you wondered how often to change Tesla coolant.
A Tesla doesn’t have an engine. The part of the car that generates heat is the lithium-ion battery. The coolant in a tesla is responsible for keeping the battery cool while it sends energy to the motors.
Along with the battery, Tesla’s Coolant also cools the car’s computer. All moving mechanical parts are internally oil-cooled.
The only heat that the coolant in a Tesla has to worry about comes from the battery. Compared to a gasoline engine, A Tesla battery pack doesn’t produce much heat. Therefore, the system’s pressure is much less than that experienced by coolants in ICE cars.
The reduced temperatures and pressure in Tesla’s coolant system mean you never have to change the coolant. The coolant molecules will not break down or deteriorate.
The coolant will fulfill its job for the remaining life of the vehicle just fine. The leader of electronic vehicle innovation removed another headache.
You will need to change the coolant in a tesla if the fluid quantity exceeds a certain limit.
Tesla Yearly Checkups
Tesla does not mandate that you get yearly checkups for your car. They say that you should maintain your vehicle on an as-needed basis. There are a few scheduled maintenance recommendations in the user manual.
You should follow those recommendations to ensure the best experience and extend the life of your car.
Don’t Change the Fluid Yourself
If, under some circumstances, you receive a low coolant warning on your car’s touchscreen. You must go to a service center to get your coolant topped up.
You may be tempted to do it yourself and save yourself the hassle of going to the service center. That would be a grave mistake. Opening the filler cap will void your warranty. Any damage caused while you attempt to refill the coolant will not be covered under warranty.
That being said, the coolant level of your Tesla shouldn’t reduce on its own. That’s not normal for a Tesla. If your coolant fluid is disappearing, you need to investigate. That is exactly what going to the service center will accomplish.
Once they identify the underlying issue, you will not have to worry about the liquid level drops again.
How do you top up your coolant in a Tesla?
Tesla does not recommend coming in contact with toxic materials in the coolant. You should not change your coolant or attempt to fill up more yourself. However, suppose under some circumstances you find it necessary, this is how it’s done.
Removing the Frunk
To access the coolant system, you must first remove the tesla front trunk or frunk compartment. To do so, you need to remove the two plastic screws on the outer side panels of the frunk. Those double-as bump stops for the hood. They come off easily.
Then gently peel back the carpeting. Be careful while disconnecting the trunk lights. Four nuts are holding it in place. Remove all four and lift the frunk compartment under the car’s hood.
Remove the Filler Cap
Be very careful. Wear gloves that cover your arms up to your armpits and goggles to protect your eyes. Coolant Liquid is very toxic, so you must defend yourself from any possible contact.
Some owners have noticed that there is some adhesive on the filler cap. That is to prevent people from changing the coolant themselves.
Fill up the Coolant
Using a funnel, carefully pour in the coolant without spilling it anywhere. Ensure you leave a little room and don’t fill it up. You do not want to over-pressurize the coolant system.
Replace the Filler Cap
You can screw the cap on without making any changes. However, if you want to take extra precautions to avoid leaks, you can add high-quality tread sealant to the cap.
Replace the Frunk
Replace the frunk compartment and tighten the bolts to secure it. Add the carpet and connect all the parts removed previously.
No Need to Run the engine, Idle
You might notice that we didn’t instruct you to run the engine idle to remove any air from the system. In ICE vehicles, coolant changes are a norm. Not only do you fill the coolant reservoir, but you also fill the radiator with coolant. Then you let the engine run on idle until all the air from the system escapes.
However, it would help if you did not attempt to touch the Tesla radiator. It is designed completely differently from an ICE radiator. Since you aren’t changing the fluid but only topping it up, you don’t need to perform this process.
Please do not attempt to drain and refill the coolant entirely on your own. There are some things you must leave to the professionals no matter what.
You are better off taking the car to the service center in the first place. Any actions you do are at your own risk. Know that damages will not come under warranty.
Tesla Is Better for the Environment
Changing coolant repeatedly every four or five years is damaging to the environment. Antifreeze made from ethylene glycol, commonly found in cars, is highly toxic. It is harmful to humans and animals if ingested.
Coolant can pollute the groundwater if spilled or improperly discarded.
It is also toxic to any marine life it comes in contact with.
Since people who drive ordinary ICE vehicles must change coolant often, there are more opportunities for it to be improperly disposed of. Antifreeze can only be disposed of in a service station, recycling center, or auto shop.
You cannot dump it on the ground or throw it down your drain. That way, it can contaminate the ground and surface water.
Since You never have to change the coolant in your Tesla, you won’t ever worry about disposing of it.
Tesla’s actions show how concerned it is for the environment. Not only are they making fossil fuels obsolete, but they are also solving the antifreeze problem.
Benefits Of Not Having To Change Coolant
Other than the obvious environmental benefit of using less coolant, there are other benefits to not changing the coolant in your car.
We’ve all been in cars that have broken down on the side of the road. We never want that to be us. In ICE vehicles, we have to be constantly vigilant about coolant levels.
In a Tesla, you never have to give it a second thought. You can forget the word coolant even existed. You only have to do something if you get a low coolant notification on your touchscreen.
Never Stop Motoring
Changing your coolant takes an entire day. Now you don’t have to worry about allocating time to do tedious maintenance. With an electric car, you don’t have to care about oiling so many moving parts, either.
Tesla allows you to drive to your heart’s content without stopping unless you want to.
You can save the money that would pay for the coolant change. Spend that on something else. EVs help you save on fuel and maintenance costs. They are the future of transportation.
Under normal circumstances, you never have to change the coolant in a Tesla. Teslas don’t have a gasoline engine and only need to cool the battery. The battery of a Tesla does not heat the coolant too much. The coolant does not deteriorate even with time.
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.