The 2015-2019 Volkswagen E-Golf was a vehicle introduced in the U.S. to satisfy the state of California’s requirement for zero-emissions vehicles. Unlike many of the one-off electric vehicles from FCA, Ford and GM, the E-golf was offered nationwide. Only about 20,000 E-Golfs are on the roads, but the E-golf is an excellent example of the service opportunities available to shops.
The only filter for the E-Golf is for the cabin. VW recommends the filter be replaced every 10,000 miles. Since the E-Golf does not need regular oil changes, the cabin air filter can be missed. The filter is easy to change, and no tools are required.
The E-Golf uses G15 coolant. Although the maintenance schedule does not specify a replacement interval, it needs to be inspected every 10,000 miles for level and condition. The coolant is used to cool the battery and motor. It is also used to heat the cabin.
While the coolant has an easier life than the coolant in an internal combustion engine, the additive package that protects against corrosion can be depleted over time. Neglecting the coolant will cause expensive damage to the motor and battery.
The E-Golf has two batteries. Under the hood is an AGM 12-volt battery used to power just about every system and electrical component, including the battery management system for the high-voltage battery. When the vehicle is in operation, the 12-volt battery is charged using the high-voltage battery. Like all AGM batteries, the capacity and state of charge can degrade over time.
The high-voltage battery is maintenance-free. But, if the car sits idle for two or three weeks, both batteries might be depleted.
The suspension under the E-Golf is the same as the Mk7 MQB platform. Most parts, like control arms, steering components and ride control are shared. The alignment angles are critical for the range of any electric vehicle. If the toe or camber is out of specification, it is like dragging the tire sideways down the road.
The brakes are the same as the other Mk7 MQB Golfs and Jettas. The rear brakes use a parking brake with electric motors on the calipers. Use a scan tool to retract the pistons and reset the caliper after pad replacement. Like the coolant, there is no replacement interval for the brake fluid. Instead, VW recommends inspection every 10,000 miles.
The E-Golfs came with 16-inch wheel and tire packages fitted with tires designed to lower rolling resistance to increase the range. There have been reports about customers fitting a conventional tire that reduced range. Several replacement “eco” tires are available in the 205/55R16 size with lower rolling resistance. These tires typically have stiffer sidewalls and different compounds to reduce rolling resistance.
Inflation is another critical maintenance item. Even if the TPMS light is not on, a 15% reduction in inflation can result in a significant loss of range.