Battery temperature gauge in red after fast charging (or a long day of driving)?

My Nissan Leaf Forum

Help Support My Nissan Leaf Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
Jun 5, 2024
Messages
5
Thought I would pose the question here. Recently had my 2016 battery warranty work completed and ended up with a whopping 150 miles of range (160 under Eco mode)! Compared to 115 when new. So, was inspired to try a longer trip and see how it went. Traveled to Asheville, about 120 miles away, including a short trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway which involved a lot of climbing. Also found at least 3 broken chargers on the way...

Did some shopping around town, then hit a fast charger on the way home. Left it on up to 97%, started driving and realized the temperature gauge was fully in the red. So I looked for a place to pull over and give it a few minutes to cool off. I was by then impatient to get home, so a few minutes would get the gauge out of the red but wouldn't take long to climb back into it. Stopped a couple more times on the way home, even consulted the manual which only advised to "slow down". I was at that point in the Nantahala gorge where it was cool and moving only 35-40 mph but still staying in the red. Eventually just said the hell with it (the manual didn't indicate any extreme danger) and drove home.

Any experience or advice with this? Should I plan to let the car sit for a while after using a fast charger (seems to negate the point)? Was I in danger of blowing up the batteries? Or is it not a big deal?

Also, maybe not really the fast charger but just that I was driving most of the day, just stopping for an hour once, a half hour later, on a slightly warm day? Didn't notice the gauge until after the second charge of the day.

Thanks for any feedback!
 
This is know issue commonly called "rapidgate".

Charging into the red can damage the battery and void the warranty. In newer models, the software slows the charge rate down to protect the battery.

It is rare for the battery to cool down while driving, usually it takes an overnight rest.
 
This is know issue commonly called "rapidgate".

Charging into the red can damage the battery and void the warranty. In newer models, the software slows the charge rate down to protect the battery.

It is rare for the battery to cool down while driving, usually it takes an overnight rest.
Thanks, didn't know that. So on a fast charger you should limit to 90% or something? I wasn't really watching but I have gone close to 100% before, didn't notice any problems. Fortunately my warranty went through so maybe it hadn't happened before (also, the capacity is noticably higher now, so it takes longer to charge so maybe the situation is different now).
 
Wow! That fast charging really get the batteries hot.

The last couple days we have been around 113F here in Phoenix. Car sits out side all day and even then around 4pm the battery temperature gauge is still probably less than 2/3 of the way to the first red dot.
 
Your battery is probably okay and you didn't hurt it, but it is recommended to not repeatedly do this.

i thought most Chademo DC Fast Charge stations only go up to 80% State of Charge and then cut off.

To charge up to 97% would take repeated plug-ins or some sort of change to the settings.
Long story short--don't do that, but at least it got you home and didn't leave ya stranded.

How much range did you have left when you got home?

DCFC up to 80% unless you can't get home without the higher charge. But now you know that there are thermal considerations with using Chademo.

The high voltage traction battery is housed in an air-tight metal box with no provision for cooling, so it takes a long time to cool off especially on a hot day.
 
Your battery is probably okay and you didn't hurt it, but it is recommended to not repeatedly do this.

i thought most Chademo DC Fast Charge stations only go up to 80% State of Charge and then cut off.

To charge up to 97% would take repeated plug-ins or some sort of change to the settings.
Long story short--don't do that, but at least it got you home and didn't leave ya stranded.

How much range did you have left when you got home?

DCFC up to 80% unless you can't get home without the higher charge. But now you know that there are thermal considerations with using Chademo.

The high voltage traction battery is housed in an air-tight metal box with no provision for cooling, so it takes a long time to cool off especially on a hot day.
Thanks. I just left it on while I went to charge my phone (the Leaf doesn't help much on that which creates other issues...), got back and it was at 97% still charging. I will definitely be more careful in the future, sounds like I got lucky here. Got home still with maybe 50 miles left of range so I didn't need to charge that much. But I guess I wasn't trusting the range and wanted maximum because there is a long distance without chargers before home. Based on my previous experience, I felt like I needed an extra 30% safety margin but it looks like the range is fairly accurate now.
 
Fast charging on the Leaf has also been a problem for us. Once is okay, but if a second or more charges are required for a trip, or even the next morning, then the battery gets hot which can slow down the charging. This can also up the charge on chargers that charge by the minute rather than by the kWh. I experienced this when driving from the dealership that was about 725km (450 miles) from home. The remaining driveable distance also kept going down faster than the travelled distance…. It was a very long drive and almost made me regret our pucrchase!

Eventually, the car will go into turtle mode which reduces acceleration and speed (I think), but otherwise, it keeps going.

These issues we never experienced later on when we bought a Tesla Model 3. We even traveled over 3000km (2000 miles) non-stop with that vehicle with no issue what so ever.
 
Gosh, getting a 40 kwh battery upgrade to your '16 LEAF is pretty much like winning the lottery IMO. The car has been given a new lease on life. Now just my own opinion, but the last thing I would be doing in that circumstance would be driving and charging the vehicle under conditions which push the battery temperature into the red zone. Extended trips at freeway speeds and frequent use of fast chargers are things I largely avoid. I urge you to do a bit more reading on practices which help to maintain your battery's health and those which are likely to accelerate battery degradation. Your car, your call, but do make informed choices.
 
Thought I would pose the question here. Recently had my 2016 battery warranty work completed and ended up with a whopping 150 miles of range (160 under Eco mode)! Compared to 115 when new. So, was inspired to try a longer trip and see how it went. Traveled to Asheville, about 120 miles away, including a short trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway which involved a lot of climbing. Also found at least 3 broken chargers on the way...

Did some shopping around town, then hit a fast charger on the way home. Left it on up to 97%, started driving and realized the temperature gauge was fully in the red. So I looked for a place to pull over and give it a few minutes to cool off. I was by then impatient to get home, so a few minutes would get the gauge out of the red but wouldn't take long to climb back into it. Stopped a couple more times on the way home, even consulted the manual which only advised to "slow down". I was at that point in the Nantahala gorge where it was cool and moving only 35-40 mph but still staying in the red. Eventually just said the hell with it (the manual didn't indicate any extreme danger) and drove home.

Any experience or advice with this? Should I plan to let the car sit for a while after using a fast charger (seems to negate the point)? Was I in danger of blowing up the batteries? Or is it not a big deal?

Also, maybe not really the fast charger but just that I was driving most of the day, just stopping for an hour once, a half hour later, on a slightly warm day? Didn't notice the gauge until after the second charge of the day.

Thanks for any feedback!
As someone who ran their own battery temperature gauge into the red dozens of times, I can give you some context.

As already stated here, it's not something you want to do. But...if it happens, don't worry about the battery being dead when you wake up tomorrow. On my 2013 Leaf, I ran the temperature bars so far into the red that it actually triggered turtle mode for being too hot (versus low battery or too cold). As the battery was cooling down from driving, full acceleration power slowly trickled back.

What hurts a Leaf battery the most is high SOC (State of Charge) and high temperature. Since you can't really lower the battery temperature quickly, the next best thing is to drive it gently to discharge the battery and get it out of the high SOC area. That will also help with battery cooling (a tiny amount).

As others have already mentioned, try to avoid using the QC (Quick Charger) for more power than you need if battery heating is an issue for you (hot outside temperature).

Otherwise, I think you did the right thing. ;) Just drive it like a car, keep in mind that you knew the battery being in the high temperature area is not good for it, so just avoid trying to be speed racer the entire trip home. Using a lot of power out the battery heats it up too. The battery will cool off, and life goes on. Mainly, just be aware for the future to help your battery live longer.
 
Gosh, getting a 40 kwh battery upgrade to your '16 LEAF is pretty much like winning the lottery IMO. The car has been given a new lease on life. Now just my own opinion, but the last thing I would be doing in that circumstance would be driving and charging the vehicle under conditions which push the battery temperature into the red zone. Extended trips at freeway speeds and frequent use of fast chargers are things I largely avoid. I urge you to do a bit more reading on practices which help to maintain your battery's health and those which are likely to accelerate battery degradation. Your car, your call, but do make informed choices.
Seriously I was ready to trade it but looks like I will keep it longer. I think the chargers I had been using before regulated better so I didn't run into this earlier (plus not charging as long)? I'm afraid some of us have to learn the hard way :/
 
Back
Top