2013LeafPDX
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2022 6:04 pm
Delivery Date: 24 Sep 2022

Please help 2013 LEAF

Hello,

I am new to the forum so thank you in advance for any help I truly appreciate it. :)

I have a 2013 LEAF with 50,000 miles on it I bought it used during COVID and hardly drove it. I drove it a lot this past summer and use the AC. My car was recently in tbhe body shop to fix the back bumper that I dinged and made a crack.

When I got it out of the body shop I noticed a white powder residue in the car that was in the air vents in the front dash I also started noticing that the car was making a noise when driving or accelerating but not when I stopped or was idle. The noise was getting louder and I brought it back to the body shop they said it was not due to them. I brought it to a mechanic that specializes in EV cars.

They wrote this:

"I verified the noise during a test drive. I raised the vehicle and found that the noise is not coming from any of the wheels, but rather from the tranaxle assembly. I removed the fill plug to check the fluid level. The fluid was full, but in poor condition. Also, the fill plug has a magnet on the end, which was covered in metal from the inside of transmission. This metal is from whatever part inside failed. Recommend replacing the transaxle assembly."

Pics from mechanic here of the fill plug:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/gQ8ZzfxiwnJ9e1sP6

The mechanic said this is very rare to see this -
the price he quoted is thousands $$$$ - way more then I have and that was with used parts.
#zoinks :(

Now as I research this forum I'm thinking maybe the fluid needs to be drained or there's another option???
I have never did any fluid maintenance in the few years I had the car.

This is my only car, I am not handy. The only other shop in town can't even look at it till Oct. 22. Any ideas please?
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE !!!
goldbrick
Posts: 2074
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 311806
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Please help 2013 LEAF

I agree you probably need a new transaxle. Those metal shards are a bad sign and indicate something is wrong.

But.....several thousand $ is too high IMHO. You can probably find a used transaxle for much less and as far as I know, it's not a hard job to replace one. Ask your mechanic if his price is for a new or used unit. The transaxles do not fail often on Leafs so there should be an ample supply of them from Leafs that were crashed. Some mechanics will not work on used parts. In that case, I would shop around.

I doubt the car will leave you stranded but pay attention to the noise to see if it gets worse. I'd try to get this fixed soon but I would guess you can still drive it for weeks or months before it fails completely.
2013LeafPDX
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2022 6:04 pm
Delivery Date: 24 Sep 2022

Re: Please help 2013 LEAF

goldbrick wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 8:09 pm I agree you probably need a new transaxle. Those metal shards are a bad sign and indicate something is wrong.

But.....several thousand $ is too high IMHO. You can probably find a used transaxle for much less and as far as I know, it's not a hard job to replace one. Ask your mechanic if his price is for a new or used unit. The transaxles do not fail often on Leafs so there should be an ample supply of them from Leafs that were crashed. Some mechanics will not work on used parts. In that case, I would shop around.

I doubt the car will leave you stranded but pay attention to the noise to see if it gets worse. I'd try to get this fixed soon but I would guess you can still drive it for weeks or months before it fails completely.
Thank you - yes the quote was $3000 and that was with them using USED parts.
Do you think it would help to change my gear reduction oil in the interim?
Thank you again :)
alozzy
Posts: 2615
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: Please help 2013 LEAF

Changing the reduction gear oil is a pretty simple job that any competent mechanic could figure out. If they want more than $150 to do that, then shop around. It's very unlikely to cure the noises, but it should help reduce any further damage.

The correct part number should be 32010-3NF0B, I found several matches on eBay for under $1000 USD, incl shipping. You could also check with wreckers in your area...

Did the mechanic break down the parts and labor costs for the $3000 quote? Based on the used price I found, $2000 labor is way too much. That job shouldn't take more than 2 hours for an honest, competent mechanic...

If it was me, I would buy the part myself on eBay and then find a mechanic who will charge less than $400 to install it.
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
1-1/4" Curt #11396 hitch
After market, DIY LED DRLs
LeafSpy Pro + Konnwei KW902 ELM327 BT OBDII dongle
Loving my first BEV :D
alozzy
Posts: 2615
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: Please help 2013 LEAF

To be honest, I would DIY the whole thing as it's really not that challenging, but I realize that's not for everyone.
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
1-1/4" Curt #11396 hitch
After market, DIY LED DRLs
LeafSpy Pro + Konnwei KW902 ELM327 BT OBDII dongle
Loving my first BEV :D
2013LeafPDX
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2022 6:04 pm
Delivery Date: 24 Sep 2022

Re: Please help 2013 LEAF

alozzy wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 11:27 pm Changing the reduction gear oil is a pretty simple job that any competent mechanic could figure out. If they want more than $150 to do that, then shop around. It's very unlikely to cure the noises, but it should help reduce any further damage.

The correct part number should be 32010-3NF0B, I found several matches on eBay for under $1000 USD, incl shipping. You could also check with wreckers in your area...

Did the mechanic break down the parts and labor costs for the $3000 quote? Based on the used price I found, $2000 labor is way too much. That job shouldn't take more than 2 hours for an honest, competent mechanic...

If it was me, I would buy the part myself on eBay and then find a mechanic who will charge less than $400 to install it.
@Alozzy -
Thank you yes they said it would cost $1300 in labor. It's crazy here in Portland OR there's only two shops - the one I went to & the other one that I can't een get it checked out till Oct 22! Hey your not too far ... you ever come down to Portland ... I'll pay ya to fix it!!! :)
alozzy
Posts: 2615
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: Please help 2013 LEAF

Road trip!! I would actually love to visit Portland, it's been too long. Unfortunately, I don't have the time just now.

Honestly, this isn't a job that requires an EV specialist. I would seek out a quote from an independent, competent mechanic. This isn't really much different than swapping out a transaxle on a 4x4.
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
1-1/4" Curt #11396 hitch
After market, DIY LED DRLs
LeafSpy Pro + Konnwei KW902 ELM327 BT OBDII dongle
Loving my first BEV :D
goldbrick
Posts: 2074
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 311806
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Please help 2013 LEAF

^ +1
GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 3701
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Please help 2013 LEAF

I highly doubt that you need a new reduction gear assembly. It is normal for the magnetic drain/fill plugs to collect a lot of fine metal particles over time (especially when the car is new) so they would look scary at 50,000 miles if the fluid has not been changed before. I have attached a photograph showing the drain/fill plugs when I changed the fluid in my 2015 at about 60,000 miles and another showing the difference between the old and new fluid (obviously, the bright red is the new fluid). I will be changing the fluid in my 2019 soon because I have 54,000 miles on it now.

The white residue from the air vents is probably from the body shop. I suggest that you take the car out on the highway and drive a few miles with the windows partially open and the HVAC blower on high speed with the control set for fresh air (not recirculate). Switch between defrost, dash vents, and floor vents (run a few minutes in each mode). That should clear most of the residue from the air vents. It would be a good idea to replace the cabin air filter after this exercise.

I recommend that you have the reduction gear fluid changed (proper fluid is Nissan Matic S which is a synthetic automatic transmission fluid), rotate the tires, and make sure they are not underinflated before considering replacement of expensive parts. My experience is that the tires get noisy if not rotated every 5,000 miles so make sure tires are not causing the noise you hear.

Edited to add: I am sorry that I cannot attach the photos.
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 Plus purchased 8/10/2019
LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 19888
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Please help 2013 LEAF

I agree with Gerry. Unless there are actual large shards of metal in the oil, and the assembly makes a grinding sound when turning, it is probably still usable. It likely just needs the proper lubricant, in the correct amount. It's certainly worth gambling the $100 or so to have that done, and quite possibly saving thousands of dollars.
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