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CarPortal
Vendor
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Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:20 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Apr 2013
Leaf Number: 405122
Location: Northern California
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Re: 12v Battery

Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:34 pm

I forgot to check the "notify me" option on this post and thought wow everyone who is usually so helpful completely blew off my question. Obviously not the case. Thank you all for the useful info, but unless I missed it I'm still unsure of one important bit of info: where should I connect the negative clap from my Schumacher Charger/Tender?

To the negative on the battery?

To the Leaf's unibody?

Or to the "engine block"?

The Leaf battery was completely dead and the only way I could get the car to boot up was to connect the Schumacher positive/positive, negative/engine block. The Leaf lit up and I started it. Then I immediately disconnected the Schumacher and let the car sit running for about an hour with all accessories turned off (including the wipers).

All of this happened several days ago right after my original post. The Leaf has not been driven since then, and the 12v battery appears to be fine.

HOWEVER, this car is one of several Leaf's we purchased as we start up a new company focused on selling used EV's and PHEV's and I do not want to deliver a car with a bad battery to a customer. I just placed an order for the CTEK mentioned in one of the first posts, and we'll use it going forward to test and charge any 12v batteries that are failing.

OFF TOPIC: Later tonight I'm going to post our first three eBay auctions in the vendor section...please take a look and tell us what you think. I'm hoping our website will be up and running sometime next week. We're located in Northern California and indent to focus primarily on that market this year. We'd like to expand to SoCal in 2017.

Thanks again for all the input to my original post.

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Marktm
Gold Member
Posts: 417
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:49 am
Delivery Date: 09 Jan 2016
Leaf Number: 022737
Location: Houston, TX

Re: 12v Battery

Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:08 am

Good luck;
When dealing with any type of flooded lead acid battery, it is best to make the last ground connection away from the battery vents as they can give off flammable hydrogen gas. On ICE vehicles - probably more of a worry is any gasoline vapors/leaks that can ignite -obviously not a Leaf issue! The ground connection will very likely "spark" when connected - with any type of load on the connection.
(IMHO):
If you want to ensure good batteries on these Leaf's - best to get a load tester and make sure it passes that test with flying colors! Any other test method (voltages, "works good" for a while, etc) can be miss-leading. The charging algorithm seems set up to slowly reduce the seemingly high quality (OEM) battery to a sulfated condition over a few years.
2012 Leaf SL; 36,000 miles. Battery replaced November 1st, 2016.

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RegGuheert
Posts: 6294
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: 12v Battery

Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:19 am

Motarra wrote:Thank you all for the useful info, but unless I missed it I'm still unsure of one important bit of info: where should I connect the negative clap from my Schumacher Charger/Tender?

To the negative on the battery?

To the Leaf's unibody?

Or to the "engine block"?
Definitely NOT to the negative battery terminal. On the MY 2011, there is a point on the top of the DC/DC converter where you should connect, but I'm not clear on where the equivalent point is on the 2013.
Motarra wrote:The Leaf battery was completely dead and the only way I could get the car to boot up was to connect the Schumacher positive/positive, negative/engine block. The Leaf lit up and I started it. Then I immediately disconnected the Schumacher and let the car sit running for about an hour with all accessories turned off (including the wipers).
Unfortunately, that will normally NOT fully charge the 12V battery. Firstly, one hour is not sufficient time to fully charge a 12V battery from dead and secondly, the LEAF may not have remained at a charging voltage that entire time.
Motarra wrote:All of this happened several days ago right after my original post. The Leaf has not been driven since then, and the 12v battery appears to be fine.
I seriously doubt that it is fine. Rather than trying to charge with the LEAF, it is better to charge with the Schumacher charger overnight.
Motarra wrote:HOWEVER, this car is one of several Leaf's we purchased as we start up a new company focused on selling used EV's and PHEV's and I do not want to deliver a car with a bad battery to a customer. I just placed an order for the CTEK mentioned in one of the first posts, and we'll use it going forward to test and charge any 12v batteries that are failing.
Don't wait until they are failing. Go ahead and get all the 12V batteries to a full SOC.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

Stoaty
Posts: 4467
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:50 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 3871
Location: West Los Angeles

Re: 12v Battery

Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:59 am

Marktm wrote:If you want to ensure good batteries on these Leaf's - best to get a load tester and make sure it passes that test with flying colors! Any other test method (voltages, "works good" for a while, etc) can be miss-leading. The charging algorithm seems set up to slowly reduce the seemingly high quality (OEM) battery to a sulfated condition over a few years.

Would something like this be a good investment for testing 12 volt battery in Leaf and my ICE vehicle?

http://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-BT-100 ... op?ie=UTF8
2011 Leaf with 62,000 miles given to Nephew
2013 Tesla Model S85 with 251 miles rated range at full charge
Leaf Spy Manual
Battery Aging Model Spreadsheet

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Marktm
Gold Member
Posts: 417
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:49 am
Delivery Date: 09 Jan 2016
Leaf Number: 022737
Location: Houston, TX

Re: 12v Battery

Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:09 am

Stoaty wrote:Would something like this be a good investment for testing 12 volt battery in Leaf and my ICE vehicle?

http://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-BT-100 ... op?ie=UTF8


Before you decide, some research for your specific use would be worthwhile. The Leaf's battery (OEM) is rather small compared to many standard "starting" batteries. In fact, I've researched and not yet found the actual specs on the battery (ie. CCA rating and/or AH rating). I have "load tested" my 3+ year old battery and does appear to have lost capacity (maybe 30% is my best estimate), but I do a longer term, lower amperes test than the BT-100 style tester - and correct for amperes (Peukert - another whole story).

This is a good article that gives alternatives to the "cheap" analogue tester you are looking at:
http://www.carbatterychargerscentral.co ... y-testers/

Bottom line - appears this one is a bargain and for periodic home use is likely OK. My only reservation is the 100 amp test may be more than the Leaf's rather small battery should be subjected too (you must get it fully charged before any test). An accurate pulse/digital type may be a better long-term investment.
2012 Leaf SL; 36,000 miles. Battery replaced November 1st, 2016.

Stoaty
Posts: 4467
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:50 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 3871
Location: West Los Angeles

Re: 12v Battery

Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:20 pm

Marktm wrote:This is a good article that gives alternatives to the "cheap" analogue tester you are looking at:
http://www.carbatterychargerscentral.co ... y-testers/

Bottom line - appears this one is a bargain and for periodic home use is likely OK. My only reservation is the 100 amp test may be more than the Leaf's rather small battery should be subjected too (you must get it fully charged before any test). An accurate pulse/digital type may be a better long-term investment.

Very helpful, thanks. The reasons I am interested in a tester (and likely a better one) are:

1) Leaf battery is 5 years old.
2) We take my 2002 Camry (battery is getting long in the tooth) and sometimes my brothers 2010 Prius to the Sierra for several backpacking trips every summer. It would be particularly inconvenient if the battery in one of the cars was dead when we got back to the trailhead.
3) There are a couple of other cars of family members that would be nice to check periodically
4) Don't want to replace batteries unnecessarily

The best (and easiest to use) tester in that list looks like the most expensive one ($295):

http://www.amazon.com/Auto-Meter-SB-300 ... op?ie=UTF8

Not sure I want to spend that much, but it might be worth it to avoid a problem while we are backpacking (2 more trips this summer) without replacing batteries unnecessarily.

Comments?
2011 Leaf with 62,000 miles given to Nephew
2013 Tesla Model S85 with 251 miles rated range at full charge
Leaf Spy Manual
Battery Aging Model Spreadsheet

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RegGuheert
Posts: 6294
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: 12v Battery

Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:33 pm

Stoaty wrote:Not sure I want to spend that much, but it might be worth it to avoid a problem while we are backpacking (2 more trips this summer) without replacing batteries unnecessarily.

Comments?
Like you, I also don't like to replace batteries prematurely. And getting stranded far from civilization is even worse!

Some thoughts:
- Marktm gave very good advice. Thanks!
- The main enemy of the battery in the LEAF is sulfation. You can easily verify that your LEAF's battery has enough water by shining a stubby flashlight through it from the back. With that done, the question is how badly sulfated is it. Here is the test I do: With the battery in the car and all accessories in place (like ELM 327), charge the 12V battery to full using a good-quality trickle charger. Now let the car sit for 24 hours without opening any doors or the hatch and measure the voltage of the 12V battery with an accurate voltmeter. Here is how I would judge it:

12.7V or above: Your battery is doing well.
12.5 - 12.7V: You have some sulfation, but not a lot. If you have a desulfating trickle charger, use it for a few days to try to recover some capacity.
12.3 - 12.5V: Your battery is pretty sulfated, but you can likely still get some life out of it. Desulfating gets difficult at this point, but you might want to give it a try.
Below 12.3V: You are on the verge of getting stranded somewhere. You battery is badly sulfated and likely will not last much longer.

Again, be sure you do not open any doors during the 24-hour period, especially right before the measurements.

- The above test can be used for any of the other cars to test for sulfation, but those batteries have different needs and likely different problems. The 2002 Camry likely puts low demand on the 12V battery and if it is like my 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid, it likely does an excellent job of keeping the 12V battery charged. Unfortunately, that also means it likely uses up the water in the battery over time. After 5 or more years of use (less in hot climates), you will need to add some distilled water. Just be sure not to overfill it! Unfortunately, many (most?) new lead-acid batteries do not let you check or add water. If that's what you have, then you don't know if your are low on water, or not. That's a problem. And it still needs to start the car, so a load tester is helpful. The cheap one you linked is better than nothing, assuming you check for sulfation and check the water.

If it were me going out with an old battery, tested or not, and I wanted to be sure it started, I would drag along a spare battery or some sort of jump-start box and some jumper cables just to be sure. (If you take a spare, be sure it is secured and that there is no chance of acid spilling. A sealed battery is best.)
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

Stoaty
Posts: 4467
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:50 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 3871
Location: West Los Angeles

Re: 12v Battery

Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:37 pm

RegGuheert wrote:The 2002 Camry likely puts low demand on the 12V battery and if it is like my 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid, it likely does an excellent job of keeping the 12V battery charged.

I rarely use the Camry, but have had it on a battery tender for the last several years when not using it.
2011 Leaf with 62,000 miles given to Nephew
2013 Tesla Model S85 with 251 miles rated range at full charge
Leaf Spy Manual
Battery Aging Model Spreadsheet

User avatar
RegGuheert
Posts: 6294
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: 12v Battery

Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:26 am

Stoaty wrote:
RegGuheert wrote:The 2002 Camry likely puts low demand on the 12V battery and if it is like my 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid, it likely does an excellent job of keeping the 12V battery charged.

I rarely use the Camry, but have had it on a battery tender for the last several years when not using it.
The battery can last a very long time when connected to a high-quality battery tender. When was the 12V battery manufactured?
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

User avatar
Marktm
Gold Member
Posts: 417
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:49 am
Delivery Date: 09 Jan 2016
Leaf Number: 022737
Location: Houston, TX

Re: 12v Battery

Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:35 am

Stoaty wrote:
The best (and easiest to use) tester in that list looks like the most expensive one ($295):

http://www.amazon.com/Auto-Meter-SB-300 ... op?ie=UTF8

Not sure I want to spend that much, but it might be worth it to avoid a problem while we are backpacking (2 more trips this summer) without replacing batteries unnecessarily.

Comments?



If you had a repair shop - it would be the best!. All being considered, I'd be tempted to buy the "cheap" and test or even take your vehicles to Walmart asking if the battery needs replacing? If you don't have one already, I'd buy a good portable jump starter (with at least an 18 ah AGM) and pack it along with you (not the backpacking! :lol: ). I keep one around to start anything that uses a 12 volt battery (motorcycles, garden tractor, generator, car, etc,etc)
2012 Leaf SL; 36,000 miles. Battery replaced November 1st, 2016.

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