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My beloved Leaf is applying ABS/traction control (skiddy car light comes on) when it gets above 30mph- it pulsates and pulls slightly to the left.

Story so far for those interested and who may be able to suggest something or have had the same issue. My (new) garage cant find the issue after several days of tests etc so have suggested we take it to Nissan to look into it. I didnt take it to Nissan originally as it is a fair distance away and it didnt feel safe to drive.

Story so far.....
* Blowout at 65mph on motorway to passenger front. Taken by RAC to nearest garage open at that time on a Sunday. They put on a spare tyre. No issues driving to garage several miles away. Replaced tyre and as per suggestion, driver front tyre also replaced. Suggested tracking and return next day. Prior to this I've never had any issues with it.
*returned next day for tracking. Stated it was -16 out. Left garage and with in 500 yards light and pulsating came on briefly- put this down to me taking a wet corner too fast. It continues to do this so returned to garage that completed tracking and they said due to tracking so far out, ABS needed resetting via computer at a proper garage. So took to local garage (going for years, but now new owners) who used a handheld computer, but didnt work.
*booked car in with our usual garage as MOT needed and wanted the pulling to right on acceleration and traction/ABS issue checking. MOT done and failed on driver side suspension joint. This was replaced and MOT passed. Collected car and straight away it did the same issue as before. Booked back in again and told this time it was because of tracking which needed doing again. Tracking done by a tyre place, who were concerned and said it needed looking at.
*went to a recommended garage for a second opinion. He test drove and did a through inspection stating that the passenger suspension joint had gone, wishbone and track rods. He replaced all of these and re did tracking on all 4 tyres. This solved the pulling to the right on acceleration issue.
*Traction/ABS still coming on at 30 mph and car pulsates and pulls to the left. He has had it in again done visual etc and taken it out with the computer to test the speeds etc, but just cant find what is causing it. He suggested to take to Nissan to see if they have had this before or have better systems for diagnosing.

All tyres are the same size, at the right pressure etc as ones replaced.

Any ideas or similar experiences. It has been issue free for almost 4 years and so far I'm over £700 in with no answer and lost all confidence driving my beloved car.
 

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Tracking / alignment being out will not cause false triggering of the traction control or ABS, so whoever said that was talking piffle.

You say the tyres are the same size, but are they the same brand ? I presume only the front left tyre was replaced - a different brand/type of tyre in the "same" size can often have significantly different rolling radius, enough to upset traction control / ABS. (Also different load ratings in the same size affect how much a tyre deflects under load and therefore alters the rolling radius)

Also the replacement tyre will be new with new tread depth, how does the tread depth compare on the remaining tyres ? Even a large difference in tread depth on the same kind of tyre can cause ABS/Traction control to trigger falsely as tread wear affects the rolling radius. Traction control and ABS trigger when discrepancies are detected in the rotational speed of the wheels outside of what would be expected from steering angle.

When I first got my Peugeot Ion the front left tyre was at about 1/4 tread depth, front right at about 1/2 tread depth (one replaced due to a puncture I presume) and when I put new tyres on the rear (increasing the discrepancy between front and rear) the traction control system started acting up similar to what you describe, falsely triggering when I took slight bends under acceleration. It was not until I replaced the mismatched tyres at the front that the problem went away.

So even a big difference in tread wear between different tyres (especially on the same axle) can cause problems.

If you search the forum you'll find that Kona's are also very sensitive to mismatched tyres on the same axle, to the degree that finding the closest match to the tyres that came on the car (which aren't available in the UK!) still causes issues, so owners have had to replace both tyres on the same axle when one was punctured to get a closer match.

One other possibility is an intermittent wheel speed sensor/cable but that is unlikely on a relatively young car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi. Both front were replaced at the same time as the other was getting close. So both front are one brand and both rear are lower tread and of the same brand (different to the front brand). We did think right at the start it could be the tyres. We have tried switching the new front to the rear and the rear to the front and still had the same issue.

It was our usual garage that kept telling us to sort trackingbtonfox the pulling to right on acceleration and the ABS (we've been going for years, but was taken over after our last MOT by a SanJong franchise)- this was after the MOT. It was the gent at the more local tyre/tracking place (not the ones who replaced things) that said it was something more than tracking and to get it checked out, hence a new recommended local garage- it's the first EV hes had in (a VW specialist), but just cant see the issue with the comps/visual checks.
 

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We had a similar problem, turned out to be the yaw sensor. It was intermittent at first, and then fairly constant. Replaced the sensor and all was good.

Ask your Nissan garage to do a full diagnosis on the stability system.

just ease the pain... the sensor is about £450, but it cured the problem.
 

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Tracking / alignment being out will not cause false triggering of the traction control or ABS, so whoever said that was talking piffle.

You say the tyres are the same size, but are they the same brand ? I presume only the front left tyre was replaced - a different brand/type of tyre in the "same" size can often have significantly different rolling radius, enough to upset traction control / ABS. (Also different load ratings in the same size affect how much a tyre deflects under load and therefore alters the rolling radius)

Also the replacement tyre will be new with new tread depth, how does the tread depth compare on the remaining tyres ? Even a large difference in tread depth on the same kind of tyre can cause ABS/Traction control to trigger falsely as tread wear affects the rolling radius. Traction control and ABS trigger when discrepancies are detected in the rotational speed of the wheels outside of what would be expected from steering angle.

When I first got my Peugeot Ion the front left tyre was at about 1/4 tread depth, front right at about 1/2 tread depth (one replaced due to a puncture I presume) and when I put new tyres on the rear (increasing the discrepancy between front and rear) the traction control system started acting up similar to what you describe, falsely triggering when I took slight bends under acceleration. It was not until I replaced the mismatched tyres at the front that the problem went away.

So even a big difference in tread wear between different tyres (especially on the same axle) can cause problems.

If you search the forum you'll find that Kona's are also very sensitive to mismatched tyres on the same axle, to the degree that finding the closest match to the tyres that came on the car (which aren't available in the UK!) still causes issues, so owners have had to replace both tyres on the same axle when one was punctured to get a closer match.

One other possibility is an intermittent wheel speed sensor/cable but that is unlikely on a relatively young car.
I have four Continental EcoPlus Control Contact Tour A/S 205/55R16. Two made in Brazil, two in Mexico!
The Brazilians are:
0516, 1316
Were on rear, almost new tread depth.
Treadwear 800
Traction A
Temperature B
The Mexicans:
4417, 4517
Were on front, nearing replacement depth
Treadwear 800
Traction A
Temperature A
The RH tires have sidewall gouges matching the dings on the rims. Cord is not visible, so OK. RHF wouldn't pass your MOT. Both RH wheel covers recycled from a Scion. Beat the dents out of the steel wheels with a round lug wrench and a drilling hand sledgehammer. Aluminum wheels would have been trashed.
 

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My beloved Leaf is applying ABS/traction control (skiddy car light comes on) when it gets above 30mph- it pulsates and pulls slightly to the left.

Story so far for those interested and who may be able to suggest something or have had the same issue. My (new) garage cant find the issue after several days of tests etc so have suggested we take it to Nissan to look into it. I didnt take it to Nissan originally as it is a fair distance away and it didnt feel safe to drive.

Story so far.....
* Blowout at 65mph on motorway to passenger front. Taken by RAC to nearest garage open at that time on a Sunday. They put on a spare tyre. No issues driving to garage several miles away. Replaced tyre and as per suggestion, driver front tyre also replaced. Suggested tracking and return next day. Prior to this I've never had any issues with it.
*returned next day for tracking. Stated it was -16 out. Left garage and with in 500 yards light and pulsating came on briefly- put this down to me taking a wet corner too fast. It continues to do this so returned to garage that completed tracking and they said due to tracking so far out, ABS needed resetting via computer at a proper garage. So took to local garage (going for years, but now new owners) who used a handheld computer, but didnt work.
*booked car in with our usual garage as MOT needed and wanted the pulling to right on acceleration and traction/ABS issue checking. MOT done and failed on driver side suspension joint. This was replaced and MOT passed. Collected car and straight away it did the same issue as before. Booked back in again and told this time it was because of tracking which needed doing again. Tracking done by a tyre place, who were concerned and said it needed looking at.
*went to a recommended garage for a second opinion. He test drove and did a through inspection stating that the passenger suspension joint had gone, wishbone and track rods. He replaced all of these and re did tracking on all 4 tyres. This solved the pulling to the right on acceleration issue.
*Traction/ABS still coming on at 30 mph and car pulsates and pulls to the left. He has had it in again done visual etc and taken it out with the computer to test the speeds etc, but just cant find what is causing it. He suggested to take to Nissan to see if they have had this before or have better systems for diagnosing.

All tyres are the same size, at the right pressure etc as ones replaced.

Any ideas or similar experiences. It has been issue free for almost 4 years and so far I'm over £700 in with no answer and lost all confidence driving my beloved car.
Hi - was this resolved? I have a similar issue which I only noticed after having front wheel alignment done. I'm considering changing tyres. Also intend to inspect all the suspension bushes carefully for any play.
Would be really interested to know how/if this was resolved.
 

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Its very likely the stability control needing its "straight ahead" position re-calibrated if its only appeared after alignment. Theres an angle sensor in the wheel that feeds into the stability calculations.
 

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Its very likely the stability control needing its "straight ahead" position re-calibrated if its only appeared after alignment. Theres an angle sensor in the wheel that feeds into the stability calculations.
I don't know for certain what kind of steering wheel angle sensor the Leaf uses, (I do have the service manual though so I should dig in and have a look....) but most cars use self-calibrating sensors on the steering wheel.

They're basically an optical chopper sensor (two LED's shining through slots with a 90 degree phase offset) as used on a large variety of knobs on electronic equipment like volume controls on modern amplifiers which don't use potentiometers.

These kind of sensors can detect rotation speed and direction and relative rotation but have no reference for absolute position and can rotate infinitely in either direction. Any electronic equipment with a knob that can rotate infinitely in both directions is usually this kind of sensor.

The "calibration" is achieved by a software heuristic algorithm which takes advantage of the fact that cars spend the majority of their time driving exactly straight ahead and much less time travelling on smooth continuous bends.

So the algorithm is able to work out when the car is driving straight ahead based on the wheel position being held still for long periods of time while the car is in motion, this then gets calibrated as straight ahead and other displacements are relative to this calibration.

The actual algorithms used to do this are very clever (the service manual for my Xantia actually describes the algorithm in some detail) but they can occasionally be fooled for a short time due to "abnormal" driving or after the car is turned on and take a short time to re-calibrate themselves.

In short, there is no "calibration procedure" for these kind of steering wheel sensors. They calibrate themselves. If they get out of calibration often it means the sensor has a fault such as a misalignment of the LED or some other problem.

BTW Leafspy Pro (not sure about other versions) can show the steering wheel angle sensor output in degrees in realtime - might be worth a check if the OP has Leafspy.
 

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Thanks for all this info. I might try Leafspy pro, I already have a cheap Bluetooth dongle for the obd port..
I have noticed that since the wheel alignment garage put the steering back to where it was, the traction control kicks in a lot less frequently. I am also considering changing my tyres, the 2 rears are mismatched brands, the two at the front are Autogreen brand which are both fairly worn.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
 

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I don't know for certain what kind of steering wheel angle sensor the Leaf uses, (I do have the service manual though so I should dig in and have a look....) but most cars use self-calibrating sensors on the steering wheel.

They're basically an optical chopper sensor (two LED's shining through slots with a 90 degree phase offset) as used on a large variety of knobs on electronic equipment like volume controls on modern amplifiers which don't use potentiometers.

These kind of sensors can detect rotation speed and direction and relative rotation but have no reference for absolute position and can rotate infinitely in either direction. Any electronic equipment with a knob that can rotate infinitely in both directions is usually this kind of sensor.

The "calibration" is achieved by a software heuristic algorithm which takes advantage of the fact that cars spend the majority of their time driving exactly straight ahead and much less time travelling on smooth continuous bends.

So the algorithm is able to work out when the car is driving straight ahead based on the wheel position being held still for long periods of time while the car is in motion, this then gets calibrated as straight ahead and other displacements are relative to this calibration.

The actual algorithms used to do this are very clever (the service manual for my Xantia actually describes the algorithm in some detail) but they can occasionally be fooled for a short time due to "abnormal" driving or after the car is turned on and take a short time to re-calibrate themselves.

In short, there is no "calibration procedure" for these kind of steering wheel sensors. They calibrate themselves. If they get out of calibration often it means the sensor has a fault such as a misalignment of the LED or some other problem.

BTW Leafspy Pro (not sure about other versions) can show the steering wheel angle sensor output in degrees in realtime - might be worth a check if the OP has Leafspy.
Well i only know the VAG stuff in detail, but those know the exact position of the wheel relative to dead ahead, in degrees. There is a calibration setup that sets the "dead ahead" position. This usually only needs done if the angle sensor is changed. They cannot rotate infinitely in any direction, the slip ring has a locking pin to ensure it cant move when not attached to the car, and a centre flag to ensure its at the zero point before installation. Theres enough travel in the ring in either direction to track the exact steering position from lock to lock.

This is certainly the case with the older Bosch 5.3 and 5.7 ESP systems and also seems to be the case with Bosch 8.0.

As an additional point, the angle sensor on my mates BMW was also used to actuate the electric steering system. With it out of calibration after he'd changed a track rod it would actually fight you by applying a "centering" force to the wheel even though you were already driving straight ahead. You were literally fighting with the car to drive it straight. Eventually after a few miles it would realise theres a fault and bring on all the ESP warning lgihts and the centering force would go away. Once set up properly on the BMW service tool, it was fixed.
 

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Interestingly the problem has disappeared now the alignment is back where it originally was.
A good local garage has found some play in one of the lower wishbones so I'm having it changed. There is occasionally a slight knock from it over bumps so I think this might be contributing to the issue. Once done I might need the tracking doing again anyway.
I feel it's important to feedback on these sort of issues as someone else might have the same experience down the road. .

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