Daklein
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:58 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Sep 2019
Leaf Number: 335449
Location: Hartland, MI

Re: has your Leaf's PTC heater failed? reply here

Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:12 pm

Mdleaf,
are there trouble codes set on yours? Checked with leaf spy?

Mine had two codes for the PTC hv circuit open / short. That would indicate the heater is failed. I am curious what fails, I guess something in the PTC hv control head electronics.

It's not _that_ hard to replace yourself from inside the car. If you don't mind reefing on the plastic lower left off the glove box, it may crack doing so. And bending and then bending back the sheet metal arm hanging from the instrument panel beam which supports the dash and lower left side of the glove box. And you need tamper 'proof' torx driver bits for the sheetmetal cover around the heater.
2014 Leaf S w/ 6.6kw charger & Chademo port, 24kWh ->=> 62kWh !! :o (working on it)

mdleaf
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:34 am
Delivery Date: 01 Sep 2018

Re: has your Leaf's PTC heater failed? reply here

Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:33 pm

danowpg wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:27 pm

Edit: Using the "Defect Petition" language, I found a Transport Canada website that might do just that:
https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/road/d ... efect.html
Great idea, I have submitted a complaint. Anyone else in Canada please advise doing the same! For convenience, this is our draft complaint (as best of a summary as is possible in 1k words).

This is in regards to our 2015 Nissan Leaf SV. We purchased it used through a Nissan Dealership (Cambridge, ON), via their Certified Pre-Owned program. For context, this vehicle has two heaters, 1) primary resistive heater, 2) heat pump. The resistive heater (aka "PTC" heater) is required for Winter quickly brings the cabin up to temperature (less efficient). The heat pump is for maintaining temperature (more efficient).

Our first Winter, during the extreme cold week (<-30oC the primary resistive heater failed. This was dangerous for two reasons:
1) Winter conditions in Canada, having the heater fail suddenly puts risk to passengers.
2) Without the PTC heater, the vehicle's ability to keep the windows clear of fog/moisture is drastically reduced.

We have exhausted avenues with Nissan Canada, as well as our purchase & local dealerships. Past warranty.

Please refer viewtopic.php?f=30&t=28105 for myriad of others same failure.

mdleaf
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:34 am
Delivery Date: 01 Sep 2018

Re: has your Leaf's PTC heater failed? reply here

Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:35 pm

Daklein wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:12 pm
Mdleaf,
are there trouble codes set on yours? Checked with leaf spy?

Mine had two codes for the PTC hv circuit open / short. That would indicate the heater is failed. I am curious what fails, I guess something in the PTC hv control head electronics.

It's not _that_ hard to replace yourself from inside the car. If you don't mind reefing on the plastic lower left off the glove box, it may crack doing so. And bending and then bending back the sheet metal arm hanging from the instrument panel beam which supports the dash and lower left side of the glove box. And you need tamper 'proof' torx driver bits for the sheetmetal cover around the heater.
Hey @Dalein,

Yes same codes :) - see original post (I am the OP).

Any chance you have guidance/advise/steps with pictures for how to replace this? We are open to the idea. However still, even at $1k USD + shipping, it is unclear if PTC replacement will actually resolve the issue. (other theories include heat sensor, wiring loom, connectivity shrinkage etc). If I DIY and do it myself, it would be impossible for Nissan to ever reimburse. If we go through Nissan it will easily cost >$2.5k and dealership provides no guarantee PTC replacement will resolve the issue.

Daklein
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:58 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Sep 2019
Leaf Number: 335449
Location: Hartland, MI

Re: has your Leaf's PTC heater failed? reply here

Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:18 pm

mdleaf wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:35 pm
guidance/advise/steps with pictures for how to replace this?
I took the whole dash out according to the service manual first. I did not take out the whole HVAC unit like the service manual says, requiring moving the steering column and whole IP beam, evacuating and recharging the AC (holy 2h!t that would be nuts).

This video shows the idea, he was able to do it without cracking the dash plastic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhtRv93l-5o

Not until I got the whole dash out, and slid the heater out, did I realize he had cut off the bracket for the lower left of the glovebox. I was able to twist and bend the bracket upward and to the right, then the heater slides out. I bent it back after installing the new heater (and confirming that it worked). I put the whole interior back together and only had half a dozen screws extra, after some more looking, I got down to only two left over... :)
2014 Leaf S w/ 6.6kw charger & Chademo port, 24kWh ->=> 62kWh !! :o (working on it)

danowpg
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 4:24 pm
Delivery Date: 03 May 2015
Leaf Number: 024077

Re: has your Leaf's PTC heater failed? reply here

Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:31 pm

I don't know if anyone else found this post, but I thought it was quite interesting. I don't have a picture of our 2013 PTC heaters to confirm if this is what they look like or not:

https://ev-olution.yolasite.com/Nissan- ... -Fault.php
Why early Nissan LEAF PTC heaters fail and is it worth it to replace them.

Short answer is: It fails because of bad design. Is it worth it to replace with a new one or used? NO.

Long answer is: Nissan LEAF made between 2011-2013 used Eberspächer High-Voltage PTC heater, which is fitted under the 12V battery. As you probably already found out, this is most unreliable heater ever used by Nissan. Some of them failed in first few years of usage, some managed to survive till this day. But don't get excited if yours is still working. It will fail sooner or later. Why? Because of faulty design. First lets have a look why they fail. Look at these two pictures below and think what is wrong in them:

So if you looked carefully you probably noticed that almost all terminals that should be soldered to PCB stayed on PTC elements after I lifted PCB. Also color on them tells soldering had failed long time ago and now causing excessive resistance, heat, sparks, electric arcs or no contact at all. This puts a lot of pressure on electronics that eventually fails in quite spectacular way.

Look at the difference between these two terminals under the natural light. Left one was cleaned, and the right one is as it came from the heater:

And this is what happens when electronics can't handle it anymore. Look at them soot marks on PCB, aluminum and plastic casing caused by DC electric arc. Also if you look carefully you will be able to see aluminum melted on one corner. Not to mention exploded transistor. There were some spectacular fireworks going inside the heater :D

This failed heater is taken from 2011 LEAF with about 60k miles (~100k km) on clock. Sometimes the heater refused to work, this was the first symptom. Giving some random fault codes, but no fault light on a instrument cluster. Eventually it died completely, also blowing the 30A fuse in DC/DC junction block, which is a nightmare to replace. There were 5 or 6 fault codes telling there is no high voltage feed to the heater and each transistor inside, but strangely no fault light on instrument cluster again! After opening it, initial thought was that one or two PTC elements failed inside shorting the transistor, but after doing high voltage resistance test I found out this wasn't the case. So the only reason it fails like this in my opinion is failed soldering on PTC terminals. I have tried to replace faulty components and re-solder all terminals to make it usable again, but this is another story, which I will share a bit later.

So is it worth trying to replace it with a new one or a second hand one? Second hand one is a big NO! Because it's just a matter of time when it will fail again, as they all got same problem. For the new one, I am not sure if Eberspächer is aware of this problem and if they changed design. If they haven't sorted it and make exactly same heaters, then the answer is NO again. You will spend probably about couple thousands euros or pounds and you will be on the same gamble again. Not to mention all the difficulties removing DC/DC junction block to replace it or replace blown fuse inside it. Is there a cheap solution? Yes it is, but it's a bit dirty one :D I personally installed a Thermo Top diesel heater and have no regrets by doing this. I use lamp oil (kerosene) with it, which burns very clean, so not much bad emissions created. Also it uses very little of fuel. Will drop the post about it bit later. Another huge advantage of using diesel heater instead of PTC heater is, it won't affect the already small range of LEAF.

Please note that this post is just my opinion, I am not an expert and I can be wrong. So it's only up to you if you want to take my opinion as a truth or you better stick with Nissan dealership fairy tails ;)

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danowpg
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 4:24 pm
Delivery Date: 03 May 2015
Leaf Number: 024077

Re: has your Leaf's PTC heater failed? reply here

Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:58 pm

Also I did a reverse language search in Japanese and found someone else indicating their PTC heater had failed in Japan.

https://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/q ... 0198472765

(You'll probably have to have your browser translate from Japanese to English).

mdleaf
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:34 am
Delivery Date: 01 Sep 2018

Re: has your Leaf's PTC heater failed? reply here

Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:07 am

(!) ALL IN CANADA, if you have experienced this issue IN or OUT of warranty, please submit the case to Transport Canada.
https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/road/d ... efect.html

We need to gather valid and legitimate cases of this issue in order to pursue.

qdabe
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:11 am
Delivery Date: 28 Oct 2018
Leaf Number: 113260

Re: has your Leaf's PTC heater failed? reply here

Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:16 pm

Daklein wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:56 am
Daklein wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:11 am
the PTC must have blown the precharge resistor when I turned it back on. Or did I not wait 10 minutes after pulling the service plug, and the charged caps in the inverter discharged and blew something?
It did blow the precharge resistor. I removed the pack and replaced it, now back to ready light, running and driving, and no heat/defrost as before.

I won't be plugging that particular PTC heater again: I took the cable out of the HV plug to the battery, leaving the interlock loop, and epoxied the tail of the plug shut, until I get a new heater.

I also confirmed how fast the HV bus discharges at powerdown, about 5 seconds to get to ~safe voltage ~36 volts. So there's no way waiting 10 minutes had anything to do with it.

Anyone have a used (working...?) PTC heater to sell? Anyone have a working one to verify what is the normal resistance across the HV input terminals: is it essentially open circuit, or does it show something like 500 kOhms?
I had exactly same situation as yours. NISSAN LEAF 2014/12 i bought the car from japan TAU yeard & bring it to maldives.

Since the first day i nortice that the heater isn't working. (Actually here in maldives we have hot climate always). When i set A/C on cold night like 28°C it shows heater that heater running indicator from AC control switch. But when i check leafspy the heater ist running actually. Sows 0 Watt across the heater unit. I thought its because the temperature here in maldives is not enough to activate heater. I had other problem also, with the AC unit. The problem is water leaking from condensation unit to passenger footwell.
One day my friend went for a ride & called me after an hour that someting burning smell is comming from inside the car & he switched off the car & try to get car to ready mode after few minutes. But the car didn't came to ready mode & DTC code P3176 is displayed. (Pre charge cant be done. )

I opened the traction battery pack & found that Pre cahrge resistor was burnt.

Bought USED Genuine Nissan precharge resistor & installed it in the battery & try to Turn back car in to ready mode. But my bad luck is that i forgot to remove the PTC heater wire from the plug.

One thing i want knw is is there any DTC code or any indication on dash after removing PTC heater wire?

Daklein
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:58 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Sep 2019
Leaf Number: 335449
Location: Hartland, MI

Re: has your Leaf's PTC heater failed? reply here

Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:43 pm

I believe it will set a code for the PTC heater high voltage circuit, while the PTC hv harness wires are disconnected. But the car will work fine.

IF! The PTC connector is still attached to the battery pack without the main wires, so that the hv interlock loop is still completed. That's the two small wires in the connector, looping back to the hv battery.

Until I got a new PTC heater, I removed the big hv wires from the PTC heater plug under the car, filled the plug with epoxy from the back side, and plugged it in to complete the hv interlock loop.
2014 Leaf S w/ 6.6kw charger & Chademo port, 24kWh ->=> 62kWh !! :o (working on it)

qdabe
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:11 am
Delivery Date: 28 Oct 2018
Leaf Number: 113260

Re: has your Leaf's PTC heater failed? reply here

Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:04 pm

Daklein wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:43 pm
I believe it will set a code for the PTC heater high voltage circuit, while the PTC hv harness wires are disconnected. But the car will work fine.

IF! The PTC connector is still attached to the battery pack without the main wires, so that the hv interlock loop is still completed. That's the two small wires in the connector, looping back to the hv battery.

Until I got a new PTC heater, I removed the big hv wires from the PTC heater plug under the car, filled the plug with epoxy from the back side, and plugged it in to complete the hv interlock loop.
Thank you for the info. & advice brw 👌 I ordered a new Precharge resistor from thunderstruck. As you mentioned they will sell OEM Nissan Leaf Precharge resistor. Hoping to recieve my package after 4 days.

Will post here after i installed the resistor & hoping that my car will be back on track again.

One more question i want ask you that did you already completed the 24 to 62KWH battery swap project?

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