Nords
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:03 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Jan 2019
Leaf Number: 302408
Location: Oahu, Hawaii.

Our search for a second Leaf.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:05 pm

We’ve driven our 2015 Leaf for six months and we love it. Thanks again for everyone's advice from that thread!
(https://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=27408 )
It has more than enough range for our retiree lifestyle, and it hauls everything we need it to haul. We also enjoy the free charging (from our photovoltaic array), the free parking (all over Oahu and at the airport) and the HOV lane.

We’re thinking of buying a second Leaf. Our second Prius is dying of the same issue that affected our other Prius, and it probably has a month or two left.

I’d appreciate any advice on our options among three model years.

I've read LeftieBiker's buying guide, of course. We’ve bought used from private sellers for over three decades, and we’ll pay cash. We’ll also run the usual CarFax check and we’ll do a LeafSpy scan with the test drive.

Our second Leaf would be used even less than our first Leaf. It’ll spend its life hauling longboards to the beach (with a Thule roof rack) at speeds below 60 MPH, and it’ll never do more than a 60-mile round trip. (No range anxiety.) It’ll only drive about 3000 miles/year but we’ll try to keep it until the battery capacity kills the range. The only other feature we care about is air conditioning. We don't care about color, decor, audio, navigation, or even whether the backup camera works.

Our three choices:
The 2014 model that’s lost a bar of battery capacity. It’s at 37K miles and the seller wants to buy a bigger car. $9000. There's a bit of concern over the Wolf Pack 24KWhr battery longevity but it seems adequate for our needs.

The 2015 model that doesn’t show a battery-capacity photo and has 43K miles. It’s listed at $11,200. The seller seems frustrated with lowball offers but indicates that they might take $10K. (Because we have cash?) They’re selling the car to buy a house.

The 2017 model that’s at 13K miles and claims a range of 125 miles. (Is that still a 30 KWhr battery pack?) $14,000. The seller is leaving the island.

All three options will satisfy our needs, subject to good titles and LeafSpy scans. The 2017 model is more than enough and its higher capacity would ideally give us a longer overall lifetime, but our current 2015 Leaf is already filling that role. Our initial reaction is to take the 2014 Leaf for $9000 and run it into the ground.

I've checked the TSBs and the other model-year concerns, but please let me know if there's emergent news. Are we missing anything else in our analysis?
.
2015 model S, bought in January 2019.
2017 model S, bought in July 2019.

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 12958
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Our search for a second Leaf.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:48 pm

The current situation with the 30kwh packs appears to be that some of them are good and some are not. If the 2017 has 12 bars left without the BMS update having been done, then it is likely the best candidate. If it has had the update within the last few months, then it's an unknown quantity - unless it is already losing bars, in which case it's a known bad pack.

It really comes down to how much range your second Leaf will need. How much under 60mph will you be driving it those 60 miles? You obviously don't want a car that will only just make the trip now. I will say that you don't want a car with 11 bars to start.
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.

Nords
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:03 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Jan 2019
Leaf Number: 302408
Location: Oahu, Hawaii.

Re: Our search for a second Leaf.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:13 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:The current situation with the 30kwh packs appears to be that some of them are good and some are not. If the 2017 has 12 bars left without the BMS update having been done, then it is likely the best candidate. If it has had the update within the last few months, then it's an unknown quantity - unless it is already losing bars, in which case it's a known bad pack.
Thanks. I'll ask those questions.
LeftieBiker wrote: It really comes down to how much range your second Leaf will need. How much under 60mph will you be driving it those 60 miles? You obviously don't want a car that will only just make the trip now. I will say that you don't want a car with 11 bars to start.
My typical surf session (2-3 times per week) is a 32-mile round trip with a change of 456 feet of elevation each way. One stretch of that is on a highway with a 60 MPH speed limit, and I'm only on there for about four miles. Everything else is 25-50 MPH.

6-7 times per year I'd haul a longboard on a longer 60 MPH drive (over to Kailua or Kaneohe) with an 18-mile stretch (each way) on H-3.

I guess it's a contrast between the 2014's 11-bar cigar-butt battery (good for a few more years of puffs) and a long-term investment in the 2017's 30 KWHr battery (as long as the car's air conditioner doesn't start leaking refrigerant). The $5000 savings for the 2014 might not be worth the hassle with the battery life.

Either Leaf will be our cheapest driving experience of our last 40 years because we're not dealing with fuel costs or maintaining an internal combustion engine.
.
2015 model S, bought in January 2019.
2017 model S, bought in July 2019.

SageBrush
Posts: 4717
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Re: Our search for a second Leaf.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:02 pm

60 mph does not sound fast but I have no idea what the Cd of the car is with boards on the roof.

OP ? Can you share consumption data ?
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
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2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 12958
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Our search for a second Leaf.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:28 pm

Is there an issue with leaking refrigerant in the later Leafs? Unless the 2017 is an S, it uses a sealed electric heat pump, and they seem very reliable. So do the A/C units on the S, for that matter. I'd say that unless the 2017 has a clearly bad pack, negotiate for that. Even it is down one bar with no update, it will give you more range.
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.

Nords
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:03 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Jan 2019
Leaf Number: 302408
Location: Oahu, Hawaii.

Re: Our search for a second Leaf.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:32 pm

SageBrush wrote:60 mph does not sound fast but I have no idea what the Cd of the car is with boards on the roof.

OP ? Can you share consumption data ?
I don't have any experience with hauling longboards on top of a Leaf. I'm doing it on a Prius, and I know how to handle the rack and the longboards on a Leaf, but I've never done it on a Leaf and I don't have any data.

When I have the Thule rack (without longboards) on the roof of a Prius, there's a very slight reduction in MPG... maybe 5% at the most. Of course with longboards stacked on the Prius' roof rack then I'd have more drag, but I've never tracked that data.
LeftieBiker wrote:Is there an issue with leaking refrigerant in the later Leafs? Unless the 2017 is an S, it uses a sealed electric heat pump, and they seem very reliable. So do the A/C units on the S, for that matter. I'd say that unless the 2017 has a clearly bad pack, negotiate for that. Even it is down one bar with no update, it will give you more range.
This is good to read, because if there was an issue with older Leaf A/C systems then we'd be starting to learn about it.

I've always had a refrigerant leak by the time that our air-conditioned cars were 10 years old, and I guess my A/C attitude has always been "when", not "if". If a 2014 Leaf developed an A/C leak in 2024, well, the battery was getting old anyway and we already had an extra $5000 growing in the car fund. But if Leafs have not shown any tendency toward A/C problems over the years then spending extra for a newer vehicle makes better sense... and it has the extra range.

We're waiting to hear back from the sellers with VINs (for CarFax reports) and to set up test drives.
.
2015 model S, bought in January 2019.
2017 model S, bought in July 2019.

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 12958
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Our search for a second Leaf.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:50 pm

There are occasional resistance (aka "PTC") heater failures, but they are mainly around 2013. It would still be wise to make sure the heat comes on almost instantly, and is hot. Make sure that the Master warning light at the top of the main dash screen isn't on, indicating stored trouble codes or an ongoing malfunction. The usual checks for flood damage (moldy smell, stained carpet, a "water line" in the car, or even water in the cargo area well that looks like it should hold a spare tire) apply to the Leaf as well. Just a wet passenger side front carpet may indicate a disconnected or leaking A/C condensate line. And of course the car should drive like new. If it feels loose or tracks oddly, suspect crash damage somewhere...
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.

Nords
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:03 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Jan 2019
Leaf Number: 302408
Location: Oahu, Hawaii.

Re: Our search for a second Leaf.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:33 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:There are occasional resistance (aka "PTC") heater failures, but they are mainly around 2013. It would still be wise to make sure the heat comes on almost instantly, and is hot.
I've read the owner's manual and the forum's threads about heaters, but would a heater failure cascade into any other part of the car's systems?

The reason I ask is because I can't remember the last time I turned on the heat in one of our cars here, and we're usually the last owners before the cars are towed away for parts. If I had to even turn on a windshield defroster, I'd have to pull off the road and hunt for it.

If a heating system broke and didn't threaten to catch fire then I wouldn't even miss it.
LeftieBiker wrote:Make sure that the Master warning light at the top of the main dash screen isn't on, indicating stored trouble codes or an ongoing malfunction. The usual checks for flood damage (moldy smell, stained carpet, a "water line" in the car, or even water in the cargo area well that looks like it should hold a spare tire) apply to the Leaf as well. Just a wet passenger side front carpet may indicate a disconnected or leaking A/C condensate line. And of course the car should drive like new. If it feels loose or tracks oddly, suspect crash damage somewhere...
Yep. Water damage is much more common here.

If I saw a Master warning light then I'd hope that LeafSpy would log the codes for further research... and for price negotiation.
.
2015 model S, bought in January 2019.
2017 model S, bought in July 2019.

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 12958
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Our search for a second Leaf.

Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:06 pm

I've read the owner's manual and the forum's threads about heaters, but would a heater failure cascade into any other part of the car's systems?
Not generally. You might get a blown high voltage fuse from a shorted heater, but I can't recall any cascading failures, just some appear to be that but aren't, from a weak 12 volt battery...
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.

Nords
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:03 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Jan 2019
Leaf Number: 302408
Location: Oahu, Hawaii.

Re: Our search for a second Leaf.

Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:36 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:
I've read the owner's manual and the forum's threads about heaters, but would a heater failure cascade into any other part of the car's systems?
Not generally. You might get a blown high voltage fuse from a shorted heater, but I can't recall any cascading failures, just some appear to be that but aren't, from a weak 12 volt battery...
Thanks. I've been watching the 12v battery in our 2015 Leaf to see whether it'll start causing trouble after its fourth birthday, but it seems to be much better behaved than a Prius 12v battery.

-----------

Our search for a second Leaf might take a little longer than we thought. There’s not a screaming hurry but we hope to find one in the next 3-4 weeks.

The 2014 sold while we were asking about it. That’s as old a model as we’re willing to consider, and we’ll keep an eye on the ads for another chance. On this island of 1M people it’d probably be difficult to find another 2014 with high battery capacity and low mileage.

The 2017 has a clear CarFax report on its VIN, but I noticed that the dashboard photo shows only 11 bars on the battery instead of 12. It could be a situation like this thread:
https://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?t=27539
I don’t know if LeafSpy would show the actual capacity (without the car’s BMS software update).

The seller turns out to be the second owner, and he’s let the registration and safety inspection lapse. He bought it in February 2019 at 10K miles and then put another 2500 miles on it, but he never renewed the April registration or did the May safety inspection. He says he’s a space cadet and he’ll take care of it. He's moving off island soon and I hope that means he'll follow up.

Once he has the car street-legal for a test drive then we’ll look at LeafSpy and whatever records the first owner had.
.
2015 model S, bought in January 2019.
2017 model S, bought in July 2019.

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