12V Battery Replacement
In my Nissan LEAF

Mark D Larsen

February 8, 2017

Optimal Optima?
(Click to enlarge)

I knew that, since the 12V battery in my LEAF was nearly 5 years old, it was probably on its last legs and would need to be replaced in the near future. It therefore did not surprise when, after displaying the car at our annual Dixie Transportation Expo, the battery was too “dead” to initiate the startup routine. Apparently it proved too hard on it for folks to open doors and try out the car’s display features all day long. I had to jump start the battery to drive it home again.

Immediately the next day I started to scout out the possibilities for a replacement. It was harder than I thought it would be. I identified several batteries of the same “51R” size, but none of them were available: DieHard, Interstate, Duralast, and Exide. Finally, I found that O’Reilly Auto Parts could have an Optima Yellow Top 51R shipped from Las Vegas by the end of the day, so I went ahead and ordered one, even though it was more expensive than the other alternatives.

Installing it was as straightforward as I anticipated, given the easy access to the battery under my LEAF’s hood. All that I needed was a 10mm socket. It fit perfectly in the battery tray and holder, as you can see in the photo at the top of the page. I expect that this Optima will last longer than I will continue to own the car.