Reduced range after service

Discussion of the technical aspects of electric vehicles
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Reduced range after service

Postby andymc » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:54 pm

Just throwing this out there to see if anyone has had a similar experience, or any ideas to fix the problem...
After having our 13 plate Leaf Acenta serviced in Stirling (May time) both my wife and I fairly quickly noticed a reduction in the miles/kwh efficiency of the car. Where we could quite easily get well over 4 miles/kwh in the past around this time of year, the average was instantly reduced to the mid-3s. No matter how carefully it was driven with all ancillaries off.
We persevered for a few weeks to make sure, but eventually phoned in. They were to phone back but never did, then we went on holiday.
Life got in the way so we only just chased them up it up again this week (it's been a busy time!).
Of course they said it was too long since the service until we pointed out the missed call that wasn't returned back in June.
Then they said the battery had been left over our holidays and that could be the cause - but I had discharged to around 50% for storage and besides it was happening before that.
Then they made all sorts of noises about battery degradation - unfortunately my wife didn't counter them by pointing out we are talking about miles/kwh rather than ultimate range. Also the battery is in good condition with no segments missing from the display, and this was a marked drop after the service rather than a slow decline.
Then we must have been using AC more - nope, it was deliberately driven without anything switched on to test - and all sorts of other claims.
Then they finally told my wife to go and monitor it for a month (ie please go away).
Emmm.. we have been monitoring it, that is why she was in! Also, the engineer should be able to easily call up the driving records. I just did and where we average around 4 in June, we averaged 3.5 this year. Similar story for May and July.

They say they can't find anything wrong so I am going to ask for a list of what was done in the service - maybe software upgrade? - but they are really pushing to wash their hands of it as fast as they can. Not keen to do anything with it. As far as they are concerned there is nothing wrong.
We have driven this car for 4 years now, 50k miles under our belts, and we know the car - and it isn't right.
There was a set of new tyres fitted, but they are eco rated for rolling resistance so I am assuming it isn't them?

Any thoughts - or of where we could take it up the ladder if need be? It is very frustrating to have lost this chunk of range.

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Re: Reduced range after service

Postby andymc » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:18 pm

Quick update - engineer just called back from the dealership and says he will do a bit of research to see what could be going wrong. Not holding out too much hope but heartened he is at least taking an interest!

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Re: Reduced range after service

Postby Adrian » Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:24 pm

Tyres make a massive difference. I fitted new tyres to my LEaf and the range has gone down. The original tyres fitted to the Leaf seemed much better than any replacements your can buy even if they are A rated. Also what is A rated for one manufacturer might have very different rolling resistance to another manufacturers A rated tyre.

Also check the tyre pressure. At a service the garage will set to the standard pressure for your car. I always run my Leaf with higher than recommended tyre pressure. Not too much mind! I use 42PSI when the recommended is 38PSI. Makes a difference and does not seem to wear the tyres any differently.

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Re: Reduced range after service

Postby Buzby » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:44 am

At 4 years and 50k, it would be unrealistic to expect the same performance - as for this following a service, I’ve been in a similar situation and it was really just a coincidence. Until it drops to below 3miles I doubt the dealership will feel there is anything (seriously) amiss. I’m unsure if all franchised dealerships hold the necessary battery diagnostic kit (I know of one that had to borrow it) over and above the standard Nissan diagnostic laptop. I’d keep monitoring the issue but as winter approaches and range decreases again, it might be worthwhile checking at a different dealership to see what they come up with.
- Raymond (Glasgow)
EVA Communications

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Re: Reduced range after service

Postby andymc » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:05 am

I totally agree I wouldn't expect the battery capacity to be as high, but I am more talking about the miles/kWh efficiency rather than outright capacity? Of course that does affect the range too, but the range is not the number we are basing our concern over, it is the dashboard readout of miles/kWh.

On very repeatable drives that drink most of the battery I can't get my average anywhere close to normal. Driving carefully over a 45 mile route I do reasonably regularly I usually get a mi/kwh average around 4.5+ at best, 4.2 worst. Always over 4 at this time of year with no heaters, dry road etc. I can't get any better than 3.6 at the moment, if anything driving even more conservatively.

Maybe you are right, it could be a coincidence but that is why I am so keen to see what they actually did on the service. If it really was nothing that could be related then fair enough, but we both got a strong feeling it came out significantly worse within days of it coming back.

Adrian - I do have my suspicions on the tyres as that is a known variable that changed. Will try a bit more air in them, see if that gives us a boost.
Thanks for the input chaps!

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Re: Reduced range after service

Postby noahs-dad » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:29 pm

I wouldn't worry to much about trying to confirm what they did in the service. Will be very little and the usual standard service. That is no secret. I am almost prepared to bet my house on that you did not get any software upgrade also at a service.

Agree on the tyres thing, have done nearly 80,000 in our 2014 Acenta and have tried a few tyres including budget end of the tyre market, and found it made a huge difference to range. I won't consider anything other than high spec good brand tyres.

I'd test the battery yourself with you so you have an accurate idea of what the actual degradation is. If your not able to do so, or sure about that, there is probably someone out there who will be happy to help you.

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Re: Reduced range after service

Postby andymc » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:12 pm

Thanks for that - I am more convinced now that the tyres are at the root of it.
Pumping them up to a little more than the recommended today to see if that makes a significant difference, all other things being equal.

Agree on the battery condition check being a good idea anyway, but that shouldn't affect the miles/kWh should it? Not the average readout on the dash anyway.

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