User avatar
Stanton
Posts: 2617
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:56 am
Delivery Date: 01 Sep 2011
Leaf Number: 7458
Location: Plano, TX
Contact: Website Twitter

Replacing NissanConnectEV with OVMS in a Gen1 Leaf

Nissan recently notified owners of Gen1 (2011-2017) Nissan Leafs that support for CarWings/NissanConnect effectively ends when AT&T turns off their 3G network (used by the 2G/3G TCU) in early 2022.

The good news is there is an alternative: replace the existing TCU (Telecommunications Unit) with an OVMS (Open Vehicles Monitoring System) module. For <$200 (depending on options) and a few hours of your time (no "special" tools required), you can actually improve on the functionality of Nissan's service by following these steps:
  • purchase OVMS hardware at https://www.openvehicles.com/buy (don't forget the data cable and antenna). Note: I bought the "WiFi only" version and then later added the 4G modem (daughter card).
  • remove/disconnect current TCU (plenty of threads on this)
  • install the OVMS app (iOS or Android)
Nissan Leaf support is summarized at https://docs.openvehicles.com/en/latest ... index.html
Note: you can purchase a SIM card when you get the 4G modem.
Last edited by Stanton on Wed Feb 16, 2022 10:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
2011 Blue Ocean SV w/OVMS
12v LiFePO4 battery
FIAMM 74100 horns/Wet Okole seat covers/Tor's heater mod/Dala's CAN-bridge
Lizard Pack (Rev E) installed @51 months/41k miles
40 kWh Pack (Gen2) installed @115 months/84k miles
User avatar
Stanton
Posts: 2617
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:56 am
Delivery Date: 01 Sep 2011
Leaf Number: 7458
Location: Plano, TX
Contact: Website Twitter

Re: Replacing NissanConnectEV with OVMS in a Gen1 Leaf

Parts of the following details for remote climate control can be found in the OVMS support section (link in first post) for the Nissan Leaf.
Note: The TCU is located behind the glove box on LHD cars or on the right hand side of the drivers foot well on RHD cars. Before removal/unplugging any of the 3 connectors, you should either/or:
  • disconnect the 12v battery
  • pull TCU fuse #34 in fuse block E4 (and replace when finished)
Push down the tab in the middle of each connector to disconnect from the TCU.

2011-2012 models (ZE0)

These model years require a hardware modification to enable remote climate control if the vehicle is not plugged in and charging. If you want to to enable remote climate control once the charge has finished, or if the vehicle is not plugged in, you need to perform the following hardware modification: connect TCU pin #11 to pin #1 (12v) on the large white connector to generate the “EV System Activation Request Signal” (additional details at end of this post).

2013-2016 models (AZE0)

These model years require the TCU to be unplugged completely if present.
Note: Unplugging the TCU will disable CarWings/NissanConnectEV features (including the mobile app). All other car functions will not be effected (e.g GPS/maps/radio/Bluetooth/microphone all work the same as before). The TCU can be plugged back in at any point in the future if required. If you prefer not to unplug the TCU, all OVMS functions apart from remote climate control will function just fine alongside the existing TCU.

2016-2017 models (AZE0)

Remote climate control will only work when plugged in and actively charging on 2016-2017 models. This is because in 2016 Nissan moved the TCU from the EV CAN bus to the CAR CAN bus.

Note: some of the following tips (for the ZE0) require use of special tools (like solder/de-solder guns) and may not be for everyone!
I repurposed the large white 40 pin connector on the TCU (after removing the entire unit) as follows:
  • remove/expose the TCU PCB from the metal case/bracket
  • extract the connector from the PCB (either by de-soldering or cutting the pins close to the connector)
  • solder a jumper wire from pin #11 to pin #1 on the outside of the connector
Now you can mate the connector to the remaining TCU harness (which pulls pin #11 "high") when you want to enable remote climate control. I removed the (unused) light in my glove box and routed the TCU harness connector through that hole...so I can plug the modified connector into it when I want use remote climate control.
Warning: leaving this modification in place permanently (which pulls pin #11 "high") will kill your 12v battery in a matter of hours...so just do it when you are going out somewhere and you know you want to use remote climate control.

Note: the following tips for using remote climate control apply to all Gen1 Leaf types.
  • you can use the Homelink button in the "Car" screen of the app, but it's not easy to tell what "mode" you are in [on/off]
  • it is much better to enter the climatecontrol [on/off] command in the "Messages" screen of the app
Last edited by Stanton on Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
2011 Blue Ocean SV w/OVMS
12v LiFePO4 battery
FIAMM 74100 horns/Wet Okole seat covers/Tor's heater mod/Dala's CAN-bridge
Lizard Pack (Rev E) installed @51 months/41k miles
40 kWh Pack (Gen2) installed @115 months/84k miles
User avatar
Stanton
Posts: 2617
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:56 am
Delivery Date: 01 Sep 2011
Leaf Number: 7458
Location: Plano, TX
Contact: Website Twitter

Re: Replacing NissanConnectEV with OVMS in a Gen1 Leaf

You can repurpose the car's existing GSM antenna (which can be unplugged from the unused TCU) with the OVMS module...but the details of that are for another post, another time.
2011 Blue Ocean SV w/OVMS
12v LiFePO4 battery
FIAMM 74100 horns/Wet Okole seat covers/Tor's heater mod/Dala's CAN-bridge
Lizard Pack (Rev E) installed @51 months/41k miles
40 kWh Pack (Gen2) installed @115 months/84k miles
User avatar
knightmb
Forum Supporter
Posts: 1555
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:41 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Feb 2021
Leaf Number: 306291
Location: Franklin, TN

Re: Replacing NissanConnectEV with OVMS in a Gen1 Leaf

Thanks, I know I've seen this mentioned and have a lot of friends and family that are depending on me to find a way for their Gen 1 Leafs to still work :mrgreen:
2020 Leaf SL Plus - (Manufacture Date March 2020)
2018 Leaf SL - (Manufacture Date February 2018)
2013 Leaf SV - (8 faithful years of service before trade in at 75,679 miles LeafSpy-Data)
Timekoin - The World's Most Energy Efficient Encrypted Digital Currency
zmonev
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2021 7:35 am
Delivery Date: 03 Nov 2021

Re: Replacing NissanConnectEV with OVMS in a Gen1 Leaf

My original post:
Hi guys I have a Nissan Leaf 2015 24kWh in the UK so it is RHD vehicle. I bought OVMS and set it up and connected it up alright. It all works just the A/C control does not show on the app at all. I disconnected the white connector on the TCU but still does not work.
My question is do I have to disconnect the grey connector for it to work or white one is enough.
Also do i have to disconnect the negative cable on the 12v battery as well?
Thanks a lot for your help in advance.
Latests findings:
On the android app i can see and operate the AC and also I can see the tyre pressure and so on
On the iOS app apparently I can turn on and off the AC by the homelink 1 and 2 options but I dont see any tyre pressure.
Apart from that it all works.
User avatar
Stanton
Posts: 2617
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:56 am
Delivery Date: 01 Sep 2011
Leaf Number: 7458
Location: Plano, TX
Contact: Website Twitter

Re: Replacing NissanConnectEV with OVMS in a Gen1 Leaf

zmonev wrote: Fri Nov 05, 2021 8:51 am Latests findings:
On the android app i can see and operate the AC and also I can see the tyre pressure and so on
On the iOS app apparently I can turn on and off the AC by the homelink 1 and 2 options but I dont see any tyre pressure.
Apart from that it all works.
The only way you can get tire pressures for the Leaf (via OVMS) is from the "Messages" screen: enter tpms status. Note: it only updates after you drive the car (so you basically get a new reading after each trip).
I also find it easier to use the climatecontrol [on/off] command (from the "Messages" screen) for remote climate control.
2011 Blue Ocean SV w/OVMS
12v LiFePO4 battery
FIAMM 74100 horns/Wet Okole seat covers/Tor's heater mod/Dala's CAN-bridge
Lizard Pack (Rev E) installed @51 months/41k miles
40 kWh Pack (Gen2) installed @115 months/84k miles
bonro001
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:13 pm
Delivery Date: 21 Feb 2017

Re: Replacing NissanConnectEV with OVMS in a Gen1 Leaf

Thank you for all the posts on this!

Curious, on the international order site there are several items, can you narrow it down to the proper one?

Seeing these and more:
OVMS K-line Option Module
OVMS V3 w/ SIM5360, US Edition
OVMS V3 Base Module

Thinking the middle is the correct one, and maybe the last one is wifi only?
User avatar
Stanton
Posts: 2617
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:56 am
Delivery Date: 01 Sep 2011
Leaf Number: 7458
Location: Plano, TX
Contact: Website Twitter

Re: Replacing NissanConnectEV with OVMS in a Gen1 Leaf

bonro001 wrote: Tue Nov 16, 2021 12:55 pm Thank you for all the posts on this!

Curious, on the international order site there are several items, can you narrow it down to the proper one?

Seeing these and more:
OVMS K-line Option Module
OVMS V3 w/ SIM5360, US Edition
OVMS V3 Base Module

Thinking the middle is the correct one, and maybe the last one is wifi only?
Without a location, I'm assuming you are in North America; I'm also assuming you don't want to waste $ on a 3G modem (that will be useless in a couple months).
So, I would get the OVMS V3 Base Module (which has WiFi built-in).
2011 Blue Ocean SV w/OVMS
12v LiFePO4 battery
FIAMM 74100 horns/Wet Okole seat covers/Tor's heater mod/Dala's CAN-bridge
Lizard Pack (Rev E) installed @51 months/41k miles
40 kWh Pack (Gen2) installed @115 months/84k miles
bonro001
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:13 pm
Delivery Date: 21 Feb 2017

Re: Replacing NissanConnectEV with OVMS in a Gen1 Leaf

Was thinking Fasttech, intl shipping. They were considerably cheaper. And correct on the 3g, found out today they turned this off over the weekend. Had no idea, neither did the dealer or the 4 support folks I talked to at Nissan. I get the issue for them, but as far as points deducted, suspect this will count against them quite a bit next time I car shop.
User avatar
Stanton
Posts: 2617
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:56 am
Delivery Date: 01 Sep 2011
Leaf Number: 7458
Location: Plano, TX
Contact: Website Twitter

Re: Replacing NissanConnectEV with OVMS in a Gen1 Leaf

bonro001 wrote: Tue Nov 16, 2021 3:58 pm Was thinking Fasttech, intl shipping. They were considerably cheaper.
They were...and the trade-off is very slow (but free!) shipping. I purchased from them as well.
The silver lining in this whole "Nissan doesn't support TCU upgrades for Gen1 Leafs" thing is: OVMS actually provides more (and better) functionality than NissanConnectEV did.
2011 Blue Ocean SV w/OVMS
12v LiFePO4 battery
FIAMM 74100 horns/Wet Okole seat covers/Tor's heater mod/Dala's CAN-bridge
Lizard Pack (Rev E) installed @51 months/41k miles
40 kWh Pack (Gen2) installed @115 months/84k miles

Return to “Accessories / Mods”