Engine bay underside tray bolts missing

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New member
Apr 13, 2024
First time here, with a technical query. We have a Leaf Tekna 110kW 40kWh 150 BHP, 2019 model which my wife drives. Yesterday she was alarmed to hear a rattling / banging noise coming from underneath, and on inspection it turns out that 4 or 5 bolts are missing from the engine bay underside tray, causing it to rattle and unfortunately it is now damaged and will have to be replaced.

It's difficult to imagine the bolts unscrewing themselves and falling out (although maybe this can happen?) and I suspect that when the car was in for service, someone unscrewed the bolts in order to take off the tray and forgot to put them back. So I'm going to have to tackle our local garage about this and suggest that they repair it at their own expense. But before I get into an argument with them, I would like to find out under what circumstances would someone need to remove the tray? If I can link this to a service or repair which they have done recently, I would have a stronger case.

Is there an online Leaf service manual which might tell me this?

Thanks for any help.
You might remove the front tray for a general inspection or to change the "transmission" fluid. I can't remember if you need to remove the panel to drain/change the coolant, but it's possible.

I've had all my underbody panels off in the past. The panels are held on with a mix of bolts and plastic clips. The clips can be removed without breaking (allowing reuse), but if you're in a rush and break them they won't stay in for long.

Here's a basic schematic from the 2014 (US) manual. Not sure how applicable it is for you, but it looks like you've got five bolts across the front, one bolt in the back center, and a bunch of plastic clips. This matches my memory from when I removed/reinstalled mine.

There is no way that the bolts (or the nut in the back) could have unscrewed themselves and fallen out, especially in an EV where there is little vibration. These bolts are often well secured by nature's Loctite (rust) and are usually difficult to remove. Your missing bolts are probably sitting in a mechanic's tool box at the last place your Leaf was serviced.
Thanks Drew21, that's very helpful. I've checked the service details from the garage and they say that on 4 April this year they checked/topped up the transmission fluid and checked the underbody condition. So either they checked the transmission fluid but didn't replace the underbody tray properly, or they didn't do either, just ticked the boxes to claim they had done it and didn't notice the tray was falling off. I will have a word with them this week... Thanks again.
...and in case anyone's interested, I've just taken a photo of the damage (attached). This shows the front end of the underbody tray, and as you can see, there are two bolts missing, and the resulting vibration of the tray against the underbody has worn away the front end of the tray so now there is nothing to attach the tray to the body, even if I had the missing bolts.IMG_4623.jpeg
My daughter's 2017 had the same thing. I believe a snow bank somewhere damaged it, ripping out the bolt holes. During a hack repair job (with large washers for the bolts and several new plastic push-ins, I noticed the bolts were loose without the panel in place.

Not discounting your mechanic theory, but there are other causes.
If it's the 4th of april this year, you can definitely get this fixed by them. What happened is that the front wasn't secured at all and started flapping as it caught the wind. Very obvious issue, shouldn't be hard to get fixed under warranty (also: it's a cheap part and very easy to do)