RonSwanson
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:13 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Considering leaf - so many questions!

Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:27 pm

I live in Los Angeles. Currently have about a 20 mile round trip commute (if you call that a commute). I was at CarMax over the weekend and saw some used Leafs and was amazed how cheap they were. I am seeing 2013 models with 30k ish miles for 8k or even less in some instances. This blew my mind how cheap. I'm starting to wonder Why they are so cheap? Is it because the batteries have seriously degraded by this point? I would LOVE to be able to buy a car for 8k and pay cash and not have a car payment. I'm coming from a $400+ per month payment so this would be a dream.

I have so many questions I don't even know where to start. I guess I'll start out with a few obvious ones.

1. Would a leaf be ideal for someone with my short commute who has chargers on both ends?

2. Are the prices I saw at carmax legit, meaning these aren't cars on their last legs already?

3. What year / mileage do you recommend I look at if I want the car to last like 3-5 years or more would be great? I'm really just looking at a cheap vehicle that will get me to / from work for the next few years with little issue.

I'll start out with those three questions for now and I'm sure I'll have a lot of follow up questions based on your replies.

Thanks in advance for all your help!

LeftieBiker
Posts: 7336
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Considering leaf - so many questions!

Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:33 pm

1. Yes.

2. Yes.

3. A 2013 built AFTER March of 2013, with 12 bars showing, should be fine for your needs. The entry level S should also work for you, if you need few bells or whistles. For best value, make sure the car has the Charge Package, which adds QC charging and, in the case of the S, a faster onboard charger. Odometer mileage isn't as important as the battery having been kept cool so look at Carfax to find where the car was previously driven, avoiding hot climates like Arizona, SoCal, or Georgia.
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.

martyv
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri May 17, 2013 2:10 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Jul 2013
Leaf Number: 412873
Location: Washington state
Contact: Website

Re: Considering leaf - so many questions!

Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:37 pm

Hi Ron,
Some great questions! Here's a start, I'm sure you'll find out more as you search these message boards:

1. Would a leaf be ideal for someone with my short commute who has chargers on both ends? - YES! I have a very similar commute (18 miles round trip), and my 2013 SV works perfectly for that, and easily some errands on the way home! If you've got 240v charging on both ends, then this could work as a commuter for many years...

2. Are the prices I saw at carmax legit, meaning these aren't cars on their last legs already?
Yes, those are good prices, but not exceptional.

3. What year / mileage do you recommend I look at if I want the car to last like 3-5 years or more would be great? I'm really just looking at a cheap vehicle that will get me to / from work for the next few years with little issue.
You definitely want a 2013 or newer (they changed the battery chemistry in 2013), I believe you want one that was manufactured after April ofr 2013 (some of the earlier 2013's still use the older battery chemistry).
Although really, with such a short commute, you could probably get by with even a 2011 or 2012!

I would personally try to get one still under the bumper to bumper 36k warranty; I had to replace the head unit/stereo/screen and was glad it was under warranty since that would have been expensive!

welcome to the leaf boards... Marty

RonSwanson
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:13 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Considering leaf - so many questions!

Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:40 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:1. Yes.

2. Yes.

3. A 2013 built AFTER March of 2013, with 12 bars showing, should be fine for your needs. The entry level S should also work for you, if you need few bells or whistles. For best value, make sure the car has the Charge Package, which adds QC charging and, in the case of the S, a faster onboard charger. Odometer mileage isn't as important as the battery having been kept cool so look at Carfax to find where the car was previously driven, avoiding hot climates like Arizona, SoCal, or Georgia.

For point 3, is the idea to get a car that hasn't been kept so hot since I will be using it in a hot climate? Will it have a short life here in SoCal?

RonSwanson
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:13 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Considering leaf - so many questions!

Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:54 pm

martyv wrote:Hi Ron,
Some great questions! Here's a start, I'm sure you'll find out more as you search these message boards:

1. Would a leaf be ideal for someone with my short commute who has chargers on both ends? - YES! I have a very similar commute (18 miles round trip), and my 2013 SV works perfectly for that, and easily some errands on the way home! If you've got 240v charging on both ends, then this could work as a commuter for many years...

2. Are the prices I saw at carmax legit, meaning these aren't cars on their last legs already?
Yes, those are good prices, but not exceptional.

3. What year / mileage do you recommend I look at if I want the car to last like 3-5 years or more would be great? I'm really just looking at a cheap vehicle that will get me to / from work for the next few years with little issue.
You definitely want a 2013 or newer (they changed the battery chemistry in 2013), I believe you want one that was manufactured after April ofr 2013 (some of the earlier 2013's still use the older battery chemistry).
Although really, with such a short commute, you could probably get by with even a 2011 or 2012!

I would personally try to get one still under the bumper to bumper 36k warranty; I had to replace the head unit/stereo/screen and was glad it was under warranty since that would have been expensive!

welcome to the leaf boards... Marty


Thanks for the advice Marty.

Just to add a bit, I do have a Carista ODB bluetooth adapter that I can take to dealerships with me. I just have no idea what the numbers would tell me haha

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Stanton
Posts: 1956
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:56 am
Delivery Date: 01 Sep 2011
Leaf Number: 7458
Location: Plano, TX
Contact: Website Twitter

Re: Considering leaf - so many questions!

Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:32 pm

RonSwanson wrote:For point 3, is the idea to get a car that hasn't been kept so hot since I will be using it in a hot climate? Will it have a short life here in SoCal?


With a commute as short of yours, that really doesn't matter. All will be revealed when you get an AHr reading, which will also confirm/deny how many capacity bars are remaining. As was mentioned, you could get just about any Leaf made (2011 on) with at least half it's capacity bars remaining (not that you will find one so bad).
2011 Blue Ocean SV w/floor mats & window tint
12v LiFePO4 battery & FIAMM 74100 horns
Wet Okole seat covers (front)
Tor's low-power heater mod
2013 sun visor
3G modem upgrade
L2 EVSE Upgrade
Battery Pack replaced (Rev E) @51 months and 41k miles

LeftieBiker
Posts: 7336
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Considering leaf - so many questions!

Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:00 pm

For point 3, is the idea to get a car that hasn't been kept so hot since I will be using it in a hot climate? Will it have a short life here in SoCal?


Yes. You want the battery to last as long as possible, so you don't want one that's already seen 3-4 years of hot weather. The other posts about any Leaf working are correct - for now. If you really want to get 5 years of use from a Leaf in your climate, you want as much capacity as possible to start, and you definitely don't want the older battery chemistry used before APRIL of 2013. (The emphasis was for the previous poster who wrote "after April." April 2013 builds are fine - I drive one.)
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.

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IssacZachary
Forum Supporter
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:57 am
Delivery Date: 15 Nov 2016
Leaf Number: 420789
Location: Gunnison, CO, USA

Re: Considering leaf - so many questions!

Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:04 pm

  1. The Leaf is extremely ideal for someone like you who only drives 10 miles per day. You likely won't need to charge at home and at work, either one or the other. If you lived between 30 or so to 60 or so miles from work then you'd want to charge at work and at home.
  2. Prices sounds legit. I got my used 12 bar (great condition battery# 2013 SL #luxury model# with 38k miles for about $9,000 #after Colorado tax rebate.# But there are several 2011's and 12's going for $5,000 to $6,000. $8,000 sounds like a normal price for a good Leaf. A friend of mine picked up a 2013 S #base model# for less than that with 12 bars.
  3. If all your concerned with is your 10 mile round trip then ANY Leaf will work for you. But you'd probably want to go farther at times, wouldn't you? The April 2013's and later have a better battery. But still check battery capacity #bars, Leaf Spy.) Normally 12 bars are great, 11-good, 10-fair, 9-poor, 8 or less-bad. Would you want the CHAdeMO quick port to do a quick charge for longer trips from time to time? Do you use the heater much? If so look to the 2013 and newer SV's and SL's that have heat pumps. Do you like luxuries like backup cameras, leather seats, Carwings, Navigation, cruise control, LED head lights, Bose sound system, 17" rims? S is base, SV is medium luxury and SL is luxury.
2013 SL 50,000 miles.
12 bars until 44,300 miles on June 2, 2017. :D
11 bars current. :)
The Nissan Leaf is the fourth best long distance car for highway driving. >>Best Long Distance Cars<<

RonDawg
Posts: 2712
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:46 am
Delivery Date: 11 Jan 2013
Leaf Number: 027089
Location: SoCal

Re: Considering leaf - so many questions!

Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:10 pm

RonSwanson wrote:For point 3, is the idea to get a car that hasn't been kept so hot since I will be using it in a hot climate? Will it have a short life here in SoCal?


It depends where in SoCal you live. If you live near the beach, the battery is going to last longer than if you live in Palmdale.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar on 11/21/2015 at 26,435 miles.
Lease returned on 12/23/2015. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL

jjeff
Posts: 1483
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:10 am
Delivery Date: 13 Jul 2014
Leaf Number: 422121
Location: MSP MN

Re: Considering leaf - so many questions!

Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:08 pm

RonDawg wrote:
RonSwanson wrote:For point 3, is the idea to get a car that hasn't been kept so hot since I will be using it in a hot climate? Will it have a short life here in SoCal?


It depends where in SoCal you live. If you live near the beach, the battery is going to last longer than if you live in Palmdale.

My '12 came from Newbury Park CA(suburb of LA I believe) and it's battery is in pretty bad shape :( Of course I have no idea of the previous Leasee's charging strategy, they may have constantly topped it off, letting it sit at a high SOC for days on end....I know it had less than a half a dozen QCs but thousands of L2/L1s. It hasn't really degraded any since I got it over a year ago, but the damage was already done :(
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

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