New Battery at 99,000 Miles

Old Battery capacity shows 36 miles on 3/4 charge

Old Battery capacity shows 36 miles on 3/4 charge

End of life for the old battery

Even with workplace charging I only had 8 miles to spare on a full charge. Fall temperatures reduced the range from what I was getting in the summer. With a cold snap due any day it was clear I’d struggle to make the journey to Nashville on a full charge and keep myself warm and the windows defrosted. So I decided to go ahead and buy a new battery for the LEAF.

4 day replacement

The process took longer than anticipated. Getting the battery delivered to the dealer took almost a month. Newton Nissan commented that the amount of paperwork involved for a customer purchase is much more than a warranty replacement. This is the first customer purchased replacement that Newton Nissan have done so they were unfamiliar with the process. The new battery is a 2016 style battery which is slightly different in size and shape to the 2011 original. Adapter brackets and new cables are required to make it fit. As a result a typical 4-5 hour battery swap turned into a 4 day process. Newton Nissan thought they had all the parts but overlooked the new under car battery covers they would need. I had a loaner car so the inconvenience was minor.

Better than New?

New battery sowing 96 miles on 11/12 charge.

New battery sowing 96 miles on 11/12 charge.

The new battery should be better than new. The 2016 battery I bought (first introduced in 2014) is known in the LEAF community as the “Lizard Battery”. This new battery should be capable of withstanding hot summers better than the original. I’m not holding on too much to that promise, the original battery did not perform as well as Nissan guidance suggested it would. So it’s once bitten twice shy for me this time around. It should at least last another 99,000 miles and hopefully many more at which point the car will probably be worn out itself.

Still waiting for my Tesla Model 3

I had hoped to replace the LEAF with the new Chevy Bolt EV rather than buy a new battery. However GM recently announced that they would be releasing the car on a slow release schedule instead of the nationwide launch at the end of 2016. Local GM dealers were not able to tell me when or if the car would be available in Tennessee. I just couldn’t wait until the car became available. Other choices such as the BMW i3 didn’t appeal given that  200+ mile EV’s such as the Chevy Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3 are now on the horizon.

So it looks like GM may have lost a sale. The likelihood of me converting my Tesla Model 3 reservation to a purchase just went up.

This entry was posted in BMW i3, Chevy Bolt EV, Electric Car, Newton Nissan, Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model 3 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to New Battery at 99,000 Miles

  1. ralphmc says:

    I am glad you got a better range battery now! That is great, would it not been cheaper to have gone to a 24 month lease on a 2017, I drive this now and total out of pocket for 36 is 11k. By the time the lease is out the order of my Tesla Model 3 is ready for delivery, and Nissan knows that too…

    Ralph Coleman
    Burgundy red 2017 fully loaded potato leaf… 🙂

    • jpwhitehome says:

      I’m a high mileage driver which would add extra cost at the end of a lease. It’s still cheaper to buy a battery. I have something to replace the 2007 Altima with when the Model 3 comes and also to hand down to my granddaughter in 6 years. The risk is that the car might get totalled and I’d lose the investment in the battery.

  2. John Hollenberg says:

    I am thinking about replacing my battery in 1-2 years (2011 with 56,000 miles on it over 5.5 years). Wondering how much you had to pay for the replacement.

    PS I am Stoaty on


  3. DaveinOlyWA says:

    what was your total cost?

  4. Cor says:

    JPWhite, if you happen to have the unfortunate event of totaling the Leaf, your investment in a new battery is not entirely lost – you can still sell the battery for decent money. I bought my first Leaf this last Summer because it was totaled but had an almost new battery warranty replacement, so its value was higher than the insurance company wanted to give it back to the owner, so I bought that Leaf from him and fixed it.

  5. Richard says:

    Interesting story. As I mentioned once, I had a Leaf leased and last summer the battery went kaput. It was in service for 2 months getting fixed, during which time they gave me a rental of a gas Nissan car, which wasn’t very nice. (it wasn’t that new, and it was kind of dirty inside). To top it off, when I got the car back it had a big dent in the trunk lid, which I paid to have fixed.
    After all that, I did’t get another Leaf but instead leased a new BMW i3, which I like a lot for a number of reasons.

  6. Karen Yong says:

    Does anyone know if the replacement battery for a 2011 with only 32k miles, will have a similar warranty as original or better? My dealer said all replacement parts-no matter what are only 12mos/12k miles. That’s crazy. Please help
    Thanks, Karen

    • jpwhitehome says:

      Your dealer should present paperwork to you at the time the new battery is ordered that will declare the battery pack warranty. The warranty for customer purchased replacement packs is the same as the original warranty. 60,000 miles or 5 years, whichever comes first. (If this is a free warranty repair however the warranty period is not extended.) The “like new” warranty is the same regardless if you pay the full amount or if Nissan corporate agree to pay part of the cost as a goodwill measure.

      12,000 miles/12 months is the standard warranty for general repairs at a Nissan dealer and is typically the dealer’s warranty, this is what they have quoted you. The customer purchased replacement packs come with a separate manufacturer’s warranty as good as the original.

      You can always call Nissan customer service and explain your concern, they should be able to straighten out your dealer and direct them to the correct paperwork. The conspiracy side of me says the dealer will be happy to trade your car for new one. On the other hand they may just not know the facts about the replacement packs.

  7. Brandon says:

    Hi JP, I’m a regular reader of I side EVs, and I saw you commented on the recent article about the Nissan LEAF 30 kWh degradation, and that’s how I just this evening discovered your site. I couldn’t find any place on here to contact you, so I thought I’d comment here and hope you see it. I have a 2011 Nissan LEAF that I own, and will soon lose the 4th bar. Last year I contacted Nissan about out of warranty assistance, and the guy I was in contact with indicated that when I lose my 4th bar thus summer I can apply for out of warranty assistance and possibly have 50-70% of the battery replacement cost covered by them, because I’ll be losing the 4th bar about a year after qualifying for warranty. Have you heard of people actually being able to do that?

    • jpwhitehome says:

      Yes. People have indeed had out of warranty assistance, however the experience is not consistent. Some get 90% coverage, others nothing. Nissan treat each case individually and you have to make your own case with them. My dealer was a strong advocate in the process. Ultimately I was denied assistance by Nissan corporate. My dealer decided to assist me independently of Nissan consumer affairs and I received help thanks to them.

    • DaveinOlyWA says:

      Your best bet is call them, explain your situation and see what they are willing to do. Be respectful. That generally helps. As far as consistency? There is none with Nissan. Its all case by case. As far as recent events? There is one in Seattle who just got replacement on his 2011 (he was 7 bar loser) for $4400

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