dhanson865
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 7:12 am
Leaf Number: 16156
Location: Tennessee

Instructions for replacing the 12v battery on the Leaf (Group 51R / Optima D51R)

Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:45 pm

I've done a hefty bit of google searches of this forum and youtube and in general and haven't stumbled across a how to for this yet.

Personally I've replaced the 12v in a Prius which I assume was harder to do (especially the part about crawling back to the hatch, finding the manual release lever, and actually getting the hatch to open, when the car wouldn't open or operate normally) but I'll be replacing the 12v in my Leaf in the next few days and thought it'd be nice to review someone's instructions and make it easier for others to find.

* Parts needed?
* Tools needed? (I used a 10mm socket, rachet, 1/4 to 3/8 adapter, some packing paper, and my hands)
* Safety concerns?
* Step by Step?

All the threads I've seen bounce around more about deciding if you need to do it or discussing the cost of going to a Lithium ion 12v replacement but none seem to cover the basics for a beginner or semi beginner to have a check list.

Bonus points if someone can point to a video of replacing a 12v in an actual Nissan Leaf.


edit: I've added Pics with notes further down.

The Carwings activation was inactive and the time on the car was Sunday at midnight instead of the current date/time. I had to set the time on the dash.

I did lose miles/kWh on the dash. Reset back to blank so I'll have fresh data.

I did NOT lose any significant settings, radio stations, window auto up, charge timers all remained.

I did have to connect to car wings once to get the carwings reactivated but it already knew the username and pw, so I just had to menu into carwings settings and tell it to sign in. Until doing that the charge timers were disabled but they came back on as soon as I activated carwings.

edit 2:

I had 10 DTCs before I replaced the old battery. Just swapping batteries cleared 9 of 10. I was unable to clear the 10th DTC immediately. I had to drive the car to work and then Leafspy Pro was able to clear the final DTC. The first and only time I needed the pro version, all because of a dead 12v battery. I'm going to say that means you'll likely need Leafspy Pro if you don't change your battery out before you start throwing DTCs.
Blue 2012 Leaf 195/65/15 tires, 15" Rims
Silver 2012 Leaf 16" stock wheels
wiki/index.php?title=Real_World_Battery_Capacity_Loss
(efficiency 3.x KW vs 6.x KW)
please join Truedelta.com and input your repairs.

baustin
Posts: 676
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:23 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Mar 2015
Leaf Number: 402162
Location: North Las Vegas, NV

Re: Instructions for replacing the 12v battery on the Leaf (D51R)

Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:54 am

The steps are essentially the same as any other car. The only suggested differences are to remove any devices from the OBD port and give it about 15 minutes for everything to turn off, after parking the car, opening the hood, and closing the doors. Disconnect the negative terminal, then the positive, swap and tighten down the new battery, connect the positive terminal, then the negative, and test for proper operation.

The only tools that should be needed are a socket set, an open end wrench, and a flat blade screwdriver. The only additional parts that may be needed are anti-corrosion pads or gel. If everything is in good shape, and nothing has been (or gets) broken, it should be a quick and easy job.

Safety concerns are minimal, since there are no explosive vapors under the Leaf hood. Be wary of the hood support, and don't jump or drop anything if it sparks when connecting the terminals. Disconnect the negative terminal first, and reconnect it last, so there is no danger of creating a short between the positive terminal and the metal car components. Also, do something to prevent the positive cable end from making direct contact with the metal body components while swapping the battery.

When my battery finally dies, I plan to replace it with an Optima Yellow Top. If no one else has done it by then, I'll make a video of the process.
2013 Leaf SV - Cayenne Red - QC Port - LED Headlights

User avatar
Randy
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Posts: 2102
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:29 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Jan 2011
Leaf Number: 0191
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Instructions for replacing the 12v battery on the Leaf (D51R)

Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:11 am

I posted a thread on my replacement. All you really need for tools is a 10mm extended socket....Of course, in true MyNissanLEAF style, the debate goes on for 5 pages why people don't like my battery choice. But it was the cheapest name brand battery out there, appeared to be the most reliable choice, and to me those add up to a winner...No issues with it after a year plus a few months; it just works like it is supposed to....

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=19169&

dhanson865
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Location: Tennessee

Re: Instructions for replacing the 12v battery on the Leaf (D51R)

Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:28 am

baustin wrote:The steps are essentially the same as any other car. The only suggested differences are to remove any devices from the OBD port and give it about 15 minutes for everything to turn off, after parking the car, opening the hood, and closing the doors. Disconnect the negative terminal, then the positive, swap and tighten down the new battery, connect the positive terminal, then the negative, and test for proper operation.

The only tools that should be needed are a socket set, an open end wrench, and a flat blade screwdriver. The only additional parts that may be needed are anti-corrosion pads or gel. If everything is in good shape, and nothing has been (or gets) broken, it should be a quick and easy job.

Safety concerns are minimal, since there are no explosive vapors under the Leaf hood. Be wary of the hood support, and don't jump or drop anything if it sparks when connecting the terminals. Disconnect the negative terminal first, and reconnect it last, so there is no danger of creating a short between the positive terminal and the metal car components. Also, do something to prevent the positive cable end from making direct contact with the metal body components while swapping the battery.

When my battery finally dies, I plan to replace it with an Optima Yellow Top. If no one else has done it by then, I'll make a video of the process.


Remove devices from the OBD port? Concern about bad data, shorting the device?

15 minutes for everything to turn off? What's the concern there? Won't everything power down as soon as you pull the negative cable?

I got a an Optima Yellow Top so I'll try and take some notes and see if I can't edit up something. Then we can add video later.
Blue 2012 Leaf 195/65/15 tires, 15" Rims
Silver 2012 Leaf 16" stock wheels
wiki/index.php?title=Real_World_Battery_Capacity_Loss
(efficiency 3.x KW vs 6.x KW)
please join Truedelta.com and input your repairs.

dhanson865
Moderator
Posts: 1495
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 7:12 am
Leaf Number: 16156
Location: Tennessee

Re: Instructions for replacing the 12v battery on the Leaf (D51R)

Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:35 am

Randy wrote:I posted a thread on my replacement. All you really need for tools is a 10mm extended socket....Of course, in true MyNissanLEAF style, the debate goes on for 5 pages why people don't like my battery choice. But it was the cheapest name brand battery out there, appeared to be the most reliable choice, and to me those add up to a winner...No issues with it after a year plus a few months; it just works like it is supposed to....

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=19169&


Yeah, that is why I want to write up something more standardized (vendor neutral). So someone can check a thread and and think "so oh, 10mm socket, check" without getting lost in the arguments.

I'll try and take notes on what I use and make an edit on the first post or make a new thread if needed to make it look neat. Heck maybe even edit the wiki. But I'm not looking forward to it, I just think it needs to be done.
Blue 2012 Leaf 195/65/15 tires, 15" Rims
Silver 2012 Leaf 16" stock wheels
wiki/index.php?title=Real_World_Battery_Capacity_Loss
(efficiency 3.x KW vs 6.x KW)
please join Truedelta.com and input your repairs.

User avatar
JimSouCal
Posts: 860
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:54 pm

Re: Instructions for replacing the 12v battery on the Leaf (D51R)

Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:08 pm

I think the summative write up IS a good idea... For example to clarify that the existing cabling and 12V battery mount works fine with the upgrade to the Optima.

Slightly tangential, but not too off topic...

For what it's worth, since I've been reading the forum off and on over the years here and it saved me from a AAA call and likely tow as per below... My bet is I am driving on borrowed time on my 2011 12V battery...

I just got back from a 3 week away trip (and forgot to unplug the ODB reader for leaf spy which presented a small constant drain)... On pressing the boot up power up button, I came back to a bizarre display, reset clock, and a non operable car... Immediate suspect, dead 12V battery...

Luckily, had another nearby vehicle, powered LEAF down using the start button, applied jumper cables, and START button powered back up, and still no normal display (which I'd taken a picture of it)... Disconnected the jump and the positive to the LEAF battery and car, let it all sit for some moments, then reconnected the lead to the car, and then applied the jump and let it charge LEAF 12V battery... After waiting 5 minutes, car powered up normally. I let the LEAF sit parked for an hour in RUN mode to charge the LEAF 12V battery, and then check to see if it powered on and off normally, which it did... Not sure if I did all this right at all... But working normally for the last 3 days...

LeafSpy showed 13.6 volts shortly after power up tapering to 12.1. I suspect this is not enough to charge a discharged battery... I've ordered a CTEK de-sulfating charger, and since I've got a 2011 with an old battery, will be topping it off using the CTEK and then get it load tested at a Firestone Auto center to see if the battery does need to be recycled... Will also check the fluid levels of each cell and add distilled water if need be... The old battery has a shot at being fine (yes, being cheap but also just taking the journey).

The yellow top D51R deep cycle seems to be the best move, and with the CTEK maintainer on it every once in a while, even better (will use that on the ICE vehicle that I don't drive very often..)

baustin
Posts: 676
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:23 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Mar 2015
Leaf Number: 402162
Location: North Las Vegas, NV

Re: Instructions for replacing the 12v battery on the Leaf (D51R)

Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:50 pm

dhanson865 wrote:
baustin wrote:The steps are essentially the same as any other car. The only suggested differences are to remove any devices from the OBD port and give it about 15 minutes for everything to turn off, after parking the car, opening the hood, and closing the doors. Disconnect the negative terminal, then the positive, swap and tighten down the new battery, connect the positive terminal, then the negative, and test for proper operation.

The only tools that should be needed are a socket set, an open end wrench, and a flat blade screwdriver. The only additional parts that may be needed are anti-corrosion pads or gel. If everything is in good shape, and nothing has been (or gets) broken, it should be a quick and easy job.

Safety concerns are minimal, since there are no explosive vapors under the Leaf hood. Be wary of the hood support, and don't jump or drop anything if it sparks when connecting the terminals. Disconnect the negative terminal first, and reconnect it last, so there is no danger of creating a short between the positive terminal and the metal car components. Also, do something to prevent the positive cable end from making direct contact with the metal body components while swapping the battery.

When my battery finally dies, I plan to replace it with an Optima Yellow Top. If no one else has done it by then, I'll make a video of the process.


Remove devices from the OBD port? Concern about bad data, shorting the device?

15 minutes for everything to turn off? What's the concern there? Won't everything power down as soon as you pull the negative cable?

I got a an Optima Yellow Top so I'll try and take some notes and see if I can't edit up something. Then we can add video later.


Since having a device connected to the OBD port can keep some Leaf systems active, removing it is just to get things to an idle state sooner. There is also the remote possibility of a power surge, when reconnecting the battery, that could damage whatever is attached to the OBD port.

Like so many modern vehicles, turning the Leaf off does not immediately power down all systems. I don't know all the background processes that take place, and prefer to err on the side of caution. Thus, the suggestion for the 15 minute waiting period.

Everything will immediately power down when the battery cables are disconnected. The Leaf is a computerized vehicle, and I'm sure Nissan has engineered it to accommodate power-loss incidents. I have an IT background, and believe in doing an orderly shutdown, whenever possible.

Just to clarify, the Leaf uses a Group 51R battery. D51R is the Optima designation for their yellow top battery model that fits the Group 51R specification.
2013 Leaf SV - Cayenne Red - QC Port - LED Headlights

dhanson865
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Re: Instructions for replacing the 12v battery on the Leaf (D51R)

Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:51 pm

JimSouCal wrote:I think the summative write up IS a good idea... For example to clarify that the existing cabling and 12V battery mount works fine with the upgrade to the Optima.


The optima D51R is a drop in replacement. The foam that it's packed in fits to the mm on the OEM battery just like it does on the Optima. You'll never know the difference based on length, width, height.


Before I started I had Image

just replacing the battery with no leaf spy work cleared all but one DTC.

edit: that DTC wouldn't clear with Leafspy Pro last night, but after my normal overnight charge session (about 2 hours on 240v) and a drive to work it cleared.
Blue 2012 Leaf 195/65/15 tires, 15" Rims
Silver 2012 Leaf 16" stock wheels
wiki/index.php?title=Real_World_Battery_Capacity_Loss
(efficiency 3.x KW vs 6.x KW)
please join Truedelta.com and input your repairs.

dhanson865
Moderator
Posts: 1495
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 7:12 am
Leaf Number: 16156
Location: Tennessee

Re: Instructions for replacing the 12v battery on the Leaf (D51R)

Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:58 pm

If you leave the handle on the battery you'll want to be sure there is at least a fingers width between the positive post and the handle when you tie down the battery. I put a small brush handle there to keep them spaced while tightening things up.

I actually tightened this down the first time with the handle in the way of the red post cover and had to undo, redo it.

Image

Image

That lovely bracket is what ties the battery down in place. There is a front and back to it, the edge on the right with the 90 degree angle bracket goes towards the front of the car, away from the posts.
Blue 2012 Leaf 195/65/15 tires, 15" Rims
Silver 2012 Leaf 16" stock wheels
wiki/index.php?title=Real_World_Battery_Capacity_Loss
(efficiency 3.x KW vs 6.x KW)
please join Truedelta.com and input your repairs.

dhanson865
Moderator
Posts: 1495
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 7:12 am
Leaf Number: 16156
Location: Tennessee

Re: Instructions for replacing the 12v battery on the Leaf (D51R)

Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:01 pm

Before

Image

Image

After
Blue 2012 Leaf 195/65/15 tires, 15" Rims
Silver 2012 Leaf 16" stock wheels
wiki/index.php?title=Real_World_Battery_Capacity_Loss
(efficiency 3.x KW vs 6.x KW)
please join Truedelta.com and input your repairs.

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