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Old 05-29-2016, 02:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What to look for when buying a used Nissan Leaf

This might belong in a different subforum than "fossil fuel free" but I will leave that to the mods.

I look at used electric car "for sale" ads on Craig's List quite a lot. The Leafe is one that I am specifically tracking. Since the new gen came out prices for the older ones have dropped quite a bit. In fact depreciation on these cars is brutal. Here is a remarkably good (on paper) 2011 Leafe with a relatively new dealer-installed battery. Just 62k miles and very clean looking too, but it has lost nearly 4/5 of its original value in 5 years: 2011 Nissan Leaf SL 4-Door Hatchback

It is a good deal, eh? But...

What would you check for in shopping for a used Leafe? Battery pack health would be checked how? What other issues are known?

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Last edited by California98Civic; 05-29-2016 at 04:24 PM..
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Old 05-29-2016, 02:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...lds-29438.html

I would get one with a dead battery, at fire sale price and replace it my self.
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Old 05-29-2016, 12:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would look for a 2013 and avoid the earlier models. Beginning with the 2013 model, the resistance heater was replaced with a heat pump, which is much more efficient for heating the cabin. It also received a 6.6 kWh charger, which will charge twice as fast as the previous 3.3 kWh. Finally, the battery chemistry was changed to handle hot climates better. They call it the lizard battery. The previous model would rapidly loose capacity in hot climates.

Assuming the seller has not tampered with the battery gauge, the charge indicator lights will show the relative health of the battery. When the car is new and has a very good battery, all charge lights illuminate when fully charged. As the battery degrades, fewer of the charge lights will illuminate even when fully charged. This gives a relative indication of battery health.
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just a suggestion, but you might want to check Craigslist for a few cities to get some more references for pricing. For example, here in Atlanta, your example would not be a good deal. How much does it cost to have a car shipped? Any state where salt is not used in the winter would be a good hunting ground. And only clear titles, no salvage titles.

You also might like to try "truecar.com" to see what others have paid in your area.
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Old 05-29-2016, 02:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Try to avoid buying from a dealer.
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Old 05-29-2016, 04:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
... Assuming the seller has not tampered with the battery gauge, the charge indicator lights will show the relative health of the battery. When the car is new and has a very good battery, all charge lights illuminate when fully charged. As the battery degrades, fewer of the charge lights will illuminate even when fully charged. This gives a relative indication of battery health.
Wondering what to do if the seller HAS tampered with the battery gauge, I went looking for alternate methods to check. It seems these apps allow you to look at the health of each battery on an android device. Doing that would allow you to see if a given battery in the pack has become especially weak or defective.



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Old 05-29-2016, 05:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I used an Elm237 bluetooth device ($10 on Amazon) and Torque ($5) to see the battery health of the battery on my reconstructed-titled plug-in Prius. All battery voltages were within a hundredth volt, and internal resistance was below a hundredth of an ohm.

I wonder if the replacement battery that is in the CL ad is the new Lizard battery, or if the new battery is even compatible with the older models?
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Old 05-31-2016, 12:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would look for a Leaf with the heat pump, and only get one with the resistance heater if you (almost) never need heat, or if there are none with heat pumps available. Similarly, I would get one with all the seat heaters if you need heat.

I would look for a Leaf with Bridgestone Ecopia tires. These are the lowest rolling resistance tires I have ever driven.

I would look for a Leaf with a 6.6kW charger, and with a CHAdeMO port, too.

And yes, getting Leaf Spy and a OBDII Bluetooth device would be very important.
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Old 05-31-2016, 01:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The port is nice if there is any where with a CHdeMO charger, otherwise it's dead weight/cost.
Leaf Spy app lets you check the battery health cell to cell, if someone has figured out how to spoof the battery gauge they aren't going to waste their skills selling you a car.
You also aren't going to find a dead pack, you might find one that is almost degraded to qualify for warranty replacement, but that's about it.
Worst case scenario, you spend $3,000 on a used pack, sell the old cells on eBay and make money on the deal.

The heat pump heat is really nice, so are heated seats, do you need them?
It's 8 miles round trip for me to get to work, my old electric cast I literally made a heater from an old toaster and ran it off lead acid batteries with plenty of range to spare.
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Old 06-10-2016, 03:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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There were Leafs coming up from lease when I was looking to buy fall 2015. $12K for 2-3yr old models (2013 & 2014) with less than 30K miles.

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