Our Nissan Leaf Gets a House Call
The Cars.com Nissan Leaf has received a Vehicle Control Module update, its first service call since we purchased it in February. Our Chevrolet Volt received similar updates in March, though that resulted from a check-engine light.
The Leaf service was prompted by a notice we received from Nissan citing a "diagnostic programming error" on some Leafs that triggers a false warning about the air-conditioning system. In these cases, the cars sometimes failed to restart after being turned off. We experienced no such problem, but we also haven't had the luxury of requiring air conditioning since we bought the car.
Perhaps more important than the air-conditioning fix is a software update intended to help the onboard computer more accurately predict range. As we reported in our winter wrapup, our car has been wildly erratic.
A Nissan technician performed the update at the location of our choosing — in the garage at Cars.com HQ — a courtesy afforded all Leaf owners, not just us. The update process involved plugging a laptop computer into our Leaf's OBD (onboard diagnostic) port under the dashboard. After establishing communication, our technician, David, began the process of transferring the updated software to our Leaf's VCM.
It took about 50 minutes, as promised, and our Leaf is now ready for summer and, we hope, more accurate range predictions. We'll report on Twitter at @CarsComGreen as soon as we see results.