wired1000
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:41 am
Delivery Date: 23 Jan 2014

Power Steering Works Intermittently... ideas?

Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:49 am

Hi Folks,

2011 Leaf, 65k miles. The 12V battery was JUST replaced (like a week ago) ... seeing that this can cause a lot of problems so I thought I'd mention it.

Regardless of SOC, my car has over the past week, sometimes had power steering. I first noticed it while driving. The PS light came on and sure enough, no power steering. I continued driving and noticed later in my trip that it was working again.

Later, sometimes the car will start with PS light on and it will stay on... no Power steering. Other times it'll work from start throughout the trip. Others it'll come in and out. Lately it's been more "out". :(

I've noticed when I power the car on into drive mode, I'll hear a "click click click click click" right before the PS light comes on, as if it's trying to start it several times before giving the error.

Just spent a fortune replacing the onboard charger and have decided I really need to try to DIY it before going into a shop again.

THanks in advance!!

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Nubo
Posts: 4481
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:01 am
Delivery Date: 31 Oct 2014
Location: Vallejo, CA

Re: Power Steering Works Intermittently... ideas?

Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:37 pm

Have you checked the voltage from this new battery?

One thing that might help is getting an OBD2 dongle and the LEAFSpy app, to read and reset any error codes. They can point you towards what might be failing.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

wired1000
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:41 am
Delivery Date: 23 Jan 2014

Re: Power Steering Works Intermittently... ideas?

Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:00 pm

will check battery voltage

I have a USB dongle but after my recent dealer visit it no longer connects... will look around the forum for a better kind i guess?

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

Re: Power Steering Works Intermittently... ideas?

Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:14 pm

I second the voltage check. Dealerships are used to installing partially-charged 12 volt batteries in ICEs, because the car will immediately charge it right up. Not the case with the Leaf, of course. Nissan should have instructed their dealers to always fully charge replacement 12 volt batteries before installing them, but I doubt that they did.
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.

wired1000
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:41 am
Delivery Date: 23 Jan 2014

Re: Power Steering Works Intermittently... ideas?

Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:20 am

Apparently my OBDII thingy is too new of a firmware version. I've got an older one kicking around somewhere...

It has been over 2 weeks since I got the car back from the dealer and the problem's only gotten worse. Seems weird that the 12V battery wouldn't have charged up by then (it's plugged in every night).

I will get a multimeter on it... what voltage range am I looking for? Would there be any value in hooking a jumper pack to it and seeing if the PS works with that "helping" the 12V battery?

LeftieBiker
Posts: 7167
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Power Steering Works Intermittently... ideas?

Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:58 am

Check the voltage 15 minutes after turning the car off and releasing the hood. If they fully charged it then it should read near 13 volts. Anything above 12.5 is acceptable, but if it's down near 12.0 volts then the battery is close to dead.
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.

User avatar
Nubo
Posts: 4481
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:01 am
Delivery Date: 31 Oct 2014
Location: Vallejo, CA

Re: Power Steering Works Intermittently... ideas?

Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:02 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:Check the voltage 15 minutes after turning the car off and releasing the hood. If they fully charged it then it should read near 13 volts. Anything above 12.5 is acceptable, but if it's down near 12.0 volts then the battery is close to dead.


Also, turn the headlights on and re-measure with that load. I've had batteries masquerade as having a charge but as soon as a load was put on they fell on their face.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

LeftieBiker
Posts: 7167
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Power Steering Works Intermittently... ideas?

Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:47 pm

I've had batteries masquerade as having a charge but as soon as a load was put on they fell on their face.


Yeah, that's called "surface charge" and it happens when sulfated batteries can support the charging chemical reaction only on the very surface of some or all of the plates, with little of the penetration of the reaction that is supposed to occur. That usually happens with old batteries, but it can also happen with new ones that have been damaged by full discharge. I'm guessing that this battery is usable, but was never fully charged and has now discharged to about 12.0 volts. It may have developed a surface charge, but I don't think so because that wouldn't result in low voltage gremlins...
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.

wired1000
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:41 am
Delivery Date: 23 Jan 2014

Re: Power Steering Works Intermittently... ideas?

Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:44 pm

OK so finally an update!!

I tried to trickle charge the 12V battery with a battery maintainer I had leftover from an old motorcycle that I really need to fix (the motorcycle). It did not seem to recognize that the battery needed charge.

I then put a 12V battery charger (2A) on it and it behaved VERY strangely... periodically the charge needle would peg momentarily and then resume. I didn't want to damage anything so I unplugged it. (note I left the 12V hooked up to the leaf during this... which seemed like people do?)

If I were to test the battery voltage via multimeter, what range am I looking for there?

Last thing I tried was straight up hooking a jumper pack to it. Power Steering still did not function.

I own several ELM327 devices but mannn... I had to buy three different new ones before I finally found one that works! JEEZ!!

I've attached the DTC's and the ECU info here.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/vPrswD50eHe8K4H22

Any further help / details / things to try would be much appreciated!!!

LeftieBiker
Posts: 7167
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Power Steering Works Intermittently... ideas?

Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:44 pm

If I were to test the battery voltage via multimeter, what range am I looking for there?


As I wrote few posts earlier, above 12.5 volts is ok, 12.4 to 12.5 is marginal but not likely to be the culprit, and voltage in the vicinity of 12.0 is too low, indicating a nearly dead battery.
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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