Nissan Leaf Won’t Charge to 100 – Try this!


Charging a Nissan Leaf is all about getting the maximum range in your battery while protecting it as much as you can. But for what reason would your Nissan Leaf not be charging to 100? Read on to find out why.

Top 3 common reasons your Nissan Leaf won’t charge to 100 include:

  1. Upper battery limit unclear
  2. Battery management is in play
  3. Fast charger fault

In this article, we’ll look at why your Nissan Leaf won’t charge to 100% and ways to fix it.

Nissan-Leaf-on-charge

The Upper Charge Limit is Unclear

There was a time when you could set your charge limit to what you liked, but in 2014 Nissan changed how charge limits were controlled. In my opinion, the older system was better, where you could set a percentage and manage the health of your battery.

Since the 2014 change, Nissan maintains that charging to full capacity doesn’t damage the battery or reduce its life. Every other EV brand tends to disagree.

Nissan has altered the percentage scale and increased the buffer of the upper charging scale. The reality of this is you feel you’re charging to 100%, but actually, it’s only charging to 85-90% of the battery capacity.

But if your battery is not accepting a full charge to 100%, then there could be something else going on.

  • The SOH (State of Health) is low or
  • There is a timer set

State of Health (SOC) is low

The SOH of your battery is an important calculation to keep an eye on. You need to have a few pieces of information to hand before you can calculate, and a long journey is required before you take note of these numbers.

  1. Watt hours per mile
  2. Range available
  3. % of your battery
  4. kW size of your battery from new

Watt hours per mile can be found on your dash, as can your range. The % of your battery is available %, and your battery from new is either 40kW or 60kW.

There are three steps to the calculation:

Step 1Wh Miles multiplied by Projected Range divided by 1000 = kW hours.
Step 2The answer to Step 1 is then divided by % of your battery.
Step 3The answer to Step 2 is then divided by the original kW size of your battery.

This number is the percentage of your battery available when you try and charge it to 100%. As your battery ages, no matter how well you look after it, it will degrade by a certain percentage.

Timer is Set

When a charging timer is set on your Leaf, no charging will begin until the time rolls around. You can select to charge immediately, but you must activate this. To turn this on and off, you need to select this on your touchscreen. Select either Timer 1 or Timer 2 to check if a timer is set on your Leaf.

Timers can also be set for different days of the week, so you might also have to check if a specific day prevents you from charging.

Forcing your Leaf to Charge to 100%

With the absence of being able to set the charge limit, there are ways to get around this. The easiest one is through your app. You can use the smart charger to charge to a specific amount, but first, you must complete the SOH calculation to get an accurate number to enter when calibrating your App.

Let’s look at calibrating the JuiceBox App, for example:

  • Open JuiceBox
  • Select ‘My Vehicles’
  • Select ‘Edit’ in the top right corner
  • Enter the battery capacity

Once calibrated, you can then set the charge % when you’re ready to charge. First, note the battery’s SOC (State of Charge). Your car must then be plugged in and ready to charge.

  • Open the App
  • Go to the charge screen
  • Tap and hold until ‘Plugged in with’ appears
  • Move the dial to the SOC number
    • You made a note of it before you switched off
  • Tap and hold again
  • Move the dial to 100%
  • You can either start charging now or set a timer for later

The finished rate of charge will depend on the accuracy of your calculation and may need some adjusting if it’s not taking a full charge to 100%.

Battery Protection

The high-voltage battery in your Nissan Leaf is the most important part of your car. If the battery has a problem, you’re not going anywhere anytime soon.

The car is continually monitoring how you’re driving, the average daily range traveled, and the way you are charging.

Over time the computers will learn the best charging percentage suitable for you. This is rarely 100%. As said, Nissan maintains that your battery will not be damaged by 100%, but the reality is

Charging at a Fast Charge

The last thing we’ll look at is charging at a fast charger. The ideal charging situation is charging daily at home using a Level 1 or a Level 2 charger. Sometimes this isn’t always possible or practical. You live in rented accommodation or an apartment complex where you don’t always have access to the onsite charger.

The alternative is to charge using a fast charger. There are many fast charging options available throughout the USA, and it’s a personal choice that is best for your circumstances.

Electrify America is prevalent throughout the states, but they are not always the best choice for Leaf owners. The leaf is one of the few EV manufacturers using the CHAdeMO connection. EA only offers one CHAdeMO charger per location, so that you might have a considerable wait time.

EVgo is a good option, but not as fast as you imagine a fast charger to be. It can take an hour to charge to 80%. On the upside, all chargers at EVgo locations offer CHAdeMO connections.

ChargePoint and Blink are mainly Level 2 or Destination chargers which are good if you’re not in a hurry.

We’ve slightly gotten off-topic, but I just wanted to explain the variations.

When we plug in any fast charger, and it doesn’t go to plan, we assume it’s the car’s problem, but often it’s the charger’s fault.

Although the charging locations are maintained and serviced regularly, they can still have issues.

The reduction in charging could be because the power from the grid locally is down, and charging at the location is down overall.

There may be a problem with the actual charger you’re plugged into. Although it plugs in fine and begins to charge, it might slow down significantly or stall. Try moving to another charger, preferably one someone has just been using.

Fast chargers use DC (Direct Charging), which uses increased power and heat, which allows for rapid charging. However, nearly all fast charges will fly towards 80% and then are designed to considerably slow down from 80-100%. This could be the reason you can’t achieve 100% at a fast charger.

When fully charged, all 20 bars should be illuminated. Each bar is worth 5%. My advice is not to be too hung up on the 100% charge. If you can consistently charge 80-85%, you’re doing very well.

Other posts you might find useful:

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E John Cunningham

Hey, I’m John and I'm a technical writer here at EVjuicedup.com. I’m a Red Seal qualified Auto Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience working on Classic and Modern Cars. I've worked for GM, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Audi, and VW main dealers. Yep, I’ve skint my knuckles on them all!

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