EVMan
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:31 pm
Location: USA, CA

Drive Train Malfunction while on Electric Battery

Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:02 pm

Today While driving at low speeds on Battery ,in the mild hills , i got the "Drive Train Malfunction" Error

The steering wheel and break became heavy ( non Powered)
The car started to jerk at low speeds and stopped eventually ( like driving on 5th gear at speed 10)
The paring break also malfunctioned , and turned off on its own.

After stopping and waiting 20 mins , the car looks to be ok
The yellow Engine light LED in driver screen is still on.
The 'Vehicle info' displays - all is ok with the car

My wife is scared as hell to drive the car now. It may just stop any where on the free way.....
Is this a hardware or software issue ?
Is it safe to drive this car any more ?
Do i need to rush to the dealer and give my wife the other car ? if there is nay risk at all ?

I do not think this is related to the Rex. mine is 2016 model year Rex
2016 22KWH Rex ( Lease to Return ) ~ Wait-listed Model 3 by Nov
2017 33KWH Rex
Solar ToU Plan

alohart
Posts: 1250
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Drive Train Malfunction while on Electric Battery

Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:16 pm

I would make a service appointment as soon as possible. The diagnostic trouble code(s) (DTC) stored when the drivetrain error occurred should provide a clue to what happened. I would want the problem fixed rather than assuming that this was a one-time random incident not likely to happen again.

Were all the power bars still being displayed after you lost propulsive power? Did your REx engine start while you were on the roadside?
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

EVMan
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:31 pm
Location: USA, CA

Re: Drive Train Malfunction while on Electric Battery

Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:44 pm

The message was something like driving not possible. Stop engine now
Power was immediately lost
But low speeds at 10 Miles Car started jerking like 5th gear

After that main drive train message. Many many other failure messages were displayed including break fail etc


No rex was not running or used past month

I wonder if the computer rebooted
2016 22KWH Rex ( Lease to Return ) ~ Wait-listed Model 3 by Nov
2017 33KWH Rex
Solar ToU Plan

EVMan
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:31 pm
Location: USA, CA

Re: Drive Train Malfunction while on Electric Battery

Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:21 am

Literally ,my wife does not want to drive this car anymore.
And I am also literally shaken by this experience
The question is, what if next time while passing on a freeway?

I did not have time to see the power bars . I turned on hazard lights manually and stopped the car on the road as there was no shoulder, so as to try a restart
It did restart and limped back home jerking around at lower speeds
2016 22KWH Rex ( Lease to Return ) ~ Wait-listed Model 3 by Nov
2017 33KWH Rex
Solar ToU Plan

EVMan
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:31 pm
Location: USA, CA

Re: Drive Train Malfunction while on Electric Battery

Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:35 am

Should i get the car towed away.? Assuming there is seriously some issue with the drive train and as per the message of stop driving immediately

Bmw will pay and should pay for such issues so they eradicate them
2016 22KWH Rex ( Lease to Return ) ~ Wait-listed Model 3 by Nov
2017 33KWH Rex
Solar ToU Plan

EVBob
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:06 am

Re: Drive Train Malfunction while on Electric Battery

Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:56 am

How far is the BMW service from you?

Assuming you are under 50K miles - If its close, I would just drop it off now since this is an emergency issue and be given a loaner. If its far away or you don't feel safe driving it to the dealership - call BMW for a tow and loaner...

EVMan
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:31 pm
Location: USA, CA

Re: Drive Train Malfunction while on Electric Battery

Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:35 am

Thank You.
Called BMW , they said they will tow it , so i said OK
The car is not showing any more errors now, but who knows whats going on inside.....

i did coding 3 weeks back , have driven 200 miles after that.
Hopefully this is not a in-stable software issue caused by codeine...

First time in my life, a car being towed....so was anxious ...
2016 22KWH Rex ( Lease to Return ) ~ Wait-listed Model 3 by Nov
2017 33KWH Rex
Solar ToU Plan

jadnashuanh
Posts: 3932
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Drive Train Malfunction while on Electric Battery

Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:06 pm

It might help to know the model year and version of your i3...if you put it in your profile, it will show up for others to see.

There are lots of sensors in the car...a faulty sensor could cause various indications. They're normally pretty reliable, but things can happen. The REx version has more of them than the BEV. Like many things, when they are not used, there could be issues. One reason I felt no need for the REx version, as it would almost never run. The computer will try to run it periodically, but can only do that once the charge level drops, and if you're doing only short trips then recharging it, it may get beyond the point where it would try to turn it on in a maintenance cycle.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

EVMan
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:31 pm
Location: USA, CA

Re: Drive Train Malfunction while on Electric Battery

Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:40 pm

jadnashuanh wrote:It might help to know the model year and version of your i3...if you put it in your profile, it will show up for others to see.


Its 2016 22KWH rex. I have the latest or close to the latest software , updated 3-4 months ago.
I can understand , it may be a software issue , but its a bigger safety issue.
They should replace the computer board , if required....
I am in Fremont CA, which has the maximum density of EV in the USA
But unfortunately , the dealer is not only of questionable character , but unquestionably , does not understand anything about software.
They only know hardware
Standard answers "We will do a software update and that will resolve the issue."
2016 22KWH Rex ( Lease to Return ) ~ Wait-listed Model 3 by Nov
2017 33KWH Rex
Solar ToU Plan

bwilson4web
Forum Supporter
Posts: 575
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:59 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Drive Train Malfunction while on Electric Battery

Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:51 am

EVMan wrote:. . .
Its 2016 22KWH rex. I have the latest or close to the latest software , updated 3-4 months ago.

I updated mine last month. So far, no problems.

EVMan wrote:I can understand , it may be a software issue , but its a bigger safety issue.
They should replace the computer board , if required....

If anything like my local BMW shop, you're in good hands.

EVMan wrote:I am in Fremont CA, which has the maximum density of EV in the USA
But unfortunately , the dealer is not only of questionable character , but unquestionably , does not understand anything about software.
They only know hardware
Standard answers "We will do a software update and that will resolve the issue."

I understand the vehicle software is handled from Germany but I suspect something else has happened. Going back to the incident:
  • Was the car running on the REx at the time?
  • What did you code in the car?
  • What coding tool did you use?
The reason I ask is some of the symptoms sound like the battery level was low. If the REx had come on following typical CARB initiated, low battery threshold levels, it might make sense. Last year, I was driving to Fayetteville and enabled the REx only to have a check engine light come on and the engine stop every time when I braked, accelerated, or even took a turn. It turns out the oil level was low and there is no oil pressure light. But I'd turned the engine on at 75% so turned around and drove to the dealer.

Except for tires, our BMW i3-REx needs a minimum of two days for any shop visit because parts and technical support come from out of state and sometimes Germany. Being a 2014, it has a risk of infantile problems. So when we had a motor mount 'bolt break in our 2014, I solved the backup car by replacing our perfectly fine, backup 2010 Prius with a new 2017 Prius Prime. Now both cars have dynamic cruise control and automatic, emergency braking.

Fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD), I can't do anything about it in others. But we can help with sharing our experience and insights.

Bob Wilson
20k/27k mi 2014 BMW i3-REx
10k/10k mi 2017 Prius Prime

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