OaklandCA
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I'm buying a used Leaf. Should I avoid the 30kWh battery? Did that BMS update help? Does the warranty help?

Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:14 pm

Someone hit my 2015 Leaf, and it's a write-off. I plan to buy another used one to replace it.

The prices on 2015, 2016, 2017 are all comparable, and then 2018 jumps way up there. So it looks like 2017 is a good year to aim for, but I'm worried about this extreme battery degradation. Is buying a 2017 a mistake?

For that matter, does this 8-year degradation warranty seem to deliver for anybody? If I'm reading right, it says that once you lose 4 bars Nissan gets to decide that they MIGHT replace it? No actual way to know?

I drive near Oakland, CA, so the weather is pretty good -- warm sometimes but not over 100; cool sometimes but never freezing. My 2015 could just make enough miles for my commute, but since the batteries lose range I want to get a decent margin for the future.

LeftieBiker
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Re: I'm buying a used Leaf. Should I avoid the 30kWh battery? Did that BMS update help? Does the warranty help?

Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:54 pm

Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

OaklandCA
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:53 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Mar 2020

Re: I'm buying a used Leaf. Should I avoid the 30kWh battery? Did that BMS update help? Does the warranty help?

Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:48 pm

Thanks, Leftie! I did read that before posting, and the great "Things to Know" post you made. But I still don't feel like I understand if 2017 can be considered a real improvement on 2016. Did the BMS make the 30kWh merely as good as the 24? Or truly fix it? Or it's even worse than nothing? All the things I can read are from mid-2018, and all say "maybe, I'm not sure" -- so I hoped there was new information. You point out that very hot or cold climates will cause problems -- and maybe trigger the warranty -- but I don't have that.

goldbrick
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Re: I'm buying a used Leaf. Should I avoid the 30kWh battery? Did that BMS update help? Does the warranty help?

Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:12 pm

On a sample of 1, my 30kWh battery is doing fine. It's at 2.5 years old and at 94% SOH. It was at 92% after 6 months before the BMS firmware update but I still beat 1mile/1% SOC all the time so I don't think I've lost much range. There does seem to be a fair number of defective 30kWh packs but overall I don't think the chemistry is that bad.

Nissan will honor the 8 year/100k mile warranty on the 30kWh battery assuming they are still in business in 2025. Plus, a 30kWh pack at 80% SOH is about the same as a brand new 24kWh pack. All in all, I'd go with the 30kWh pack, all other things being equal.

If you feel adventurous, a 30kWh pack that has a lot of degradation could be a sleeper deal since Nissan is currently replacing them with 40kWh packs under warranty. So if you can find a 30kWh pack that will hit 8 bars before the 8 year/100k mile limit is hit (and Nissan is still around) you could get a new 40kWh pack out of the deal.

LeftieBiker
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Re: I'm buying a used Leaf. Should I avoid the 30kWh battery? Did that BMS update help? Does the warranty help?

Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:28 pm

But I still don't feel like I understand if 2017 can be considered a real improvement on 2016. Did the BMS make the 30kWh merely as good as the 24? Or truly fix it? Or it's even worse than nothing?

Good questions that we'd all like answered. Before the 40kwh replacement packs started showing up, my advice was to look for a 30kwh pack with excellent LeafSpy stats and 12 bars BEFORE the BMS update. My best guess is that there are bad 30kwh packs, mediocre 30kwh packs, good 30kwh packs, and great 30kwh packs, but the BMS update makes it hard to determine what a particular Leaf has got.

Now my advice is to look for either a great pack that doesn't need the "update," or a terrible pack that is already down 2 or 3 (or 4) capacity bars AFTER the update and is almost due for a 40kwh warranty replacement.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

OaklandCA
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:53 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Mar 2020

Re: I'm buying a used Leaf. Should I avoid the 30kWh battery? Did that BMS update help? Does the warranty help?

Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:39 pm

Thanks, both of you -- it's a big purchase even used, so I get itchy with all the unknowns. Still a lot of unknowns, but I appreciate the advice.

Am I correct that the warranty is not a guaranteed replacement? It sounds like "losing four bars" is the threshold, right? But it also sounds like that's just a guideline, and it's up to them.

LeftieBiker
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Re: I'm buying a used Leaf. Should I avoid the 30kWh battery? Did that BMS update help? Does the warranty help?

Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:39 pm

They do reserve the option of using refurbished cells, but have never done so in the US. The main reason, I think, is that the cells tend to degrade uniformly, so replacing a couple - or even 10 - of them would not restore enough capacity, for long enough.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

Dooglas
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Re: I'm buying a used Leaf. Should I avoid the 30kWh battery? Did that BMS update help? Does the warranty help?

Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:57 pm

A few things to say. First, there is no difference between a '16 30 kwh Leaf and a '17 30 kwh Leaf. Second, the BMS software upgrade changed nothing about the battery pack or how it performs. It just gives you better information. Third, if you actually lose 4 bars inside of the warranty period, Nissan WILL replace the battery - not maybe, not think about it, not just consider it. They WILL replace it. And the latest hot rumor is that they may replace it with a 40 kwh pack due to limited availability of replacement 30 kwh packs. As far as I can see, there is no reason to shy away from a 30 kwh Leaf if you are looking in that price range. And I own/drive one so I have experience with the vehicle and think well of it.
2013 Leaf SV - lease ended, 2016 Leaf S30 - purchased

OaklandCA
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:53 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Mar 2020

Re: I'm buying a used Leaf. Should I avoid the 30kWh battery? Did that BMS update help? Does the warranty help?

Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:59 am

Thanks, Dooglas, that's good to know.

LeftieBiker
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Re: I'm buying a used Leaf. Should I avoid the 30kWh battery? Did that BMS update help? Does the warranty help?

Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:24 pm

First, there is no difference between a '16 30 kwh Leaf and a '17 30 kwh Leaf.
Pretty much true, but there appear to be more '16 Leafs with defective cells, from what I've seen. You should consider a '16 with an early build a little Iffier than a later one.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

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