NISSAN LEAF 2013 1.G Owners Manual
Page 301 of 402
Do not stop or park the vehicle over flammable materials such as dry grass,
waste paper or rags. They may ignite
and cause a fire.
Never leave the vehicle in the READY to drive mode while the vehicle is un-
attended. Do not leave children unattended in-
side the vehicle. They could unknow-
ingly activate switches or controls. Un-
attended children could become
involved in serious accidents.
Safe parking procedures require that both the parking brake be applied and
the vehicle placed in the park position.
Failure to do so could cause the ve-
hicle to move unexpectedly or roll
away and result in an accident.
1. Firmly apply the parking brake.
2. Push the P position switch on the shift lever. 3. To help prevent the vehicle from rolling into
the street when parked on a slope, it is a good
practice to turn the wheels as illustrated.
HEADED DOWNHILL WITH CURB:
Turn the wheels into the curb and move the vehicle forward until the curb side wheel
gently touches the curb.
HEADED UPHILL WITH CURB:
Turn the wheels away from the curb and move the vehicle back until the curb side
wheel gently touches the curb.
HEADED UPHILL OR DOWNHILL, NO CURB:
Turn the wheels toward the side of the roadso the vehicle will move away from the center
of the road if it moves.
4. Place the power switch in the OFF position.
PARKING/PARKING ON HILLS
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If the READY to drive indicator light is OFF while driving, the power assist for
the steering will not work. Steering will
be harder to operate.
When the power steering warning light illuminates while the READY to drive
indicator light ON, the power assist for
the steering will cease operation. You
will still have control of the vehicle but
the steering will be harder to operate.
The power steering system is designed to pro-
vide power assistance while driving to operate
the steering wheel with less effort.
When the steering wheel is operated repeatedly
or continuously while parking or driving at a very
low speed, the power assist for the steering
wheel will be reduced. This is to prevent over-
heating of the power steering system and help
protect it from getting damaged. While the power
assistance is reduced, steering wheel operation
will become harder. When the temperature of the
power steering system goes down, the power
assistance level will return to normal. Avoid re-
peating such steering wheel operations that
could cause the power steering system to over-
heat. You may hear a noise when the steering wheel is
operated quickly. However, this is not a malfunc-
If the power steering warning light
nates while the READY to drive indicator light is
ON, it may indicate the power steering system is
not functioning properly and may need servicing.
Have the power steering system checked by a
NISSAN certified LEAF dealer. (See Power
steering warning light in theInstruments and
The power assist for steering stops operating
when both the power steering warning light and
READY to drive indicator light are illuminated.
You will still have control of the vehicle. However,
greater steering effort is needed, especially in
sharp turns and at low speeds.
This vehicle is equipped with two braking sys-
1. Hydraulic brake system
2. Regenerative brake system
Hydraulic brake system
The hydraulic brake system is similar to the
brakes used on conventional vehicles.
The brake system has two separate hydraulic
circuits. If one circuit malfunctions, you will still
have braking at two wheels.
Regenerative brake system
The primary purpose of regenerative brake sys-
tem is to provide some power to help recharge
the Li-ion battery and extend driving range. A
secondary benefit is “engine braking” that oper-
ates based on battery conditions.
In the D (Drive) range, when the accelerator is
released, the regenerative brake system provides
some deceleration and generates power for the
Li-ion battery. Power is also generated when the
brake pedal is applied.
When you put the shift lever in the ECO position
and take your foot off the accelerator pedal, more
POWER STEERING SYSTEM BRAKE SYSTEM
Starting and driving5-19
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regenerative brake is applied than in the D (Drive)
position. However, during high-speed driving you
may feel that regenerative brake provides less
deceleration than the engine braking in an ordi-
nary vehicle. This is normal.
Less deceleration is provided by the regenerative
brake system when the Li-ion battery is fully
charged. Regenerative brake is automatically re-
duced when the Li-ion battery is fully charged to
prevent the Li-ion battery from becoming over-
charged. Regenerative brake is also automati-
cally reduced when the battery temperature is
high/low (indicated by the red/blue zones on the
battery temperature gauge) to prevent Li-ion bat-
The brake pedal should be used to slow or stop
the vehicle depending on traffic or road condi-
tions. The vehicle brakes are not affected by
regenerative brake system operation.
When applying the regenerative brakes,
you may hear a sound coming from the
regenerative brake system. This is a nor-
mal operating characteristic of an EV
(Electric vehicle) .
If the power switch position is in a posi-
tion other than ON or READY to drive, you
can stop the vehicle by depressing the
brake pedal. However, greater foot pres-
sure on the brake pedal will be required to
stop the vehicle, and the stopping dis-
tance will be longer.
When depressing the brake pedal, the
braking pedal feel will not be smooth or
may change when the cooperative regen-
erative brake system activates. However,
the electronically controlled brake system
is operating normally and this does not
indicate a malfunction.
Avoid resting your foot on the brake pedal while
driving. This will cause overheating of the brakes,
wearing out the brake pads and shoes faster and
will reduce driving range.
To help reduce brake wear and to prevent the
brakes from overheating, reduce speed and se-
lect ECO position before going down a slope or
long grade. Overheated brakes may reduce brak-
ing performance and could result in loss of ve-
While driving on a slippery surface, be careful when braking or accelerating.
Abrupt braking or accelerating could
cause the wheels to skid, which could
result in an accident.
If the brake pedal is depressed with the EV (Electric Vehicle) system OFF,
you may feel an increased brake pedal
effort and a decreased pedal stroke. If
the BRAKE warning light does not illu-
minate and the brake pedal feels like it
has returned to its normal state after
the EV system is started, this indicates
that there is no malfunction and the
vehicle can be operated normally.
When the vehicle is washed or driven through
water, the brakes may get wet. As a result, the
braking distance will be longer and the vehicle
may pull to one side during braking.
To dry brakes, drive the vehicle at a safe speed
while lightly tapping the brake pedal to heat up
the brakes. Do this until the brakes return to
normal. Avoid driving the vehicle at high speeds
until the brakes have dried.
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Parking brake break-in
Break in the parking brake shoes whenever the
holding effect of the parking brake is weakened
or whenever the parking brake shoes are re-
placed, in order to maintain optimum braking
This procedure is described in the vehicle Ser-
vice Manual, and it can be performed by a
NISSAN certified LEAF dealer.
ANTI-LOCK BRAKING SYSTEM
The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is a sophisticated device, but it cannot
prevent accidents resulting from care-
less or dangerous driving techniques.
It can help maintain vehicle control
during braking on slippery surfaces.
Remember that stopping distances on
slippery surfaces will be longer than
on normal surfaces even with ABS.
Stopping distances may also be longer
on rough, gravel or snow covered
roads, or if you are using tire chains.
Always maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. Ultimately,
the driver is responsible for safety.
Tire type and condition may also affect braking effectiveness.
– When replacing tires, install thespecified size of tires on all four
– For detailed information, see
Wheels and tires in theMainte-
nance and do-it-yourself section of
The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) controls the
brakes so the wheels do not lock during hard
braking or when braking on slippery surfaces.
The system detects the rotation speed at each
wheel and varies the brake fluid pressure to pre-
vent each wheel from locking and sliding. By
preventing each wheel from locking, the system
helps the driver maintain steering control and
helps to minimize swerving and spinning on slip-
Using the system
Depress the brake pedal and hold it down. De-
press the brake pedal with firm steady pressure,
but do not pump the brakes. The ABS will oper-
ate to prevent the wheels from locking up. Steer
the vehicle to avoid obstacles.
Do not pump the brake pedal. Doing so
may result in increased stopping dis-
The ABS includes electronic sensors, electric
pumps, hydraulic solenoids and a computer. The
computer has a built-in diagnostic feature that
tests the system each time you push the power
switch in the READY to drive position and move
the vehicle at a low speed in forward or reverse.
When the self-test occurs, you may hear a
“clunk” noise and/or feel a pulsation in the brake
pedal. This is normal and does not indicate a
malfunction. If the computer senses a malfunc-
tion, it switches the ABS off and illuminates the
ABS warning light on the instrument panel. The
brake system then operates normally, but without
If the ABS warning light illuminates during the
self-test or while driving, have the vehicle
checked by a NISSAN certified LEAF dealer.
Starting and driving5-21
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The ABS operates at speeds above 3 to 6 MPH
(5 to 10 km/h) . The speed varies according to
When the ABS senses that one or more wheels
are close to locking up, the actuator rapidly ap-
plies and releases hydraulic pressure. This action
is similar to pumping the brakes very quickly. You
may feel a pulsation in the brake pedal and hear a
noise from under the hood or feel a vibration from
the actuator when it is operating. This is normal
and indicates that the ABS is operating properly.
However, the pulsation may indicate that road
conditions are hazardous and extra care is re-
quired while driving.The Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system uses
various sensors to monitor driver inputs and ve-
hicle motion. Under certain driving conditions,
the VDC system helps to perform the following
Controls brake pressure to reduce wheel slip on
one slipping drive wheel so power is transferred
to a drive wheel on the same axle that is not
Controls brake pressure and traction motor out- put to reduce drive wheel slip based on vehicle
speed (traction control function) .
Controls brake pressure at individual wheels and traction motor output to help the driver
maintain control of the vehicle in the following
conditions. – understeer (vehicle tends to not follow the steered path despite increased steering in-
– oversteer (vehicle tends to spin due to cer- tain road or driving conditions) .
The VDC system can help the driver to maintain
control of the vehicle, but it cannot prevent loss of
vehicle control in all driving situations.
When the VDC system operates, the
warning in the instrument panel flashes. When
the warning flashes, note the following items. The road may be slippery or the system may
determine some action is required to help keep
the vehicle on the steered path.
You may feel a pulsation in the brake pedal and hear a noise or vibration from under the hood.
This is normal and indicates that the VDC sys-
tem is working properly.
Adjust your speed and driving according to the road conditions.
See VDC warning light in theInstruments and
controls section and VDC OFF indicator light
in the Instruments and controls section.
If a malfunction occurs in the system, the
warning illuminates in the lower display. The VDC
system automatically turns off when this warning
light is lit.
The VDC OFF switch is used to turn off the VDC
system. The VDC off indicator
to indicate that the VDC system is off. When the
VDC switch is used to turn off the system, the
VDC system still operates to prevent one drive
wheel from slipping by transferring power to a
drive wheel that is not slipping. The
ing flashes if this occurs. All other VDC functions
are off and the
warning will not flash. The
VDC System is automatically reset to ON when
VEHICLE DYNAMIC CONTROL (VDC)
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the power switch is placed in the OFF position
then back to the ON position.
The computer has a built-in diagnostic feature
that tests the system each time you start the EV
(Electric Vehicle) and move the vehicle forward or
in reverse at a slow speed. When the self-test
occurs, you may hear a “clunk” noise and/or feel a
pulsation in the brake pedal. This is normal and is
not an indication of a malfunction.
The VDC system is designed to help the driver maintain stability but does
not prevent accidents due to abrupt
steering operation at high speeds or
by careless or dangerous driving tech-
niques. Reduce vehicle speed and be
especially careful when driving and
cornering on slippery surfaces and al-
ways drive carefully. Do not modify the vehicle’s suspen-
sion. If suspension parts such as shock
absorbers, struts, springs, stabilizer
bars, bushings and wheels are not
NISSAN recommended for your ve-
hicle or are extremely deteriorated the
VDC system may not operate properly.
This could adversely affect vehicle
handling performance, and the
warning may flash ormay il-
If brake related parts such as brake
pads, rotors and calipers are not
NISSAN recommended or are ex-
tremely deteriorated, the VDC system
may not operate properly and
If traction motor control related parts
are not NISSAN recommended or are
extremely deteriorated, the
When driving on extremely inclined
surfaces such as higher banked cor-
ners, the VDC system may not operate
properly and the
warning may illu-
minate. Do not drive on these types of
roads. When driving on an unstable surface
such as a turntable, ferry, elevator or
warning may illuminate.
This is not a malfunction. Restart the
EV (Electric Vehicle) system after driv-
ing onto a stable surface.
If wheels or tires other than the
NISSAN recommended ones are used,
the VDC system may not operate prop-
erly and the
warning may illumi-
The VDC system is not a substitute for
winter tires or tire chains on a snow
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Never rely solely on the hill start assist system to prevent the vehicle from
moving backward on a hill. Always
drive carefully and attentively. Depress
the brake pedal when the vehicle is
stopped on a steep hill. Be especially
careful when stopped on a hill on fro-
zen or muddy roads. Failure to prevent
the vehicle from rolling backwards
may result in a loss of control of the
vehicle and possible serious injury or
The hill start assist system is not de- signed to hold the vehicle at a stand-
still on a hill. Depress the brake pedal
when the vehicle is stopped on a steep
hill. Failure to do so may cause the
vehicle to roll backwards and may re-
sult in a collision or serious personal
The hill start assist may not prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards on a
hill under all load or road conditions.
Always be prepared to depress the
brake pedal to prevent the vehicle
from rolling backwards. Failure to do
so may result in a collision or serious
personal injury. The hill start assist system automatically keeps
the brakes applied to help prevent the vehicle
from rolling backwards in the time it takes the
driver to release the brake pedal and apply the
accelerator when the vehicle is stopped on a hill.
Hill start assist will operate automatically under
the following conditions:
The shift lever is shifted into D (Drive) , ECO, or
R (Reverse) position.
The vehicle is stopped completely on a hill by applying the brake.
The maximum holding time is 2 seconds. After 2
seconds the vehicle will begin to roll back and hill
start assist will stop operating completely.
Hill start assist will not operate when the shift
lever is shifted into D (Drive) , ECO, or R (Re-
verse) position or on a flat and level road.CAUTION
To prevent damage to the Li-ion battery:
Do not store a vehicle in temperatures
below -13°F (-25°C) for over seven days. If
the outside temperature is -13°F (-25°C)
or less, the Li-ion battery may freeze and
it cannot be charged or provide power to
run the vehicle. Move the vehicle to a
Connect the charger to the vehicle and
place the power switch in the OFF posi-
tion when parking the vehicle if tempera-
tures may go below -4°F (-20°C) . This pro-
vides external power to the Li-ion battery
warmer when it operates and does not
discharge the Li-ion battery. Vehicle driv-
ing range is reduced if the Li-ion battery
warmer operates (Li-ion battery tempera-
ture approximately -4°F (-20°C) or colder)
while driving the vehicle. You may need to
charge the Li-ion battery sooner than in
The Li-ion battery requires more time to
charge when the Li-ion battery warmer
HILL START ASSIST SYSTEM COLD WEATHER DRIVING
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The predicted charging time displayed on
the meter and navigation system in-
creases when the Li-ion battery warmer
Vehicle range may be substantially re-
duced in extremely cold conditions (for
example under -4°F (-20°C)) .
Using the climate control system to heat
the cabin when outside temperature is
below 32°F (0°C) uses more electricity and
affects vehicle range more than when us-
ing the heater when the temperature is
above 32°F (0°C) .
Climate control performance is reduced
when using the Climate Ctrl. Timer or Re-
mote Climate Control while the Li-ion bat-
tery warmer operates. Set only the charg-
ing timer [End Time] when charging in
cold weather. The vehicle automatically
determines when to start charging to fully
charge the Li-ion battery, even if the Li-ion
battery warmer operates. Charging ends
before the set end time if the Li-ion bat-
tery is fully charged.FREEING A FROZEN DOOR LOCK
To prevent a door lock from freezing, apply deicer
through the key hole. If the lock becomes frozen,
heat the key before inserting it into the key hole or
use the remote keyless entry keyfob.
In the winter when it is possible that the outside
temperature will drop below 32°F (0°C) , check
the antifreeze to ensure proper winter protection.
For additional information, see Cooling system
in the Maintenance and do-it-yourself section.
If the 12-volt battery is not fully charged during
extremely cold weather conditions, the 12-volt
battery fluid may freeze and damage the 12-volt
battery. To maintain maximum efficiency, the 12-
volt battery should be checked regularly. For ad-
ditional information, see12-volt batteryin the
Maintenance and do-it-yourself section.
DRAINING OF COOLANT WATER
If the vehicle is to be left outside without anti-
freeze, drain the cooling system. Refill before
operating the vehicle. For details, see Coolingsystem
in theMaintenance and do-it-yourself
SUMMER tires have a tread designed to provide
superior performance on dry pavement. How-
ever, the performance of these tires will be sub-
stantially reduced in snowy and icy conditions. If
you operate your vehicle on snowy or icy roads,
NISSAN recommends the use of MUD & SNOW
or ALL SEASON tires on all four wheels. Consult
a NISSAN certified LEAF dealer for the tire type,
size, speed rating and availability information.
For additional traction on icy roads, studded tires
may be used. However, some U.S. states and
Canadian provinces prohibit their use. Check
local, state and provincial laws before installing
Skid and traction capabilities of studded
snow tires, on wet or dry surfaces, may be
poorer than that of non-studded snow tires.
Tire chains may be used. For details, see Tire
chains in theMaintenance and do-it-yourself
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SPECIAL WINTER EQUIPMENT
It is recommended that the following items be
carried in the vehicle during winter:
A scraper and stiff-bristled brush to remove iceand snow from the windows and wiper blades.
A shovel to dig the vehicle out of snow-drifts.
Extra window washer fluid to refill the reservoir tank.
DRIVING ON SNOW OR ICE
Wet ice (32°F, 0°C and freezing rain) , very cold snow or ice can be slick and
very hard to drive on. The vehicle will
have much less traction or “grip” under
these conditions. Try to avoid driving
on wet ice until the road is salted or
Whatever the conditions, drive with caution. Accelerate and slow down
with care. If accelerating too fast, the
drive wheels will lose even more trac-
Allow more stopping distance under these conditions. Braking should be
started sooner than on dry pavement. Allow greater following distances on
Watch for slippery spots (glare ice) . These may appear on an otherwise
clear road in shaded areas. If a patch
of ice is seen ahead, brake before
reaching it. Try not to brake while on
the ice, and avoid any sudden steering
Do not use cruise control on slippery roads.
FREEING A FROZEN CHARGE
When the charge port is frozen, melt the ice using
a hair dryer.
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6 In case of emergency
Roadside assistance program................6-2
Emergency EV (Electric Vehicle) shut off .........6-2
Hazard warning flasher switch ...............6-2
Flat tire ............................ .6-3
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) .......6-3
Repairing flat tire .................... .6-4
Jump starting ........................ .6-10If the Li-ion battery becomes completely
Push starting ........................ .6-12
Tools ............................. .6-13
Towing your vehicle .................... .6-13
Towing recommended by NISSAN ..........6-14
Vehicle recovery (freeing stuck vehicle) .......6-15