Pedaler
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:01 am
Delivery Date: 12 Apr 2019
Leaf Number: 3913

Dealerships Not Helping with Battery Problems!

Fri May 24, 2019 10:35 am

I have a 2016 Leaf with the 30 kwhr battery and about 20K miles on it. The range is below expectations and the displayed state of charge drops in a very non-linear fashion.

I recently did a range test and got 69 miles before the range stopped displaying. The efficiency during this test was 4.2 miles/kwhr; temperatures were approximately 50 F.

The state of charge drops very quickly when between 25% and 75% charge - between 2 and 2.5% per mile. The displayed range also drops precipitously when the battery is in this range. Outside of this range (i.e. between 0-25% and 75-100%) the state of charge drops at approximately 1% per mile.

The Nissan dealers (I have worked with two) I have worked with have not been helpful. They have done a total to three battery tests (at two dealerships) one of which is the more extensive routine, and hard shut down. The battery tested "excellent" in all the categories. The low range and non-linear loss of charge continue. The dealership insists that the battery tests within the parameters set by Nissan and they can't help me unless they get an error code.

I had a friend use leaf spy on the vehicle. There is one cell that looks pretty different than the others. My research suggests this is the problem. However, this hasn't changed the position of the dealership that there is nothing wrong that they can help me with.

Any suggestions on how to get this fixed would be very helpful. I want to like this vehicle, but am very frustrated with the lack of support from Nissan in fixing what is very clearly a problem with a battery that is still within warranty.

2k1Toaster
Posts: 498
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:45 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Nov 2013
Leaf Number: 420903

Re: Dealerships Not Helping with Battery Problems!

Fri May 24, 2019 11:01 am

This is really not a new thing. Almost all dealerships have a "no code, no problem" attitude to car repair.

In your case, a "range test" is sort of meaningless unless you have a flat track you can go around at a constant speed and not fall asleep. In my area, it takes twice as much power to go North as it does go South and it looks flat enough, but it really just has a pretty flat slope the whole way. Additionally when it's rainy, or windy or traffic, range changes. HVAC changes the range quite a bit. Tires and tire pressures change the range quite a bit.

There is a questionnaire on the PriusChat forums for this type of thing. "I bought a Prius and my MPG's are soooooooo low, why?!?!". Most of them are applicable to the Leaf too. Can you answer these questions?

- What fuel economy (mi/kwhr) are you getting and how are you determining fuel economy? (trip computer or manual calculations)
- What fuel economy (mi/kwhr) are you expecting and why?
- What are the approximate outside air temps?
- How long are your trips?
- How much of it is city vs. highway? Roughly what's the average speed in overall and and of each segment? Is there a lot of stop and go driving?
- What region/state are you in? (if you haven't set your location in your profile)
- What's the terrain like of your drives? (e.g. flat, gentle hills, steep hills, etc.)
- How old is your 12v battery? What is the voltage reading of your 12v battery after sitting over night? (Method Here)
- Have you had your alignment checked? Any pulling or abnormal tire wear?
- Are you using the factory tires and wheels? If not, please indicate tire make, model and size (e.g. Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max 185/65R15).
- What are your tire pressures?
- Make, model, year, engine and transmission of previous car? (e.g. 08 Honda Civic Si 2.0L 4 cylinder, manual transmission) What did you actually get on the same trips/commute? (Please give us actual numbers, not EPA ratings.)
- How are you trying to drive (e.g. aggressive, like a grandma, etc) and how hard are you braking?
- Are you "warming up" the car by letting it idle after powering on or running HVAC before entering?
- Are you driving using D or B mode?
- HVAC settings? Are you using the heater, AC, auto mode, etc.? If using auto, what temp is it set to?
- If reporting a mileage drop, did anything significant change on your car (e.g. accident, hit a curb or big pothole throwing off alignment, other maintenance/repairs, changed tires or wheels, etc.) or your commute?
2013 Nissan Leaf SV with every option
2013 Prius C Package 4
2012 Lexus RX450h
2006 Prius Gen II, pIV
2005 Honda Civic Hybrid
2001 Honda Civic EX
1997 Honda Prelude SH
1981 DeLorean DMC12
and more...

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 12987
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Dealerships Not Helping with Battery Problems!

Fri May 24, 2019 11:57 am

There is a free software update for your car's Battery Management System (BMS) that is supposed to fix what Nissan calls a "programming error." I suggest you try it. The dealership should have offered it already. Be aware, though, that it doesn't always work.

Right next to the large "bars" that indicate charge level on the dashboard are much smaller/shorter line segments that indicate battery capacity. How many of those little bars are showing on your dash? Count the red ones at the bottom and the white ones above them.
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.

Pedaler
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:01 am
Delivery Date: 12 Apr 2019
Leaf Number: 3913

Re: Dealerships Not Helping with Battery Problems!

Fri May 24, 2019 12:41 pm

LeftieBiker: I have all 12 bars showing. I have had the software updated.
2K1Toaster:
I am getting 4.2mi/kwhr or greater. All the variables (HVAC, tire pressure, hills, etc) should be captured in this mileage value. The rapid reduction in battery charge is completely consistent regardless of weather. The driving I do is very consistent. Outside of the period when the battery charge is between 75% and 25% I get very consistent drop in charge per mile (about 1%/mile). So, I am confident none of the factors you list is driving this behavior.
I also have borrowed another leaf of the same year and model with similar mileage and didn't experience anything like I do with mine. It didn't have this problem.
So, I left with the conclusion there is something wrong with the battery. But I haven't been able to find a way to get it fixed....
Is there any way to get Nissan's attention on issues like this?
Thanks for the input.
Erik

cwerdna
Posts: 9673
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Dealerships Not Helping with Battery Problems!

Fri May 24, 2019 1:07 pm

I created a similar questionnaire for Leaf long ago (a few months before I leased my 1st Leaf): http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 21#p275421.

'19 Bolt Premier
'13 Leaf SV w/premium package (owned)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium packages (lease over, car returned)

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 12987
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Dealerships Not Helping with Battery Problems!

Fri May 24, 2019 1:41 pm

If you have 12 bars and a 69 mile range, there is a significant chance that you have one or more bad cells. What is the manufacture date on the driver's side door sill? There is a fairly high failure rate for early 2016 MY packs.
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.

cwerdna
Posts: 9673
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Dealerships Not Helping with Battery Problems!

Fri May 24, 2019 3:19 pm

Googling for site:mynissanleaf.com cvli may help.

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=21700 was a vehicle w/a bad cell which eventually, the new owner was able to get the dealer to fix.

You're going to need to carry around a phone w/Leaf Spy so that you can check the max delta between cells (imbalance). If you're seeing 100+ mV of imbalance when at say 30% SoC (I picked this # out of the air), that is abnormal. I've never seen it at large at such a high SoC. With no or minimal load (like car in READY mode and heater or AC on), it's under 40 mV imbalance.

'19 Bolt Premier
'13 Leaf SV w/premium package (owned)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium packages (lease over, car returned)

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 2248
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Dealerships Not Helping with Battery Problems!

Fri May 24, 2019 4:40 pm

As others have already said, there is likely a weak cell. Unfortunately, you may need to just drive it until it gets bad enough to trigger error codes. Perhaps you could get a Leaf technician to take a ride with you to see the rapid drop in state of charge.

My 2015 has some weak cells (according to Leaf Spy displays and data), but it is beyond the 60,000-mile capacity warranty (78,700 now) so I will keep driving and charging in hopes that it will trigger some error codes before it reaches the end of the defect warranty at 8 years or 100,000 miles.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015; traded 8/10/2019 at 82,436 miles
White LEAF 2019 SL+ purchased 8/10/2019

SageBrush
Posts: 4747
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Re: Dealerships Not Helping with Battery Problems!

Fri May 24, 2019 6:44 pm

Pedaler wrote: I am getting 4.2mi/kwhr or greater.
Erik
Do you reset the trip meter ?

You should post a LeafSpy cell voltage histogram at the LBW (about 15% SoC), although a defective cell problem would not (I think) revert to normal energy/mile rates at a low SoC. This may be a case of your driving pattern exposing a weak cell during a high load portion of your drive. That is only a guess.

You need to narrow the scope of the problem:
Charge to 100%
Take a 50 mile drive (25 miles each way) on a highway at 60 mph. Pick a non-windy day, no rain and do not use AC.
Recharge to 100% at a chargepoint location that tells you how many kWh were sent to the car
Report your results here.

And yes, it is ALL too frequent for Nissan dealerships to suck eggs, and trebly so when it comes to the LEAF. It makes LEAF repair very difficult. Post your location; perhaps people here know of a competent technician.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

Pedaler
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:01 am
Delivery Date: 12 Apr 2019
Leaf Number: 3913

Re: Dealerships Not Helping with Battery Problems!

Tue May 28, 2019 5:16 am

Thanks for all the ideas. I think that it is in fact a bad cell. However, I haven't been able to figure out how to get it resolved. Frustrating to say the least!
A response to a few questions and ideas:
- I am in Minneapolis, MN. Any recommendations on a tech would be great.
- I have reset the trip meter
- I had the last technician drive the car when it was in the battery range that results in the greatest drop. The dealership wouldn't let me talk directly to the technician (seriously?!) but did say that they spent a fair amount of time on the help line with Nissan on this issue.
- I believe this was an early 2016 production vehicle. I'll confirm that.
I am starting to think that I don't have many options and just need to live with the poor performance. This will make it harder to answer all the people who ask me what I think of the vehicle and whether I would recommend it.

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