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Nubo
Posts: 4509
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:01 am
Delivery Date: 31 Oct 2014
Location: Vallejo, CA

Re: Burning Smell after charging

Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:28 pm

Dealership techs have remarkably poor sensory apparatus. I'm amazed by how many times I or people I know have taken vehicles in with obvious problems only to be told "We don't see (smell, hear, feel) anything wrong". I think it's a requirement for the job.

So, what were the codes?
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

Flyct
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:04 am
Delivery Date: 02 Dec 2015
Leaf Number: 307113
Location: Bradenton, Florida, US

Re: Burning Smell after charging

Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:15 pm

Sara,

I would open a case with Nissan EV HotLine and describe it as a potential fire safety issue.

Let them know that you have a deep concern that the car may catch fire and burn down in your garage while charging. If it does that and catches your house on fire, having notified them of the issue would put them on the hook to buy you an new house or pay your heirs lots of money if anyone gets hurt or worse in your house.

That usually gets their attention and will act.
2015 Pearl White Leaf SL with Premium (Bose) package
2015 Lexus RX450h Hybrid SUV
2016 Ford F-150 Super Crew
Blissfully Retired and loving it!

Candera
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:34 pm
Delivery Date: 0- 0-2014
Leaf Number: 1209
Location: Monterey, CA

Re: Burning Smell after charging

Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:48 pm

I haven't gotten a call from them today, my app tells me that its plugged in and fully charged. I would assume that if there was no problem they'd have called me by now and informed me.

If they say they couldn't find anything then I will do as you advise.

Flyct wrote:Sara,

I would open a case with Nissan EV HotLine and describe it as a potential fire safety issue.

Let them know that you have a deep concern that the car may catch fire and burn down in your garage while charging. If it does that and catches your house on fire, having notified them of the issue would put them on the hook to buy you an new house or pay your heirs lots of money if anyone gets hurt or worse in your house.

That usually gets their attention and will act.
2011 SL Black

Levenkay
Gold Member
Posts: 435
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:01 pm
Delivery Date: 16 May 2013
Leaf Number: 19196
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Burning Smell after charging

Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:15 pm

Better start off with a disclaimer: what follows is just half-informed speculation..

There's been some discussion recently in other subforums about the "pre charge" resistor, which is apparently used to limit the current that the main traction battery supplies to the motor drive electronics immediately after turn-on. Apparently, there's appreciable capacitance in those electronics, and closing the main contactor from the battery into that capacitance, if the capacitance was discharged, would result in a huge current spike. So the "pre-charge" relay is closed first, presenting a path from the battery into the capacitance that has enough series resistance to keep the initial current spike within reason. The other discussions speak of the power rating of that resistor being much too low to handle the charging current's level on a continuous basis; it only survives because the charging current pulse is brief. Well, if something were to invalidate the assumptions that the resistor selection depended on, it might easily burn out. And after it burns out, if its construction is of the type to fail open-circuit (like a fuse), then it would only emit a burning smell while it was burning out, and not after. And after it DID burn out, the car might still appear to work, if its main contactor is tough enough to handle the massive current surges for awhile. But you wouldn't want to ask it to do that very many times. Hopefully, the system's design includes the ability to verify that the drive electronics are successfully charged up before the main contactor can be ordered to close, so all this is probably unlikely.

Plenty of other possible scenarios for a temporary bad smell, though. For example, I understand that the newer LEAF models use a direct-to-air electrical heating element in their heating systems; those can get hot enough to burn debris that comes in contact with them. If the debris is small enough, it'll stop smoking after it finishes scorching. But that presumes that the heater was run at the time the smells were noticed.

Just some idle speculation.

Candera
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:34 pm
Delivery Date: 0- 0-2014
Leaf Number: 1209
Location: Monterey, CA

Re: Burning Smell after charging

Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:29 am

I appreciate the response. Today is day 3 of it in the shop. Yesterday before 5 they called me to tell they hadn't forgotten about me but they said they didn't have as much time as they wanted to pay attention to it. They said they were going to charge it overnight and smell in the morning. That is a good test but I'm worried they won't discharge the battery enough to have a significantly long enough charge session to cause the issue.

Levenkay wrote:Better start off with a disclaimer: what follows is just half-informed speculation..

There's been some discussion recently in other subforums about the "pre charge" resistor, which is apparently used to limit the current that the main traction battery supplies to the motor drive electronics immediately after turn-on. Apparently, there's appreciable capacitance in those electronics, and closing the main contactor from the battery into that capacitance, if the capacitance was discharged, would result in a huge current spike. So the "pre-charge" relay is closed first, presenting a path from the battery into the capacitance that has enough series resistance to keep the initial current spike within reason. The other discussions speak of the power rating of that resistor being much too low to handle the charging current's level on a continuous basis; it only survives because the charging current pulse is brief. Well, if something were to invalidate the assumptions that the resistor selection depended on, it might easily burn out. And after it burns out, if its construction is of the type to fail open-circuit (like a fuse), then it would only emit a burning smell while it was burning out, and not after. And after it DID burn out, the car might still appear to work, if its main contactor is tough enough to handle the massive current surges for awhile. But you wouldn't want to ask it to do that very many times. Hopefully, the system's design includes the ability to verify that the drive electronics are successfully charged up before the main contactor can be ordered to close, so all this is probably unlikely.

Plenty of other possible scenarios for a temporary bad smell, though. For example, I understand that the newer LEAF models use a direct-to-air electrical heating element in their heating systems; those can get hot enough to burn debris that comes in contact with them. If the debris is small enough, it'll stop smoking after it finishes scorching. But that presumes that the heater was run at the time the smells were noticed.

Just some idle speculation.
2011 SL Black

Candera
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:34 pm
Delivery Date: 0- 0-2014
Leaf Number: 1209
Location: Monterey, CA

Burning Smell after charging (Issue Found)

Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:23 pm

They found out what it was!!

It was the charger under the backseat. It had a "thermal incident" and is being replaced under warranty.

Phew!! So happy I wasn't going crazy and imagining it.
2011 SL Black

Flyct
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:04 am
Delivery Date: 02 Dec 2015
Leaf Number: 307113
Location: Bradenton, Florida, US

Re: Burning Smell after charging (Issue Found)

Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:56 pm

Candera wrote:They found out what it was!!

It was the charger under the backseat. It had a "thermal incident" and is being replaced under warranty.

Phew!! So happy I wasn't going crazy and imagining it.


Good news.
2015 Pearl White Leaf SL with Premium (Bose) package
2015 Lexus RX450h Hybrid SUV
2016 Ford F-150 Super Crew
Blissfully Retired and loving it!

imaric
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:23 pm
Delivery Date: 07 Aug 2011
Leaf Number: 003932

Re: Burning Smell after charging

Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:54 am

I just smelled this burning smell today, it was so strong after short charge (2h) even all windows were open an inch. Couldn't cit in the car till it vented out. Charged it again a few hours later. Again burning smell but not that strong. I stinks the strongest at driver seat and at diagonal-right rear seat, where the charger is. No smell in the trunk. No extra smell when I start the car.
My Leaf in Jun 2011 so it is out of warranty (50k on it. A year ago I had whole 24kWh battery replaced, under warranty, dropped under 9 bars and I had only 45 miles range, at the time, With new battery I get 65-78 miles, jfyi). Does anybody know how much charger replacement can cost, and can it be repaired instead of replaced?
Thanks, wish me good luck :-(

lkkms2
Gold Member
Posts: 301
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:10 am
Delivery Date: 30 Dec 2016
Leaf Number: 302025
Location: San Diego/National City, CA

Re: Burning Smell after charging

Sun Sep 18, 2016 2:39 am

imaric wrote:I just smelled this burning smell today, it was so strong after short charge (2h) even all windows were open an inch. Couldn't cit in the car till it vented out. Charged it again a few hours later. Again burning smell but not that strong. I stinks the strongest at driver seat and at diagonal-right rear seat, where the charger is. No smell in the trunk. No extra smell when I start the car.
My Leaf in Jun 2011 so it is out of warranty (50k on it. A year ago I had whole 24kWh battery replaced, under warranty, dropped under 9 bars and I had only 45 miles range, at the time, With new battery I get 65-78 miles, jfyi). Does anybody know how much charger replacement can cost, and can it be repaired instead of replaced?
Thanks, wish me good luck :-(


I "do" wish you luck!

Pls keep us posted. I am similar to you, had 24kWh battery replaced.

Hope this charger issue doesn't start flaring up on the older Leafs.
2011 Leaf SL purchased 6-22-2011, sold 1-18-2017 with new battery.
2017 Leaf SV with Premium Package purchased 12-30-2016

TimLee
Posts: 2810
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:40 am
Delivery Date: 17 May 2011
Leaf Number: 2026
Location: Chattanooga, TN

Re: Burning Smell after charging

Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:19 am

imaric wrote:... Does anybody know how much charger replacement can cost, and can it be repaired instead of replaced? ...

$2,400
See viewtopic.php?f=6&t=22568&hilit=diode#p469966.
Possible a knowledgeable non-Nissan service shop could repair.
But I have not seen any reports of such shops yet.
Nissan dealer will only replace entire charger.

Tim Lee
Chattanooga, TN

Man. Date: 03/10/11, VIN # 2026
Delivered 05-17-2011
Blue Ocean, 2011 SL-eTec

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