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Re: 2011–2015 Leaf as a secondary vehicle?

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:23 pm
by anthonystclair
SalisburySam wrote:Other posters have pretty much said it all and I’d like to add my own emphasis to two items:

1- Dealership cars are cars bought from individuals either outright or as trade-in. There may or may not be an advantage if the dealership really does inspect and repair deficiencies, but beyond cleaning it up, that’s unlikely. The only thing you can be sure of is that there will be a markup over negotiating and buying from an individual. Just a middle-man situation.
2- I can’t stress enough the sage advice of others regarding the acquisition and use of an OBDII device and LeafSpyPro BEFORE signing paperwork. Go through the two major threads on this forum (yes, they’re lengthy) to see what these amazing tools can do, and more importantly, what to look for in considering any LEAF purchase. LeafSpyPro offers a huge amount of information, but you’ll want to hone in on several key readings affecting purchase decisions. Again, reading related threads (lots of homework, I know) will be very informative. Use the forum search for help. Even better, there may be a forum member near you who can quickly explain how to plug-in and set up the OBDII, pair with your phone (Android and iOS are both supported by the app), and highlight what to look for. Regardless, if you do acquire a LEAF, LeafSpyPro will likely be the best $20 you’ll spend on the vehicle.

My 2012SL, purchased new, was an incredible introduction to the then state-of-the-art electric vehicle. I still very much enjoy it today as our 2nd vehicle even though it is pretty range-restricted at this point over 7 years after purchase and given battery deterioration. The good news is that the rest of the car has held up such that everything is still working like new. Maintenance has been minimal: new wipers blade refills about every two years, new cabin air filter every two years (which I do myself), brake fluid flush and replace after four years (yeah, I know, the manual says more often). Rarely have I used charging stations other than my home EVSE, and I’ve never had to pay for a charge.

Whatever you do, enjoy!
Thanks! We're pretty much just keeping an open mind. Most of the Leaf listings I've been seeing having been from dealers, a few private parties, but definitely in the minority. Some of the rebates here, AFAICT, also specify a dealer purchase, so depending on pricing that math can definitely sway things.

I'm pretty convinced on the LeafSpyPro/OBDII combo too—the extra CYA alone sounds worth it. Especially since EVs can still seem to throw dealers for a loop.

That lower maintenance need is a big factor for me too. One less oil change to schedule, for example, doesn't hurt my feelings at all!

Re: 2011–2015 Leaf as a secondary vehicle?

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:55 pm
by LeftieBiker
I posted this earlier, but I'm not sure you saw it. This is an intensive-but-short guide on how to avoid getting a bad used Leaf: ... 2&p=538030

Re: 2011–2015 Leaf as a secondary vehicle?

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:16 am
by cwerdna
Lothsahn wrote: Finally, I would rather buy a Leaf from a previous owner who has a history with the vehicle and knows it. I've had too many bad experiences with dealerships. But maybe that's just me...

Cwerdna was selling an 11 bar 2013. I don't know how close he is to where you are in Oregon, but that might be a great car for you... 64k miles, 11 bars, 2013 built after April. You could probably pick it up for $6-7k. And Cwerdna has been posting on these forums for a long time, so it's quite unlikely he's scamming:

You'd have to have the car transported to Oregon, which would run probably $500-700.
:o Some folks rang? :) Sorry, I haven't been reading this thread as I've been busy (and still haven't read it) but I saw my handle mentioned. I'm not that close to Eugene, OR. Google Maps says that I'm about 570 miles away.

I've had cars shipped between WA and CA before. Price varies depending on the carrier and whether or not it's enclosed. Enclosed supposedly good shippers are expensive. (I used PlyCar before as I mentioned at ... st-1080055 to ship a former Nissan 350Z. It seems one of my shipper threads got nuked, probably because 1 post spammers kept replying to it. ... mpany.html was pre-nuke.)

I'm definitely NOT scamming. I've been too busy to try real hard to sell. SOH still remains at around 82.xx to 83.xx%. Was 82.87% earlier today. I plan to drive it to work Mon thru Wednesday, so it'll be at ~63.9K miles by EOD Monday.

I've put it up for sale at work for $6700 and have only gotten two responses, so far. :( One (someone I actually have worked with for years before and is on my floor at work) asked if it was eligible for CA HOV stickers, since it'd help him. I had to tell him no, explain the white stickers are expired on mine, can't apply for new ones on my car, etc. Another turned out to be an '11 Leaf driver who I don't know but he seems to be investigating other options. :/

I might drop the price a bit and try advertising on a local Leaf FB group first before trying a few more things. I'd rather not go CL yet.

Re: 2011–2015 Leaf as a secondary vehicle?

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:46 am
by BillHolz
As others have said, the SV/SL heat pump will be great in your area and the 6KW charger that comes standard in 2013 and beyond SV/SL models will be great while using any public L2 EVSE.

I agree with others that the Leaf should become your primary vehicle and relegate the ICE to the longer trips that may be beyond the range of the Leaf. It is fun to drive being faster off the line than every non-EV.

Re: 2011–2015 Leaf as a secondary vehicle?

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:02 am
by LurchOR
anthonystclair wrote:
LurchOR wrote:Anthony,

Local new owner of a used 2015 SL purchased just last month here. Loving the car so far.
Are you aware of the Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program?
$2,500 rebate for a used BEV such as a Leaf, but...available only if purchased from a dealer, and is limited to family incomes below a certain level.

Good luck with your search. Your family sounds like an ideal candidate for a Leaf.
As I say, I'm local and would be happy to show you my car and answer any questions.
Shoot me a PM if you have any interest.
Thanks LurchOR! Did you purchase your Leaf through a dealer or private party sale?

Much appreciate the the OCVR mention, I hadn't seen that rebate program yet. Checking into that.

I'll PM you as we dig in more, it'd be great to chat and see and your Leaf.
Got mine through a dealer in Portland.

Re: 2011–2015 Leaf as a secondary vehicle?

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:07 pm
by Oilpan4
I thought the leaf would only be able to handle 80% to 90% of my driving.
Its more like 95 to 99%.
The 12v power supply in my chadmo quit or else it would be close to 99% all the time.

Re: 2011–2015 Leaf as a secondary vehicle?

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:51 pm
by TheMagster
I've only skimmed through this thread, but it looks like you've gotten a ton of great advice. I'll offer my story, since there's a lot of overlap with what your situation.

I live in Oregon as well, near Astoria. No local Nissan or EV dealerships here, so all of our shopping was online and in Portland. Platt Auto Group in Portland is fantastic, they specialize in EVs and have a wide selection of Leafs. I somewhat regret that we didn't buy from them, but I wanted a CPO warranty, which you can only get from a Nissan dealer. We ended up buying through a Nissan dealership in Portland (Carr Nissan). It was an awful experience, but we ended up getting a great deal.

We bought a 2015 Nissan Leaf SV with ~25k miles & 12 bars for $11,500 off the lot. We financed it to get a $700 incentive they were offering, then paid if off within a few weeks (then the Nissan bank lost our title and we had to use a temporary moving permit for 6 months, which was annoying but actually saved us 6 month's worth of car registration). We should be getting the $2500 Energy Trust rebate check soon, that will bring our final price down to about $9000. If you plan to get that, you'll have to buy pretty soon, as that program is first-come first-served. Our car was off-lease and in perfect condition. I didn't know about LeafSpy at the time, but I did get the battery report, carfax, etc. before buying.

We have one kid in a car seat, and frequently drive around our friend's kid in a booster seat. 2 adults up front and 2 kids in the back is no problem. Trying to cram a 3rd adult in the middle seat between two car seats isn't comfortable, but it is do-able for a svelte adult on a short trip. 3 car seats abreast won't fit. Cargo space is fine for diaper bag, groceries, backpacks, generally everything we need. As you probably already know, these older Leafs are not meant for road trips. Ours has Level 3 Quick Charge capability, which I'm definitely glad we have, since not only do we need to quick charge to get to the dealership in Portland for service, but it greatly expands the range of day trips we can take in the vehicle. Through trial and error, I've learned to only plan trips that require no more than 1 quick charge stop whenever possible. We have an ICE SUV (2008 RAV4) as a secondary car that gets driven about once a month, and for longer road trips. We spend about $20-$30 per month on gas for the occasional driving the ICE car gets. I expect you'll do about the same, though your Outback probably gets better mileage.

As others have said, the Leaf makes a great primary vehicle, and your Outback will make a great secondary vehicle. If you do go this route, the niceties of the SV or SL trim level are worth it. We don't like leather seats, so the SV is perfect. I love the cloth seats, very comfortable. Also love the heated steering wheel and heated seats. In the Oregon winter, it is much more economical to use these two low-power heaters to heat your body instead of trying to heat the whole cabin. It is still nice to have the heat pump to preheat the car, but we rarely use it while driving. My only gripe is that my feet will get a bit cold sometimes. Running the defroster is necessary as well, as the front window will fog up, and if you manually disable the AC/Heat options that turn on each time, you'll save some power. It is annoying that there's no built-in fan-only defroster mode, but I guess Nissan thought that folks wouldn't like blasts of cold winter air blowing on them just to save a few watts...silly Nissan.

My other gripe is that the bluetooth system doesn't handle multiple phones well. Pairing one phone is perfect, but when you pair a second phone it rarely works, or you have to manually disable the first phone's bluetooth and fiddle with it...just annoying. Drove me to put a bunch of music on a USB drive, so I can use that and my partner can use bluetooth. Also the built-in NAV is pretty bad since it is now 4 years out of date, I just use Google Maps/Android Auto on my phone connected to a magnetic vent mount. Plugshare is the best app for finding chargers in the wild, and for trip planning. Oh, and be prepared to be harangued by Siruis XM radio adverts by phone and mail for the rest of your life...I'm still trying to figure out how to get them to stop pestering me...I seriously don't want Sirius!

I do wish we had the 80% charge limit option, and I try to manage this manually with the car's built-in charging timers. It would be much nicer to just be able to plug it in and not think about it. Still, that's just because I'm trying to get about 10 years out of this car, if you charge it to 100% every night you might shave a year or two off the battery's lifespan (same goes for the Li-Ion batteries in your phone and laptop).

We use Level 1, 120V charging at home, and typically charge for 6 hrs per night in the summer and 8 hrs per night in the winter, and only when needed. We've come up with a system where we only plug in the car if the battery is below 50%, and we try to unplug it around 80%. I'll probably install a 240V circuit for Level 2 charging at some point, but it isn't really needed right now, it will be more important if we ever get a second EV.

The Nissan app rarely works from our home, since AT&T coverage is awful around here (the car uses AT&T's 3G network to communicate with the Nissan servers, which in turn communicate with your phone app). In Astoria, Portland, and pretty much everywhere else I've tried it the app works fine, and it is very nice to have when relying on public chargers.

In all of my research since buying the car, I've come to the conclusion that the 2015 model is the sweet spot of all of them currently available on the used market. It has the best version/chemistry of the 24 kwh batteries, quick charge, nice heating options, etc. And the price is unbeatable, at least for now.

As a closing note, you'll be amazing at how much money a used Leaf will save you. You should be able to find one for a low purchase price, like we did, and the fuel costs are incredibly low. We just did the math for last month, and we spent about $22 for all of our Leaf driving while charging exclusively at home (total of 808 miles, according to the app). If we had driven those sames miles on our ICE car, it would have cost about $100 in gas. Once our solar panels are installed in the next month or two, our driving will basically be free. Maintenance is practically non-existent - outside of the routine dealer service checks (same as any ICE car), all you have to do is top off the windshield washer fluid, top off the tire pressure (LeafSpyPro monitors this for you), and rotate the tires every 5k miles (which is more often than an ICE car). I also love how clean my garage is with an EV! No oil marks or grease anywhere.

Like you, I tend to be verbose, especially when starting a new thread, and I wanted to mention that I appreciate the clean formatting in your original post, makes it welcoming to read. I don't check these forums too often, so feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions for me. Best of luck and happy shopping!

Re: 2011–2015 Leaf as a secondary vehicle?

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 10:04 pm
by anthonystclair
Quick update! We may be on to a Leaf - a 2016. Will be reaching out to some of yall who are in Oregon and posted here. Thanks again for all the help, will keep you posted.

I put up a new thread here around what we're kicking around:

2015 SV or 2016 S... or a 2014? - My Nissan Leaf Forum

Re: 2011–2015 Leaf as a secondary vehicle?

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 10:09 pm
by LeftieBiker
It is annoying that there's no built-in fan-only defroster mode, but I guess Nissan thought that folks wouldn't like blasts of cold winter air blowing on them just to save a few watts...silly Nissan.
You can do fan-only defrost, by turning off both the heat and A/C after selecting Defrost. I used to do it often, in mild weather.

Re: 2011–2015 Leaf as a secondary vehicle?

Posted: Sat May 11, 2019 3:13 pm
by anthonystclair
LeftieBiker wrote:I posted this earlier, but I'm not sure you saw it. This is an intensive-but-short guide on how to avoid getting a bad used Leaf: ... 2&p=538030
Yes, I looked through this pretty extensively. Thank you for posting it!