2018 getting a new battery under warranty. Now what?

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Jerther

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2023
Messages
114
Location
Quebec, Canada
Hi!!

I was getting the infamous sudden charge drop under load. My dealer was really quick about it and under two weeks they confirmed the problem, called a new battery and called me for an appointment to replace the battery. No offer was made to buy the car.

Now that's great news to me as I really like my car. I don't reccall having that much fun driving a car! My plan is to keep it as long as I can, and obviously, the battery is the main (only?) concern. With the defective battery still in place, I just don't care: it's always at 100%, and I do QCs like there's no tomorrow. But when the new battery is installed, I'd like it to last more than 5 years. I don't know how much they cost but I've read it could be anywhere between 10k and 15k$. That's some serious cash, and that alone is more than I paid for my previous ICE cars (never had a new car). I feel like I should plan money for another new battery eventually as it's not a matter of "if" but "when".

So I'd like to fix my expectations. From what I gather, I should:

- Limit SOC to 80%. I can do that, kind of, with my Charge Point EVSE and some scripts.
- Leave the car plugged, but with charge session off.
- Use QC only when absolutely necessary. Unfortunately this will happen every now and then, especially in winter. Like once or twice a month, and only for short 10-15 minutes sessions.
- Don't leave the battery at 100% charge for extended periods.

I expect a normal 2% capacity loss per year.

So what kind of life span should I expect from the new battery? Should I plan money for another new battery? Or should I plan for another car?
 
Keep in mind, many of the used Leafs on the market were leased units. The people who leased them, for the most part, planned on turning them in at the end of the lease, so had no incentive to "baby" the battery for the most long term life.
There are people who bought them new and are still running the original battery 10 years or more .
If you get a new battery, and take care of it, you may find it outlast the body of the car.
Unlike an ICE car, where a sudden engine or transmission failure can pop up quick, the battery issue will give plenty of warning that it is time to start saving for a replacement battery or replacement car.
Like you, I drive old 2nd (3rd-4th etc) hand cars, before I bought my 2015 Leaf my newest was a 2000 MY and my oldest is a 1941.
I got a much newer car for the money then if I bought an Hybrid or ICE car. I know at some point it will need a traction battery for my trips to town. I have no idea when that will be (to short a time of ownership), but I'm sure I'll have plenty of warning.
count yourself lucky that the 1st replacement battery is on Nissan.
 
Thanks for the input :)

Yes my leaf could have been a lease. Is what I described enough to reasonably "baby" the battery?

Also, the problem I had with the corrent battery gave no warning really. I spent all summer driving it all around with zero issue, and then came winter and I couldn't make my daily commute to work anymore (unless I took a slower alternative route). However, maybe the battery was already showing signs of problems the winter before. I don't know, I only got the car this spring from a 3rd party dealer who probably got it from an auction and had no clue.
 
I don't really know, I have only had mine for a few months. Lot of people here swear by leafspy to monitor their battery.
I'm still playing around trying to figure out how to charge less than 100% reliably and still have enough range for what I do. I am honing in what is ideal for me.
I do a weekly slow charge to 100% on the 120 volt cord or my L2 on minimum (10 amps). The rest of the week it gets L-2 at 20 or 24 amps at an hour and 40m which allows trips to town and back with some range to spare.
Car doesn't have enough range in the cold to make two back to back trips, or it would be very close, so I charge every night, but not at full rate I could and not to 100% every night.
Come warmer weather I may see if I can charge every other day.
Once you get your new battery, I think any regiment that doesn't L3 charge often or charge when hot (just returning home) should do fine.
I'm sure you hear many contradicting things, but the general consensus is heat is the biggest factor in degradation and anything you do to minimize heat is good. High speed driving heats the battery up, so slower is better. 55 better the 70 which is better than 80.
 
I use a non-adjustable EVSE so my Leaf charges at the full 6.6 kW rate. In order to charge to a given SOC, lets say 80% I use a couple of methods. I know my car charges at a rate of ~19% / hour. Using a simple calculation, I can charge from 30% to 80% in 2 hours, 38 minutes.

Using this time, I either set the charge timer overnight to charge for 2 hours, 40 minutes or if I'm home and available, I just use my phone's timer and unplug the car manually.

I'm sure there are many ways to do this simple job.
 
Yes that is pretty much what I do. I look at the charge estimates in the car, and launch a script to stop the charge session accordingly.

Is the 80% charge limit the one big factor in battery life? Or is limiting QCs more important? Something else? I mean, what is the order of priority? Like I said, I expect a 2% capacity loss per year, but I want to do what I can to avoid critical failures like the one I just had. If that's even possible. Maybe it's a lottery. I hope not ;)
 
Yes that is pretty much what I do. I look at the charge estimates in the car, and launch a script to stop the charge session accordingly.

Is the 80% charge limit the one big factor in battery life? Or is limiting QCs more important? Something else? I mean, what is the order of priority? Like I said, I expect a 2% capacity loss per year, but I want to do what I can to avoid critical failures like the one I just had. If that's even possible. Maybe it's a lottery. I hope not ;)
I don't have experience with QCs as I've never done one, all my charging is in my garage at 6.6 kW. The research shows heat is a problem, especially with Leafs as they don't have active battery temperature control. Everyone has done their own research and settled on a method of charging that works for them. Other than that, enjoy your Leaf and don't stress too much. You could tune your charging according to your climate to minimize heat and chances are you'll likely be fine!
 
Battery temperature plays a big role in how much needs to be done to 'Baby' the car. In Winter, try not to leave it sitting at or very near 100% for more than a few hours, and avoid quick charging it if it's got a very warm (7 or more temp bars) battery. In Summer, try to avoid leaving it at 100% at all, and avoid QC sessions if at all possible, or limit them to 1 per day if they are necessary.
 
**approximately**

Battery degradation is proportional to the product of time and the squares of SoC and absolute battery temperature. Very few people find that information useful , but it can be turned into practical advice.

In the summer, finish charging as close to departure time as you can manage without making EV ownership a drag.
Peak SoC should be what you need until the next charge, with a margin of 20 - 30%
Try to charge daily.

Cold winter is tricky, because other degradation factors come into play (Li plating). Charge while the battery is warm from driving. If the battery is below 32F (0C) while charging, best to limit SoC to 80%
 
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Battery degradation is proportional to the product of time and the squares of SoC and absolute battery temperature
Gotcha :D So battery temperature and SoC first. Battery temperature is usually not an issue in our climate. Unless I drive the car for 400 Km in one go with three QCs, which I do NOT intend to do again. What a stressful trip that was, for me and the battery no doubt!

Below 0C temperatures in winter is the norm here in Canada ;) So I'll pay close attention to that.

Everything would become so trivial (and fun) with a working OVMS for our 2018+ LEAFs.
 
Gotcha :D So battery temperature and SoC first. Battery temperature is usually not an issue in our climate.

Below 0C temperatures in winter is the norm here in Canada ;) So I'll pay close attention to that.

Yes Sir. I shudder when I read people who proudly proclaim how well they look after their LEAFs by charging to 100% SoC in a hot, closed garage from about 4pm and leaving it that way until the next day

By the way, if you are inclined to model this, I can suggest practical (not maths) starting points:
80% SoC
50F (10C) (283K)
 
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Our 2020 LEAF was a lease. Leased it because it was a giveaway price. We took very good care of the battery and car but in the 2 years, we did 17 partial quick charges. Our Home charger was a Level 2 but only 16 amperes. When lease was up, the battery had lost 7%. The range anxiety was horrible with the 40kWh battery. We still bought the LEAF just to sell it. Leased for $159 or maybe less a month, bought it for $20,400, and sold it for $29.500 with 10 K miles on it. We were tired of broken changers, 55 cents a kilowatt charging fees. busy chargers, rude People that park in front of the charger and then leave their EV plugged in all day with it fully charged. So we are going to stick with an ICE vehicle until they outlaw them. My Neighbor's Mach E just had a failure with the battery system that Ford can't seem to figure out. So he's been in an ICE Ford loaner car for weeks. EV's don't seem ready for Prime Time. We tried 2 LEAF's 2013 and 2020 and that was enough. We'd try a NIO with the Solid State Battery if they ever sold them in the USA. 600+ miles of range would almost replace the ICE.
 
The EV charging network is pretty good and reliable here in Quebec, Canada. Could be the best in north america. The only problem we're having is that EV sales have exploded in the last 2 years and charging stations are not as available as they used to be. Also, Chademo ;) But other than that, it's real nice here. [Most] people are nice too.

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. Apparently Tesla's network is way better in the USA though.
 
Hi!!

I was getting the infamous sudden charge drop under load. My dealer was really quick about it and under two weeks they confirmed the problem, called a new battery and called me for an appointment to replace the battery. No offer was made to buy the car.

Now that's great news to me as I really like my car. I don't reccall having that much fun driving a car! My plan is to keep it as long as I can, and obviously, the battery is the main (only?) concern. With the defective battery still in place, I just don't care: it's always at 100%, and I do QCs like there's no tomorrow. But when the new battery is installed, I'd like it to last more than 5 years. I don't know how much they cost but I've read it could be anywhere between 10k and 15k$. That's some serious cash, and that alone is more than I paid for my previous ICE cars (never had a new car). I feel like I should plan money for another new battery eventually as it's not a matter of "if" but "when".

So I'd like to fix my expectations. From what I gather, I should:

- Limit SOC to 80%. I can do that, kind of, with my Charge Point EVSE and some scripts.
- Leave the car plugged, but with charge session off.
- Use QC only when absolutely necessary. Unfortunately this will happen every now and then, especially in winter. Like once or twice a month, and only for short 10-15 minutes sessions.
- Don't leave the battery at 100% charge for extended periods.

I expect a normal 2% capacity loss per year.

So what kind of life span should I expect from the new battery? Should I plan money for another new battery? Or should I plan for another car?
I owned a 2011 LEAF for 25k miles. That generation of LEAF batteries did degrade noticeably in that time frame, so "babying" them was important, especially limiting high temperatures.

Lithium ion car batteries have tremendously improved since then. I'm assuming replacement LEAF batteries have the modern cells, especially for a 2018 model.

From the reports I've been reading on Tesla, and other EV batteries, modern batteries will, on average, outlast the rest of the car. There's an initial capacity degradation, down to about 85-90%, but it stabilizes after that. I've also seen studies that routine (daily) quick charging does NOT significantly degrade modern EV batteries. One caveat: Tesla and most modern EVs have liquid battery cooling, while the 2011 LEAF does not (I don't know about 2018).

Having said that, with few exceptions, I would "baby" a new EV battery only to the extent that is convenient. By themselves, I would not worry about charging to 100%, daily quick charging (especially in cooler weather), leaving the battery at 100% (for a week or two at a time), etc.

What I WOULD avoid is combinations of these WITH hot weather. If the battery is exposed to hot weather (long periods above 90 deg F), I would generally do all the precautions you list.

Good luck!
 
Agreed. The problem with the leaf however is two folds: even the newer models have no battery cooling, and Nissan has made it very difficult for owners by removing the in-car charge limiter.

I'd be interested in the details about the different battery technologies that went into the leaf over the years. Is there a chance nissan is getting me an improved battery?
 
The Leaf battery theoretically has one big advantage if it were exploited. It is repairable and individual cells can be un-bolted and replaced.
If they added active cooling, and there were cheap, available replacement cells, it would be a major advantage over round cells that can't practiacally be replaced that others use.
a "cold plate under or above or both would be a huge step forward.
 
Agreed. The problem with the leaf however is two folds: even the newer models have no battery cooling, and Nissan has made it very difficult for owners by removing the in-car charge limiter.

I'd be interested in the details about the different battery technologies that went into the leaf over the years. Is there a chance nissan is getting me an improved battery?
Yes, I wish you could specify a charge limit, but instead I check the screen for how long it will take to charge to 75% and set a charge time based on that. Definitely more steps.
 
Yep, I also do that. I use an automation to turn off my EVSE. Then the car enters the "annoying" state. That is, plugged but not charging. That means the car heater won't work (fan only) unless it's started by a timer or the app. Also, the AC heater and the battery heater will use the battery.

Apparently when it's the car that stops charging, it can later ask the EVSE for power. But when it's the EVSE that stops giving power, then it's the "annoying" state.

I'm thinking of making a flow chart for all these obscure things that add up when you try to limit the SoC... It's like everything on the LEAF wants you fully charge the car and leave it alone.
 
From my experience, there is one combination of driving style, that kills the battery very quickly. This is driving hard on long distance in hot weather with QCs in between. I have one such car at home, waiting for replacement cells. SOH stil over 80% but inflated just before bursting. Unsafe to drive because it sometimes fails insulation test.
Besides the obvious flaw of poor cooling, Nissan Leaf battery has temperature sensors problem. All three sensors are bolted on one of the battery bolts as a ring battery lugs where instead of wire, there is a sensor inside. Heat from the battery only comes to the sensors by thin battery terminal strips.
1706217003142.png
So it takes some time to get there and if the car is driven very hard, possibly longer time uphill, batteries get warmer faster then the sensors can register and that helps them with very rapid deterioration. Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

Sensor_back_30kWh.jpg
 
Yeah I did such a trip once, with my old battery. 2 days 800 Km in 30C+ weather, around 6 QCs. The last QC raised the battery temperature into the red zone. Charging was very slow, and power to the motor was limited. I live in mountains and at some point the motor was so weak I thought I wouldn't make it home.

Not doing that again with the new battery. I'm glad I learned with the old one ;)
 
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