ytrottier
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:54 am
Delivery Date: 14 Nov 2015

Reducing maintenance costs - avoid gouging

Sat Jun 18, 2016 3:08 pm

I think I just got gouged on the first maintenance on my 2016 Leaf at 25,000 km / 7 months at a Nissan dealership in Canada. I figured I would share my experience so other can compare or learn from it. Please share your own, or offer your advice.

Here was my $415.22 bill:
  • $0.00 Maintenance lube, oil & filer and perform multi-point inspection
  • $0.00 Tire Rotation (Check remaining brake wear)
  • $31.50 Reset tire pressure monitor system
  • $170.79 Brake Maintenance, cleaner, Sylglide & Antiseize
  • $90.38 Cabin air filter replacement
  • $38.04 Battery service and test, battery cleaner/sealer
  • $31.50 Battery service and test
  • $0.00 Provide customer with batter test print out
  • $0.00 Service Loaner rental
  • $5.25 Environmental fee
  • $47.76 taxes
Let's break that down.

$0.00 Maintenance lube, oil & filer and perform multi-point inspection
Good start. Good thing they didn't charge me for oil & filter since there is none. To be fair, I think the inspection has value, and that helps partly compensate for the gouging later on. But I think this was also a marketing trick, to butter me up with good deals at the start before sucking me in.

$0.00 Tire Rotation (Check remaining brake wear)
Good deal. Not essential, but can't argue with the price. In my experience, a good dealer will give you an actual measurement, in mm, of your tread depth. Didn't get that here.

$31.50 Reset tire pressure monitor system
I asked for this, because I had bolted on my summer tires myself. They hadn't included ant cost for this in the quote, so I thought they were agreeing to do this for free with the tire rotation. It's a bit rude to surprise your customer with a charge, but I'm not upset yet. A tire rotation alone might cost around the same, and that was free, so it's evening out so far. You can buy an OBDII gadget for your phone for about the same price and do this yourself, and that's what I'll do next time. Or you can just ignore the TPMS indicator, but I think it's a useful safety feature.

$170.79 Brake Maintenance, cleaner, Sylglide & Antiseize
This was the baffling WTF item. Why do I need $170.79 of brake maintenance at 25,000 km on a car with regenerative braking? Other people on this forum have expressed the same bewilderment:
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=17756
viewtopic.php?f=30&t=21882
Brakes are the last system I want to save money on, so I went and paid it, but after some research I think I goofed. Let me summarize the arguments for and against.

The 2016 Leaf owner's guide does say to replace the brake fluid every 24,000 km or 12 months, even as part of the standard schedule, not for severe use. Nissan says that short interval is needed because the car uses regenerative braking, but it's hard to make any sense of that: regenerative braking reduces the wear on traditional braking system. My Prius has a brake fluid interval of 48,000 km, and my Toyota dealer stretches that out to 60,000 km. And many cars without regenerative braking are extending their schedules to 80,000 km or more. So what makes the Leaf brakes so fragile?

It turns out that the Nissan Leaf requires the older DOT 3 fluid, whereas the Prius and other cars have moved on to the newer and longer-lasting DOT 4 or DOT 5.1. This is weird. There were problems with the first silicone-based DOT 5(.0), but why would a modern car not accept DOT 5.1? I don't know. It might be driven by some compatibility issue with Nissan's regenerative system, but then why can't they copy what Toyota did? And why does the Leaf need a shorter brake fluid interval than other DOT 3 cars?

My best guess is that Nissan is assuming that Leafs will get much fewer km per year than normal cars, maybe assuming just 12,000 km per year. Brake fluid goes bad primarily from age as opposed to use, but most people service their cars based on km driven. So to be super-safe (and super-safe is a good approach with brakes) they converted a two-year interval for DOT 3 into 24,000 km. But for a heavy user like me, (50,000 km per year) I should have at least insisted on a test of the fluid before replacing.

A good dealer would also have given me brake pad amount remaining, in mm, and I didn't get that here.

Note that my bill doesn't actually say they changed the fluid; I'm calling them Monday to confirm that. If all I got was some lubrication for that price, then I really feel like a sucker.

$90.38 Cabin air filter replacement
Not essential, but I like clean air. I could have cut this charge in half by buying an after-market filter and installing it myself.

$38.04 Battery service and test, battery cleaner/sealer
I'm an idiot for agreeing to this. This was just for the 12V battery, which is only $150 or so for a new one. No test results were provided.

$31.50 Battery service and test
What? I thought they said the EV battery checkup was free, and the 12V batter was serviced and tested above, so what is this? Didn't spot the redundancy until I got home, so I'll get an answer Monday.

$0.00 Provide customer with batter test print out
This is necessary to maintain the battery warranty, but the test print out is nearly useless. It gives the total bars still available on the battery, which you can count on the dashboard, and stars rating your charging habits. I guess those star ratings can help alert a user to a problem in advance, but in my case I had 14 out of 15 possible stars.

$0.00 Service Loaner rental
In ten years of getting cars service, this is the first time that anyone has ever given me a loaner for free. Nice. But I guess they charge for it elsewhere, and nothing is ever really free in the end.

$5.25 Environmental fee
$47.76 taxes

I don't begrudge my taxes. Government performs useful functions and we have to pay for it one way or another.

smkettner
Posts: 7172
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:13 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Feb 2014
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Reducing maintenance costs - avoid gouging

Sat Jun 18, 2016 3:16 pm

My advice? Take it in once a year for the FREE battery warranty check. Spend NO money for the first 35 months.
1 bar lost at 21,451 miles, 16 months.
2 bar lost at 35,339 miles, 25 months.
LEAF traded at 45,400 miles for a RAV4-EV
I-Pace on order for end of 2018 delivery

User avatar
TomT
Posts: 10605
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:09 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000360
Location: California, now Georgia
Contact: Website

Re: Reducing maintenance costs - avoid gouging

Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:44 pm

Sorry, but you got taken... For the at least the first two years all it needs is the free battery check and tire rotation as you like... Brake fluid every three years is fine and all you need is the fluid flush for about 80-90 bucks, not all that other crap...
59,991 miles/12 bars/289 Gids/68.54 AHr/101% SOH/101.64% Hx 7May15 w/ new Lizard (barely made the warranty).
71,770 miles/12 bars/256 Gids/59.04 AHr/88% SOH/87.92% Hx 3Mar16 at lease return.

Now driving a 2016 Volt Premier.

ElectricEddy
Posts: 473
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:42 pm
Delivery Date: 31 Oct 2016
Leaf Number: 313506
Location: Nanaimo, B.C.

Re: Reducing maintenance costs - avoid gouging

Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:40 pm

Cabin air filter: Nissan part # 27891-3SGOA purchased from dealer $8.77 Cdn, labor 30 minutes (my own time).
Pearl White Sl
mfd date 09/16

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9223
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Reducing maintenance costs - avoid gouging

Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:37 pm

It turns out that the Nissan Leaf requires the older DOT 3 fluid, whereas the Prius and other cars have moved on to the newer and longer-lasting DOT 4 or DOT 5.1. This is weird. There were problems with the first silicone-based DOT 5(.0), but why would a modern car not accept DOT 5.1?



I don't know about DOT 5.1, but DOT 4 is backwards-compatible.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

gncndad
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:02 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Feb 2016

Re: Reducing maintenance costs - avoid gouging

Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:22 pm

ElectricEddy wrote:Cabin air filter: Nissan part # 27891-3SGOA purchased from dealer $8.77 Cdn, labor 30 minutes (my own time).


Yes, 30 minutes the first time. It's awkward, but the 2nd time should be easier.

Sorry about all the over-charging. I don't understand the brake charges at all, and would challenge it 100%.

Firetruck41
Posts: 501
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:36 am
Leaf Number: 408264
Location: SW Washington State

Re: Reducing maintenance costs - avoid gouging

Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:40 am

Sorry to see you got hosed. Nothing in that list is worth doing, except maybe the cabin filter (probably every 2 years is reasonable), but as mentioned you can get that for about $10 and do it in a couple minutes (search forum for info on how to do it). I would change brake fluid every 3 years or so. As you mentioned, doesn't even look like they did that, just applied some brake grease (again, very cheap), which should not be needed until you put on new pads, years down the road, and should be part of new pad installation.
8/2015- New to me 12bar 2013 SV w/QC package and 37k miles

Reddy
Posts: 1534
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:09 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Aug 2011
Leaf Number: 006828
Location: Pasco, WA

Re: Reducing maintenance costs - avoid gouging

Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:42 am

Sorry for your experience. I've added washer fluid, rotated the tires, fixed a screw (about 2 weeks into ownership), replaced the tires, bought a 12 V battery maintainer and LeafSpy. Five year costs: less than $500 with tire purchase. Battery check? Screw that, I won't be getting the warranty battery due to my low driving needs. I'll replace the 12 V when it's dead. Air filter? I've never, ever changed a filter. Heck, dust is constant around here, the Leaf's air is cleaner than my 30 yo ICE (oh, I do pick out the dried leaves and other junk when it comes blowing out at me). Brakes/fluid? Not on the Leaf, but yes on the ICE. With the value dropping so significantly, I'll probably continue on my present maintenance schedule.
Reddy
2011 SL; 9 bar, 45.80 AHr; 45,000 mi; rcv'd Aug 18, 2011
Long: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... al#p226115"
Cold: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 60#p243033"

User avatar
DuncanCunningham
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:02 am
Delivery Date: 15 Apr 2015
Location: Bountiful, UT

Re: Reducing maintenance costs - avoid gouging

Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:51 am

there is a reason why they are called "stealerships"
Statler: Wake up you old fool. You slept through the show.
Waldorf: Who's a fool? You watched it.

2015 Leaf S (leased until May 2018, Bought out in Jan 2017)
2012 Leaf SL (purchased May 2015)

jkline
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 10:46 am
Delivery Date: 01 May 2016
Location: Eastern, WA

Re: Reducing maintenance costs - avoid gouging

Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:02 am

Oh man, you got taken and have every right to be livid.

Cabin filter: I went on youtube to learn how to replace it. Easy and I bought one online for less than ten bucks.

12v battery checks are something easily done yourself.

Brake fluid: never replaced dot 3 fluid in anything just because of age or mileage. I would only do it if it turns an odd color. I wouldn't be surprised if you are still driving with the original fluid. I would put the Leaf on ramps and see if the bleed valves look like they have had a wrench on them. If they are dirty, you know the fluid wasn't replaced.

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