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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Our Zoe is in the garage to have this fixed:

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They've given us a Dacia Sandero for the time being which is really making me miss the Zoe, it's an utterly basic piece of junk. It's only done 700 miles but you can turn the steering wheel side to side quite a lot while still driving in a straight line, it was truly awful until the engine had warmed up (it wasn't exactly wonderful even then, tbh; the whole experience was like driving through jelly) and it has nothing even resembling a bell or whistle. We kept looking at where the Zoe screen is but there's just the clock on the radio...

I also just got a text notification saying "battery low: 74%". Funny looking low. But at least I can tell they're actually doing something with it :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Something I have wondered though is exactly how they are going to fix it; they could replace the faulty module, or they could just say it's RCI's problem and replace the entire battery.

If they completely replace a leased battery, they would presumably be entirely within their rights to replace it with any battery that still met the terms of the lease, eg. one that was a lot more degraded than the current one, as long as it was still above 75% or whatever the threshold is. This would be totally rubbish and an excellent way to thoroughly annoy your customers, but would you have a leg to stand on to complain?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Can I ask which garage is doing this work?
Wolverhampton Renault. The fault was picked up at a service in Telford, but it seems Wolverhampton are the only place that cover battery related things for a big chunk of the West Midlands.
 

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Another issue that would be against that practice would be the need to replace it again imminently when the replacement pack falls below the threshold.
 

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Looking at the heatmap it would appear to be a cell that is out of range (it is 200mV different to the others visible). They are probably trying to rebase its discharged voltage in a hope that it will not pull down the rest of the pack and excessively reduce the overall capacity. The alternative is to replace the actual cell which is a much longer job with a higher component cost.
 

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In a word, Yes.


This is a 43 kWh battery but the construction is similar in them all.
Note that the case has been split and the top section removed, the internals are normally well protected.
 

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In a word, Yes.


This is a 43 kWh battery but the construction is similar in them all.
Note that the case has been split and the top section removed, the internals are normally well protected.
Thanks, quite interesting to see the insides!
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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Oh dear........
Something I have wondered though is exactly how they are going to fix it; they could replace the faulty module, or they could just say it's RCI's problem and replace the entire battery.
Depends on the dealership. Some may open up the battery and do component work, most not and it will be a swap.

Looking at the heatmap it would appear to be a cell that is out of range (it is 200mV different to the others visible). They are probably trying to rebase its discharged voltage in a hope that it will not pull down the rest of the pack and excessively reduce the overall capacity. The alternative is to replace the actual cell which is a much longer job with a higher component cost.
With all respect: nonsense. The LBC will constantly balance the battery. If it fails, either the LBC itself or the cell has gone cookoo. There is no way other than that either the computer, a cell module or the entire battery will be replaced.
Is the battery divided up internally so they can replace parts of it?
Yes, but.....
In a word, Yes.
This is a 43 kWh battery but the construction is similar in them all.
Note that the case has been split and the top section removed, the internals are normally well protected.
Absolutely not. That is a DIY pack made by my buddies in Antalia, using only the case and electronics of a 22 kWh battery as donor.. If you want to see pics of the guts of the battery see https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B4k-iADFKitTeUN6cVJ0RlhTRlE That is the same 22 kWh battery pack before they gutted it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well I assumed it would be another "when will we get our car back?" job, but whatever they did they did it in a day. Right now it's charging but if my maths is right it'll say 172 miles at 100% instead of the ~110 and falling it's been saying recently.

That photo shows cylindrical cells, which the Zoe (and everything but teslas?) don't have.

On the plus side, apparently they've fixed the SD card slot under warranty too... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I assumed that Top Gear poked fun at it because it was a thoroughly boring if perfectly decent car, but this thing is horrible - noisy, hard work to drive, weird power band especially when cold, extremely basic trim - I can only assume it's extremely cheap. Our second car, a ten year old middle spec skoda fabia, is far easier to drive and nicer to be in.
 

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Glad that it sounds like the issue has been cured. Did they say what they did or is it all secret squirrel as RCI are paying?
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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That sounds like an LBC reset jobby. Keep a good eye on her voltage heatmap is my advice.
 

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In your experience how long would it take to drop the battery, split the case, change a (pair of) cells and reassemble? No doubt it "will depend" on which cell as certainly in LEAFs some are buried under others.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
It's back home with absolutely no paperwork to say they've done anything so who knows what they actually did, but it seems to have worked anyway:

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It hasn't had a full charge yet but the SOH says it's gone up from 96 to 98% and the estimated range is much higher.

I'll see what it says tomorrow after a full charge. Hopefully that'll be the back of the "electric failure danger" warning for a while, at least until the next thing goes wrong :)
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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In your experience how long would it take to drop the battery, split the case, change a (pair of) cells and reassemble? No doubt it "will depend" on which cell as certainly in LEAFs some are buried under others.
This assumes of course the module is in stock and the dealer is allowed to do the work, and I it's al a rough estimate: car on lift, scissor table under it, 6 (or 4, I forgot) big bolts and two connectors, lower table, ton of screws (see pics I posted earlier). Then two electrical connection bolts, a control connector and probably 4 mounting bolts for the module. Then all reversed. I bet it can be done in one to two hours, plus an hour for HV disconnect, plus testing. I don't think they will ever do a cell pair, just a module (8 cell pairs).

Having said that, I doubt that is what was done. We'll never know, but as said, it might have been a reset jobby.
 

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Thank you for your experience. That's quicker than Nissan estimate for a similar module change but the construction is marginally different. Perhaps once it becomes "more usual" in the second hand market the estimates will reduce based on experience.
As the OP says, if the outcome is positive then that's the important thing.
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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Indeed, outcome.(y)
AFAIK the biggest issues with the Leaf batteries is the cells are bolted together to contain swelling. A cell swap would be rather complicated. But apart from the informed hobbyist, do they actually do that? I don't think they go under module level @ Renault. On the documentation I have the cells don't even have part numbers.
 
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