Friday, March 06, 2015

Nissan Leaf Winter Heating: Save your battery like so

Disclaimer: Don't do it. There, I told you not to. :)

This mostly applies to the 2011 without heated seats or steering wheel. Here's the items I use.

Heated Seat Cushion

Amazon Search here:

This goes in and out of stock. If you see it, get it. YMMV on other brands. Has a high and low switch. I use low with the heater below. From Amazon: High setting draws 3.5 amps, Low setting draws 2.7 amps. A customer actually benched it on a power supply (!).

Roadpro Heater

Disclaimer: if you keep it on the floorboard, don't blame me if it makes you wreck or melts something. I have the rubber mats and this thing doesn't get that hot. (Make sure it's far away from your brake pedals!)

A note on this: it blows a little warm air around your feet if you put it there or will defog a portion of your windshield. A tiny hair drier is 1000 watts, this is 180. Manage your expectations. I think it works ok as a foot zone warmer. Don't expect more than that.

Why use it? The Nissan Leaf heater I have seen draw 5000 watts. That's a LOT. 1000 watts for an hour gives me 4.7 miles of range on average. So if you're heater runs on low at 2000 watts for an hour or 4000 watts for 30 minutes, etc. you can lose almost 10 miles of range. The 2012/2013 IIRC are supposed to be more efficient. Also, if you live in colder climates, get the heated seat and steering wheel options.

Socket Expander

DISCLAIMER: To set this up, you need to replace the fuse in a Socket Expander with a 20A fuse, same as the Leaf has for the socket. Let's just say you will catch something on fire, so you won't do it. I did it and it's fine. The socket in the Leaf has a big piece of ceramic in it for heat dissipation, the Leaf fuse blows at 20A, and I only use 17.7A with the heater on and the seat cushion on low.

So to sum:
Really, you should be able to run the cushion on high along with the heater but I recommend just the low setting if you run both. Obviously, you can run the cushion on high without the heater if your feet don't get cold or you need it to defog the windshield.

Another disclaimer: Don't do it! :)

Another warning: This MAY have led to me having to repair my socket, but it's also possible it was defective.

How I did that is written up here:

I hope this helped. Please visit my Amazon blog for more Leaf item reviews and tips:

That's how I get paid to write up all these little repair and informational articles. :)

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