Fisher99
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

My i3 is Dead

Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:02 pm

So, put it on the charger late yesterday afternoon with the battery at about 20%. Went out at about 8:00 PM to put the windows up and it was reading 95.5%. This morning I had an email from BMW ConnectedDrive saying "The battery of your vehicle cannot be charged due to a malfunction! Please pay attention to the remaining driving range and contact BMW Mobile Service".

Walked out to the car and hit the unlock button on the FOB and the alarm started going off. Couldn't silence it. FOB no longer locks or unlocks the doors. The window doesn't even drop when you open the door. No lights on the instrument panel. The alarm did its thing for about 10 minutes and then shut itself off, but the car is completely dead. I can plug in the charger but the light on the i3's charging port does not illuminate.

And of course the car is sitting in my driveway and I can't move it. Can't select neutral so can't push it out of the way.

I'm guessing that I'm in deep trouble here, but it occurs to me to wonder if having the 12v battery go bad could cause this? I would think that if the 12v battery was ok that the door locks and windows would still work? Is it possible that a dead 12v battery could cause the whole car to go black?

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MKH
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Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: My i3 is Dead

Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:51 pm

Is it possible that a dead 12v battery could cause the whole car to go black?
Yup. All the car's ECMs are powered up by the 12v. When it dies, the car is a brick. How old is the 12v battry? Four years life is about normal. Check in your area for an East Penn Manufacturing warehouse outlet. They make the OEM 12v battery for the i3. Model # is AUX 18L. Fairly easy replacement - Youtube, good walk-through video on it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKRj8gLcsfI

Just make sure you disconnect the main battery pack before doing it. Disconnect switch is to the right of the frunk box. Once the new one is installed, you will need to have it registered. Done via the ODB port. most garages can do it. Resets the all the battery monitoring info in the system.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

Fisher99
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: My i3 is Dead

Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:41 pm

Ok, so I removed the 12v battery before I saw your post, so didn't do anything with the "main battery disconnect switch". The video that I found showing how to remove the 12v didn't say anything about it. But after watching the video that you posted I went back out and disconnected the main battery. Good to know how to do that! Thanks! Turns out that this is the original battery that came in this 2014 i3/REX. I just checked it with my meter and it shows 5.7v, so hopefully replacing that battery will get me going again!

As for registering the new battery once I get it installed, is it possible to do that with the Bimmercode app and an OBD dongle? I hope so because the closest BMW dealer is an hour away and if the i3 won't move until the new battery is registered, I'm up a creek. I do have the Bimmercode app and a dongle (came with the car) but haven't used it yet.

I don't have any Eastern Penn stores anywhere near me, but I am heading to Portland Oregon tomorrow so can pick up a new battery at the BMW dealer there.

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MKH
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Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: My i3 is Dead

Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:57 pm

Not sure the developer has added battery registration to bimmercode yet - but you can check and see if it is available. Car will run/drive fine without the battery registered. Registration just resets the battery monitoring and maintenance software in the car back to zero - will just help maintain the new battery better, long-term. Most indy service garages will have ODB scanners with BMW software, and can register the battery for a few bucks.

Good that you disconnected the main battery. Some have reported damage to electronic components putting a new battery in, without disconnecting the main battery, rare I think, but can happen with someone not careful, and sparking and arching while connection the battery leads.

Buying at East Penn will save you a few bucks over Dealer prices.

EAST PENN
13017 N.E. Airport Way
Building 12
Portland , OR 97230
Phone: 503-257-8838
Fax: 503-257-5006
epmportland@dekabatteries.com
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

Srivenkat
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:27 am

Re: My i3 is Dead

Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:53 pm

FWIW, You may have to turn in the old battery core.

i3daytonoh
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:19 pm
Location: Dayton, OH

Re: My i3 is Dead

Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:58 pm

Bought mine here. Call before ordering. It was out of stock and I had to wait about a week for delivery. The upside was that I received a brand new fresh battery.

https://www.remybattery.com/start-stop- ... ttery.html
2014 Andesite Silver Giga BEV

Fisher99
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: My i3 is Dead

Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:24 pm

Good info. Thanks guys. Really glad to hear that the vehicle will drive without the battery being registered! I have a friend who runs the automotive shop for a local college and who used to be a BMW mechanic (before the i-series cars) but he might have the BMW software on his scan tools. I'll check with him tomorrow.

So, fingers crossed that the dead 12v battery is the only problem and that the i3 will come back to life with a new 12v battery!

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MKH
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: My i3 is Dead

Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:51 pm

FWIW, You may have to turn in the old battery core.
Or pay the core charge. Last I checked with East Penn, the core charge was $5
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

frictioncircle
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:23 pm

Re: My i3 is Dead

Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:37 am

MKH –

Thank you for the great info regarding East Penn! Coming up on five years with my 2014 BEV I'm thinking I need to have an AUX 18L on hand.

Check this out from realoem.com...

61 21 9 321 815 Original BMW AGM-battery 20 Ah
61 21 7 635 788 Original BMW battery (Warranty only) 40Ah (NLA)

A 40 Ah OEM version of the AUX battery exists? If so, who made it?

Thanks!

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MKH
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Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: My i3 is Dead

Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:40 am

I believe that the 40 amp "warranty only" battery is the battery used in the 3 series BMW's, and 'ok'd' by BMW to be used for 'warranty' replacement in the i3, as it was more commonly stocked by BMW dealers in early i3 days (so someone wasn't spending 2 weeks driving a Dealer loaner while waiting for the OEM battery to be shipped). I seem to remember hearing that it was not quite an exact fit in the battery tray, and required some jiggery/pokery to actually get it in to an i3. I think basically an early 'band-aid' solution, since discontinued.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

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