Nissan Leaf Maintenance Issues — Or Lack Thereof
A new Nissan Leaf comes with a free one-year subscription to Carwings, which is a Nissan system available in several of their models that connects your car to the internet so you can do things like get traffic updates, and in the case of the Leaf, check on battery charge and start the car’s defroster, from your computer, while still in your pajamas.
Mine stopped working last week. The Leaf is in many ways analogous to a giant laptop on wheels. Some owners have found a way to reboot the car to reset annoying problems like a non-functional Carwings by temporarily disconnecting the car’s small lead-acid battery.
I fixed my problem with an internet search that showed me which 20 amp fuse to remove for thirty seconds. Personally, I could have done without all of the bells and whistles because I know they are going to come back to bite me in the wallet some day.
The car’s left front quarter panel was sideswiped while parked on the street a few weeks ago. The damage was minor and repaired with some buffing and professionally applied semi-transparent clear coatings. I noted from the odometer reading that some test drives had been done, possibly to make sure the paint didn’t affect handling.
I’m curious to see how long these cars will go between brake jobs. Thanks to the powerful regenerative braking the discs are not getting much action.
If these cars catch on they are going to radically alter the existing car maintenance infrastructure. There are going to be a lot fewer maintenance repair shops, auto parts stores, and dealerships. A lot of money will be left in the hands of consumers to save, or spend on other things, like tattoos or the latest Apple gadget.
I’m also excited to see what aftermarket inventions will be spawned by this new car technology. I’m in the market for an AC to DC inverter to power my home’s gas furnace blower motor (and maybe a few lights and a laptop) from the Leaf during ice storm induced power outages. My guess is that chargers will eventually be designed that will also integrate these cars into home solar panel systems as well as serve as emergency power inverters.