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T/M Vehicle System Malfunction - Leaf won't turn on, 12v battery dead?

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:24 pm
by npav
I turned on my Leaf today and it started normally, then after about 3 seconds all the lights on the dashboard flashed, I was shown a warning on the screen that said "T/M Vehicle System Malfunction, visit dealer", and then the leaf turned off and would not start back up.
I don't feel the usual pressure when hitting the brake to turn it on, nothing works and when I plugged the car in to try and re-charge it I heard one beep instead of the usual 3 and no flashing lights either.

The only thing I can think of that I have done differently is I did not plug in my car overnight, it was at about 39% when I turned it on, and I had left a phone charger in the cigarette lighter overnight.

After doing a little research it appears the 12 volt battery is dead / not charged?
Will plugging in the normal level 2 charger help to recharge the 12 volt battery? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

If I buy a new 12v battery is there anything special I need to do?

Re: T/M Vehicle System Malfunction - Leaf won't turn on, 12v battery dead?

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:21 pm
by LeftieBiker
First, try charging the 12 volt battery you have, with an external charger. Either leave it connected while charging (with the negative charger lead connected to a bolt on the top of the motor housing or similar ground) and then briefly disconnect it if the error message persists, or disconnect it, charge it, and reconnect it before trying to restart the car. You will lose stored preferences and radio presets, but that may happened now anyway.

Re: T/M Vehicle System Malfunction - Leaf won't turn on, 12v battery dead?

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:02 pm
by npav
I jumped the battery and drove around a few times to charge it, all was working fine, but after letting it sit for a day I went to use it tonight and it's dead again.

Re: T/M Vehicle System Malfunction - Leaf won't turn on, 12v battery dead?

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:37 pm
by DuncanCunningham
my 2012 does a bad job of charging the battery. I've had issues related to a sorry charge in the 12v battery, though when I test the voltage it always above 12volts, but it's not fully charged. I get around this by putting a charger called "battery Tender" on it at the weekend to make sure the 12v battery has enough charge and I've not had issues with it again. When the battery tender starts up it takes a good long while to get it back to maintaining a full charge so I know I'm losing a good amount of charge from it if I leave it a month or so. All of the issues I've had with DTCs and charging failures at Quick charge stations have been resolved by charging the 12v myself, the car does not do it properly, driving it around will not charge it up enough, this is why you have the issue to begin with.

Re: T/M Vehicle System Malfunction - Leaf won't turn on, 12v battery dead?

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:23 pm
by LeftieBiker
though when I test the Voltage it always above 12Volt
Battery voltage ratings make no sense. A fully charged "12 volt" battery should read just over 13 volts, while a battery that reads 12.0 volts is nearly dead. Anything under 12.5 volts and it needs to be charged, now.

Re: T/M Vehicle System Malfunction - Leaf won't turn on, 12v battery dead?

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:14 pm
by GerryAZ
I had the T/M Vehicle System Malfunction message several times with my 2011, but I never let it sit long enough with the error present to drain the 12-volt battery. After the dealer was unable to find anything wrong, I finally traced it to a small relay that sometimes failed to drop out. That relay supplies power to the module that monitors the shifter handle and controls the Park actuator. I suspect the T/M module being powered would drain the 12-volt battery if the car was parked for very long. The relay that failed was the small one that would switch on/off rapidly under certain conditions when an early version of LEAF Spy was running. Even though it should have been covered by warranty, I bought a new relay out of my own pocket because I was afraid it would drain the 12-volt battery and leave me stranded.

Gerry

Re: T/M Vehicle System Malfunction - Leaf won't turn on, 12v battery dead?

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:51 am
by npav
So today again my battery is completely dead, not recognizing the key to be able to jump start it, so I'm leaving the battery pack attached and on to see if that charges it enough in 30 minutes to jump start, and if not I'll be running up to Autozone to buy a new 12v battery.

I'll look into a battery tender in the future to help maintain my new battery, it is a 2013 model S so it very well could just be the battery is at the end of it's life cycle.

Re: T/M Vehicle System Malfunction - Leaf won't turn on, 12v battery dead?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:57 pm
by fashby
I had a similar problem one morning - couldn't turn on car and got the T/M error. I read on this forum that it may be the battery and that is what it was. My leaf is 5 years old so the battery was due to be replaced. It only read 7 volts when I removed it and it had discharged 5% of the traction battery overnight trying to charge it. A new battery fixed the problem. Possibly losing 1% or more of traction battery charge overnight is an indication that your 12V battery is going bad and should be checked.

Re: T/M Vehicle System Malfunction - Leaf won't turn on, 12v battery dead?

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:10 am
by 000MPG
GerryAZ wrote:
Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:14 pm
... I finally traced it to a small relay that sometimes failed to drop out. That relay supplies power to the module that monitors the shifter handle and controls the Park actuator...
Hello Gerry,
Would you please provide some additional details about which relay you are referring to?
I have replaced the original battery with a deep discharge trolling motor battery (Marine 24MS), which seems to help. Also, I have a 1 amp trickle chrger https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B074Z2NFWW/ with automatic shut-off (but not automatic restart). So, too often (about 2-5%) we'll find the 12V battery dead. It will continue to do this day after day for a few days then not again for some random amount of time. I had associated it with lack of use, going 2 or more days without using the LEAF. But, that doesn't seem to be the case.
I am frustrated about how the trickle chrger works (or doesn't). If we plug in the car and the trickle chrger at the same time (immediately after driving the car) then the trickle chrger may determine that the battery doesn't need to be charged and indicate a green light, then continue to do this as the battery dies. Though, there was a day recently that the battery was charged with a 10 amp chrger sufficiently to turn on the LEAF, though when the trickle chrger was plugged in the 12V battery was drained down to nothing. At this point the trickle chrger had a blinking red light. This says two things to me, 1. the trickle chrger does what it says, but isn't a battery maintainer which is what I need, 2. the draw on the 12V battery exceeds the 1 amp capacity of the trickle chrger.
So, when this event occurs, the 12V battery has no hope, it will die. A constant >1amp draw is too much for these relatively small batteries to handle for very long. My only hope is that my deep draw battery can handle it longer than a typical battery can before being irreparably damaged.

BTW, can anyone point me to a tutorial on how to post pictures and insert links neatly? I think that my issue is that it is hard to get to a *.jpg HTML link with Google Photos. Also, does the forum get paid to turn some of my words into links to Amzon? Like charger. Thanks!

Ben

Re: T/M Vehicle System Malfunction - Leaf won't turn on, 12v battery dead?

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:36 pm
by LeftieBiker
To link a photo inline here, just paste the url of the photo into the post, highlight it, then select "Img" from the post editing options above the post. I assume that this site gets paid to do that annoying thing with words, but I don't know that for certain.