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Old 09-08-2022, 12:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Buying a Used Leaf

Greeting.

I'm eying a 2013 Leaf with 9 battery bars that is listed for 7,500.

I'm in the market for a used Nissan Leaf. What should I look out for? With the little research I've done I know to look at how many battery bars are left. What the estimated range is on a full charge.

I've seen some info on an app called leaf spy that lets you look at battery data with more info. Does mileage matter as much as with gas cars are are we more concerned with the battery?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I'm in Southern California. Looking to replace my 08 prius as my daily commute is under 5 miles.

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Old 09-08-2022, 12:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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According to this info, 9 bars is 72.5% to 66.25% capacity remaining. LeafSpy will give you more granular info. Grab an elm327 bluetooth adaptor for less than $10.

100% to 85% = 12 bars (15% or 2.4 times a “normal” bar)
85% to 78.75% = 11 bars (6.25%)
78.75% to 72.5% = 10 bars (6.25%)
72.5% to 66.25% = 9 bars (6.25%)
66.25% to 60% = 8 bars (6.25%)
60% to 53.75% = 7 bars (6.25%)
53.75% to 47.5% = 6 bars (6.25%)
47.5% to 41.25% = 5 bars (6.25%)
41.25% to 35% = 4 bars (6.25%)
35% to 28.75% = 3 bars (6.25%)
28.75% to 22.5% = 2 bars (6.25%)
22.5% to 16.25% = 1 bar (6.25%)
16.25% to 0% = 0 bars (16.25% or 2.6 times a “normal” bar).

My parents have an '12 with 8 bars of range, and winter range is abysmal, but we're at the 45th parallel, not SoCal. It might be down to 25 miles in the coldest part of winter.

I'd say if you don't expect more than 30 miles roundtrip out of it, you'll be fine.

In my view, $7,500 for a decade old EV with 1/3rd capacity lost is insanely high. I'd pay maybe $4k for such a crippled vehicle. Just a 18 months ago you'd be able to find a Chevy Bolt with 250 miles of range for ~$12k and it has active thermal management so it wouldn't degrade like the Leaf.
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Old 09-08-2022, 12:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would say look at all the usual things on the car. Many are the same: suspension, steering, brakes, wheels, tires, rust, A/C, window motors, etc.

Does the car drive well? Shakes or shimmys driving it at highway speeds? Does it stop well? Do brakes squeak, pulse, or fade? Does the car have any rust? Does it have any codes? Do all the lights work? Wipers? Seat heaters? Fan? Does the car have wind noise from bad seals? Does the electrical motor make any unusual noises?

Do you need 240 Volts to charge adequately for your use?

IDK anything about the Leaf. If your electrical panel is in the garage, it is not that hard to add a 240 V 30 amp circuit if there is room on the panel for one or two new breakers.
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Old 09-08-2022, 01:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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While a 240v outlet is nice to have, it probably isn't necessary for such a short range vehicle. A 120v outlet could easily recover 10 miles of daily usage.
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Old 09-08-2022, 01:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
According to this info, 9 bars is 72.5% to 66.25% capacity remaining. LeafSpy will give you more granular info. Grab an elm327 bluetooth adaptor for less than $10.

100% to 85% = 12 bars (15% or 2.4 times a “normal” bar)
85% to 78.75% = 11 bars (6.25%)
78.75% to 72.5% = 10 bars (6.25%)
72.5% to 66.25% = 9 bars (6.25%)
66.25% to 60% = 8 bars (6.25%)
60% to 53.75% = 7 bars (6.25%)
53.75% to 47.5% = 6 bars (6.25%)
47.5% to 41.25% = 5 bars (6.25%)
41.25% to 35% = 4 bars (6.25%)
35% to 28.75% = 3 bars (6.25%)
28.75% to 22.5% = 2 bars (6.25%)
22.5% to 16.25% = 1 bar (6.25%)
16.25% to 0% = 0 bars (16.25% or 2.6 times a “normal” bar).

My parents have an '11 with 9 bars of range, and winter range is abysmal, but we're at the 45th parallel, not SoCal. It might be down to 25 miles in the coldest part of winter.

I'd say if you don't expect more than 30 miles roundtrip out of it, you'll be fine.

In my view, $7,500 for a decade old EV with 1/3rd capacity lost is insanely high. I'd pay maybe $4k for such a crippled vehicle. Just a 18 months ago you'd be able to find a Chevy Bolt with 250 miles of range for ~$12k and it has active thermal management so it wouldn't degrade like the Leaf.
This is super helpful. Yeah I'm more worried about the summer heat effect on the battery. I have a garage but park outside for 6+ hours during work.

The price is def on the high side. I'm adding in the $4,000 used EV rebate that SCE is offering right now. I'll have to open my search to the Chevy Bolt. Thanks.
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Old 09-08-2022, 02:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caddylackn View Post
I would say look at all the usual things on the car. Many are the same: suspension, steering, brakes, wheels, tires, rust, A/C, window motors, etc.

Does the car drive well? Shakes or shimmys driving it at highway speeds? Does it stop well? Do brakes squeak, pulse, or fade? Does the car have any rust? Does it have any codes? Do all the lights work? Wipers? Seat heaters? Fan? Does the car have wind noise from bad seals? Does the electrical motor make any unusual noises?

Do you need 240 Volts to charge adequately for your use?

IDK anything about the Leaf. If your electrical panel is in the garage, it is not that hard to add a 240 V 30 amp circuit if there is room on the panel for one or two new breakers.
Nice I've never bought a car from a private seller so this is helpful.

I have a dryer plug in my garage that isn't being used since I have a gas dryer. I'll have to check the amperage on the circuit but my plan was to use that to charge.

If it will lead to less battery degradation I would be fine just using the 110 since I won't be driving very far each day.
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Old 09-08-2022, 02:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We just had a brake module fail in our Leaf and it was $3900 to replace. So... I'm not a fan of Nissans anymore.
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Old 09-08-2022, 06:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Dryer outlets are almost always 30 amps. You can tell by checking the breaker rating in your electrical panel.

The Leaf charger is capable of 6.6 kW, which is more than a 30 amp circuit is rated to continuously operate, so you'd need to buy a smart EVSE to limit to 24 amps (80% of circuit rating).

You can modify the stock Leaf EVSE to run on 240v, but it would be limited to 12 amps. Probably fine for your situation. I've modified 2 Leaf EVSEs to operate on both 120v and 240v.
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Old 09-09-2022, 01:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Dryers go as far as 50 amps according to the plugs available at home desopt or unlowest. Breakers in the box would be your max.

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