New LEAF Battery
Under Warranty

Mark D Larsen

February 24, 2017

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Because my LEAF lost its 4th capacity bar at 52,601 miles and 39 days short of my 5th year anniversary since taking delivery, it qualified for Nissan’s warranty for a battery replacement. The dealer verified the loss while performing the 7th maintenance checkup last Monday, and ordered the new pack, which would arrive in 6-to-10 weeks. Lo-and-behold, it arrived only 3 days later! I therefore took my LEAF back to the dealer this morning to exchange packs.

The service technician has always been very accommodating to my requests to observe the work he performs on my LEAF. He again allowed me to be a fly-on-the-wall, outside of the immediate work area, so that I could see just how they replace the batteries. It is quite a process, although not as complicated as I had assumed, thanks to the specialized tools that Nissan supplies. Below are annoted photos and video clips of the swap, for those who are curious to see how it is done.

NOTE: You can click on the photos to enlarge them and the videos to play them.

Here is the GOM display from last week, showing that the 4th bar had turned off, qualifying my LEAF for the replacement under warranty.
I took this LEAFStat reading after losing the 4th bar, and you can see that the capacity had dropped to 65.30% —almost a full percentage lower than its supposed minimum threshold of 66.25%.
Here is the dashboard readout when I arrived at the dealership early this morning to have them perform the swap —the last time I would see 4 capacity bars missing!
The technician had “sanitized” the “operating room” the night before, so it was ready for the “surgery.” You can see that Nissan uses specialized hydraulic lifts for the LEAF that raises it by the edges and thus leaves the battery area unobstructed.
Nissan also provides dealers a special “jack” for lowering and raising the battery packs with a wooden pallet.
The new battery was also on such a pallet outside, still covered with a plywood lid.
Click this image to watch a VIDEO of putting my LEAF in the “operating room,” raising it with the lift, and removing the three plastic panels that shield the battery.
Here are the two rear panels removed. The new pack comes with replacements for these panels, probably because the “lizard” battery’s housing onto which they are mounted is slightly different.
And here is the old battery with the panels removed. The technician took out most of the 10 bolts that held the battery in place, leaving just a few to remove once the jack was raised to support it.
If you click this image, you can watch a VIDEO as the battery is extracted from my LEAF using the jack.
Here is the removed pack on the pallet, quite dusty after nearly five years of driving my LEAF.
I snapped a photo of the pack’s serial number. The technician would need to reprogram the new battery’s number into my LEAF.
In this VIDEO the old pack is wheeled outside, where it is lifted off the jack with a forklift.
You can watch the new pack lifted onto the jack, wheeled into the work area, and then raised and inserted into my LEAF in this VIDEO.
And here is the new pack, bolted in and connected.
The plastic panels were then mounted underneath the battery. I was impressed that the swap had only taken an hour to perform; the technician had already replaced the battery in another LEAF, and therefore very familiar with the necessary steps.
When the technician started the car to reprogram it for the new pack, I could already see that all 12 capacity bars were visible. The new packs ship with only a minimal charge in them, which is why there is only one charge bar with 12 miles on the GOM. I was happy to wait a couple of hours for the pack to be charged sufficiently for me to drive it home and finish charging there.
Oddly, when I tried to check the charge using NissanConnect, the readout showed 0 miles, even though the battery had been charged nearly half way. I called Nissan’s hotline, and the representative was stymied by the problem, but promised to have higher management get back with a solution sometime next week.
LEAFStat, on the other hand, has no problem communicating with the battery. After charging to 100% in my garage, this is what the readout showed.
It has been years since I’ve seen the GOM make a wild guess at available range in the three digits.

I am genuinely euphoric that my LEAF is “new” again. Hopefully the “lizard” battery will hold up much better than the original. I was also surprised that the replacement didn’t cost me one penny. When the warranty was first announced, Nissan said that owners of 2011 and 2012 LEAFs who qualified for a replacement would have to pay for an adaptor bracket and labor, yet the dealer informed me that I didn’t have to pay anything, as you can see in the receipt below. It looks like Nissan has since decided to cover the entire cost, which adds gratitude to my euphoria. Thank you, Nissan!

Receipt Page 1
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Receipt Page 2
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