Nissan Leaf: Cable lock hack

last updated: 2024-04-20

Quick links


A gear inside of the Nissan Leaf cable lock device broke. The lock device made an awful sound, so I disconnected the device. A new device would cost over 500 €, and so I decided to find another solution, especally because I don't need the cable to be locked. I charge the car at home 99.9 % of the time and the cable is attached to the station.

cable lock open     cable lock components


After retrieving the Pcb I could draw the simple circuit.

nissan leaf cable lock hack circuit

What to do?

Without the lock device I could drive and load the battery without problems, but I got an annoying error on the display saying that the EV system needed maintenance. With the device pcb connected (including the little motor!), there was no more error, but it was not possible to load.

It is clear that the motor turns the gears, and they activate the switch for a certain time. Redesigning the broken gear would be an option, but the teeth are so fine, that I think that my FDM printer cant print this quality. Another option would be to use a relay and a little microcontroller. But as I don't have a fuctionning unit to get the timing right could be a problem, and I did not want to use too much time for this hack.

So I tested if I could load manually by pressing myself the switch, and this worked.

So here is an inexpensive and simple hack.I installed a new switch that can be operated from the outside. I soldered a JHT socket (2.54 mm) to the circuit board so that I could connect the new switch (push-button) via a PCB plug.

cable lock pcb top     cable lock switch

To mount the switch I drilled 2 12 mm holes, one through the metal chasis and onte through the plastic cover.

cable lock drill     cable lock switch mounted

Since my original housing was broken, I drew a new housing with FreeCAD.

cable lock case 1     cable lock case freecad

cable lock test     cable lock switch mounted 2

cable lock mounted 1     cable lock mounted 2

After inserting the plug, the car starts beeping 3 times repeatedly. Now you must press the switch until the cars beeps 2 times. Hold the switch for more 2 seconds. Now the car starts charging.