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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
Looking to buy a second hand 2018 Leaf and found this forum really useful - thanks to everyone who contributes!
I've recently test driven a Leaf for the first time and heard a metallic 'clunk' when starting, or when gently going on/off the power in D/B. (Worse in B.)
I found this forum and have read the posts from people with similar issues.

Since any car I could afford would be outside the Nissan 3-year mechanical warranty period, I'm now very nervous about buying and facing a driveshaft/CV joint/Hub replacement (opinions seem to differ) if this becomes a problem.

Does anyone have any updates on how effective the "pack it with grease and re-torque" fix is in the longer term?
I would be using the car for commuting during the week (+ family trips at the weekends) and it may rack up about 15K miles a year.
If the worst came to the worst, has anyone ever had a quote for driveshaft replacement outside of warranty?

I've seen the Nissan TSB reference posted, but haven't been able to find the TSB itself on the internet. I'm thinking this would be really useful to be able to print off and carry around to any dealers as backup. Anyone managed to find it?

Thanks.
 

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There is a very gentle clunk on the Leaf, which I take to be electrical contactors which clunk in and out at times, usually related to applying power or releasing it. I've heard it at times on each Leaf that I've owned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would have expected the switching in the drivetrain to be solid-state rather than electro-mechanical (but I'm no EV designer, so could be wrong).

There seems to be a fair amount of evidence on this forum (and elsewhere) that there is something going on with the driveshafts/CV joints/hubs. Maybe it doesn't affect all cars, but if there is some potential problem it would be good to understand how effective the fix is and how much it might cost me outside of warranty.
 

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There is a very gentle clunk on the Leaf, which I take to be electrical contactors which clunk in and out at times, usually related to applying power or releasing it. I've heard it at times on each Leaf that I've owned.
The contactors just switch the traction battery in and out when the car is started up or shut down.
The play zero part in application of torque or differing levels of torque. So what you are hearing when applying " power" must be something else.
 

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The clicking noise is the drive shaft, where the drive shaft engages with the drive motor. At the end of the drive shaft, there are splines that slot into the drive motor, these splines can develop metal to metal contact, which causes the clicking noise. To guard against this, the splines are packed with grease, unfortunately for some unknown reason, there has been a production quality problem where the splines have been packed with the wrong type of grease,

There is a NISSAN Engineering bulletin to fix this problem, under warranty, the procedure is to remove the drive shafts and re-grease the splines using a silicone based grease and reassemble.

I had this problem on my April 2018 40Kwh 2.zero - 12 months in and 11K miles a clicking noise started - this happened when accelerating and either braking or just lifting off. The reverse inertia cause the clicking noise, it was worse when driving in "B" mode or with "E-Pedal" engaged.

The dealer performed the above mentioned procedure, which took about 2 hours to complete, this was totally successful and the clicking noise never returned and was a satisfactory conclusion. I traded the 2.Zero in at 2 years and 24K miles to upgrade to a 62Kwh and bless me, 4 months in and 4K miles I had exactly the same problem again. The resulting fix has been again totally satisfactory, and my 62Kwh is currently running super smooth and quiet.

It is a quality problem that only effects a small number of vehicles, that will show up in the first 2 years, and be permanently fixed under warranty.

Out of warranty, in the unlikely event it should occur, then it is just 2 hour labour and a container of grease, so £200 or there about. So not really a showstopper in purchasing a second hand vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gosport Dave, thanks for the detailed reply.

I saw your original post with the bulletin reference but haven't been able to find the full bulletin anywhere. At least I can quote the refence number you provided.
What was worrying me was that some people seem to have reported having drive shafts replaced. I guess if it is just due to the repeated torque reversal (and incorrect grease) then if it is caught early enough, there should be minimal wear on the splines. If it is left unfixed and the original grease is expelled from the splines then I guess wear must become more severe.

At least it looks like if I can find a car that has been re-greased or where the noise hasn't started yet then, like you say, the cost of fixing it doesn't seem too bad next to the cost of the car itself.
 
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