Charging a dead Nissan Leaf

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Charging a dead Nissan Leaf

Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
I just wanted to share with the group, something
which may apply to other EVs and even non-evs.
I'll spare you all the excitement, and skip toward the end,
the part that might be worth everyone learning about
before they need it.

I drove 137 miles on 3/13, including 3 stops to charge,
one unsuccessful, one successful, one partially successful.
The 138th mile, to the curb in front of my house, was assisted
by a good friend driving my wife's minivan and a steel cable.
The last time I towed like this, cell phones were not widespread.
towed 1 mile, made 2 turns, got 3 honks :-)

The car was so dead, it couldn't open the charge port door.
Google's first result was not for my make/model/year/trim level,
but the second result was great.  I opened the charge port manually,
charged the 12V battery.  The car would not start.
I wasn't sure if the system needed 12V or the "full" 14 Volts,
so I called a local volunteer organization.  They came out with lights
and booster pack.  They confirmed that my charging the 12V battery
was successful.  Then I realized, the Leaf needed a reboot.
Once it booted up, it was willing to take a Trickle charge, and
once I built another L6-30 extension cord, it took Level 2 charge.
(I had retired 3 big servers at work, and pack-ratted the 6 power cords
and got a bunch of matching sockets on ebay).

If you are so inclined, it is useful to identify your tow points.
I do not have the screw-in hook, but the underbody cover
on my Leaf is shot, so it was time to remove it and access
the crossmember which is conveniently hollow and has openings.

The Upside to this adventure was - my wife is ready
for me to trade up.  Negotiations are no longer stalled :-)
The Leaf was good for 5 years, it's time to quadruple the range.
I'm studying the status of the Kona Electric recall.
My neighbor said it's the best car he ever owned.

Maybe some of this information will be helpful to someone one day.
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Re: Charging a dead Nissan Leaf

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Seth Rothenberg via EV wrote:
> The car was so dead, it couldn't open the charge port door.
> I opened the charge port manually, charged the 12V battery.
> Then I realized, the Leaf needed a reboot. Once it booted up,
> it was willing to take a Trickle charge, and once I built
> another L6-30 extension cord, it took Level 2 charge.

Quite an ordeal! I have a Leaf as well, so your experience is
informative. So you drove until it stopped, and then it was so dead that
it wouldn't let you charge it? In case it happens to me...

- How did you open the charge port door manually?
- Was the 12v battery dead? Or the traction pack? Or both?
- How did you "reboot" the system?
- Once it finally charged back up, have you observed any capacity
        loss, or other consequences?

Perspiring minds want to know,
Lee Hart

--
All children are born engineers. Watch them at play. They're not
just playing; they're experimenting, building and learning. That's
engineering! Then we get them in school and squash it out of them.
(Geoffrey Orsak, Southern Methodist University dean of engineering)
--
Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com

--
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Re: Charging a dead Nissan Leaf

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In reply to this post by Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
 > - How did you open the charge port door manually?
 > - Was the 12v battery dead? Or the traction pack? Or both?
 > - How did you "reboot" the system?
 > - Once it finally charged back up, have you observed any capacity
         loss, or other consequences?

Shush, Lee, the useful information he's giving you is how to get your
spouse to go along with replacing that old wreck with something better....

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Re: Charging a dead Nissan Leaf

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Mr. Sharkey via EV wrote:
>  > - How did you open the charge port door manually?
>  > - Was the 12v battery dead? Or the traction pack? Or both?
>  > - How did you "reboot" the system?
>  > - Once it finally charged back up, have you observed any capacity
>          loss, or other consequences?
>
> Shush, Lee, the useful information he's giving you is how to get your
> spouse to go along with replacing that old wreck with something better....

A-HA! I missed that. :-)

Lee

--
All children are born engineers. Watch them at play. They're not
just playing; they're experimenting, building and learning. That's
engineering! Then we get them in school and squash it out of them.
(Geoffrey Orsak, Southern Methodist University dean of engineering)
--
Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com

--
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
https://www.avast.com/antivirus

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Re: Charging a dead Nissan Leaf

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In reply to this post by Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
Your neighbor may not have driven any other electric car. Yes the Kona has good reviews but if you can afford a Tesla it is the best for long distance driving. If you can hold out charging times will get quicker. Unless you really need to upgrade carefully think things through. There have now been two big car makers that have had electric vehicle problems with batteries. I would think it's fire sale time on both the Bolt and Kona. I would not buy unless it fell close to used Nissan prices which the Bolt has. Just a note: I think even Tesla recommends charging to 90%. Lawrence Rhodes
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Re: Charging a dead Nissan Leaf

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In reply to this post by Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
The traction battery was run down....
Curiously, it bypassed turtle mode and went straight to
shut down.   In the 5 years, I did arrive home as a turtle once.

For my Nissan Leaf, this is the video that helped me
to open the charge port without any 12 Volts available:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SFI5wrnW5I
Because I was home, I could even freeze the image with the cable
and screen shot it and print it.

In this video, the owner had a bad cable release motor...
and he showed where it is.   Which got me thinking,
I could have pulled the connector and hooked 12V to the solenoid :-)
But I didn't need to, because the instructions were good enough
for reaching the wire behind the charge port.

When the battery was reading 12 VDC, I tried hooking up
the trickle charger but the blue lights never came on.
Eventually, I thought to see what the computers say,
and then I shut down and tried again....and charging began.


When you're stuck, some silly ideas come to mind.
"Oh, I should add a backup pull wire for this release"
"Oh, I should put charging posts elsewhere..."
Upgrading is easier :-)

This would have been the perfect time to draft
into service the PVC "conduit" under my new sidewalk....
but the re-digging is a bit more work.  Hoping to finish it
and re-seed around it before the week is out.
Instead, I just put my trash cans across the sidewalk
while charging at night, which is what I did when
my driveway was unreachable last year :-)


On Mon, Mar 22, 2021 at 11:06 PM Lee Hart via EV <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Seth Rothenberg via EV wrote:
> > The car was so dead, it couldn't open the charge port door.
> > I opened the charge port manually, charged the 12V battery.
> > Then I realized, the Leaf needed a reboot. Once it booted up,
> > it was willing to take a Trickle charge, and once I built
> > another L6-30 extension cord, it took Level 2 charge.
>
> Quite an ordeal! I have a Leaf as well, so your experience is
> informative. So you drove until it stopped, and then it was so dead that
> it wouldn't let you charge it? In case it happens to me...
>
> - How did you open the charge port door manually?
> - Was the 12v battery dead? Or the traction pack? Or both?
> - How did you "reboot" the system?
> - Once it finally charged back up, have you observed any capacity
>         loss, or other consequences?
>
> Perspiring minds want to know,
> Lee Hart
>
> --
> All children are born engineers. Watch them at play. They're not
> just playing; they're experimenting, building and learning. That's
> engineering! Then we get them in school and squash it out of them.
> (Geoffrey Orsak, Southern Methodist University dean of engineering)
> --
> Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com
>
> --
> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
> https://www.avast.com/antivirus
>
> _______________________________________________
> Address messages to [hidden email]
> No other addresses in TO and CC fields
> UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
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Re: Charging a dead Nissan Leaf

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Seth,
Sorry, but you did not have a dead traction battery, however the
traction battery was discharged so far that the car turns off all HV,
including the DC-DC converter that charges the 12V aux battery, so
that battery died after discharging itself (has happened to me when I
deliberately wanted to run the traction battery down).
The over-discharge of the aux battery upsets some of the Leaf
computers - I have even had the case that I had to reset all DTC
(faults) with LeafSpy before the car allowed me to turn it on properly
AFTER I re-charged the 12V battery.
I do not know why in the Youtube video the owners are messing around
with the charge port - all they need to do is charge the 12V battery
and the charge port opens up again.
Once the 12V battery is good again (or you pop on one of the handy
Power Banks that has two alligator clips because it outputs 12V for
jump starting - I carry one in every one of my cars) you can plug in
and the car will start charging its traction battery unless it has
DTCs preventing that, the simplest cure is to disconnect the 12V
battery a few seconds and try again.
I once managed to over-discharge the traction battery from the normal
~370V down to around 200V, the car did not show any sign of life and
at one point started incessant beeping.
But plugged in the J1772 cable and it charged normally and turned on
as if nothing strange happened.
Too low voltage on the aux battery can cause all kinds of weird
errors, including not allowing charging. But also faults in charging
stations, such as one of the two AC power wires being broken, can lead
to a DTC that does not allow you to charge again, only indication is a
red warning LED on the dash. LeafSpy allows you to reset the error (or
disconnect the aux battery) and you are good to go again.
Hope this clarifies,
Cor.

On Mon, Mar 22, 2021 at 9:11 PM Seth Rothenberg via EV
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> The traction battery was run down....
> Curiously, it bypassed turtle mode and went straight to
> shut down.   In the 5 years, I did arrive home as a turtle once.
>
> For my Nissan Leaf, this is the video that helped me
> to open the charge port without any 12 Volts available:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SFI5wrnW5I
> Because I was home, I could even freeze the image with the cable
> and screen shot it and print it.
>
> In this video, the owner had a bad cable release motor...
> and he showed where it is.   Which got me thinking,
> I could have pulled the connector and hooked 12V to the solenoid :-)
> But I didn't need to, because the instructions were good enough
> for reaching the wire behind the charge port.
>
> When the battery was reading 12 VDC, I tried hooking up
> the trickle charger but the blue lights never came on.
> Eventually, I thought to see what the computers say,
> and then I shut down and tried again....and charging began.
>
>
> When you're stuck, some silly ideas come to mind.
> "Oh, I should add a backup pull wire for this release"
> "Oh, I should put charging posts elsewhere..."
> Upgrading is easier :-)
>
> This would have been the perfect time to draft
> into service the PVC "conduit" under my new sidewalk....
> but the re-digging is a bit more work.  Hoping to finish it
> and re-seed around it before the week is out.
> Instead, I just put my trash cans across the sidewalk
> while charging at night, which is what I did when
> my driveway was unreachable last year :-)
>
>
> On Mon, Mar 22, 2021 at 11:06 PM Lee Hart via EV <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Seth Rothenberg via EV wrote:
> > > The car was so dead, it couldn't open the charge port door.
> > > I opened the charge port manually, charged the 12V battery.
> > > Then I realized, the Leaf needed a reboot. Once it booted up,
> > > it was willing to take a Trickle charge, and once I built
> > > another L6-30 extension cord, it took Level 2 charge.
> >
> > Quite an ordeal! I have a Leaf as well, so your experience is
> > informative. So you drove until it stopped, and then it was so dead that
> > it wouldn't let you charge it? In case it happens to me...
> >
> > - How did you open the charge port door manually?
> > - Was the 12v battery dead? Or the traction pack? Or both?
> > - How did you "reboot" the system?
> > - Once it finally charged back up, have you observed any capacity
> >         loss, or other consequences?
> >
> > Perspiring minds want to know,
> > Lee Hart
> >
> > --
> > All children are born engineers. Watch them at play. They're not
> > just playing; they're experimenting, building and learning. That's
> > engineering! Then we get them in school and squash it out of them.
> > (Geoffrey Orsak, Southern Methodist University dean of engineering)
> > --
> > Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com
> >
> > --
> > This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
> > https://www.avast.com/antivirus
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Address messages to [hidden email]
> > No other addresses in TO and CC fields
> > UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
> > ARCHIVE: http://www.evdl.org/archive/
> > LIST INFO: http://lists.evdl.org/listinfo.cgi/ev-evdl.org
> >
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