Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the probably slightly odd position of having recently acquired an Ampera (2012 Electron) that has not seen the inside of a Vauxhall dealer since the day it was sold. This in itself it not particularly alarming as the only previous owner was Nissan's Technical Centre which purchased it for competitor product study and put just ~16.5k on the clock.

While I have confidence that the car was well looked after by Nissan (MOT'd every year, no advisories) and had been serviced to some degree, as evidenced by the 93% oil life indicator, I have no detailed service records. As such, I am looking to take it to an Ampera-friendly dealer who can look it over. However, I understand that finding the right one is now a challenge and depends on what the service items are.

My primary concern is coolant for the ICE, battery, etc. as I gather they all use DEXCOOL which has a 5-year service life. Is it possible to sample the coolant that is in the vehicle and test its condition?

Are there any other secondary aspects which I should be having checked out on a car that is essentially as it left the factory 8 years ago (wear items, e.g. tyres, excluded)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,020 Posts
Sounds like a good one, light use and cared for.
The coolants are not hammered like in an ICE ie continuous heat cycling so they last. Battery coolant in the UK is nominally changed at 5 years though some dealers think this is the engine coolant! It needs a vacuum tool and a service program to operate the pumps and valves to avoid air bubbles.
If you can, take it to Bellingers in Wantage who would check it over.
Things to watch out for - this may have the original Michelins fitted. Check for cracking /deterioration of the rubber a known fault. (there are threads on this).
Check the wheels for lifting paint and corrosion.
As it was a sample it will probably have all the door buttons working, they are fragile and fail in use but these may be unused.
No Advisories suggests the brakes have been checked and kept clear of rust, a perennial problem with EV's with regeneration doing the work and the brakes unused.
As its not been used it will not have had a DIY radiator grill fitted, Please do this ASAP to prevent a stone causing an expensive repair. Plans in the classifieds, search under @HandyAndy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,383 Posts
If the door buttons are broken, buy my repair kit on eBay. Far cheaper than new handles from dealer, and a far better quality switch goes inside. Easy diy job, no panels off the door to cause hassle. Ditto if the boot clips are snapped where the trampoline tugs on them! GM carefully removed plastic from the leg that's under pressure, to save 0.000000001$ per clip. I sell a cheap & strong replacement item made properly by me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Sounds like a good one, light use and cared for.
The coolants are not hammered like in an ICE ie continuous heat cycling so they last. Battery coolant in the UK is nominally changed at 5 years though some dealers think this is the engine coolant! It needs a vacuum tool and a service program to operate the pumps and valves to avoid air bubbles.
If you can, take it to Bellingers in Wantage who would check it over.
Things to watch out for - this may have the original Michelins fitted. Check for cracking /deterioration of the rubber a known fault. (there are threads on this).
Check the wheels for lifting paint and corrosion.
As it was a sample it will probably have all the door buttons working, they are fragile and fail in use but these may be unused.
No Advisories suggests the brakes have been checked and kept clear of rust, a perennial problem with EV's with regeneration doing the work and the brakes unused.
As its not been used it will not have had a DIY radiator grill fitted, Please do this ASAP to prevent a stone causing an expensive repair. Plans in the classifieds, search under @HandyAndy
Cheers @Spiny, having read the service thread I was guessing that the answer might involve a trip to Wantage. Not really a problem, but frustrating given that I live around the corner from Thurlow Nunn in MK, though they don't seem interested in responding to my enquiries...

When I went to see the car it had OEM-spec Michelins on it that were practically unworn, but starting to craze. Date codes showed 2015 so Nissan had like-for-like ones put on at some point, a detail that I was surprised at! Regardless, I struck a deal to have them replaced with new Goodyear Efficient Grip XL rubber at purchase.

Already seen Andy's thread and cut myself some mesh guards, will install next weekend.

You can buy test strips for coolant, not sure if they work with DEXCOOL
Good thinking @black_amp - looks like these would do the trick, now to find out if there's a UK supplier...

Does anyone know if the coolant reservoirs are readily accessible for a DIY check? Given how complex the coolant drain process seems I'd be keen not to open the wrong cap and get stuck in an undrivable (or unadvisable) state if the nearest hope of repair is 50 miles away!

If the door buttons are broken, buy my repair kit on eBay. Far cheaper than new handles from dealer, and a far better quality switch goes inside. Easy diy job, no panels off the door to cause hassle. Ditto if the boot clips are snapped where the trampoline tugs on them! GM carefully removed plastic from the leg that's under pressure, to save 0.000000001$ per clip. I sell a cheap & strong replacement item made properly by me!
As it happens @HandyAndy, about the only thing inoperable is the passenger door button and I ordered a kit from you a couple of days after picking up the car. Just need to actually get around to fitting it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,020 Posts
TN in Luton used to do mine until the need for the battery coolant when they quoted changing the ice coolant then on questioning discovered the vacuum gadget needed was bust. I booked it in at Bellingers at that point. TN were fine at counting the wheels, filling the screen wash and changing the oil.
Hopefully MK are better.

Do join the service club and save a few bob at Bellingers.
If no one has mentioned it check the 12 Volt battery age and change if over 4or5 years, this will save a lot of grief over the next few years!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hopefully MK are better.

Do join the service club and save a few bob at Bellingers.
We'll see - if they ever respond... Made sure to join already, I can put that 25% to much better use!

If no one has mentioned it check the 12 Volt battery age and change if over 4or5 years, this will save a lot of grief over the next few years!
I did get a couple of Steering Column warnings early on so took the precaution of renewing the fuse and swapping the battery for a Yuasa one. Not the original AC Delco in there, so Nissan must've changed it at some point too. Regardless, it tested at ~60% health so replacement was sensible anyway.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top