What’s a nice car like you doing in a place like this?

I wondered this as I stopped at the local gasoline station to pick up some windshield washer fluid. I hadn’t considered that there might still be a reason for me to frequent a gas station but there I found myself, a fish out of water. I wanted to tell everyone, “I’m not here buying gas, I’m just here for windshield washer fluid.”

I do wish that the Nissan LEAF had a low windshield washer fluid monitor like my VW does. That would have avoided the situation where you find yourself driving down the interstate and plumb run out without warning.

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How’d it do in -17.9 degrees?

It was actually pretty exciting. Three times now I’ve had an issue with the GFI tripping when the car is trying to charge. Twice it tripped after the car had charged but the night of the big freeze it kept tripping when I plugged the car in. I was on 8 miles of range and was not thrilled with the prospect of leaving the car out unattached on such a cold night but what to do? Kind of like having a car on empty in the cold, you worry about it freezing.

The next morning, still below zero I had worked up the energy to see if I could bring the plug inside the house on a non-GFI outlet. Worse case I figured I would blow a fuse. Well, that did the trick and the car started charging. So, it appears that below a certain temperature (zero maybe?) the GFI will trip.

I had to take my daughter to the optometrist that afternoon so I figured I’d let the LEAF continue to charge and take the Jetta. That had a flat. So, I unplugged it and figured 34 miles of range (it was charging very slowly) would get me to Essex and back. The car started up as usual but the orange EV system warning light was on. We pressed on with Alice going through the manual to see how bad this was. “It says to call your certified LEAF dealer.” So, I did while she had her appointment. They said to bring it in but on returning to the car after the appointment the light was off and the battery had warmed up from one bar of temperature to two. Aha, the battery was just cold I figured.

The temperature has warmed up and my exterior plug works fine. Now I know if it’s forecast to be below zero bring the plug into the house (the door was able to close over it). And of course if you’re going to blast the heat you will loose range.