WAM
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:20 am
Delivery Date: 26 May 2011
Leaf Number: 2535
Location: San Jose

How Old is YOUR 12 volt Battery?

Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:37 pm

I have read with interest a number of posts on this site regarding 12 volt batteries either getting weak or dying.
Perhaps I'm just lucky or got an "exceptionally good" 12 volt battery, but I've never had any issues with mine and it will be 7 years old in May.
I don't do anything special - no charging the 12 volt battery, no checking the water, no measuring the voltage. It just works.
Anyone else out there have a 2011 Leaf that still has the original 12 volt battery and having no issues with it?
My 2011 has about 27k miles on it and 3 bars down on the battery capacity meter.

With ICE cars that I've owned, I always replace the battery when it's 6 years old no matter what to avoid "sudden battery death" leaving me stranded somewhere. Since the Leaf has a relatively cool environment under the hood, I surmise that helps add life to the battery.

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RegGuheert
Posts: 6419
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: How Old is YOUR 12 volt Battery?

Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:45 pm

WAM wrote:Anyone else out there have a 2011 Leaf that still has the original 12 volt battery and having no issues with it?
Yes. Ours turns 7 years old in June. The car has a little over 52k miles on it.

But I have to say that I've pampered the battery since I discovered how low its normal voltage was after about 2 years of ownership. At that time, it typically lived at about 12.25V when resting and would drop down to about 12.0 V when a load was placed on it. After desulfation and lots of pampering, it works like new now. But I've never had to add water since it never gets overcharged.

I expect to get many more years from this battery.
WAM wrote:With ICE cars that I've owned, I always replace the battery when it's 6 years old no matter what to avoid "sudden battery death" leaving me stranded somewhere. Since the Leaf has a relatively cool environment under the hood, I surmise that helps add life to the battery.
Yeah, seven years is about what I seem to get out of batteries in my ICEVs.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

LeftieBiker
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Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: How Old is YOUR 12 volt Battery?

Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:45 pm

My 2013 is still on the original battery, despite having been drained near-dead in its first year. I use an external maintainer often, and whenever it will be plugged in but not charging.
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2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
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TomT
Posts: 10645
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Leaf Number: 000360
Location: California, now Georgia
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Re: How Old is YOUR 12 volt Battery?

Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:34 am

When I turned in my 2011 at 5 years, the battery was still testing as excellent...
Leaf SL 2011 to 2016, Volt Premier 2016 to 2019, and now:
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jjeff
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Location: MSP MN

Re: How Old is YOUR 12 volt Battery?

Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:36 pm

My early '12(spent it's first 4 years in sunny so Cal, started out with 10 bars but now 9) had to have the battery replaced the first cold snap this past fall) my '13 still has the original 12v that I occasionally(every 4-5 wks since new) hook to a battery tender with desulphication. I now always carry a 12v lithium battery jump starter in the back of my '13 just in case it decides to die but so far haven't had to use it. I did use it once or twice on my '12 before I replaced the 12v battery with a 51R Optima yellow top and the little jump starter was able to let my start the '12 and worked very well for that.
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Nubo
Posts: 5507
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Delivery Date: 31 Oct 2014
Location: Vallejo, CA

Re: How Old is YOUR 12 volt Battery?

Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:19 pm

WAM wrote:... it will be 7 years old in May... I don't do anything special...no checking the water....
You haven't checked the electrolyte level in 7 years?? :o

Lol, that's not "something special", it's just mechanical empathy :lol:

Some LEAF owners do fine with their 12V, others not so much. It seems that it depends on use-habits and perhaps model years as to whether the charging algorithm is sufficient to get normal service life. I prefer to use an AGM if for no other reason than I hate battery-related corrosion and spent my early driving years with a variety of corrosion basket cases. My first AGM (Miata OEM) was a revelation.

That being said, the LEAF's tendency to undercharge the 12V makes for less off-gassing, which minimizes acid-mist corrosion issues. And also explains how someone might succeed 7 years without bothering to check the electrolyte.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

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RegGuheert
Posts: 6419
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: How Old is YOUR 12 volt Battery?

Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:05 pm

Nubo wrote:That being said, the LEAF's tendency to undercharge the 12V makes for less off-gassing, which minimizes acid-mist corrosion issues. And also explains how someone might succeed 7 years without bothering to check the electrolyte.
Exactly. With the OEM battery from Japan, it's easy to check the electrolyte level: just shine a stubby flashlight through the battery from behind.

I just did that with mine. The lowest cells are less than 1/5th of the way down from the top line to the bottom one. (And nearly all of that loss is certainly from my charger/maintainer due to the undercharge it gets from the LEAF.)

As such, I figure I'll get another 30 years or so out of this battery! ;)
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

baustin
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Leaf Number: 402162
Location: North Las Vegas, NV

Re: How Old is YOUR 12 volt Battery?

Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:30 pm

My Leaf was built in January 2013. The date code on the original battery showed late 2012. It was a lease return from Georgia that I bought in March 2015. I had to use about a third of a gallon of distilled water to top off all the cells in the battery after I bought it. I replaced the 12v with an AGM battery in September of 2017. The main reason for replacing the 12v was the voltage level kept dropping below what was acceptable for the TCU and I had to pull the fuse about every ten days to reset it.
2013 Leaf SV - Cayenne Red - QC Port - LED Headlights

WAM
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:20 am
Delivery Date: 26 May 2011
Leaf Number: 2535
Location: San Jose

Re: How Old is YOUR 12 volt Battery?

Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:24 pm

Regarding checking the electrolyte - I never have checked it personally but I ASSUME (!!) that it gets checked by the service tech at the Nissan dealer during my annual visits.

I have opened the hood only one time in 7 years and that was just to show someone the "workings" when I first brought the car home in 2011.

I DO know how to check battery electrolyte levels as I did it LONG ago before maintenance-free batteries became prevalent.
I believe that under charging and cool under hood temperatures most likely mitigate the need for frequent additions of distilled water to top up the electrolyte.

Odd that such a "high tech" car as the Leaf uses such an "old fashioned" 12 volt battery!

LeftieBiker
Moderator
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Re: How Old is YOUR 12 volt Battery?

Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:31 pm

I was told several times over the years that my 12 volt battery had been topped off or "checked" as requested by me, but when I added water myself last year, it took about 1 1/2 cups of water. Don't trust dealerships for things like that.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

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