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Discussion Starter #1
My 2011 Leaf has been going fine with 10 bars for nearly 2 years now. It's been on the drive plugged in while I've been self-isolating, and I went out to check it - the battery is completely flat. I'd love some idea of how to fix it.
If you can help, thank you!
 

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Which battery? I assume that you mean the 12 volt? If so, you need to either get a jump start from another vehicle or charge it from a normal 12v car battery charger.
This is a standard issue on the Gen1 LEAF if left plugged in to charge the traction battery as the J1772 protocol requires the car to signal its need for charge. The Gen2 cars suffer less as they have a function to recharge the 12v from the traction battery when it gets low.
I'd suggest that you also read about leaving the traction battery between 40 and 60% when left for a period.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I will only show my total ignorance of cars if I say I have no idea, but I'm hoping now that it's the 12 volt! I have no charger, but do have breakdown insurance, so that might sort it out.,
Thank you.
 

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If it's the 12v, your interior light, dashboard etc won't come to life when you open a door, unlock, start etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yep, all of that. That's a relief, thank you so much. I watched some YouTubes about it, and they involved having a lot of kit.
 

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A basic battery maintainer is not expensive and can be bought from Amazon for around £15.
 

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If you happen to have a local Aldi they have an excellent battery charger/conditioner on offer at the moment. Clearly if you need to continue to self isolate or make a special journey to get it then it might not be an appropriate suggestion.
Auto XS Car Battery Charger
 

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Many EV drivers carry one of these jump start battery banks around all the time as the dreaded 12v battery issue can crop up without notice. A five minute session with one clipped onto the battery can get you back on the road. There are many such devices out there. This is just one example.

 

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Many EV drivers carry one of these jump start battery banks around all the time as the dreaded 12v battery issue can crop up without notice. A five minute session with one clipped onto the battery can get you back on the road. There are many such devices out there. This is just one example.

Have you tried one of these on an EV specifically?

I didn’t have much joy with it on the Tesla, as these seem to be designed to provide a short, high amp jolt of power for starter systems. It didn’t seem to provide a continuous charge that I needed to get the Tesla going.
 

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Have you tried one of these on an EV specifically?
No. But I have read of people using them to add enough charge to operate the relays needed to 'start' an EV. And this is the first time I have heard of one failing with a Tesla. I suppose that the attraction is that they can be used anywhere - much like an ordinary jump start using a second car. And could get you out of trouble without needing a mains supply to run a normal 12v DC charger.

I had 12v problems four years ago with an early Leaf but after using a 'smart' charger once a month as part of routine preventative maintenance the 12v battery went on to give reliable service. The key is to use a smart charger that conditions and balances cells when left in place overnight. A dumb charger doesn't do that and may not solve the problem long term.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Battery charger ordered, and my breakdown insurance will get me to a garage if it doesn't work. Thanks everyone for your help. I'm glad I don't have to go out at the moment.
 

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Battery charger ordered, and my breakdown insurance will get me to a garage if it doesn't work. Thanks everyone for your help. I'm glad I don't have to go out at the moment.
Note that you battery may be on its way out, so even if it does come back to life it might be worth investing in a replacement.

Otherwise it might let you down at the wrong time.

How old do you think it is?
 

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  1. No. But I have read of people using them to add enough charge to operate the relays needed to 'start' an EV. And this is the first time I have heard of one failing with a Tesla. I suppose that the attraction is that they can be used anywhere - much like an ordinary jump start using a second car. And could get you out of trouble without needing a mains supply to run a normal 12v DC charger.

    I had 12v problems four years ago with an early Leaf but after using a 'smart' charger once a month as part of routine preventative maintenance the 12v battery went on to give reliable service. The key is to use a smart charger that conditions and balances cells when left in place overnight. A dumb charger doesn't do that and may not solve the problem long term.

Not sure there is such a thing as a 12v smart charger that "balances" the cells, at least not for 12v lead acid batteries.
 

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Agreed, as normally they are connected across the battery and not the individual cells. They do normally have de-sulphating routines that improve the battery health.
Batteries normally have a production date on them.
 

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Not sure there is such a thing as a 12v smart charger that "balances" the cells, at least not for 12v lead acid batteries.
Yes. I was confusing balancing with floating. The point is that a basic charger or trickle charger will not be suitable for other than a supervised session. This site explains the importance of investing in a smart charger that analyses the state of the battery and operates in three phases and conditions it as well as imparting that important float session and then going on standby without overcharging and causing damage. Used regularly overnight, whether it seemed to need it or not, I have had no further issues with my 12v DC battery for many years.

 

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I agree with the above, but would point out that the onboard charger in the Gen1 LEAF does not have these features, it's a very basic charger. Hence you need to use a conditioner as recommended above ideally at least once a month.
 

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Someone on another forum was having 12v discharging problems with a hybrid, and he discovered that the keyless start system was remaining active because he kept his keys indoors but too close to the car. As soon as he used an RFID pouch for them his battery problems disappeared.
 
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