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Intentionally buying marginal battery on 3-year old leaf?

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:52 am
by philibuster
I see on one of the stickies regarding batteries and warranty that the 30kwh batteries in the 2017 leaf are able to be replaced with 40kwh batteries under warranty.

I am shopping for a USED leaf, and it has been hinted that there is a strategy of finding a 30kwh leaf under battery warranty with lower battery health. Specifically, I am looking at a 10-bar 2017 leaf SV from Arizona. Is there a way to confirm that a battery is still covered under warranty? The exclusions list on the warranty sheet say >120F over 24hrs. Is there a datalogger on the battery to confirm that it did not reach this temperature exclusion? Can a dealer tell me if it is OK? I am looking at a leaf from carmax in Arizona, and I doubt they have the necessary tools (or desire) to read the data.

Some background: I only need about 38 miles every day round trip, and this will be a third car, which will never be taken on long trips, so I can eat some battery degradation off the ~100 miles without it impacting me. I can also top up charge at my workplace if I ever need to. I live in Colorado, and have a 4x4 truck for slippery winter roads.

Re: Intentionally buying marginal battery on 3-year old leaf?

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:16 pm
by LeftieBiker
The car does record high battery temps - otherwise Nissan would have no way of knowing if the warranty was violated. I have no recollection of anyone ever reporting a warranty being violated by sustained high temps, though. The pack has a lot of mass, and a 120F day wouldn't come near heating it to 120F. The risk is more from body shop paint booth heaters.

Re: Intentionally buying marginal battery on 3-year old leaf?

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:18 pm
by Steelcity
I love the strategy, keep us posted . :D

Re: Intentionally buying marginal battery on 3-year old leaf?

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:35 pm
by philibuster
Thanks for the input. Right now it shows 68 mi per full charge! Yeesh! But I have 5 years (or 75,000mi) to lose 2 more bars and get a replacement battery under warranty. It's a carmax, so I can probably get it inspected by the dealership to read it and see if I want to keep it within 30 days.

Re: Intentionally buying marginal battery on 3-year old leaf?

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:56 pm
by SageBrush
There is no free lunch, and OP is not the first, or even the 1,000th person to consider this strategy.

It has risks that the gambler should be aware of:
1. Nissan refuses warranty
2. Nissan goes tits up
3. Nissan closes its EV program
4. Nissan puts in a refurb battery
5. Nissan replaces a bad cell instead of the pack
6. Nissan replaces with another crappy 30 kWh battery
7. Nissan delays
8. The degradation is less than the display says, and after the software update the battery lasts past warranty expiration.
9. Nissan replaces with a 40 kWh battery that failed QC for new cars. Degradation path unknown

Nissan has been very clear for years that they offer NO customer goodwill, and if there is any way for them to legally not fulfill a warranty they will do so. Their current corporate financial plight is only going to push them to be the worse corporate jackasses they can be. And that is saying something, since we are talking about Nissan.

OP: are you feeling lucky ? Do you have the money to lose ?

Re: Intentionally buying marginal battery on 3-year old leaf?

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:37 pm
by philibuster
This is a third vehicle that will do mainly in-town and commuting in clear weather. My current daily driver is a 16mpg truck, which is not nice on the pump. I am not relying on this, and I also only need 40 miles/day. If it can't do that with 9 bars of battery, I suppose I'm barking up the wrong tree here. It's also not going to break the bank for me if I have to pay out of pocket to have a battery refurbed or replaced. I guess I'm asking if there's greater than 50% chance it'll work out in my favor!

Re: Intentionally buying marginal battery on 3-year old leaf?

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 4:28 pm
by Skippy
Is there any updates on if indeed all 30kwh packs are being warranty replaced with 40kwh? Does it depend on the dealer (i.e. who may have an EV tech that enjoys opening up battery packs)? Does it depend on warranty remaining (as not to do the job twice)?

Understanding life is a crap shoot and their only obligation is to replace 8 bars with 9. Just wondering if there's any strategy here.

Re: Intentionally buying marginal battery on 3-year old leaf?

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:08 pm
by goldbrick
Nissan has announced that the 30kWh pack is discontinued and NLA. All 30kWh replacements that I have read about have been upgraded by Nissan to 40kWh packs at no charge (and often no notification !) to the owners. That said, Nissan isn't legally required to use new 40kWh packs when doing a warranty replacement of 30kWh packs but all signs indicate that it what they are doing.

I don't think it has anything to do with the specific dealer since they source all their parts from Nissan corporate offices and get paid by Nissan corp for their work.

Re: Intentionally buying marginal battery on 3-year old leaf?

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:17 pm
by LeftieBiker
IIRC, there was one Leaf that got a new 30kwh pack under warranty after the change was announced, because there was a 30kwh pack left in stock somewhere. So the odds of getting one are non-zero, but low.

Re: Intentionally buying marginal battery on 3-year old leaf?

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 2:13 pm
by alozzy
Doesn't look like it's been mentioned yet, but the other consideration is the 100,000 mile limit on the 30 kWh pack warranty. I would personally hit that one before the 96 month (8 year) limit, as you have to average less than 12,500 miles per year to make it to 8 years...