prberg
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Re: Factory Maintenance Schedule

Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:41 pm

I wanted to follow up on this topic now that I have seen the Service and Maintenance guide.

I guess I am really surprised by the brake fluid replacement requirement. It basically says you have to replace the brake fluid every 12 months! That seems pretty excessive to me. Anybody else? Does Nissan use a lower quality brake fluid? I just checked my Toyota Prius maintenance guide, and it does not require the brake fluid to be changed at all. Just checked periodically. So instead of doing our engine oil changes, we will have to go in and do our brake fluid changes? (which is a more expensive job that an oil change right?) I assume if we don't, we will void the warranty?

I've never done brake fluid replacement before. Isn't it something that pretty much has to be done at a dealer or brake shop? Is that something that a DIY'er can do at home? I normally do my own oil changes and brake pads... but I wonder if I can do this job as well.

Wouldn't the fact that the LEAF uses the physical brakes less (because of the regenerative braking) would mean we wouldn't need to replace fluid/pads as often? I know on my Prius, I am still on the original pads (and fluid) at 100,000 miles (although they are starting to get a bit thin and I will probably start hearing the wear warning noise soon).

thanks,
Peter

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DeaneG
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Re: Factory Maintenance Schedule-Ideas?

Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:51 pm

Many manufacturers ask for brake fluid replacement every two years, since it's hygroscopic. I have never heard of yearly brake fluid replacement. It's not hard to do yourself, but you'd want to buy a vacuum or pressure bleeder kit.
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smkettner
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Re: Factory Maintenance Schedule-Ideas?

Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:03 pm

Very do it yourself. Usually I change fluid same as front pads. I would speculate due to LEAF having very little wear may not get the brakes checked enough especially as it will not be in for any oil change. Many people may put fewer miles on Leaf and may otherwise never change the fluid. Good idea but once a year does seem excessive for most conditions.

I use this bleeder: http://store.motiveproducts.com/storefront.aspx
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Herm
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Re: Factory Maintenance Schedule-Ideas?

Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:26 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_fluid

"Most automotive professionals agree that glycol-based brake fluid, (DOT 3, DOT 4, DOT 5.1) should be flushed, or changed, every 1–2 years.[2] Many manufacturers also require periodic fluid changes to ensure reliability and safety. Once installed, moisture diffuses into the fluid through brake hoses and rubber seals and, eventually, the fluid will have to be replaced when the water content becomes too high. Electronic testers and test strips are commercially available to measure moisture content. The corrosion inhibitors also degrade over time. New fluid should always be stored in a sealed container to avoid moisture intrusion.

DOT 5 is silicone fluid and the above does not apply. Ideally, silicone fluid should be used only to fill non-ABS systems that have not been previously filled with glycol based fluid. Any system that has used glycol based fluid will contain moisture, glycol fluid disperses the moisture throughout the system and contains corrosion inhibitors. Silicone fluid does not allow moisture to enter the system, but does not disperse any that is already there either. A system filled from dry with silicone fluid, does not require the fluid to be changed at intervals, only when the system has been disturbed for a component repair or renewal. The United States armed forces have standardised on silicone brake fluid since the 1990s."

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TomT
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Re: Factory Maintenance Schedule-Ideas?

Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:29 pm

Actually, that may or may not be true. On modern cars with ABS and VSC you often need both a pressure bleeder and a diagnostic tool to cycle the ABS/VSC system to purge the fluid. It's not like changing the brake fluid on an older car with neither system. I downloaded the Service Manual but haven't had a chance yet to peruse it for what procedure the Leaf requires...

Personally, I think every three years is fine and is what many car manufacturers recommend (that is the interval on both my BMW and Acura). 12 months simply seems silly and wasteful.


DeaneG wrote:Many manufacturers ask for brake fluid replacement every two years, since it's hygroscopic. I have never heard of yearly brake fluid replacement. It's not hard to do yourself, but you'd want to buy a vacuum or pressure bleeder kit.
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aqn
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Re: Factory Maintenance Schedule-Ideas?

Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:57 pm

DaveD wrote:I don't expect that there's a separate 12V battery.
indyflick wrote:The 12v accessory battery may last a lot longer than 3 or 4 years. I suspect it's a deep cycle lead acid battery.
The Leaf does have a 12V battery.
It uses a 12V battery to obviate a step-down converter to make 12V out of the main battery's gazillion volts.
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DaveEV
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Re: Factory Maintenance Schedule-Ideas?

Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:17 pm

aqn wrote:It uses a 12V battery to obviate a step-down converter to make 12V out of the main battery's gazillion volts.

Uh, no. There is still a 12V DC-DC inverter used to charge the 12V battery when the car is one and periodically if the car remains off for more than a week or so (don't remember exactly).

The 12V battery is used to power all the ancillaries without need to have the high voltage battery connected all the time when the car is off.

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garygid
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Re: Factory Maintenance Schedule-Ideas?

Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:24 pm

Apparently the unused, just parked LEAF will "wake up" for 5 minutes once each 5 days to re-charge the 12v battery as needed.
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EVDRIVER
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Re: Factory Maintenance Schedule-Ideas?

Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:59 pm

Lower regen on the Leaf VS other EVs and I believe electronic braking so there may be solenoids that put more stress on the fluid life.

AndyH
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Re: Factory Maintenance Schedule

Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:32 pm

prberg wrote:I wanted to follow up on this topic now that I have seen the Service and Maintenance guide.

I guess I am really surprised by the brake fluid replacement requirement. It basically says you have to replace the brake fluid every 12 months! That seems pretty excessive to me. Anybody else?

Peter,

Alcohol-based hydraulic fluids (including brake fluid) absorb water and must be changed unless it's used in an airtight system - and brake systems are not airtight.

The good news is two-fold: 12 month changes is ONLY for severe service, and we don't need special tools to change the Leaf's brake fluid.

The service manual shows the entire process. It's as easy as getting a piece of plastic tubing, a small container, a fresh bottle of the proper fluid, a helper, and a small box wrench to open/close the bleeding nipple on the brake calipers. We don't need electronic tools for our ABS system like other cars - Nissan did a good job here!

I schedule the fluid change to coincide with rotating the tires. I'll raise the car and put on jack stands, remove all four tires, then sit comfortably in the wheel well while bleeding all four corners. DIY isn't everyone's cup of tea, but if one wants to take an hour or two, they can completely replace the fluid for a couple of bucks.

For more info: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?p=47159#p47159

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