eeeefarm
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:12 am
Delivery Date: 10 May 2020
Leaf Number: 309558

Brake module or battery?

Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:26 am

I bought my 2016 Leaf back in May. Had a trouble free summer and fall. In the last few weeks since the weather turned cold I have had the same issue twice. In both cases I had been driving using accessories, heater, wipers, lights. Parked, turned car off, returned shortly and when starting got warning lights, brake and red main warning light. Had the green "go" but car would not shift out of park. Brake pedal went to floor. In the first instance I was able, after several attempts, to get the car into gear at which point the brakes required a lot of pressure but did eventually work. I checked, and the brake fluid was low, at the min mark. Topped it up and still initially had warning lights/poor pedal response, but lights went out when I started driving and brakes went back to normal. Had it checked at the dealer, no problem with braking system. The second incident was this week. I had been driving with heater, heated steering, heated seats, and radio on, stopped to pick up my mail, and when I got back in the car and turned it on I had a repeat of the first experience. Got out, checked brake fluid, it was fine. Walked around the car a couple of times, got back in, started up, all was normal. Taking it to the dealer tomorrow, but my dealer doesn't have a lot of Leaf experience so would like to get some feedback on this forum. I'm hoping it's a battery issue, less expensive! What say you?
2016 Leaf SL since May 2020 .-.-.

cwerdna
Posts: 11556
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Brake module or battery?

Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:13 pm

What's the voltage of the 12 volt battery when in this state and/or after the car has sat overnight or longer?

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eeeefarm
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:12 am
Delivery Date: 10 May 2020
Leaf Number: 309558

Re: Brake module or battery?

Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:47 pm

cwerdna wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:13 pm
What's the voltage of the 12 volt battery when in this state and/or after the car has sat overnight or longer?
Don't know. Haven't hunted in the basement for my late husband's old multimeter, but I did pop a battery tender on it this morning and it didn't take long to go green. However, I charged the car after the incident, so probably got topped up then, and of course if the battery is weak that might only be apparent under load. My thinking is that when I turn on, the demand on the battery may be taking the voltage down and affecting the electronic brake module. Disconcerting, to say the least! I am new to EVs and hadn't thought much about the way the brakes work on them, but from reading this and other forums I am thinking there is a potential major safety issue there....
2016 Leaf SL since May 2020 .-.-.

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

Re: Brake module or battery?

Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:03 pm

It certainly sounds like a weak 12 volt battery, but you'll have to get the battery tested to be sure. Most auto parts stores will do a capacity test on them in the parking lot. In the meantime, shut off all 12 volt accessories except for the fan/blower a minute or two before turning the car off, but leave the blower on Low, as this tends to prod the car into charging the accessory battery. Top it off with the maintainer at least weekly, and more often if possible. If the warning lights and other symptoms stay away, then you have your answer. If they don't, then that battery test is next. It's a little early for it to be dying of old age, but if it got run near dead a few times, that damages lead-acid batteries. If you need a new one, get a higher capacity AGM lead-acid battery. The configuration you need is 51R. They run $150-$300.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
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PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

eeeefarm
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:12 am
Delivery Date: 10 May 2020
Leaf Number: 309558

Re: Brake module or battery?

Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:09 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:03 pm
It certainly sounds like a weak 12 volt battery, but you'll have to get the battery tested to be sure. Most auto parts stores will do a capacity test on them in the parking lot. In the meantime, shut off all 12 volt accessories except for the fan/blower a minute or two before turning the car off,
Thanks for your reply. I always do this with my ACE vehicles, as my father taught me way back when. For what it's worth, I just got rid of a 2006 Tucson in May that had the original battery in it, and my 2011 Elantra has its original battery (and over 200,000 kms on it) as well, so I do swear by doing that but didn't think I needed to in an EV. I am taking the Leaf to the dealer in the morning so hopefully they will test the battery and read any codes. I'm not quite up to Leaf Spy yet...
2016 Leaf SL since May 2020 .-.-.

LeftieBiker
Moderator
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Re: Brake module or battery?

Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:11 pm

Just keep in mind that one slight difference: you want to leave the climate control on before you shut the car off, to encourage the car to charge the accessory battery. And yes, it's pretty sad that we have to do this song and dance with an "evolved" vehicle like an EV.
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.

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

Re: Brake module or battery?

Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:37 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:11 pm
Just keep in mind that one slight difference: you want to leave the climate control on before you shut the car off, to encourage the car to charge the accessory battery. And yes, it's pretty sad that we have to do this song and dance with an "evolved" vehicle like an EV.
LeftieBiker, I don't understand what this will do to make a difference--could you explain?.

Eeeefarm, Your description of the brakes and warning lights really fits my experiences with both 2011 and 2015 Leafs when the original 12V batteries became weak. When the 12V battery is too low, some of the various control (computer) modules fail to initialize correctly when the car is started and some things such as the brake power assist fail to work. When the car is in ready mode, the DC-DC converter charges the 12V battery and then all the systems will work correctly if you turn the car off and back on. I replaced the original batteries in those cars with deep cycle AGM sealed batteries and will do the same when the battery in the 2019 shows the first signs of weakness.
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

eeeefarm
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:12 am
Delivery Date: 10 May 2020
Leaf Number: 309558

Re: Brake module or battery?

Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:06 pm

Thanks, Gerry. From the reading I have been doing that is the conclusion I have come to, and hope it is correct. I live in a small town and there are not many EVs here, so I am guessing the local Nissan dealer doesn't have a lot of experience with them, and I have been trying to diagnose my problem to hopefully get them looking in the right direction. I get beyond my comfort level quite quickly with DIY solutions, as my late husband used to deal with the hardware, but I try to keep up with the technology as well as I can. Understanding the problem is the fastest way to a solution!
2016 Leaf SL since May 2020 .-.-.

alozzy
Posts: 1737
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Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: Brake module or battery?

Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:14 pm

It's your call but personally, I would spend $100 to buy a new 12V battery, charge it, install it in the LEAF, then see if that resolves the issue. The Nissan dealer will charge you at least $200 just to look at it, then recommend hours of diagnostic work to figure out what's wrong (and likely recommend a replacement 12V battery).
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eeeefarm
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:12 am
Delivery Date: 10 May 2020
Leaf Number: 309558

Re: Brake module or battery?

Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:28 pm

alozzy wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:14 pm
It's your call but personally, I would spend $100 to buy a new 12V battery, charge it, install it in the LEAF, then see if that resolves the issue. The Nissan dealer will charge you at least $200 just to look at it, then recommend hours of diagnostic work to figure out what's wrong (and likely recommend a replacement 12V battery).
Replacing the battery myself is out of my comfort zone, but I suppose I could take the car to Canadian Tire and let them do it. Unfortunately I don't have anyone that can do this for me.
2016 Leaf SL since May 2020 .-.-.

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