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crutchfield recommends no amp/ subwoofer on leaf

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:07 pm
by golfcart
I had an interesting conversation with a crutchfield advisor about the leaf and I was surprised to hear them say that they do not recommend installing any amp/sub in the leaf. The reason was that the voltage system is limited and not designed to handle extra draw outside of the existing accessories.

What do y'all think about this? Are they being overly cautious or is there a real danger of messing something up? I generally trust crutchfield as experts in car stereo equipment and this advisor had 20+ years with the company. It sounded like this was the official crutchfield stance on amps in a leaf. Is it a bad idea to add even a relatively small 200 watt mono amp and sub that'll probably never draw more than 30amp?

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-RQXWOWQDX ... -leaf.html

Re: crutchfield recommends no amp/ subwoofer on leaf

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:06 pm
by LeftieBiker
The Bose system found with the Premium Package was developed specifically for the Leaf. It draws much less power than is typical. This isn't to say that more powerful systems can't be installed, just that they won't be Plug & Play if they draw a lot of juice. You basically need to tap the 12 volt battery directly, and should also install a larger capacity one - preferably AGM type.

Re: crutchfield recommends no amp/ subwoofer on leaf

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:15 am
by golfcart
LeftieBiker wrote: You basically need to tap the 12 volt battery directly, and should also install a larger capacity one - preferably AGM type.
Can you elaborate? I have been installing aftermarket stereos in my cars since high school and I always run a fused power wire to the 12V positive terminal and ground to a chasis bolt near where the amp is mounted. What do you mean by tap the battery directly?

Re: crutchfield recommends no amp/ subwoofer on leaf

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:43 am
by powersurge
I think what you do is exactly the other poster meant... I cant see a radio drawing more power than .... lets say ... heater, headlights, or a/c?

does your equipment draw a lot?

Re: crutchfield recommends no amp/ subwoofer on leaf

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:54 am
by golfcart
powersurge wrote:
does your equipment draw a lot?
I wanted to purchase a 250W RMS mono class d amp powering a single 10" sub (at 4 ohm) in a sealed box. I don't imagine it draws more than 30a most of the time based on those specs.

It's just concerning when crutchfield says something like that. Their business is to sell me stereo equipment so it is not in their interest to tell me not to buy it. I'd assume they have a good reason.

Re: crutchfield recommends no amp/ subwoofer on leaf

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:09 pm
by LeftieBiker
I meant connect directly to the 12 volt battery (with a fuse). There is also a power block under the dash that can handle smaller aftermarket stereos, but for a big draw you go directly to the battery - as you normally do anyway.

Re: crutchfield recommends no amp/ subwoofer on leaf

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:00 pm
by lashlee
I've added two amps to my '18 SL, with no serious adverse degradation so far. I managed to source some connectors to add onto the OEM H/U so I only have to cut two wires. For most people, adding a simple amp and sub will be fine, as long as the install is completed properly.

Re: crutchfield recommends no amp/ subwoofer on leaf

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:04 pm
by alozzy
I'm guessing that they have flagged the LEAF as problematic based on issues with 2011/2012/2013 model years.

Supposedly, the charging cycle with the DC-DC converter, to maintain the 12V battery, is much improved for the 2015 model year.

If that's accurate, then your LEAF can likely power the amp without issues...

Perhaps ask Crutchfield for more details on why they don't recommend it?

Re: crutchfield recommends no amp/ subwoofer on leaf

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:31 am
by golfcart
alozzy wrote:I'm guessing that they have flagged the LEAF as problematic based on issues with 2011/2012/2013 model years.

Supposedly, the charging cycle with the DC-DC converter, to maintain the 12V battery, is much improved for the 2015 model year.

If that's accurate, then your LEAF can likely power the amp without issues...

Perhaps ask Crutchfield for more details on why they don't recommend it?
I did call back to try to get more detail, they said it is a blanket recommendation for EV in general not just the leaf. The official statement is:
crutchfield wrote:An EV is not the car to choose if you want to build a massively powerful audio system. We do not recommend installing any amplifiers in electric vehicles due to the current draw that they will introduce to the system
I suspect it is a liability thing, they don't want someone to fry their DC to DC converter (or some other integral component) and then blame crutchfield... But nobody i talk to is an engineer that made that recommendation they are all advisors repeating the company policy.

Re: crutchfield recommends no amp/ subwoofer on leaf

Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:53 pm
by GerryAZ
DC-DC converter in LEAF is capable of more output current than many alternators so no worries as long as you connect to the 12-volt battery. If you connect to the car's power distribution modules or fuse blocks, you need to make sure maximum current draw of the amplifier and other components does not exceed the rating of the distribution module or fuse block.