ttiggus
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:47 am
Delivery Date: 21 Sep 2019

2012 Leaf looks like a bargain... but I'm suspicious. What do you think?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:43 am

Good day good people.

I've been in the market for a Leaf as a second car for about 6 months with an upper budget of 10k USD equivalent.
An advert pops up from a local second hand car dealer with this 2012 Leaf with only 4500 km on the odometer and 12 bars of battery life.... all for the rough equivalent price of 8500 USD.

There was a photo of the dash that confirmed the odometer reading. Only 4506 km, They hadn't missed a zero off when they wrote the Ad. There was a trip counter visible that showed 941.1 kms

I've tried to include a link to the Ad but, being a newbe to the forum I may have messed up.

https://www.goo-net.com/usedcar/spread/ ... 06001.html

... and I'm in Sendai, Japan so you may have to run the page through Google translate.... but you can still see the photos....

The advert following this one was for a 2012 Leaf with 67000 KM, 10 bars of battery life for 8700 USD

so the questions:-

Can the dash be manipulated to look this way through software?
If the seller allowed the car to be taken to a Nissan dealership would the dealership be able to spot any manipulation?
Is there any other factor that could cause the price to be this low for a low mileage Leaf
Any other thoughts or advice?

Thanks.

Mike.

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 13263
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: 2012 Leaf looks like a bargain... but I'm suspicious. What do you think?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:55 am

Yes, it is possible to manipulate the car to falsely show 12 capacity bars. The Battery Management System (BMS) can be reset, and when this is done it has to 're-learn' the car's actual capacity, which can take weeks or even months. It may be possible for a Nissan dealer to determine this with their Consult diagnostic equipment, but I'm not sure; I can't think of an example of this actually happening, offhand. Your best bet is to range test the car: with it fully charged, drive X number of kilometers and note how much charge has been used. The problem here is that the 2012 doesn't have a State of charge (SOC) display, and the "fuel bars" are not accurate, so the only accurate range test done like this would be to the first or second Low Battery warning. Do you have any knowledge of the LeafSpy app?
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.

danrjones
Posts: 369
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:02 am
Delivery Date: 17 Jun 2019
Location: Ridgecrest, CA

Re: 2012 Leaf looks like a bargain... but I'm suspicious. What do you think?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:58 am

what are prices in Japan like?

It may not have many miles but that seems expensive given its an older model. Carmax, which is certainly not the cheapest, has 2015's in the 15k-30k miles range for about $10k-$11k US

But maybe in Japan they are more expensive?
2018 Leaf SV Pearl White with Tech and All Weather, Purchased New on 5/3/19

ttiggus
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:47 am
Delivery Date: 21 Sep 2019

Re: 2012 Leaf looks like a bargain... but I'm suspicious. What do you think?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:51 pm

Thanks for the replies.

@danrjones Yes, the prices tend to be higher than you mentioned. The local prefecture has 2.6 million people living in it and the used car search engine brought up only 6 cars that are inside my budget. All of which are 2012 and older. If this car is genuine, I don't want my natural skepticism to get in the way of a bargain..... But....... If it looks too good to be true.........

@LeftieBiker I have read some writeups and watched a couple of YouTube tutorials on leafspy and am seriously thinking of getting it. I wonder if an odometer change would show up? I can sort of understand that the BMS may have been reset and legally there is not much to be done about that but tampering with the odometer...I think that might be illegal. I'll have to look into that a bit more.
I'm going to have a look at the car later today so I guess I'll have to look to see if the general signs of wear look consistent with the mileage claimed. The brake pads should be just about new at 4500 km shouldn't they?

.... The mixture of excitement at a potential bargain and fear of being duped..... Which wouldn't be the first time....

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 13263
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: 2012 Leaf looks like a bargain... but I'm suspicious. What do you think?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:48 pm

The brake pads should at least be very good. The latest version of LeafSpy Pro gives an accurate odometer reading, but if that can be changed electronically, then it might read wrong even then.
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.

ttiggus
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:47 am
Delivery Date: 21 Sep 2019

Re: 2012 Leaf looks like a bargain... but I'm suspicious. What do you think?

Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:00 pm

An update for anyone interested. I am now the proud owner of the aforementioned Leaf and so far I'm very happy with it. The most troublesome part so far was the 2 weeks of Japanese bureaucracy before I could get the car home. The upside of this is that the garage I bought the car from were offering a 6 month warranty but had no experience with electric vehicles. Fortunately they are 25 meters from a Nissan dealership so they had the car checked out (at their cost) and it came back all good. The 12 bars of battery life are genuine.

It does look like the BMS has been reset as the number of charges shown on leaf Spy are about 200 lower than necessary to cover the distance on the odometer. All of the other stats are pretty good.

I'm thinking this may be a bargain after all. I have certainly enjoyed the 450km I drove in a it last week.

GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 2266
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: 2012 Leaf looks like a bargain... but I'm suspicious. What do you think?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:02 pm

A BMS (Nissan calls it the lithium battery controller or LBC) reset does not reset the charge counts. How many kilometers on the odometer? What are the charge counts? If the car has 4500 km and was driven under ideal conditions it could have as few as 45 charge cycles (100 km per charge), maybe even a few less. Using charge timers, climate control timers, and using CarWings (now called EV connect) to start climate control while plugged in will increase charge counts.

Enjoy your car!
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015; traded 8/10/2019 at 82,436 miles
White LEAF 2019 SL+ purchased 8/10/2019

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