4 Parts Automotive Maintenance Technicians Won't Find In Electric Cars
October 12, 2016
One of the benefits of electric cars is that they have fewer parts than a gas-powered vehicle. Fewer parts means less chance of failure, and less parts that might need to be replaced when a car is taken in for service.
What this means is that some of the mainstays of auto maintenance, things that drivers are used to seeing and replacing in their cars, will no longer be a part of the conversation when electric vehicles (EVs) are brought in for servicing.
Here are a few examples of parts you won’t be seeing inside electric cars once you become an automotive maintenance technician.
1. After Finishing an Automotive Training Program, You Won’t See Spark Plugs in EVs
Regular cars power themselves by burning a mixture of fuel and air. To create the initial ignition, a spark plug creates a burst of energy, which gets the fuel to catch fire. Each burst results in degradation of the spark plug. In fact, spark plugs can last anywhere from 16,000 to 32,000—and sometimes even all the way up to 96,000—kilometers depending on their material. With higher-end plugs, getting close to 200,000 km is not impossible.
Because electric cars rely on a charged battery for power, and not the combustion of fuel, they don’t require spark plugs to get things going.
2. Catalytic Converters Are Also Unneeded In Electric Vehicles
Harmful emissions are a big issue with cars, and students in an automotive training program likely know that those emissions would be worse if cars didn’t come with catalytic converters.
That’s because burning gasoline leads to the creation of harmful gasses like nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons. To reduce negative output, cars include catalytic converters, which convert exhaust into less harmful chemicals.
Since electric cars don’t burn any fuel, there’s no exhaust, and no need for a catalytic converter to make gases less harmful.
3. Automotive Maintenance Technicians Can Say Goodbye to Oxygen Sensors in EVs
It’s important that gas-powered cars burn the right mixture of gas and oxygen, which is why oxygen sensors are included to ensure tip-top performance. By analyzing the sensors’ readings, a car can adjust the amount of fuel and oxygen that is taken in for burning.
Once you become an automotive maintenance technician you can expect to find a few of these sensors in modern gas-powered cars. But with no oxygen required for getting an electric motor to go, the need for oxygen sensors disappears in EVs. Don’t expect to see any in the electric cars you encounter throughout your career.
4. Low Noise Levels Means Electric Cars Don’t Need Mufflers
Gasoline engines are loud, but mufflers—located near the exhaust—help make the noise tolerable. When sound waves enter the muffler, they pass through a series of punctured tubes that help to create new waves. As these different sound waves bounce around the muffler, they lose their energy and gradually cancel each other out to reduce noise output.
Electric motors don’t make much noise, to the point where some countries are considering passing laws that require electric cars to “artificially” make louder sounds. Needless to say, that means no muffler is required.
Because they use a quieter motor and don’t burn fuel, there are many auto parts that electric cars don’t need, and that future automotive technicians won’t see when working on EVs.
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