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Leaf won`t start / DTC`s

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:19 am
by kneten
Been driving my US Leaf 2011 for a year now.

Been working really well , exept for 3-4 times where it has been hard to "start".
Have a OBD2 dongle and Leaf-Spy Pro , where usually the same errors has poped up.

The last 3-4 times , the trick has been to wait for hours/a day , and then the car would work again.

Recently I changed out the Lithium battery with a new normal acid-battery. This shows 13.1 volt fully charged.
The car ran great with this battery for about 4 days. Now the car haven`t started in almost a week.

The battery is at 5 bars (40% ?) , and I have repeatedly recharged the 12 volt battery.

The DTS`s showing up are these :

C118C 0109 ABS EV/HEV System BRC-126
C1A6E0109BRAKE EV/HEV System BR-146
C1A70 0109 BRAKE Brake Control System BR-160
P3178 00C0 EV/HEV ECU Activation Err EVC-245
P317A 00C0 EV/HEV Motor System EVC-247
P0BE6 000A MOTOR CONTROL D-Motor A Phase U Current Sen TMS-66

These codes usually shows on the previous occasions.

I have also experienced weard behavior from the motor couple of times at really low speed. Like the motor has been vibrating or stopped. Like it cant decide whether to spin or come to a stop. ( like a faulty position sensor. But this is JUST a hintch/feeling from my side).

After reading the repair manuals , to me it seems like Traction Motor Inverter is acting up / bad connection.

What to do here ? Anywhone have any suggestions ? The car is at the dealership but have 1 month waiting time at 200 Usd/hr.

Re: Leaf won`t start / DTC`s

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:07 am
by mux
P0BE6 sounds like a really bad error. Most likely this triggers P317A and P3178. The Brake/ABS errors are standard whenever the car starts up without traction battery power, you can ignore those.

The motor U and V and W phase windings are what transfers power from the inverter to the spinning part of the motor (=rotor) and an error in the current sensing component like P0BE6 means either the current sense circuitry is faulty, you have a bad connection between inverter and motor or there is a broken winding in the motor. None of these are errors you ever want to see. The inverter is a very complicated and hard to repair package and the motor is sealed for life, so this almost certainly means replacing your drive unit, unless it's just a bad connection.

I hope it's just a current sensor fault.

The service manual simply says: replace inverter. That's going to cost you a lot.

If you have access to good tools, you can attempt to inspect the inverter yourself. This is highly dangerous and if you have no experience with high voltage and high power electronics, I do not recommend proceeding. Save yourself the risk, both of you working on these kinds of electronics and of you 'fixing' it, not properly resealing the package, getting water in there and crashing on the highway.

I do not have experience taking apart the inverter. All I know is that there are some non-important (for this purpose) electronics on top (easily accessible), then a big water block and underneath there's the big IGBTs and current sensors. You will somehow need to disassemble the inverter package to that bottom level where the power electronics are, you will find the motor connections and current sensors near there too I presume. Other people may correct me on this.

Alternatively, if this is all OK, the problem may be in faulty connections on the motor side. That is just a total bitch to get to. I'd pay the money to the garage to fix that.

Re: Leaf won`t start / DTC`s

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:45 am
by powersurge
Long Story short..... Take it to Nissan.... no other solution...

HOWEVER, like most computers...

Why don't you try to disconnect the 12v battery for a few minutes, and then retry to start the car with the battery reconnected....

Re: Leaf won`t start / DTC`s

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:41 am
by Nubo
Since 12V replacement resulted in successful start and was also proximate to the failure, I'd definitely consider this a possible 12V problem. I would be concerned about whether the 12V connections are tight with proper ground, and the actual state of the 12V battery.

1 - remove the battery clamps and thoroughly clean any surface oxidation from the terminals and clamps. Autoparts stores carry cheap brushes for this purpose.

2 - while you're at the auto parts store, have them load-test your 12V battery.

3 - leave the 12V out of the vehicle for a few hours.

4 - install the 12V battery and make sure the clamps are tight and secure. Make sure the wires TO the clamps are secure, and that the ground wire is secure where it attaches to the vehicle. Better yet, remove the ground connection and sand the metal underneath to remove any corrosion or paint, then re-tighten the bolt.

5 - start the car. If the car comes on, use LeafSpy to check and clear the DTCs

May or may not resolve the problem, but these are easy and inexpensive steps to rule out the 12V as a cause.

Re: Leaf won`t start / DTC`s

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:01 pm
by mux
The reason I mentally discounted that as a possible issue is the preceding issues with the motor. That sounds a lot like a bad winding or bad contact, and couldn't ever be related to a bad 12V battery.

Re: Leaf won`t start / DTC`s

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:11 pm
by kneten
The car got towed to the Nissan dealer.

Even though they had 1 month waiting time for an appointment , they quickly made a scan of errors , cleared them , got the car to drive with the same errors popping up again.

The Nissan tech said it had to be the Inverter , with a cost of aprox 9000 usd installed with a new Inverter.

However , they actually had been looking for a used Inverter before they called me , giving me the option to pay 2500 usd installed.
The donor-Leaf was salvaged with only 9000 miles on it.

Leaving me kind of surprised that they wanted to do it this way , but I guess they see the clouds over their own head when a Inverter fails after 7 years / 23000 miles. It`s like the cranckshaft snapping in two after 7 year on a Qascai.

So , I`ll have to wait and see if this cures things. Having a slight feeling they just took the easy way out , as the repair manual told them too.

Hope i`m wrong. Will try updating this post .. They said around 1 month to get the part shipped , work etc..

If it is the Inverter , for that price , i`m still happy with the car.

Re: Leaf won`t start / DTC`s

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:28 pm
by mux
Ah, yes, you're very lucky with that price for an inverter. They often go for more on ebay. I hope you will be able to drive your Leaf sooner rather than later!

Did you get an electric temp car?

Re: Leaf won`t start / DTC`s

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:31 am
by kneten
I didn`t have "premium" insurance on my Leaf , so didnt get any car to use while waiting for my Leaf to be fixed.

But I think maybe i`ll upgrade to premium insurance with extended engine/transmission included.

Even though this is "extremely rare" with an inverter dying.

Re: Leaf won`t start / DTC`s

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:16 am
by Stanton
kneten wrote:But I think maybe i`ll upgrade to premium insurance with extended engine/transmission included.

Don't know why you'd do that on a 7 year old car? My 7 year warranty is about to expire, but there were (almost) no EVs and no "used parts" when I bought my Leaf.
Good luck with the repair (sounds like a reasonable dealer).