BuckMkII
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 8:04 am
Location: Seattle

2013 won't start after low 12V battery event

Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:17 pm

This morning I went outside and found the car had quite a bit of dew on all the windows. I turned it on in accessory mode (two presses of the power button without a foot on the brake), set the heater on recirulate and 65°, and went back inside for about 9 minutes. When I came back the heat wasn't running and trying to start the car got a rapid cycling of the dash display between what looked like the shutdown screen and this:
ImageIMG_1271 by wagen13, on Flickr
My wife looked up "T/M system malfunction" and found a thread here that said it might be due to a low 12 V battery. Sure enough, putting my voltmeter on the little battery showed it at 7.6 V.

I shut off the car, connected a 6 A 12 V car battery charger to the battery without disconnecting it from the LEAF (started drawing the full 6 A) and went to work in the usually-neglected ICE car. On our return after 8 hours, the charger was down to near zero charge current. I pulled it off and tried to start the LEAF, hoping to make a test-drive around the block, but no luck. The T/M display was gone but the display looked like this:
ImageIMG_1269 by wagen13, on Flickr
The voltage on the little battery with the LEAF shut off is now 12.47 V

Any suggestions other than "tow it to the dealer?"
2013 SV no QC, built July 2013
car grew up in San Jose CA, purchased 5/31/17 in Seattle
on 6/16/17: AHr = 56.4; SOH = 86%; Hx = 84.3; ODO = 39,250
bar 12 lost 8/21/17
on 11/10/2020: AHr = 53.3; SOH = 81.5 %; Hx = 74.3; ODO = 63,987

User avatar
Randy
Moderator
Posts: 2164
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:29 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Jan 2011
Leaf Number: 0191
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: 2013 won't start after low 12V battery event

Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:25 pm

Original battery after 7 years? Replacement time, if that's the case...

knightmb
Posts: 510
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:41 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Sep 2013
Leaf Number: 414897
Location: Franklin, TN

Re: 2013 won't start after low 12V battery event

Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:28 pm

The low 12 volt triggered that code. You can try another computer reset, disconnect the now charged 12 volt battery from the car for about 5 minutes (to drain the capacitor that keeps the computer running) and hook it back up to see if it resets again to make it driveable. You will need LeafSpy to clear those EV codes (provided nothing broke) unless you want to visit a dealer and have them do it for a charge... :|
2013 Leaf SV

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

Re: 2013 won't start after low 12V battery event

Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:41 pm

Never use Accessory Mode in the Leaf! It draws power from the 12 volt battery only, rather than having it supplied by the DC-DC converter, drawing from the main battery. It was stupid of Nissan to add this mode without explicitly warning that it should not be used for more than the radio, or at most a very few minutes of full accessory use. You need to clear the codes and replace the 12 volt battery with a new 51R battery that has been fully charged before installation.
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.

BuckMkII
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 8:04 am
Location: Seattle

Re: 2013 won't start after low 12V battery event

Fri Dec 04, 2020 7:05 am

Randy wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:25 pm
Original battery after 7 years? Replacement time, if that's the case...
No, I installed a new one in September 2017, after the battery in my Ford Taurus failed the previous month when it was less than four years old. I bought a new 2001 Subaru who's battery also failed after four years, so either I have terrible luck or 12 V batteries can't be trusted.

My policy is to replace them at around four years, as a result of these experiences. Amortizing the small cost of a 12 V battery out over one more year isn't worth the worry, IMO. So, I wasn't quite ready to replace the one in the LEAF, but not TOO much longer.
Last edited by BuckMkII on Fri Dec 04, 2020 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
2013 SV no QC, built July 2013
car grew up in San Jose CA, purchased 5/31/17 in Seattle
on 6/16/17: AHr = 56.4; SOH = 86%; Hx = 84.3; ODO = 39,250
bar 12 lost 8/21/17
on 11/10/2020: AHr = 53.3; SOH = 81.5 %; Hx = 74.3; ODO = 63,987

BuckMkII
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 8:04 am
Location: Seattle

Re: 2013 won't start after low 12V battery event

Fri Dec 04, 2020 7:21 am

LeftieBiker wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:41 pm
Never use Accessory Mode in the Leaf! It draws power from the 12 volt battery only, rather than having it supplied by the DC-DC converter, drawing from the main battery. It was stupid of Nissan to add this mode without explicitly warning that it should not be used for more than the radio, or at most a very few minutes of full accessory use.
Yeah, I'd kinda gotten that message from this experience. I'd assumed the DC-DC converter was active in accessory mode, but that was stupid and I should have checked it by looking at the voltage on LeafSpy.

I *might* have the 12 V battery tested at the nearby auto parts store to see if I can eke out another year from it, but that's probably asking for trouble...
2013 SV no QC, built July 2013
car grew up in San Jose CA, purchased 5/31/17 in Seattle
on 6/16/17: AHr = 56.4; SOH = 86%; Hx = 84.3; ODO = 39,250
bar 12 lost 8/21/17
on 11/10/2020: AHr = 53.3; SOH = 81.5 %; Hx = 74.3; ODO = 63,987

BuckMkII
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 8:04 am
Location: Seattle

Re: 2013 won't start after low 12V battery event

Fri Dec 04, 2020 7:52 am

So, a while after my OP and three or four hours after I'd disconnected the 12 V battery charger, I decided to try the foolishly hopeful test of the "maybe it fixed itself while I did nothing" hypothesis, just before going to bed. That actually seems to have worked, and I was able to drive around the block! I then immediately went to sleep, so I hope it still works this morning.

Between the second photo in the OP and that trial, I did nothing that I can remember other than turn off the car, lock the doors, then unlock them three hours later and start it up as normal. WTF?

Later this morning, I'll probably go ahead and disconnect the battery for 15' to let the computer shut down for real (which would give me time to get out the Zefal floor pump and finally re-air the tires, which have dropped below 40 PSI between the cooling seasonal temps and MANY months of neglect), then hook it back up and see if I can clear the codes in LeafSpy.

Is there a URL somewhere to a version of the LeafSpy Help screen that I can look at on my laptop? A quick search didn't turn it up. I can't even remember how to open the Service screen without staring at the Help screen. It would be nice not to have to hop back and forth between the app and the help screen on the phone while using it.
2013 SV no QC, built July 2013
car grew up in San Jose CA, purchased 5/31/17 in Seattle
on 6/16/17: AHr = 56.4; SOH = 86%; Hx = 84.3; ODO = 39,250
bar 12 lost 8/21/17
on 11/10/2020: AHr = 53.3; SOH = 81.5 %; Hx = 74.3; ODO = 63,987

GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 2768
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: 2013 won't start after low 12V battery event

Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:10 pm

It depends upon the error code(s), but I have sometimes seen the yellow car with exclamation point symbol come on from a charger malfunction and have it clear after just power cycling the car a couple of times. If your 12V battery is holding a charge now, it will probably be OK for a while since you did not leave it deeply discharged for extended time.

To enable the service screen in Leaf Spy:
1. Touch the 3 little bars in the upper right corner.
2. Touch "Settings".
3. Touch the "enable" check box for Service Screen.
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 Plus purchased 8/10/2019

knightmb
Posts: 510
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:41 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Sep 2013
Leaf Number: 414897
Location: Franklin, TN

Re: 2013 won't start after low 12V battery event

Mon Dec 07, 2020 1:24 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:41 pm
It was stupid of Nissan to add this mode without explicitly warning that it should not be used for more than the radio, or at most a very few minutes of full accessory use. You need to clear the codes and replace the 12 volt battery with a new 51R battery that has been fully charged before installation.
I agree 100%, but I think they sorta tried because it shuts off after 30 minutes automatically, which if it was just the radio, might not be too bad, but if you have the seat warmer, fans, etc. going then yeah, dead battery within 20 minutes or so :o
2013 Leaf SV

Amazing1
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:03 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Nov 2019
Leaf Number: 333930
Location: West of Atlanta, GA

Re: 2013 won't start after low 12V battery event

Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:36 pm

I hope this is the right place for me to ask this question. I have a 2014 Leaf and after being gone about 3 months I went to start the car and nothing, absolutely nothing. I believe the OEM battery is probably toast and if the easiest thing to do is just replace with a new one, that is what I will do.

I called the dealership who suggested that I tow the car to them because only they can install the battery and reset all the systems. Is this true? Or could I just replace the battery myself (I understand the new battery needs to be fully charged) and then hope for the best? If I do get some kind of "codes" or such, would it then be necessary for me to drive the car to the dealership to have them do the resetting, or could I see if I could find a mobile mechanic who has a LeafSpy or some other kind of tool that could do essentially the same job?

Seems kind of crazy for me to have to either tow the car AND then pay over $250 just because the 12v battery has gone bad/dead. Please, I'm a newby and any advice on what I can and should do from here would be very appreciated. Thank you so much.
Ocean Blue 2014 Leaf SL, 30k miles

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