Most vehicles today require routine maintenance at predetermined intervals. For the Nissan Leaf, the first required check-up comes at the 15,000-mile (or one year) mark. But Nissan North America still "recommends" a six-month service stop.

Why at six-months? Well, it's more for the company than the car, really. This stop provides Nissan with a way to keeps tabs on the Leaf and allows its mechanics a chance to catch any potential problems with the groundbreaking electric hatch.

What gets done if a Leaf owner decides to drop by the dealership at the six-month mark? Just about next to nothing. Nissan's technicians will do the usual, including inspecting the underside of the vehicle, popping the hood for a peek and rotating the tires. But that's it. There's no motor oil to change and, aside from a thorough exterior washing, there's not much to be done to the Leaf.

In fact, the service is so brief that most Leaf owners drink a cup o' joe in the waiting room while roaming the web for the few minutes it takes to complete the recommended checks. The cost? Some Nissan dealers perform the service for free, while others charge up to $89. Our advice? Get your Leaf checked at six months, especially if your dealer offers it for nothing (if not, call around). It is, after all, one of the most technologically advanced vehicles around.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      JP
      • 3 Years Ago
      My advice? Skip it unless it's free. If something goes wrong with the vehicle it's under warranty, there is no way they should be charging you to look at your vehicle.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JP
        It is probably free and mandatory. They want to fix any problems they spot before they get worse.
          JP
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          The article said some places are charging up to $89, that's not free. If Nissan wants to check the car fine, but don't even think about charging me for it.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          That, and cars like the leaf and volt are so new as to be experimental. These can be used to just take a look see on real world, and also see wrf is going on. I imagine with the complexity of the system, the chevy people must really look those cars over.
        uncle_sam
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JP
        Dumb advice! It can't be wrong for some people, to have a brief check of brakes and tires. Although it does a lot of regen, good brakes, save lives. Especially if they are used much less because of electric propulsion, they can rot easily. Also brake fluid ages, and a check for the coolant can't be wrong. I want my brakes in a good working condition... Even if a dealer charges 89 bucks, its a steal, compared to an ice car. if it is for free I would give my workshop some bucks, because employees are not free, and if the place offers good service why not?
          Naturenut99
          • 3 Years Ago
          @uncle_sam
          I didnt see them say anything about checking the brakes, just rotating tires and evaluating. At 6mo. tires shoulnt need to be rotated, and a car with regen. braking definitely doesnt need to be checked at 6mo., unless they are looking for a specific potential problem. Ive had a 2004 Prius since 2004 and the brakes have never been an issue. Your correct in that, brakes should be taken care of and in good working order. But with regen. brakes you always have that "90%" of braking without needing the pads anyway.
          JP
          • 3 Years Ago
          @uncle_sam
          US, More nonsense. An EV puts less strain on brakes, brake fluid, and coolant. No ICE needs a 5K service for that stuff and certainly no EV needs it. I've had ICE vehicles with more than 100K miles on the original brake fluid and coolant, no problems.
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      With the toyota solid-state battery story good for 621 miles, im minding if this car will sale well ?
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        No car has the solid state battery. To channel my inner Dan (and Spec for that matter) we have not seen real world application of that battery. It will be a cool, really cool thing, if they get it to work in cars, but as of not, nothing.
      Smith Jim
      • 3 Years Ago
      joeviocoe, http://green.autoblog.com/2010/11/10/chevy-volts-oil-change-interval-maxes-out-at-2-years/
        Joeviocoe
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Smith Jim
        Must have missed that. Thanks. I apologize, I did not know that GM had specifically addressed this issue.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nissan is just being super cautious. The first service on the Kangoo ZE is not due until 12,000 miles or one year and thereafter at 25,000 mile intervals.
      Smith Jim
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is for all the Volt haters out there who believe the Volt will be a high maintenance car. The typical Volt driver uses the ICE about 20% duty cycle. This will mean oil changes once every two years. You might need to change the air filter once every four years. The modern ICE-only car needs spark plugs and spark plug wires at 100,000 miles. At 20% duty cycle the spark plugs and wires of the Volt will need replacing every half-million miles. If you think the Volt is high maintenance you are using less than 20% of your brain.
        Joeviocoe
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Smith Jim
        "This will mean oil changes once every two years" Um, no! Oil is not meant to even sit that long in an engine. Even if not being used... it is always recommended to change your oil more often than that. That is why they say, "3,000 miles OR 3 months". Although that is a very conservative schedule. After 6 months, I would do it anyway. The same for the gasoline in the tank. There is always risk of the fuel getting stale. Which is why GM decided to have a fully sealed tank. .. and to run the engine every 60 days if you haven't already.... to help prevent fluids from getting stale. Yeah, there's gonna be reduced maintenance... but not 20%. You still have do oil changes at least every 6 months.
          sandos
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Our car has 2 year interval for oil changes (or 20K miles I think, and services), no problems at all. Also, I NEVER hear about anyone here in Europe obsessing about motor oil changes. Also never heard about engine problems due to bad oil. Is this a USA thing?
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          http://green.autoblog.com/2010/11/10/chevy-volts-oil-change-interval-maxes-out-at-2-years/ - Smith Jim Must have missed that. Thanks. I apologize, I did not know that GM had specifically addressed this issue
          JP
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Sorry Joe but that is total nonsense. Even the owners manual of most vehicles recommend over 7K oil change intervals, and using synthetics you can go even longer, 10K+. I've been doing that for years for all my vehicles, which works out to about once a year, zero issues. Over 20 years ago Consumers Reports did a fleet test, one group did 3K oil changes, one did 6K oil changes, and after 50K miles they tore down the motors and checked for wear, no differences. People have been wasting their time and money on unnecessary oil changes for years.
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Smith Jim
        @Smith In addition to being a radical right wing extremist, former Member of our imperialist military, and employee of our vast military industrial complex, the maintenance concerns go way beyond the simple usage of the volt, and how long the engine is run. I am not saying that car is bad in any way,but the systems are a true marvel of technology, and incredibly complex. 3 clutches, if I remember correctly? Controllers to run the various electric motors (more than one), transition to gas.... The gas motor is probably not much of a concern in this thing. In simple terms, you hit the accelerator, then several miracles occur, and it goes. The miracles are where the potential demons may be.
          Smith Jim
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          I'm impressed that you are a rocket scientist (seriously) and I'm sorry to have to say this again: If you think the Volt drive train is incredibly complex you know very little about the inner workings of automobiles.
          Smith Jim
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          EZEE, Do you know how many clutches a conventional automatic transmission has? Here's a short course on automatic transmissions. http://www.familycar.com/transmission.htm#Transmission Components
          Smith Jim
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          EZEE, EVERY conventional automatic transmission in every modern car is microprocessor-controlled. The major automakers have decades of experience with microprocessor-controlled transmissions. Mechanically, the Volt drive train is LESS complicated than an automatic transmission. Therefore, the Volt drive train is LESS complex than a vehicle with an automatic transmission. You can dispute this simple FACT but your argument makes no sense.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Hear that? The sound of engineers at GM chins hitting the floor after hearing how simple the Volt drive train is.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Well, while YOU were picking up a wrench, I was working on....well, I cannot even tell you due to the nature of the work, but, at certain points I have been classified as a rocket scientist (so if you need to ask one, here I am). According to SAE's definition the Volt is a hybrid vehicle, due to the combination of an internal combustion engine and electric motors, and its configuration can be referred to as a plug-in hybrid.[9] The Volt operates as a purely electric vehicle for the first 25 to 50 miles (40 to 80 km), after which it functions primarily as a series hybrid, as the internal combustion engine acts primarily as a generator to power the electric traction motor. When the initial pure EV battery capacity drops below a pre-established threshold from full charge and while the Volt is operating in series hybrid mode, the Volt's control system will select the most optimally efficient drive mode to improve performance and boost high-speed efficiency. At certain loads and speeds, 30 to 70 mph (48 to 110 km/h), the internal combustion engine may at times be engaged mechanically via a clutch to an output split planetary gearset and assist the traction motor to propel the Volt. Therefore, the Volt can operate as an all-electric vehicle, a series hybrid or a parallel hybrid depending on the battery's state of charge (SOC) and operating conditions.[9][10][11] The Volt has an automotive drive system different from any existing car, but as a series hybrid or when in gasoline mode, the Volt operates similarly to conventional diesel-electric railroad locomotives, which use the combustion engine only to produce electricity to drive the electric traction motors, except for the times when the Volt needs to improve performance.[9] So...lets see... a large electric motor that doubles as a generator, a clutch, a smaller electric motor that doubles as a generator, a gas engine, AND a third clutch that acts as a brake....this configuration has not been done before, has computer controllers that turn things on and off at various times, and THIS is more simple than 1940's technology (an automatic transmission)? I am not saying that it WILL be unreliable (initial reports suggest that it is very reliable) - but to say that it is not complex, that it is not ground breaking...? Wow. You should be building the rockets then, because obviously things must be very easy to you. This just in...Jim invents anti-gravity, calls it 'childs play.' Bursts into laughter when he hears there is no cure for cancer.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          @theflew Maybe it is the engineer in me - but once I see how stuff actually works - that is where the miracles are. No magic, but since it isn't magic, that is where it gets scary. Like, "OMG - Human beings built this?" With a transmission - and, prior to electronic controllers and such, these were of course very complex, but mechanical. With the Volt - everything that is happening at any given time - 3 motors, 3 clutches - all of that has electronics that is just incredible. Look at it like this...you are driving your car, the temperature gauge goes up - you stop the car, and look. Green fluid pouring onto the ground, and, a hole in the hose. Well darn. Get the duct take, wrap it around a bunch of times, find some water, allow to cool down, pour in, and you are on your way. Now, you are in your volt. It simply stops. Why? Again - all reports suggest that the volt is very reliable (as is the Prius and Fusion). (and yes, I know the above comparison is not accurate) - but, for those who work on cars - ask them about having a 1979 Torino come into the garage, versus a Volt. The Torino will undoubtably come in more often...but the volt...wow. Let's get the brain trust out for this baby.
          Smith Jim
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          EZEE, I started wrenching on cars before I was old enough to drive. I've torn down and rebuilt both automatic and manual transmissions. The drive train in the Volt is quite simple compared to a conventional automatic transmission or even a manual transmission. Modern automatics are computer controlled but I don't hear people saying a car with a conventional automatic is "incredibly complex". Anyone who thinks the Volt drive train is incredibly complex doesn't know anything about cars.
          theflew
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          @EZEE I don't think Smith is saying the Volt's drivetrain isn't revolutionary. I think his point is it's physically quite simple. What makes it revolutionary is the software behind it that makes it work seamlessly. Whether its the main traction motor, motor/generator or ICE helping drive the wheels as the driver you don't know or care. That's very different compared to something like the Prius.
        lne937s
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Smith Jim
        I wouldn't try it. An engine needs to get hot on a regular basis to remove any moisture and condensation that may be occurring inside the crankcase. That condensation leads to oxidation of the oil and oxidization of the metal in the engine. This is especially the case in cast iron block engines like the Volt. There is more to oil than just thermal breakdown. You could try to wait, but I don't think it is wise, especially if you live in a place where it rains regularly and/or you have cold winters.
          theflew
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          That's why the Volt will start it's engine monthly if it hasn't run and will run it for several minutes.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          @theflew And that is so incredibly cool as well...even that they thought of it. Sounds....dare I say...a bit complicated though! :D
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, that's a different story for me. The tire maintenance came up on my navigation system, so I called the Dublin Nissan, who told me they need to do a 7500 miles maintenance that includes tires rotation, brake fluid replacement and cabin air replacement for $246. Whoever this what they called the "service adviser" really try to rip me off.
      Chris Arnesen
      • 3 Years Ago
      The tires are recommended to be rotated at 7,500 miles (or 6 months). When I called the dealer, I specifically asked for the cost of a tire rotation and was told $14.99. When I made the appointment, they let me know that they'll also check for any outstanding service bulletins and wash the car for no additional cost. The next service (15,000 miles or 12 months) will be another tire rotation and in-cabin air filter replacement. The brake fluid flush is only for severe driving conditions otherwise it waits until 30,000 miles. The filter costs about $20 online so I'll probably just replace that myself unless they want to give me a deal with the $15 tire rotation. At 12 months (not mileage based), the first "required" service occurs with a short battery analysis (takes about 5 minutes). Then at 22,500 miles, another tire rotation. Then at 30,00 miles we have the tire rotation, filter replacement, and a recommended brake fluid replacement. My dealer quoted $159 for the brake fluid replacement, but local shops usually charge about $110-120 for the same service...
        JP
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chris Arnesen
        Brake fluid replacement on a car that uses its brakes less than a regular ICE? Save your money. I've had cars with 100K miles on the original fluid, no issues. This sounds a lot like dealers trying to drum up service work for a car that needs no service.
        sirvixisvexed
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chris Arnesen
        Yes, JP is right, brake fluid is something I personally do every 75k, have done it to my current car twice, has 165k miles and never had issues. 30k is bologna.
          sirvixisvexed
          • 3 Years Ago
          @sirvixisvexed
          AND, don't get brake fluid done at the dealer, who is a rip-off for EVERYTHING. Price shop. Even if it's an EV, changing brake fluid shouldn't require anything special or different from an ICE car.
      Michael Walsh
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yeah, I'm good. I rotated my own tires (though the TPMS sensors should to be reprogrammed) and I removed the belly pan and took a real good look over everything on the drivetrain. However, I will go in for the 15,000 mile service (which includes a brake fluid flush) when the time comes. They can reprogram the TPMS then, but I may or may not let them rotate my tires for me.....that's the sort of thing I am quite capable of (and like to do) myself. And I'll definitely go in for the 1 year battery check in a couple of months, being as it's required and just makes sense (it's also free the first couple of times).
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