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Winter has cut my love for my Leaf :(

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:37 am
by jake14mw
Hi all,

Purchased my 2014 SL a month and a half ago. I live in CT. I have really loved it, and have been telling all my friends about it. I bought it strictly as a financial decision, paid $10,000 for a well equipped car that looked new and would be low cost to drive.

Now the deep freeze has arrived. I knew that this would cut the range, but did not realize how much. Yesterday, the car was fully charged. My wife took the kids to the mall. This is about a 32 mile round trip. When she got home, there were 12 miles of range left. This really cuts the car's usefulness in the winter. She could not have decided to go somewhere else if she wanted to on the way home.

The second issue with the cold is that charging takes MUCH longer. The car was charging for over 12 hours overnight, and she took it to work this morning. I'm worried it didn't charge up enough so that she can easily make it to work and back even though it is only a 28 mile round trip. I wanted to check on it, but (grrrr... more on this below) She usually likes to stop and grocery shop on the way home. I'm not sure she will be able to do that without worrying about it.

On New Year's Eve, we used the car some during the day, then went to friend's house at night. Had 24 miles of charge left. When it was time to go out and pick up some Chinese food, we couldn't take my car that I have been gushing about to get it, not enough range :oops: .

Anyway, back to me wanting to check the range on the car while my wife is at work this morning. Tried Nissan Connect EV. "Service cannot be provided." Then I got User ID / Password invalid. I've seen many different errors with the app, but that one is new! Tried the third party app, Leaf Manager, got Unkown error (401). I have been get that error without fail for about a week. A few days ago, I tried Uninstalling and reinstalling the Nissan EV app, and that helped a little bit, it connected about half of the time, but now nothing. I am SICK and TIRED of their app not working. In the winter, the app turns from a nice to have convenience to a little more of a necessity. I have read all the complaints from others, this seems like a software issue that Nissan refuses to fix. Apparently their EV customers are not important enough to them. This is reinforced to me by the fact that my local Nissan dealer has a Chademo charger that has been broken for 2 years.

I know the cold snap we have been experiencing has been extreme, but it does happen in the winter. When I was researching them, I saw people talking about how the Leaf was not ideal for hot climates because of the lack of battery cooling. So is it a car for moderate climates only? What this has reinforced to me is that the 2018 Leaf. with 150 mile range will not be an option for me in the future. 150 miles in the spring is fine, 100 in the winter is not in 2018.

Wow, OK, rant over. I still like the car, and spring is 3 months away.

Re: Winter has cut my love for my Leaf :(

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:56 am
by Leaver
Strange that you are having such range issues. I have been driving my LEAF here in Alaska for the past number of months in single digit and below temps and getting considerably more range than you. I have a 2014 S... not sure if that makes any difference?

Re: Winter has cut my love for my Leaf :(

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:52 am
by Stanton
Leaver wrote:Strange that you are having such range issues. I have been driving my LEAF here in Alaska for the past number of months in single digit and below temps and getting considerably more range than you. I have a 2014 S... not sure if that makes any difference?


That's because we know nothing about the "state" of his car when he bought it...or whether he is charging @L1 or L2 (no way a Leaf could be charging for 12 hours @L2); it could have spent the last 3 years in Florida and had the BMS reset. For that matter, your driving habits could be completely different; if you blast the heat @70 mph in 20 degree weather, you're not going to go far!

Separately, it sounds like the OP needs to get his CarWings/NissanConnect account figured out (and review the "Telematics Hardware Upgrade" thread.)

Re: Winter has cut my love for my Leaf :(

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:51 am
by RScottyL
Jake,


So, as asked, how are you charging your car at home? Are you using a normal household plug (Level 1 charging), or did you have a 240v plug installed with an EVSE to charge it with(Level 2)?

If you are using level 1 charging, yes, it will be slow, especially if you take the battery down to close to empty! I would recommend using Level 2 charging, so it will charge faster.

How is your battery capacity:
Image

If you look at that picture, to the far right is the battery capacity, measured in bars. When it is a new battery, it will have 12 bars, but over time it dwindles. When you lose capacity, the battery will not perform as it should and it will lose charge faster.

How many bars does yours have!

As you mentioned, yes, cold weather will lower battery charge faster, especially if you use the heater. If you can do it comfortably, use the seat heaters and the sterring wheel heater and it won't drop as fast as turning on the heater.

The heater in the 2013-2014 Leaf is more efficient than the 2011-2012, so at least you have that going for you!

Re: Winter has cut my love for my Leaf :(

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:20 pm
by jake14mw
Thanks for the replies. The car has 12 bars remaining. According to Leafspy, it had 93% SOH when I bought it, down to 92% now. The range in the first few weeks of driving was fine. The weather here has been extreme over the past two weeks, daytime highs teens or twenties nighttime lows around 0. This is my issue, the difference between the usability with normal chilly weather and extreme cold.

I am charging the car with a level 1 charger, but I am working on installing a Level 2 charger.

Re: Winter has cut my love for my Leaf :(

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:51 pm
by LeftieBiker
Block the grille with cardboard (not sure how much it helps, though, even after 4 years of doing it), make sure the tires have 40-42psi, and tell your wife that blasting the heat will cost range. I'm experiencing the same issues in upstate NY, and I do sympathize. You should have about 45 miles of range in frigid weather, though, with that SOH, so behavior modification is in order. A heated 12 volt fleece throw blanket can help reduce heater use - not as in turning it off, but as in using lower blower speeds.

Re: Winter has cut my love for my Leaf :(

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:54 pm
by SageBrush
Bundle up with warm clothes and gloves, and use the seat heaters. The cabin heating is a pig.

Re: Winter has cut my love for my Leaf :(

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:55 pm
by Deoc
I had the same probelms and here is what I was able to do to improve the functionality of the car.
First thing the guest of meter is no very useful as sometimes is very optimistic sometimes, one thing I did was to drive the car until the car went into turtle mode this way you will get to know the car and know how many miles you can actually get, then make sure to always pre heat the car before you leave, the nissan connect is close to useless as always is having problems, use leaf manager in on device only and pay for the widget as this will allow you to only click on the widget and this will turn on the heat, then make sure to check the psi on the tires.

Re: Winter has cut my love for my Leaf :(

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:02 pm
by LeftieBiker
Driving the car to Turtle mode in this weather is NOT a good idea. Consider the Very Low Battery Warning your lower limit, and use that to determine actual, safe range. Generally, though, if the GOM reads say, 15 miles when you get home, actual range won't be far from that. The GOM is mainly useless at the beginning of a drive - it gets better near the end. There is also a much more accurate range estimator in the SV and SL, accessed by pressing the little blue and white (IIRC) button on the steering wheel, and using the LOWER figure that shows on the Nav screen.

Re: Winter has cut my love for my Leaf :(

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:17 pm
by BrockWI
Cold is hard on range and I don't believe it is primarily from the additional heat use. I know cold air is more dense and heave heard the capacity of the battery goes down as the battery gets colder. Whatever the case there are multiple things playing in to the range reduction.

As to the 12 hour charging, even on a level 2 EVSE at 6 kw I have had it sit and charge for over 6 hours. I can see with Leaf Spy it is at 98% at 2.5 hours. After that I can see the EVSE pulling between 250 and 750 watts. So it either does a LOT more top end balancing or maybe it warms the pack a bit or ? I don't know what it is doing, but it is doing something. with that power. I guess my point is it probably charges full in a slightly longer time than usual, but then keeps charging after that so it should be full or darn near it after 12 hours, has it been?