2013 Used Nissan Leaf for Sale
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What To Look For When Buying a Used Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf owners discuss primers on what one needs to look for when buying a used Nissan Leaf, including charging options.

I am updating this story on this day of July 7, 2018 after the news broke that number of Nissan Leaf owners claim charging times and range are misleading, reports BBC.

If You Want Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt/Bolt Check Out How The Battery Is Cooled.

Yesterday in Nissan Leaf Owners Group on Facebook there was a very interesting discussion on what to look for when buying a used Nissan Leaf. A user named Mark, wrote the following question, asking for input from current Leaf owners.

"My daughter is looking to buy a Leaf. 2011 or 2012 model year cars are most likely. I need a primer on what to look for and the charging routine. I have already read not to charge over 80% and wondering how this is accomplished when plugging in at night. Any thoughts on battery life, what we can expect," Mark asked Leaf owners.

By the way, if you own a Nissan Leaf, the used price is going up. This story explains which used Nissan Leaf prices are going up and which don't.

Purchasing Used Nissan Leaf: Things To Know

"The 2013 Leaf is better than earlier models. Best to get a 2013 or newer with 6.6 KW charging instead of the slower 3.3. Also you should have CHAdeMO port," comments Eric in the group, who's comment received 4 likes from fellow group members. He also adds this. "My rules of thumb to keep the battery healthy is charge to 80% unless you need max range. NEVER let the Leaf sit around with a 100% charged battery, especially in extreme heat. High SOC accelerates calendar aging of the battery, and so does extreme heat. A fully charged HOT battery is like a double whammy for battery degradation. You can use delayed charge timer so that the charging is complete right before it's time for the commute. Also if you plan on leaving the Leaf parking for many days, such as going on a vacation, you want to get the battery as close to 50% SOC as possible."

At least one more person recommended to purchase a 2013 Nissan Leaf as a better alternative vs 2011-2012 models. "Stick with a 2013 with build month of 4/2013 or later. The ones before it seem just as bad as 2011 and 2012 used Nissan Leafs in terms of degradation," writes a group member names Andrew. But he also suggested that "if you can get an 2011 or 2012 for cheap that had its big battery replaced within say the past year and wasn't in a hot climate and you can tolerate the disadvantages of an '11 or '12 (TONS of improvements were made/available on the '13+), then that could be a bargain."

More People Agree for Purchasing 2013 Nissan Leaf vs 2011-2012

Brian, who is a group member and joins the discussion also favors buying the 2013 Nissan Leaf vs the 2011 or 2012 models. "There is barely any price difference. As for the don't charge over 80%, that's a don't store it for long periods over 80%. Just fine to charge to 100% if you are going to drive it the next day," he writes. Another person named Samuel, also agrees that 2013 Leafs are better.

Regarding Charging Over 80 Percent

One group member named Andrew writes this. "My favorite Nissan tech service guy says that the earlier advice to charge up to 80 didn't turn out to make any difference in the life of the battery so they stopped putting in the ability to set it in later models." Also see this story that explains Nissan Leaf battery charging differences.

Regarding charging a used or new Nissan Leaf, Jeff, another group member, posts this comment. "As a data point my daughter fully charges her 2012 every night. In 12 months it has dropped from 85% SOH to 80%, however all of that loss was during summer/fall months. We are in a northern climate and charge outdoors. The LEAF battery doesn't like heat. My advice would be to keep it cool and never store the car fully charged or fully depleted."

Do you think currently the 2013 Nissan Leafs better options for those who consider buying a Leaf vs its 2011-2012 models?

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Buy Leaf Spy Pro and use it to check the battery health. You will need a Bluetooth OBD2 device to do this and the Leaf Spy Pro web site will recommend the units that work with the software. The Android version is cheaper than the iPhone version.
Nissan didn't drop the 80% "long life" mode of the LEAF because it didn't make any difference. The reason they dropped it in 2014 model year and later is because when they introduced the 2013 model with improved A/C and drivetrain the EPA changed how they rated range and blended the 80% and 100% ranges into a combined number. This was because 80% was Nissan's recommendation. So instead of seeing range improve from 73 to 84, it went up to only 75. By eliminating the 80% long life mode the LEAF's range increased to 84 in the 2014 model year. This makes the 2013 LEAF a unique animal. It has the same real world range as the 2014/15model year cars but also sports the 80% charge level as well. All the 2013-15 LEAF's go the same distance, the EPA rules changed, that's all.
What does "SOC" mean?