tbear2001
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:56 am
Delivery Date: 04 Mar 2017
Leaf Number: 333614
Location: Montgomery, AL

New Owner (to Me) of a Leaf

Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:14 am

I've been lurking for awhile trying to get all the information I could before deciding to purchase a Leaf. I've been researching electric and hybrid vehicles for the past few years but my car, a 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 still had plenty of life left in it. Finally decided that the value of my current car was about equal to a pre-owned Leaf and jumped at the chance. My commute is only 20 miles/day round trip and I had only accumulated 45,000 on my car in nine years, so I felt like I was the perfect target for a shorter range car like the Leaf. The downside, in living in Montgomery, Alabama there is not a lot of charging infrastructure yet, but I would almost always be charging at home anyway.

I found a 2015 Leaf S with QC Port in Newnan, Georgia. A one owner lease turn-in and decided to make the trip (about 120 miles) for a test drive and possible purchase. It has just over 20,000 miles and 12 bar battery capacity (I'm waiting on my Elm device for LeafSpy) and is in decent shape. Took the test drive and loved it but my biggest anxiety was getting it back to Montgomery. There was only one DC Fast Charger on route at a Georgia rest stop (awesome by the way as it is solar powered, free and donated by Kia), but it still left me with about 70 miles to get back home.

The first leg went great and I drove pretty normally, as the 70 mile speed limit on I-85 (with everyone passing me) and we stopped and got lunch then went to the charger for a quick charge. Once I figured out the charger we had a nice lunch and talked to several folks that were curious about the Leaf. We then started on the 70 mile leg of the trip and I had only one L2 charger available at a Nissan dealer about half way so we planned on stopping there as well just to be safe.

I managed to get behind a semi that was doing around 65 and I pretty much stayed behind him the whole way and as we got to halfway point the big decision was stop or don't stop, but at that point it looked like we would have about 9 miles in reserve when we got home, but definitely felt a lot of range anxiety. We went for it anyway, and were about 6 miles from home when the low battery alert went off and then the range meter went to ---- and that made me very nervous!

We made it home with one bar remaining and 20.5 hours to recharge (120v). I've already ordered a juicebox L2 charger and looking for a local electrician for the outlet, but until then the trickle charger will have to do.

Ironically, in the middle of the night last night, the first night I'm charging our new electric car, the power goes out in the whole area for about 2 hours! We never have power outages, so this was especially entertaining.

I hope to learn a lot from on the folks on this forum. The research I've done already has been so helpful.

Thanks everyone!
2015 Glacier White Leaf S QC - Certified Pre-Owned - 2017-03-04 - 20,272 mi.
2017-03-13: AHr=55.42 SOH=89% Hx=83.64% 20,756 mi 83 QCs 648 L1/L2s

tbear2001
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:56 am
Delivery Date: 04 Mar 2017
Leaf Number: 333614
Location: Montgomery, AL

Re: New Owner (to Me) of a Leaf

Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:17 am

Oh, I do have one question (so far)... for the battery warranty it says you need to have a Nissan dealer to a battery report annually, so I assume that I need that done from the original service date (6/2015) and should have it done 6/2017. If that is the case is there any other service that needs to happen at that point? I had planned on just getting the tires rotated, but wanted to know if there was anything beyond that.

Thanks.
2015 Glacier White Leaf S QC - Certified Pre-Owned - 2017-03-04 - 20,272 mi.
2017-03-13: AHr=55.42 SOH=89% Hx=83.64% 20,756 mi 83 QCs 648 L1/L2s

jjeff
Posts: 1365
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:10 am
Delivery Date: 13 Jul 2014
Leaf Number: 422121
Location: MSP MN

Re: New Owner (to Me) of a Leaf

Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:34 am

70 miles doing 65mph is pretty decent, if you didn't it would have probably helped if you could have somewhat ridden in the tailwind of that semi. Not tailgating but maybe 100?? feet behind him(if you felt comfortable the closer the better) as he would be breaking your wind and you'd be somewhat in his vacuum, really helps I've found.
Yes rotating the tires is all that really needs to be done, they might try and talk you into other things like flushing the brake fluid but for the most part it's unnecessary and just something for the dealer to make money on :)
I agree when the miles go to --- it gets kind of scary and after that the SOC% will go blank so you'll really have no indication of range left. If you had Leafspy that would continue to give you SOC even beyond the --- it will also give you things like GIDs which is a measure of how much capacity is left in the battery. Sounds like the Leaf should be a good fit for your driving and welcome to the Leaf club :)
2012 SL purchased used 2/'16
2013 S w/QC purchased new
Juicebox Premium 60a L1/L2 EVSE, Ebusbar 16a L1/L2 EVSE
'12 EVSEupgrade'd 20a L1/L2 EVSE, '13 EVSEupgrade'd adjustable 6-20a L2, 6-13a L1 EVSE
Zencar 13, 20, 30a L1/L2 portable EVSE
GE Durastation 30a

tbear2001
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:56 am
Delivery Date: 04 Mar 2017
Leaf Number: 333614
Location: Montgomery, AL

Re: New Owner (to Me) of a Leaf

Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:34 pm

I was definitely following the semi close to stay in his wake... I think it made a pretty big difference in the range. I've already ordered my bluetooth OBDII dongle and when that gets here I'm ready with LeafSpy on my phone. I am so enjoying the Leaf and am now wondering why I waited so long!
2015 Glacier White Leaf S QC - Certified Pre-Owned - 2017-03-04 - 20,272 mi.
2017-03-13: AHr=55.42 SOH=89% Hx=83.64% 20,756 mi 83 QCs 648 L1/L2s

LeftieBiker
Posts: 6575
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: New Owner (to Me) of a Leaf

Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:31 pm

it will also give you things like GIDs which is a measure of how much capacity is left in the battery.


GIDs measure energy left in the battery, not capacity. Think of them as ounces of gasoline in an ICE.
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium Package and no QC, and 2009 Vectrix VX-1 with 18 Leaf cells.

The most offensive, tasteless phrase in use here is "Pulled the trigger." I no longer respond to posts that use it.

tbear2001
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:56 am
Delivery Date: 04 Mar 2017
Leaf Number: 333614
Location: Montgomery, AL

Re: New Owner (to Me) of a Leaf

Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:52 pm

So over the past few weeks I've been following the forum closely and I spent the past few days doing some mods/accessories. I replaced the headlight bulbs, side marker lights, reverse lights, cargo light and dome light with LED equivalents. I really missed the HID on my Mazdaspeed 3 and I hated the yellowish color of the standard halogen headlights. The new LED versions are awesome... I'm not sure they put out much more light, but the color is much better. I also replaced the front/rear turn signals with chrome/silver incand because I didn't like the amber bulbs and I tried some LEDs but I would need to add a resistor to stop the fast flash and I didn't want to do that. The new bulbs look awesome.

After following every thread about daytime running lights, I installed a set of LED strips that are very small and subtle but look great. They are tiny strips (19 LEDs) that I mounted under the chrome strip on the front bumper on either end. I didn't want to do the #57 tap, so I went with a fuse tap in the DRL2 empty fuse... It keeps the lights on when charging, but I don't really care about that, in fact its kind of a plus because I can glance in the garage and see when the charge is finished. If they don't last as long, oh well, they were pretty inexpensive and I routed the wiring in such a way that I can easily pull it back out and replace them. I went up from the bottom since it was much easier access, but no so good for my back.

I also installed side window deflectors since I like to leave the windows cracked when I'm at work, out in the open parking lot to let the heat escape. Now I just have to convince them to install a charger! There are now two of us with electric cars, so maybe we have a chance. I also had the windows tinted since we have such hot weather here. Went for 35% (legal in Alabama) on all the windows (ceramic tint) and did a UV block clear film on the windshield. Hopefully that will help the heat gain during the day since it was already quite hot when we have had high 70s the past few days.

That's about it so far... still waiting on the dealer to get me my registration paperwork so I can transfer my personalized tag from my old car to this one. I'm still going back and forth about what wheels to get since I hate the standard steel wheels/hub caps. Been looking at tirerack.com but keep changing my mind. Hope to finally get that done in the next few months.

Thanks all in the forum for all the great information, and hopefully there are a few more Leafers in Alabama.
2015 Glacier White Leaf S QC - Certified Pre-Owned - 2017-03-04 - 20,272 mi.
2017-03-13: AHr=55.42 SOH=89% Hx=83.64% 20,756 mi 83 QCs 648 L1/L2s

jjeff
Posts: 1365
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:10 am
Delivery Date: 13 Jul 2014
Leaf Number: 422121
Location: MSP MN

Re: New Owner (to Me) of a Leaf

Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:31 pm

35% is my favorite tint, while 20% gives the dark look and blocks more light/heat, it's really too dark to see through at night. Maybe for the rear but I'd never do 20% on the drivers or passenger windows, did it once but never again. In MN(land of the backward laws :( ) 50% is the maximum legal tint(other than limos) although I've never heard of anyone getting stopped for 35%, 20% maybe.
I've never tinted the windshield, mainly because in MN we need to be able to use an ice scraper on not only the outside but also occasionally inside of our windshields, I'm sure that would cause havoc with window film. I did once purchase a couple aerosol cans of spray tint, I believe they said it might come out 50% with one coat. It worked by what was called a controlled run. You'd spray it thick near the top and it would flow downward. I believe it was mainly meant for angles that were downward(like the outside of the windshield) I was always worried about how it would work on the upside down angle of the inside of a windshield so I never tried it. Do you think you could install film on the windshield without it buckling? Maybe the side curves are small enough but I'd hate to have to cut the film as has to be done on the rear window of some cars. Otherwise it sounds like your customizing your Leaf nicely :)
Oh where did you find the window deflectors? Last time I looked I couldn't find any, Weathertech brand anyway, for my Leaf. I'd love to get a set, for the front windows at least, they do come in handy in case it rains.
2012 SL purchased used 2/'16
2013 S w/QC purchased new
Juicebox Premium 60a L1/L2 EVSE, Ebusbar 16a L1/L2 EVSE
'12 EVSEupgrade'd 20a L1/L2 EVSE, '13 EVSEupgrade'd adjustable 6-20a L2, 6-13a L1 EVSE
Zencar 13, 20, 30a L1/L2 portable EVSE
GE Durastation 30a

tbear2001
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:56 am
Delivery Date: 04 Mar 2017
Leaf Number: 333614
Location: Montgomery, AL

Re: New Owner (to Me) of a Leaf

Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:52 pm

One reason I got the ceramic tint is that it cuts more UV, I believe up to 90% and the clear film on the windshield is supposed to cut UV by 75%. We'll see how it does in our hot Alabama summers.

The visors are WellVisors that I ordered from Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/WellVisors-Sid ... B01KLHPDU8
... good price and they seem to be pretty decent but they are the stick on kind (3M Moulding Tape), not the kind that fits in the channel. I did find some that fit in the channel from some website in Japan, but they were $149, plus shipping from Japan, so I went with these to see if I like them. They seem pretty good quality, but the ones for the front windows have a slight dip that does not follow to contour of the door frame exactly, but most people would never notice. They were pretty easy to install even though the small plastic fasteners for the window clips are a little fiddly.

One other thing I did not mention before... this car had just a stock standard rear view mirror and my old car had homelink and auto-dimming mirror. I searched ebay and found a homelink, auto-dim with compass for $59 that included the pigtail wiring and wire cover. I was a little skeptical because they are $100s of dollars new, especially with compass, but it arrived in two days, was in great shape and once I got it installed it works perfectly. I'm glad to have my homelink back so I don't have to have a clicker on the visor anymore.

So far I'm 100% thrilled with this car. A lot of folks on here seem kind of disappointed or not happy with their Leaf. As with any technology there is always a price to be paid for being an early adopter, but I think looking at the quality of the car and the overall engineering, I'm pretty impressed with Nissan for stepping up when few other carmakers did. Especially selling it nationally rather than just a west coast option. This is my first Nissan as well as my first electric, but so far I'm a happy camper and looking forward to many years of enjoyable driving.
2015 Glacier White Leaf S QC - Certified Pre-Owned - 2017-03-04 - 20,272 mi.
2017-03-13: AHr=55.42 SOH=89% Hx=83.64% 20,756 mi 83 QCs 648 L1/L2s

tbear2001
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:56 am
Delivery Date: 04 Mar 2017
Leaf Number: 333614
Location: Montgomery, AL

Re: New Owner (to Me) of a Leaf

Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:55 pm

Just one more thing, I saw in your signature about JuiceBox. I had an electrician install a 240v outlet in the garage and then purchased a JuiceBox Pro 40amp. It is awesome and I love being about to check on the charging from the web or phone. Seems like a quality piece of equipment. Made the JuiceBox decision after going over every opinion on the site. Again, appreciate everyone who has offered advice and made this experience a good one, although I can't say the same for the dealer I bought the car from (another story altogether).
2015 Glacier White Leaf S QC - Certified Pre-Owned - 2017-03-04 - 20,272 mi.
2017-03-13: AHr=55.42 SOH=89% Hx=83.64% 20,756 mi 83 QCs 648 L1/L2s

SageBrush
Posts: 863
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: Colorado

Re: New Owner (to Me) of a Leaf

Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:21 pm

tbear2001 wrote:Oh, I do have one question (so far)... for the battery warranty it says you need to have a Nissan dealer to a battery report annually.

Nah. Save your money
2013 Model 'S' with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California with 63.9 Ahr after 22k miles
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado

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