NISSAN LEAF 2016 1.G Owners Manual
Page 321 of 437
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. For additional
information, refer to “Power steering warning
light” in the “Instruments and controls” section of
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 the regenerative brake
system is to provide some power to help re-
charge the Li-ion battery and extend driving
range. A secondary benefit is “engine braking”
that operates 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 B position and
take your foot off the accelerator pedal, more 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) .
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•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 B position before going down a slope or long
grade. Overheated brakes may reduce braking
performance and could result in loss of vehicle
• 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.
Parking brake break-in
Break-in the parking brake shoes whenever the
stopping effect of the parking brake is weakened
or whenever the parking brake shoes and/or
drum/rotors are replaced, in order to assure the
best braking performance.
This procedure is described in the vehicle Ser-
vice Manual, and it can be performed by a
NISSAN certified LEAF dealer.
Starting and driving5-21
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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 additional information, refer to “Wheels and tires” in the “Mainte-
nance and do-it-yourself” section of
The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) controls the
brakes so the wheels do not lock during hard brak-
ing or when braking on slippery surfaces. The sys-
tem detects the rotation speed at each wheel and
varies the brake fluid pressure to prevent 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 slippery surfaces.
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.
The ABS operates at speeds above 3 to 6 mph (5
to 10 km/h) . The speed varies according to road
When the ABS senses that one or more wheels are
close to locking up, the actuator rapidly applies 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 required while driving.
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The VDC system uses various sensors to monitor
driver inputs and vehicle motion. Under certain
driving conditions, the VDC system helps to per-
form the following functions.
• Controls brake pressure to reduce wheel slip onone 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 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.
For additional information, refer to “Vehicle Dy-
namic Control (VDC) warning light” and “Vehicle
Dynamic Control (VDC) off indicator light” in the
“Instruments and controls” section of this manual.
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
non slipping wheel. The
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 the power switch is placed in the OFF position then back to the ON
The computer has a built-in diagnostic feature
that tests the system each time you start the EV
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 indica-
tion 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.
VEHICLE DYNAMIC CONTROL (VDC)
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• 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
• 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
• 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
HILL START ASSIST SYSTEM
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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) , B, 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) , B, or R (Reverse)
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 (if so equipped) when it operates
and does not discharge the Li-ion battery.
Vehicle driving range is reduced if the
Li-ion battery warmer (if so equipped) op-
erates (Li-ion battery temperature ap-
proximately -4°F (-20°C) or colder) while
driving the vehicle. You may need to
charge the Li-ion battery sooner than in
warmer temperatures. •
The Li-ion battery requires more time to
charge when the Li-ion battery warmer (if
so equipped) operates.
• The predicted charging time displayed on
the meter and navigation system in-
creases when the Li-ion battery warmer (if
so equipped) operates.
• 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 (if so equipped) operates. Set
only the charging timer [End Time] when
charging in cold weather. The vehicle au-
tomatically 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 battery is fully charged.
COLD WEATHER DRIVING
Starting and driving5-25
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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 key fob.
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, refer to “Cooling sys-
tem” in the “Maintenance and do-it-yourself” sec-
tion of this manual.
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, refer to “12-volt battery” in
the “Maintenance and do-it-yourself” section of
DRAINING OF COOLANT WATER
If the vehicle is to be left outside without anti-
freeze, drain the cooling system. Refill beforeoperating the vehicle. For additional information,
refer to “Cooling system” in the “Maintenance
and do-it-yourself” section of this manual.
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 additional informa-
tion, refer to “Tire chains” in the “Maintenance
and do-it-yourself” section of this manual.
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 ice
and snow from the windows and wiper blades.
• A shovel to dig the vehicle out of snow-drifts.
• Extra windshield-washer fluid to refill the reser- voir 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.
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• Allow greater following distances onslippery roads.
• 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 reach-
ing it. Try not to brake while on the ice,
and avoid any sudden steering maneu-
• 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.
Starting and driving5-27
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5-28Starting and driving
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6 In case of emergency
Hazard warning flasher switch...............6-2
Roadside assistance program ................6-2
Emergency EV (Electric Vehicle) shut off .........6-3
Flat tire ............................ .6-3
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) .......6-3
Repairing flat tire .................... .6-4Jump starting
If the Li-ion battery becomes completely discharged. .6-12
Push starting ........................ .6-13
Towing your vehicle .................... .6-13
Towing recommended by NISSAN ..........6-14
Vehicle recovery (freeing a stuck vehicle) ......6-14