barbarasklar
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 8:09 am

Newbie in OR Wanting Advice

Fri May 17, 2019 12:44 pm

Hello.
I have learned an enormous amount from this forum. I live in Eugene, OR, a mild climate with increasingly hot summers. I commute 15 miles/day and do not often use a car for trips over 60 miles.
I am hoping to purchase a LEAF that will get me through for the next 4-5 years when I can afford a higher-range used vehicle. Initially, I was thinking about a 2013, but the commentary on canary batteries made me think twice. I am now thinking about a 2015, and saw a couple of them on shift.com. Does anyone have any personal experience buying from them. Things I should be looking for in a 2015 other than strong battery health? Thanks.

LeftieBiker
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Re: Newbie in OR Wanting Advice

Fri May 17, 2019 1:53 pm

This should help. It is easy enough to avoid Canary pack batteries: don't buy a Leaf with a build date before April of 2013. That info is on the driver's side door sill sticker. Given your climate, a good '13 or '14 Leaf should work well, although a '15 will still have some warranty left on the powertrain and battery. So would a '14 first put into service later in the year.


http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=26662&p=538030
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.

Astros
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:21 am
Delivery Date: 28 Apr 2018
Leaf Number: 310136
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Newbie in OR Wanting Advice

Fri May 17, 2019 2:17 pm

barbarasklar wrote:Hello.
I have learned an enormous amount from this forum. I live in Eugene, OR, a mild climate with increasingly hot summers. I commute 15 miles/day and do not often use a car for trips over 60 miles.
I am hoping to purchase a LEAF that will get me through for the next 4-5 years when I can afford a higher-range used vehicle. Initially, I was thinking about a 2013, but the commentary on canary batteries made me think twice. I am now thinking about a 2015, and saw a couple of them on shift.com. Does anyone have any personal experience buying from them. Things I should be looking for in a 2015 other than strong battery health? Thanks.


Hey, I'm from Eugene! It's a great city, and there's good fast charging infrastructure to take you up into the mountains or over to the coast. I would personally recommend looking at dealers around Portland for a 2016 SV or a 2017 S to get the 30kWh battery, and drive it back to Eugene. There are a lot more options for Leafs around Portland, so the price is often a couple thousand dollars less. With the 30kWh battery you can take it to go hiking or for a beach trip. There are a small number of 2016 S Leafs with the 30kWh battery. For some reason, I have never seen that listed, but you can tell if a 2016-2017 Leaf has the 30kWh battery if the VIN begins with 1N4B. If it starts with 1N4A, it has the smaller 24kWh battery. For example, you might consider this car: https://nissanofportland.com/inventory- ... XGC301509/

That said, you asked about things to look out for on a 2015. The price will still be a couple thousand dollars less up around Portland, but make sure you get one with a quick charge port if you plan to drive it home. Even if you don't plan to use quick charging, I'd still strongly recommend the option for flexibility or in case your situation ever changes.

In any case, make sure to download the LeafSpy app for your phone (or borrow a phone), and buy a compatible OBD adapter first. The Leaf can lose over 15% of the battery capacity before the capacity gauge on the dash loses its first bar, and LeafSpy can tell you the percentage more accurately.
2019 Deep Blue SL Plus

LeftieBiker
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Re: Newbie in OR Wanting Advice

Fri May 17, 2019 2:21 pm

I would personally recommend looking at dealers around Portland for a 2016 SV or a 2017 S to get the 30kWh battery, and drive it back to Eugene.


There are issues with the 30kwh battery that aren't resolved. The update provided by Nissan doesn't work to restore capacity to all of the 30kwh cars that lose it quickly. If the OP does look for a 30kwh Leaf, then I strongly suggest avoiding cars built before Spring of 2016, and only consider cars with 12 capacity bars that have NOT had the BMS update. I'll be adding this to the buying guide.
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.

Astros
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:21 am
Delivery Date: 28 Apr 2018
Leaf Number: 310136
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Newbie in OR Wanting Advice

Fri May 17, 2019 2:31 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:There are issues with the 30kwh battery that aren't resolved. The update provided by Nissan doesn't work to restore capacity to all of the 30kwh cars that lose it quickly. If the OP does look for a 30kwh Leaf, then I strongly suggest avoiding cars built before Spring of 2016, and only consider cars with 12 capacity bars that have NOT had the BMS update. I'll be adding this to the buying guide.


Yes, that's good advice. One advantage of buying used, though, is that the car should have already suffered the worst degradation, and you can weed out the worst ones. So if you can find a 2016 or 2017 that does still have a healthy battery when you check with LeafSpy, I would feel fairly confident that it would continue to hold up.
2019 Deep Blue SL Plus

LeftieBiker
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Re: Newbie in OR Wanting Advice

Fri May 17, 2019 3:05 pm

The only problem with the above is that it can take 6 months after the BMS update for it to become apparent that it didn't do anything real. That's why, for now, I'm recommending that only cars without the update, or possibly cars that you KNOW had 12 bars before the update, be considered.
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.

SageBrush
Posts: 4063
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Location: Colorado

Re: Newbie in OR Wanting Advice

Fri May 17, 2019 3:35 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:
I would personally recommend looking at dealers around Portland for a 2016 SV or a 2017 S to get the 30kWh battery, and drive it back to Eugene.


There are issues with the 30kwh battery that aren't resolved. The update provided by Nissan doesn't work to restore capacity to all of the 30kwh cars that lose it quickly. If the OP does look for a 30kwh Leaf, then I strongly suggest avoiding cars built before Spring of 2016, and only consider cars with 12 capacity bars that have NOT had the BMS update. I'll be adding this to the buying guide.

But then you exclude all the good cars that were only affected by the BMS bug.

My advice to used LEAF prospective purchasers is to be well informed about the battery capacity of the car. It can be a little more of a chore for some cars than others but it is possible for ALL LEAFs. These rules of thumb that increase the likelihood of buying a good battery (while excluding good cars) skirt the actual question: WHAT IS the battery health ? Answer: Find out.

My approach would be to prefer a model that had the BMS update performed as applicable and then to test capacity with a charge test that reports kWh delivered*. The underlying rationale is that the delta SoC / delta kWh is correct so an abbreviated charge test can be relied on. An hour should do it, or two for the OCD types. The paranoid can start charging at ~ LBW or VLBW and charge up to 90% or so -- or to full if they are skeptical of the kWh meter or car SoC readings.

Example **:
Start at SoC 'A'
End at SoC 'B'
K = kWh metered during charging * 0.88 (to account for charging losses at an L2; no correction at L3)

K / (B - A) = usable battery capacity in kWh when full ***

*
ChargePoint L2 EVSE report kWh delivered in the user account. I am unsure about other vendors.

**
Use decimals in the calc. E.g. a SoC reading of 79% is 0.79

***
For comparison, a brand new battery started with ~ 21.5 kWh usable capacity in the ' 24 kWh' models
Last edited by SageBrush on Fri May 17, 2019 4:55 pm, edited 4 times in total.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

LeftieBiker
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Re: Newbie in OR Wanting Advice

Fri May 17, 2019 4:32 pm

That would work, Sagebrush, but newbies aren't going to be doing complex range tests, and used Leafs that have already had them performed are rare, to put it mildly. Your advice is the equivalent of telling people looking for a used car to spend a few hours testing subsystems with a mechanic. Good advice, but not likely to be followed...
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.

SageBrush
Posts: 4063
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: Colorado

Re: Newbie in OR Wanting Advice

Fri May 17, 2019 4:40 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:That would work, Sagebrush, but newbies aren't going to be doing complex range tests, and used Leafs that have already had them performed are rare, to put it mildly. Your advice is the equivalent of telling people looking for a used car to spend a few hours testing subsystems with a mechanic. Good advice, but not likely to be followed...

Not a range test
Not complicated
Complex ? It does help to have a functional grasp of the meanings of kWh and SoC but any EV owner needs to understand those units.

Requirements:
A one hour or so charge at a kWh metered EVSE or charger.
One multiplication problem
One subtraction problem
One division problem

If this is beyond the abilities of a prospective buyer then a used LEAF is a risky purchase.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 11989
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Newbie in OR Wanting Advice

Fri May 17, 2019 5:08 pm

You don't seem to understand how people think. I'm trying to help people with Leaf buying, not to scare them away from even trying. Also, let's keep in mind that the OP is looking for a 2015 Leaf, not a 30kwh Leaf. In the case of the 2015, if it's privately owned and the owner doesn't seem shady, a simple LeafSpy test will do the job. I'm also not excluding all 30kwh Leafs that get the BMS "update." I'm excluding those that have had it within the last 6 months, and I'm only excluding them for those not willing or able to determine the "actual" capacity as you suggest. That makes it harder for now, but starting next Fall it will be less of an issue.
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.

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