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Discussion Starter #1
Hi fellow Leafers!

I have just come back from trying to drive to the shops with my 2018 Leaf and the car won't do anything. The key fob won't open the doors, tried manually and got in the car but there's no response there either? Have tried changing the battery on the key fob but didn't solve anything. I'm now wondering if it's the 12v battery?

I read about inactivity being bad for the actual battery so I have been driving the car to the shops at least once per week so it doesn't really stay inert, which I thought would help.

Our Nissan dealership doesn't seem to be working fully as I can't get through, what should I do?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Wow that's worrying. I guess it wouldn't do any harm to charge your 12v battery for a few hours with a battery charger. It's easy to access and remove. Then see what happens. That's what I'd do whilst exploring other solutions.

You'll have Nissan breakdown cover too? They'd be worth a call.

Hope that helps and you get it fixed. Please let us know.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
 

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There are about a dozen threads in here about this. Try the search facility to read them. Short answer. Use a smart charger on the 12v DC battery. Then do that at least once per month whether it seems to need it or not. Overnight if at all possible but only if using a modern 'smart' charger rather than an ancient 'dumb' charger. This is a well-known problem with all EVs and particularly if only driven a short distance and intermittently.
 

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Thank you @RobMac I have just called Nissan's RAC cover upon suggestion from our dealers and yourself (got through!), let's see what comes out of it.
 

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There are about a dozen threads in here about this. Try the search facility to read them. Short answer. Use a smart charger on the 12v DC battery. Then do that at least once per month whether it seems to need it or not. Overnight if at all possible but only if using a modern 'smart' charger rather than an ancient 'dumb' charger. This is a well-known problem with all EVs and particularly if only driven a short distance and intermittently.
That is good to know, guess you wouldn't have a link for a good smart charger on the 12v DC battery anywhere?
 

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The later Leaf is definitely supposed to top up the 12v when it's left alone for too long. You see the blue lights flashing. I have seen mine do it after it's left for 4 days or so.

I also think waking it up via the app is beneficial as that probably forces it out of slumber too.

Check the handbook about charging the 12v. I think it suggests you shouldn't as it is supposed to keep the 12v topped up itself and it really ought to do this by now without any owner intervention.
 

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That is good to know, guess you wouldn't have a link for a good smart charger on the 12v DC battery anywhere?
The CTEK make is about as good as they get. There are others around at half the price but this is another of those gizmos where it's best to buy once rather than pay more over time by needing a cheaper replacement. I don't have one of these because I bought my Torq five years ago and tech has moved on since then. This one comes with a five year warranty. The important features are these :-

"The MXS 3.8 is an advanced microprocessor controlled battery charger with patented Float/Pulse maintenance for use on batteries from 1.2Ah up to 80Ah. The MXS 3.8 solves a broad range of battery problems and is the ideal charger for everyday use. Features of the MXS 3.8 include diagnosis of battery condition to establish if it can receive and retain charge, patented automatic desulphation program and a special "Snowflake" mode for optimum charging on cold winter days.

Patented Float/Pulse maintenance means the MXS 3.8 is ideal for long-term maintenance. The entire process of battery testing, charging and maintenance is easily followed on the clear LED display.

The MXS 3.8 is a fully automatic "connect and forget" 12V charger with 7 charging steps and offers selectable 0.8A and 3.8A programs. The "Snowflake" mode operates on the 3.8A program. It is splash proof and dust proof (IP65). The MXS 3.8 is easy and safe to use, protects vehicle electronics, is spark-free, reverse polarity protected and short circuit proof. The MXS 3.8 features a 5 year warranty."


 

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That is good to know, guess you wouldn't have a link for a good smart charger on the 12v DC battery anywhere?
You don't need a smart charger, just a normal car battery charger will do the job. Amazon or Ebay or Halfords if you feel like getting ripped off...
 

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Even in Halfords there's the Ctek XS 0.8 for a more reasonable £36, more than adequate for maintenance of the low capacity 12v batteries on EVs. (And, yes, they shouldn't need it anyway!)

If the leaf is anything like the BMW i3, just plug the car into the mains via the Type 2 socket. Once it's connected the first circuit that activates is the one that charges the 12v battery so that all the other circuits can be activated.
 

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The LEAF needs some charge left in the 12v to actuate the charging system for the 12v to charge. Unlike the Japanese Gen1 cars all the later cars look after their 12v well and don't need charging unless the 12v is at the end of its life or something silly has happened like leaving an aftermarket dashcam running. Things like interior lights power off after a set time so they shouldn't drain the battery.
I suggest that the OP gets the Nissan RAC to sort it out.
 

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The LEAF needs some charge left in the 12v to actuate the charging system for the 12v to charge. Unlike the Japanese Gen1 cars all the later cars look after their 12v well and don't need charging unless the 12v is at the end of its life or something silly has happened like leaving an aftermarket dashcam running. Things like interior lights power off after a set time so they shouldn't drain the battery.
I suggest that the OP gets the Nissan RAC to sort it out.
Actually that is not what a large number of owners report.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you, everyone, I did get the Nissan RAC over and got the battery started, they then recommended me to drive for about 10 miles to top up the battery, feels like this is advice more geared towards ICE cars but I'm not any kind of expert on this so I did it.

He also recommended purchasing one of those solar panels that connect to the lighter as they should keep the battery topped. Anyone had any experience with these?
 

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Thank you, everyone, I did get the Nissan RAC over and got the battery started, they then recommended me to drive for about 10 miles to top up the battery, feels like this is advice more geared towards ICE cars but I'm not any kind of expert on this so I did it.

He also recommended purchasing one of those solar panels that connect to the lighter as they should keep the battery topped. Anyone had any experience with these?
You would be far better off with a CTEK charger.
 

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@Hitstirrer do you not agree with @srichards that the 12V battery is automatically topped up when necessary from the traction battery, and therefore should not need charging independently?
Yes - I agree that it should be topped up that way.

The problem is that it doesn't do that all the time. Which is why you wrote into this thread. This mystery has been around since EVs became popular and many better brains than mine have failed to nail down why that is. Many years ago I decided that life was too short to stress about it and after a couple of times that I was let down by a low voltage 12v battery I simply added a smart charge session to my monthly tyre kicking and screenwash filling routine. Never had a problem ever since.
 

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Would the cigarette lighter solar panel top up solution not require the accessory socket to be live while the car is off? The Leaf one only powers things when the car is on so I'd wonder whether it would work at all.

Did the RAC person say what the battery voltage was?
 

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Thank you, everyone, I did get the Nissan RAC over and got the battery started, they then recommended me to drive for about 10 miles to top up the battery, feels like this is advice more geared towards ICE cars but I'm not any kind of expert on this so I did it.

He also recommended purchasing one of those solar panels that connect to the lighter as they should keep the battery topped. Anyone had any experience with these?
That RAC man clearly has no idea how the auto top up works in an EV. Once he had jump started the cars system you just needed to leave it switched on as if ready to put in gear and drive away. Then leave it like that for half an hour with all other battery drains like heater and dashcams left off. That will cause the DC to DC converter to run and put some charge in - without needing to drive around for 10 miles. His suggestion about a solar gizmo would just take away half of the cash needed to buy a charger to solve this problem properly.

As to whether to buy a cheap dumb charger or invest in a more sophisticated smart charger this all depends on how much you are prepared to supervise the charge session. The danger is that a dumb one will just pile in the amps as fast as possible for as long as its left connected. That can cause overheating of the battery and if left on too long can kill it by overcharging.

A smart charger first of all analyses the battery condition and then begins a phased charge regime including ramping up and ramping down the input to repair any damage and optimise the session. They also use desulphation and pulse/float programmes to maintain the battery over a longer time. The model I quoted is also large enough to allow such a high to low pulse to take place. The smaller, cheaper, model can only output 0.8 amps so obviously cannot pulse like that.

Or, of course, you can do nothing and instead go out to the car every day that it isn't used and switch it on to become live and ready to drive for half an hour. That will activate the car's own system to keep it topped up. I would find that to be a bit of a daily faff these days but hey - it would save you money.
 

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they then recommended me to drive for about 10 miles to top up the battery, feels like this is advice more geared towards ICE cars
It is ICE based advice. Leaving the car powered on (second push of the start/stop button will charge it, driving is unnecessary.
He also recommended purchasing one of those solar panels that connect to the lighter as they should keep the battery topped.
You would be far better off with a CTEK charger.
The Leaf one only powers things when the car is on so I'd wonder whether it would work at all.
Agreed. It will not work. Also, if you battery went flat in a week it requires more charge than a small solar panel will give, particularly in poor weather.
 

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A basic charger for a tenner is fine. Charging a lead acid battery isn't rocket surgery, constant voltage with cut off is all you need.

The smart chargers are a scam, you really don't need them at all.

The solar thing probably won't work when the car is off unfortunately.
 
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