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Considering a used leaf -- 2015 lizard, or 2016+ 30kWH?

Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:17 pm
by foobert
My purchased-new 2012 SL was rear-ended and sold off this summer. We enjoyed it -- it's more-or-less a known quantity. I've read LeftieBiker's excellent used buying guide, and I'd like to hear the collective wisdom on this.

Assume an 8 bar 24kWH pack would suffice for our foreseeable long-term mission usage. But, more capacity is always better if it doesn't come at a terrible premium, so, a 2016/17 model w/ 30kWH is certainly a "nice to have" and in reach of our budget.

Given the better warranty of the 30kWH battery (8 yrs/100k miles), is the risk of faster degradation worth the gamble over the more stable lizard? Perhaps the 30kWH issues are sufficiently resolved (or known quantity now that it's had sufficient soak time) after the SW update?

Is there a sweet-spot (build date) or other to really be on the look out for?

Any known issues with second+ owners getting warranty claims through?

Re: Considering a used leaf -- 2015 lizard, or 2016+ 30kWH?

Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:28 pm
by LeftieBiker
The 30kwh pack is unusual in that degradation seems to vary widely from one 30kwh pack to another 30kwh pack. As I wrote in my buying guide (which I will link shortly) the best way to ensure that you purchase a "good" 30kwh Leaf is to either find one with all 12 capacity bars in which NO BMS update (or reset) has been performed, or to find one with 12 bars both before and after the update, and then measure the actual capacity with a range test. The update seems to be of at most moderate value to some packs, but mainly it appears to do little more than render the BMS more "optimistic."


Things to avoid when buying a used Leaf:

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=26662&p=538030

Re: Considering a used leaf -- 2015 lizard, or 2016+ 30kWH?

Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:46 pm
by goldbrick
I think a 30kWh pack would hit the warranty replacement level before it degraded to less than an 8-bar 24kWh pack capacity. Also, any 12-bar 30kWh pack will have more capacity than a brand new 24kWh pack. Around here, used 2016/7 are just a few $k more than earlier models so unless you find a great deal on a 2015, etc I'd spring for the longer warranty and larger capacity of the 30kWh cars.

Re: Considering a used leaf -- 2015 lizard, or 2016+ 30kWH?

Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:33 pm
by SageBrush
^^
The trap leftie is trying to help people avoid is a "12 bar" 30 kWh model that is not true, either because of reset of because the software update has mangled the correct capacity until the battery recalibrates.

People who want to rest easy should do a range test to convince themselves that the capacity bars do indeed reflect the actual battery capacity. Anything else is a leap of faith to some degree -- sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.

Re: Considering a used leaf -- 2015 lizard, or 2016+ 30kWH?

Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:42 pm
by foobert
Yup -- I get that it's possible to game the capacity bars w/ possible BMS updates, etc. Is there a chart for the 30kWH battery showing expected real-world AHr targets to expect each capacity bar to drop? If I understand correctly, that's the only indication that remains true following a BMS reset/update. I've seen the chart for the 24kWH, but, I haven't stumbled upon the same for 30.

Thanks.

Re: Considering a used leaf -- 2015 lizard, or 2016+ 30kWH?

Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:19 pm
by LeftieBiker
Hopefully someone will have a link to a 30kwh AH/Bar chart. The other trap you want to avoid is an early build (2016) with weak or bad cells. That's easier to spot with LeafSpy: don't assume that cells with really low relative voltages are just out of balance.

Re: Considering a used leaf -- 2015 lizard, or 2016+ 30kWH?

Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:41 pm
by SageBrush
foobert wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:42 pm
Yup -- I get that it's possible to game the capacity bars w/ possible BMS updates, etc. Is there a chart for the 30kWH battery showing expected real-world AHr targets to expect each capacity bar to drop? If I understand correctly, that's the only indication that remains true following a BMS reset/update. I've seen the chart for the 24kWH, but, I haven't stumbled upon the same for 30.
The Ahr reading does NOT remain true after a reset, etc

Re: Considering a used leaf -- 2015 lizard, or 2016+ 30kWH?

Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:52 pm
by LeftieBiker
SageBrush wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:41 pm
foobert wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:42 pm
Yup -- I get that it's possible to game the capacity bars w/ possible BMS updates, etc. Is there a chart for the 30kWH battery showing expected real-world AHr targets to expect each capacity bar to drop? If I understand correctly, that's the only indication that remains true following a BMS reset/update. I've seen the chart for the 24kWH, but, I haven't stumbled upon the same for 30.
The Ahr reading does not remain true after a reset, etc

IIRC, the AH reading is the first one to correct itself after a reset.

Re: Considering a used leaf -- 2015 lizard, or 2016+ 30kWH?

Posted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:27 pm
by alozzy
@foobert one huge factor in your favor is that you live in Seattle. Assuming you can find a WA or OR LEAF, you'll likely find that almost all 2015 or newer LEAFs still have 12 bars. Luckily, the last time I looked there was lots of inventory in your area.

I bought from Paramount Motors NW and have no regrets, they were good to deal with. They have a 2015 SV that might work for you:

https://www.paramountmotorsnw.com/detai ... f/49589554

Any LEAF showing over 95% SOH on LeafSpy should be range tested though - better safe than sorry.

To save you some time, use the original sales sticker lookup trick on the VIN before you look at a car in person, as the original sales sticker shows the dealer where the car was sold when new, along with all the trim details and options.

Re: Considering a used leaf -- 2015 lizard, or 2016+ 30kWH?

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:14 am
by johnlocke
Spend the extra money for the 30KWH. The extra 40K in warranty and the additional range are more than worthwhile. If an 8 bar 24 KWH is adequate for you now then a 7 bar (64%) 30KWH would still have 20 KWH left vs 17 KWH for the 24 KWH battery. In addition, if the 30 KWH battery is at less than 100K mi. and less than 8 yrs. old, you get a free battery! A 2015 is out of warranty in just a few months vs 4 more years for the 2016. Anything older than 2015 is already out of warranty, so you should expect a much lower price vs a 2016 30 KWH.