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Re: What am I doing wrong? 2013 Leaf 28k 10 bars

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:09 pm
by LeftieBiker
alozzy wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:03 pm
I'm going to check the manual then, because my energy use meter in the energy info screen, doubles to well over 3kW for climate control with AC off.
The PTC heater always starts with the climate control in heat mode, for faster warming. Then it ramps down and the heatpump is left running alone. When you select A/C and heat, here is what happens: the heat pump switches to A/C mode to provide defogging, and the PTC runs to produce the heat - ALL of the heat. This literally guarantees that you won't be heating with the heat pump, except for maybe in a narrow 'window' in frigid temps, like 7-15F, when defogging isn't likely to be needed.

Re: What am I doing wrong? 2013 Leaf 28k 10 bars

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:26 am
by alozzy
Amazingly, there's almost no mention of the hybrid heating system in the owner's manual, and even less about which buttons to activate or deactivate. I based my assumptions on what I've seen in the energy info screen, watching usage as I drive during cold weather...

I've watched it on many occasions, for well over a few minutes at a time, and came to the conclusion that having the AC button on results in lower energy usage with my LEAF.

Now I'm starting to wonder if perhaps there's something wrong with the PTC in my LEAF. I've never found the heating system to be all that good in my LEAF, compared to ICE cars. I have always assumed that a not so great heating system is just one compromise of driving an EV, but I haven't driven anyone else's LEAF long enough, in cold weather, to be sure.

Is there something wrong with my LEAF's heating system? What's the consensus for how your LEAF's heating system compares to ICE cars you have owned in the past?

Sorry for hijacking this thread, perhaps I should find an existing post? Please advise...

Re: What am I doing wrong? 2013 Leaf 28k 10 bars

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:34 am
by cwerdna
alozzy wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:26 am
Amazingly, there's almost no mention of the hybrid heating system in the owner's manual,
...
Now I'm starting to wonder if perhaps there's something wrong with the PTC in my LEAF. I've never found the heating system to be all that good in my LEAF, compared to ICE cars. I have always assumed that a not so great heating system is just one compromise of driving an EV, but I haven't driven anyone else's LEAF long enough, in cold weather, to be sure.

Is there something wrong with my LEAF's heating system? What's the consensus for how your LEAF's heating system compares to ICE cars you have owned in the past?
With my current '13 Leaf SV, I'd definitely say that the the heater is inferior to that of all ICEVs I've ever owned or spent a fair amount of time in (once the ICE is warmed up). Sometimes, it has a "mind of its own" where it feels like where it might not really stay very warm and won't get hotter despite setting the temp to the max. There's not really any easy way to reproduce the issue. And, no, I'm not using auto. I almost never ever use that.

IIRC, my former leased '13 Leaf SV (for 2 years ) had similar oddities but I returned that at end of lease.

I too have wondered if there's something wrong my HVAC system or PTC heater but figured it was "normal" given that I recall my leased Leaf seemed as quirky.

However, the heater does heat up very quickly when backing out of my garage. If I put the car in READY mode, turn the heater on and turn the temp all the way up, by the time I've backed up to my driveway, there's some warm out coming out. This is way faster than any ICEV w/a cold engine.

Re: What am I doing wrong? 2013 Leaf 28k 10 bars

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:01 am
by LeftieBiker
I find the heat in my 2018 (and the heat in my 2013 before it) to be quite adequate, and fast heating. Maybe it isn't quite as hot at maximum as in other ICE vehicles I've driven, but the speed and adequate temperature still make it the best climate control system I've used. I'm colder in Frigid temps on longer trips* but that's because I never blast the heat because of range issues.

(* I haven't taken any long trips in frigid temps in the 2018. My only experience here is with the 2013.)


Alozzy, you may want to look into a faulty PTC. I'm so sure of what I wrote for the following reasons:

* It is well established that the heat pump in the Leaf can't provide both heat and A/C at the same time. That's the main reason for the PTC heater. It's possible to do this with a heat pump, but it requires more valving and complexity, and would likely not work as well in Winter without a PTC. This reason alone makes it impossible that running the heat and A/C together in a Leaf will improve range.

* When you press A/C after running just Heat in cold (forties F or colder), rainy weather, the windows defog very rapidly. This means that the A/C is indeed running and drying the air in the cabin. With the heat pump in A/C mode, and the PTC in heat mode, I don't see how any energy can be saved. Quite the contrary.

* I haven't used the energy monitor when driving with both heat and A/C on, but I do know that my range decreases. I am fairly sure, however, that Nissan, when writing the software for the monitor , made some oversimplifications. It takes very little to imagine them goofing on what it displays when heat and A/C are used together.

Re: What am I doing wrong? 2013 Leaf 28k 10 bars

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:59 am
by goldbrick
My 2017 S heater is about the same as cwerdna described. It generates heat almost immediately but it will never put out as much heat as a normal ICE car heater.

Re: What am I doing wrong? 2013 Leaf 28k 10 bars

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:26 am
by Daklein
cwerdna wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:34 am
However, the heater does heat up very quickly when backing out of my garage. If I put the car in READY mode, turn the heater on and turn the temp all the way up, by the time I've backed up to my driveway, there's some warm out coming out.
That sounds like the PTC heater is working then. Maybe smell hairdryer too? Then it's working, and Congrats! If it's not, get carmax to fix or compensate for it soon. Not easy or cheap to fix.

I scared myself this morning (after having replaced the PTC heater about 6 weeks ago). While checking that the charge timer had worked the way I wanted after unplugging, and since the SOC was higher than I wanted and it cold in the garage, hey lets turn on the heater! Wait, oh, no, cold air, aaaahhh! Wife said it worked fine this morning on drive in, but I was skeptical. Couple hours later after trying to shop for another used or new PTC heater, I remembered and realized why it wasn't working. The car was not in ready mode, contactors not closed, no HV to the heater.

Re: What am I doing wrong? 2013 Leaf 28k 10 bars

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:11 pm
by cwerdna
Daklein wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:26 am
cwerdna wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:34 am
However, the heater does heat up very quickly when backing out of my garage. If I put the car in READY mode, turn the heater on and turn the temp all the way up, by the time I've backed up to my driveway, there's some warm out coming out.
That sounds like the PTC heater is working then. Maybe smell hairdryer too? Then it's working, and Congrats! If it's not, get carmax to fix or compensate for it soon. Not easy or cheap to fix.
Thanks! Good. Hair dryer smell? Not that I really noticed...

Carmax? I didn't buy from Carmax. I bought it from an independent used car dealer in July 2015 so the basic 3 year/36K warranty expired LONG ago. It was a replacement for the 1st '13 Leaf that I leased for 2 years and returned. (The buyout price on my leased Lea even after $6500 discount from NMAC/Nissan was nutty high. I can find and point to my post about that later, if you care.)

Re: What am I doing wrong? 2013 Leaf 28k 10 bars

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:45 pm
by alozzy
LeftieBiker wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:01 am
I find the heat in my 2018 (and the heat in my 2013 before it) to be quite adequate, and fast heating. Maybe it isn't quite as hot at maximum as in other ICE vehicles I've driven, but the speed and adequate temperature still make it the best climate control system I've used. I'm colder in Frigid temps on longer trips* but that's because I never blast the heat because of range issues.

(* I haven't taken any long trips in frigid temps in the 2018. My only experience here is with the 2013.)


Alozzy, you may want to look into a faulty PTC. I'm so sure of what I wrote for the following reasons:

* It is well established that the heat pump in the Leaf can't provide both heat and A/C at the same time. That's the main reason for the PTC heater. It's possible to do this with a heat pump, but it requires more valving and complexity, and would likely not work as well in Winter without a PTC. This reason alone makes it impossible that running the heat and A/C together in a Leaf will improve range.

* When you press A/C after running just Heat in cold (forties F or colder), rainy weather, the windows defog very rapidly. This means that the A/C is indeed running and drying the air in the cabin. With the heat pump in A/C mode, and the PTC in heat mode, I don't see how any energy can be saved. Quite the contrary.

* I haven't used the energy monitor when driving with both heat and A/C on, but I do know that my range decreases. I am fairly sure, however, that Nissan, when writing the software for the monitor , made some oversimplifications. It takes very little to imagine them goofing on what it displays when heat and A/C are used together.
Thanks for the feedback. To be clear, I wasn't questioning the veracity of your argument. Rather, I'm starting to question whether my PTC is functioning properly because I'm 99% certain that my LEAF uses less energy with the AC button enabled. It's definitely weird, very puzzling. Until now, I've assumed that the set point determined the "mode" of the heatpump - a higher set point than ambient = heat mode, lower = AC - clearly that assumption is incorrect. I'll need to put some thought into how I can definitively determine if the climate control components are all working properly, as it seems like something is amiss...

Re: What am I doing wrong? 2013 Leaf 28k 10 bars

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:36 pm
by LeftieBiker
I'm surprised but not astounded at the idea that the A/C might change to heat if the PTC isn't working. The test should be fairly simple:

1. Verify that the A/C blows cold air by setting it low on a slightly chilly, wet day after the cabin is warmed up.

2. With the A/C still running, turn on the heat as well.

3. Set ventilation to recirculate. If the cabin warms and the windows stay clear, then both the heat pump and PTC are working. If the cabin stays cold but the widows stay clear, the PTC has failed. If the heat comes on but the windows fog, then the heat pump is trying to do both jobs, and...the PTC has likely failed.

Re: What am I doing wrong? 2013 Leaf 28k 10 bars

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:51 pm
by Lothsahn
cwerdna wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:34 am
With my current '13 Leaf SV, I'd definitely say that the the heater is inferior to that of all ICEVs I've ever owned
Interesting. My 2011 warms up in 3 minutes (far faster than any ICE), and has very adequate heat. I'm comfortable 4 minutes after starting the car.