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Just started a new job and the second day I go out to the Leaf and as I click the remote the hazard lights flash in a slightly lethargic way, I get in and the car refuses to start with the sound of contactors not-quite engaging and falling back. My mind flashes back to the kerb deep puddle I drove through (very slowly) the previous evening shortly before highways closed the road due to flooding, had I got something wet that wasn't supposed to be?

I got the jump leads out and attached our ICE, the Leaf powers up but gives "T/M system malfunction visit dealer" when I try to put it in drive. G-u-l-p... OK stay calm, disconnect the battery and take it indoors to charge for the day. Ended up leaving it overnight and having replaced it in the car this morning everything powers up fine, no error messages and I'm able to drive the car without any problem.

The battery is an original Nissan branded unit and I can see no obvious date code on it. Assuming a 2014 Leaf has had the battery replaced probably in the first three years means this battery is potentially a couple of years old as I can't see this car being on its original battery (not with the lackadaisical charging that the Leaf is programmed to do). So it looks like its battery replacement time.

Has anyone replaced an old cranking lead acid with anything a little more sensible? I did consider swapping it for an AGM battery as these are a little more forgiving or perhaps building a Lithium Ion pack with a built in charge controller. In the meantime I may just make a pigtail that emerges in the charging bay so I have a place to connect a 12v trickle charger when the car is parked up.

Any thoughts?
 

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Over the years there have been numerous threads on this subject. ( Click the 3 dots top right and advanced search for " 12v battery" to bring them up. The glitch has evaded solution ever since the Leaf was launched. The only solution to maintain sanity is to buy a decent Smart Charger. Dumb ones don't solve the issue. Then place the battery on charge once a month for at least 24 hours when convenient so that it float charges. It should not be necessary but life is too short to stress over such a thing. And if that regime is continued the car will not let you down due to low voltage at an inconvenient time.
 

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Over the years there have been numerous threads on this subject. ( Click the 3 dots top right and advanced search for " 12v battery" to bring them up. The glitch has evaded solution ever since the Leaf was launched. The only solution to maintain sanity is to buy a decent Smart Charger. Dumb ones don't solve the issue. Then place the battery on charge once a month for at least 24 hours when convenient so that it float charges. It should not be necessary but life is too short to stress over such a thing. And if that regime is continued the car will not let you down due to low voltage at an inconvenient time.
Having looked at the premium for alternative batteries I can see why Nissan went for something they presumably buy for a pittance in bulk. I think I'll run a short 12v pigtail through to the charging socket compartment and add a 12v charger into the box where my 7kW charger lives, that way I can plug in and top up once a fortnight especially in Winter when lead acid batteries don't fare as well.
 

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Having looked at the premium for alternative batteries I can see why Nissan went for something they presumably buy for a pittance in bulk. I think I'll run a short 12v pigtail through to the charging socket compartment and add a 12v charger into the box where my 7kW charger lives, that way I can plug in and top up once a fortnight especially in Winter when lead acid batteries don't fare as well.
This isn't about the battery itself. There is a glitch in the Leaf system that randomly allows the 12v battery to get too low to 'start' the car. Of course, all batteries fail over time but that is a different issue completely. This problem of a Leaf refusing to start randomly can happen with a new battery too. Nissan specified a small cheap 12v battery because a more robust one was not necessary as it was not required to crank over a cold petrol/diesel engine. That decision in and of itself should not cause a problem. But for some undiscoverable reason, it does. However, the message appears to be that even if a hugely expensive battery had been fitted as original equipment the same problem would occur. This is a topping-up glitch - not a battery fail glitch.

Secondly, if you read the previous threads you will find entries from a forum member with extensive expertise in lead-acid batteries. He is consistent in advising against the use of a basic trickle charger to solve this issue. His advice is to use a more expensive 'smart' charger that analyses the condition of the battery and introduces a phased regime of charge together with a conditioning period over at least 24 hours. He assures us that such use once per month - whether the battery appears to be fine or not - will extend the life of the battery and eliminate the problems that the Leaf appears to suffer from.
 

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Whist that's all good and all, I cant be arsed to charge a battery over night, never mind for 24 hours. I will replace my 12v battery every 2 years or so. Even a 50 quid battery usually comes with a 3 year battery. The problem is whether it fails the newer battery tests to get a replacement.
 

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Whist that's all good and all, I cant be arsed to charge a battery over night, never mind for 24 hours. I will replace my 12v battery every 2 years or so. Even a 50 quid battery usually comes with a 3 year battery. The problem is whether it fails the newer battery tests to get a replacement.
Sorry but you are completely missing the point here. This Leaf issue is not a battery issue at all so you can be hit with a dead battery a few weeks after replacing what you 'think' was a duff battery. Leaving you stranded at an inconvenient time and place.

The problem is not the battery - but the charging regime that fails randomly within the Leaf's systems. The answer is to keep a very close eye on the battery state ( A new one, or 3 years old one). And the simplest way is to put it on a 'conditioning' charger on a regular basis. I ran into this problem in the first six months from a new car. After taking the advice of @donald and using a smart charger regularly the problem went away completely.

I accept that you can't be arsed. But that could leave you stranded unexpectedly. And replacing the £50 battery leave you stranded yet again at another random interval. It's your choice to accept advice from many others who have been there and bought the T-shirt. Or continue not being arsed.
 

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Sorry but you are completely missing the point here.
No I have not - I am fully aware of what the problem is, that's why I have a booster pack to get the car going when it goes flat. Eventually the battery will go bad, and I will (hopefully) get a free replacement. If you read my posts you will know I am no noob to the leaf - its faults and replacement batteries.
 

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No I have not - I am fully aware of what the problem is, that's why I have a booster pack to get the car going when it goes flat. Eventually the battery will go bad, and I will (hopefully) get a free replacement. If you read my posts you will know I am no noob to the leaf - its faults and replacement batteries.
OK - This seems to be a personal philosophy difference then.

I prefer to spend on a smart charger and invest in a few minutes monthly to ensure that the Leaf doesn't let me down at an inconvenient time. Job done.

You prefer to spend the same money on a booster pack and then invest a few minutes monthly to make sure that its always fully charged and available in the boot for when the car locks up on you - potentially in a dark carpark in the rain. And then you have to use the physical key to gain entry. Then drop the rear seats and climb into the boot to find the booster. Then open the hood and wire it in and keep your fingers crossed. Then visit a Nissan outlet to start negotiations to fit a replacement battery under warranty or part with another £50. Then go back a week later to complete that process.

I prefer my method. You prefer yours.
 

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No - I don't have to take the battery off the car for 24 hours. Its not a pissing contest you know. There is no right or wrong. Who cares ? Not me for sure !!
 

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No - I don't have to take the battery off the car for 24 hours. Its not a pissing contest you know. There is no right or wrong. Who cares ? Not me for sure !!
lol - who said anything about taking the battery off the car? If you are not able to run an extension to where the car is parked and lodge a smart charger under the bonnet overnight then I accept that this will be a problem. No need to get all edgy though. As you say, you have decided to wait to be stranded and then use the power bank and then fit a new battery. It's as good a strategy as any other. I just prefer a bit of preventative action to try to avoid being stranded in the first place is all. No right or wrong. No need to get arsy either.
 

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No - I don't have to take the battery off the car for 24 hours. Its not a pissing contest you know. There is no right or wrong.
Yeah, you are right there.

Oh, hang on.

No, Hitstirrer is right.

er..

Look, you have mislead yourself there so there's no real backing out over it. You said

.....Eventually the battery will go bad.....
the battery isn't going to go bad.

A battery that goes flat because of a defective charging system on a car hasn't gone bad. It's gone flat.
 

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Am still on the original battery fitted by the Sunderland factory sometime in early 2013. Had a time when the 'green ball' disappeared and a discharge test leaving the lights on showed a rapid drop in voltage, but before I got round to replacing the battery the 'green ball' reappeared - must make a note to open the bonnet and see if it is still visible.
 

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lol - who said anything about taking the battery off the car? If you are not able to run an extension to where the car is parked and lodge a smart charger under the bonnet overnight then I accept that this will be a problem.
Well done you have finally understood. Its more than that though, the time to do this - drop the negative off the car then put it all back wind up the extension, not to mention faffing with the window I had to leave open all night to power the charger...pain in the arse !!
all I need to do, is use the key, open the door - get the tiny Li-On booster pop the hood and start the car - the car then charges the battery. There is no dropping of any seats, the booster is quite small.

No need to get all edgy though. As you say, you have decided to wait to be stranded and then use the power bank and then fit a new battery. It's as good a strategy as any other. I just prefer a bit of preventative action to try to avoid being stranded in the first place is all. No right or wrong. No need to get arsy either.
I think was your holy than thou attitude that got to me on this occasion, you just jumped to conclusions.
 

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Yeah, you are right there.

Oh, hang on.

No, Hitstirrer is right.

er..

Look, you have mislead yourself there so there's no real backing out over it. You said


the battery isn't going to go bad.

A battery that goes flat because of a defective charging system on a car hasn't gone bad. It's gone flat.
No - the battery will go bad (eventually) by being discharged below 10.5 volts. Sure it will take a few hits but the result is inevitable. You of all the people on here should know that DOD is the lead acid battery killer ! I know the leaf undercharges the battery leading to sulphidation, but for some reason my car battery will drop to 7 volts which kills them, that's why they only seem to last 2 years. That's OK because If it fails the crank test at the shop, I get another one (provided I don't lose the receipt). I have not yet found the parasitic load.

You have never asked me how drained the battery becomes - just jumped right in there with assumptions.
 

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No - the battery will go bad (eventually) by being discharged below 10.5 volts.
There is a difference between the battery going bad and you letting it go bad (which is usually called 'damaging it').

If I deliberately drove over a bunch of screws dropped on the road because "I shouldn't have to avoid it, they should not be there" and end up with a load of punctured tyres, then personally I'd say "I have damaged these tyres" not "these tyres have gone bad".

Each to his own, I can't fathom how some people think. Do whatever .....
 

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It seems that what is getting you wound up is having your strategy questioned. You know that your car is one of the Leafs that has an undiscovered glitch allowing the 12v battery to become discharged. But unlike others who take positive action to avoid being stranded, you have decided to wait for that to happen and then replace the battery until it happens again. When I say that I prefer to avoid being stranded in the first place you get aggressive.

You claim to be aware that by not taking action, and that by allowing your 12v battery to have a dangerously low voltage on a regular basis, it will kill the battery. Then you just approach Nissan and demand that the dead battery be replaced. The dead battery that you deliberately killed. And then proceed to kill the replacement again. Again blaming the new battery. This is not a battery problem at all. It's a fault in some Leaf's systems that causes low voltage - and that is what kills the battery. Avoidable by regular maintenance.

And when people suggest that there is an alternative strategy to overcome this Nissan Leaf glitch in some known cars that avoids the possibility of being stranded at an inconvenient time and extends the life of the battery to that of a normal lead-acid 12v battery, you become tetchy.

I am indeed puzzled by the logic of your own strategy but as the saying goes - each to their own.
 

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Then you just approach Nissan and demand that the dead battery be replaced. The dead battery that you deliberately killed. And then proceed to kill the replacement again. Again blaming the new battery. This is not a battery problem at all. It's a fault in some Leaf's systems that causes low voltage - and that is what kills the battery.
If it a fault in some Leaf's systems that causes the low voltage, and Nissan cannot be bothered to try and identify what is causing the systems to fail to keep the 12v battery properly charged, then Nissan should bear the cost of replacing batteries killed by their faulty design/quality control [maybe Nissan have decided it is cheaper to replace under warranty those 12v batteries that fail than to go to the trouble and expense of trying to identify the cause of a potentially elusive intermittent fault].
 
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