eCharles
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:32 pm

Questions from a new 2016 owner

Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:47 pm

Hello, I just purchased a used 2016 i3 REX model with 39,000 miles. I was wondering if I could get help with the following:

1) I have 72 hours to evaluate the car. If I find any major issues I can return it on Monday. Any advice on what issues to look for? I already tested the range extender and that worked fine, and the A/C was great.

2) The car does not charge to the original 81 mile range and I assume this is due to the reduced capacity of older batteries. How can I check what the capacity is of my batteries?

3) Some electric cars, like Tesla's, instruct owners to not charge to 100% each time in order to preserve battery life. Is this the case for the i3? If so how would I limit the max charge?

4) Is there an iPhone app that owners can use with the car? If yes, what is it and what does it do?

5) I see different info online about how much distance you can get from the range extender. What is the consensus on this? I also notice that the range stated in the dashboard changes as I drive even though I had about 20 miles left on the batteries. Yesterday it started at 50 miles range for the range extender, and then after a while it was up to 58 miles. Why does this change? Is this due to regenerative braking? If so then why would it not just add this extra range to the battery distance?

Thank you!
-Charles

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5196
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Questions from a new 2016 owner

Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:03 pm

1. Some have found the rubber gators around the front shocks get torn, so I'd look at those. Check for even wear on the tires...could need some new tires and an alignment. Check the vehicle status menu and see when the various services are due. If any are overdue, there should be a red exclamation point on the lower left of the display as well.

2. Checking the actual battery capacity is not as easy as one would hope. Note, the range to empty is not a fixed value based on battery capacity...it's a reflection of how the car was driven in the last 18-miles in comparison with what it thinks is available, and that will change based one where, when, how, and the temperature of your driving past.

3. There's a lot of controversy on this. On an i3, when the display says 100%, it is not really fully charged. The logic just won't let the batteries be fully charged OR discharged (but when it gets to an indicated zero, it won't move...doesn't mean it's really out of power, though).

4. Yes once the car is registered to you, you can then gain access. It will let you do things such as honk the horn, flash the lights, lock, unlock, check where it is, turn on the cabin conditioning, and when you set a departure time while connected to charging, prewarm the batteries for maximum range when you leave. You can also access that info with a browser rather than that app.

5. The range to empty is a constantly varying calculation based on how you were driving...drive at speed on the highway, or up a long grade, and it will expect you'll continue to do that. Start out slow in a city, it will expect you to continue that...when you change from one condition to the other, it will gradually flush out the old history and keep updating with a blend of what you're currently doing. The community seems to average about 4-miles/kw. Some are quite a bit less, some more. If your commute was 75-80 mph on the highway, you'd be using more than someone going through town with a speed limit of 30-40. Live on top of a hill, you'd get great increase going down, but coming home, it will drop much faster.
Jim DeBruycker
2014 i3 BEV, 2021 X5 45e
(The i3 will be sold soon, <17K-miles, interested?)

User avatar
MKH
Gold Member
Posts: 880
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: Questions from a new 2016 owner

Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:56 am

#5 You have to understand that the range-extender gas engine doesn't drive the wheels of the car like most hybrids, it powers a generator that adds charge to the high voltage traction battery. That generator/gas engine combo is designed to provide about as much electricity to the battery, as you are drawing out while driving. The car is using the same algorithm to calculate how much energy/use you will get from the electricity the REx generates (based on how much gas is in the tank to power the generator), that it uses to calculate how much energy/use you will get out of the electricity stored in the HV battery, based on driving conditions and driving style.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

eCharles
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:32 pm

Re: Questions from a new 2016 owner

Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:16 pm

Thanks so much for answering my questions jadnashuanh and MKH!

Regarding the battery capacity, when older, lower capacity batteries are full will the car still display "80 miles" as the battery range but then only go 65 miles, or will they show the max range as 65 miles?

I downloaded the BMW Connected app but I don't see a way to control the car that you described (e.g. honk the horn). Is this the app you were referring to? I see there was an app specific to i3's, but is this app still available?

The car I received came with snow tires (no regular tires) and all 4 wheels/tires are the same size. It looks like most models have larger rear wheels. Will this cause any performance issues for my car? What is the benefit of the larger rear tires?

eNate
Posts: 760
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Questions from a new 2016 owner

Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:51 pm

The i3 system software does a good job of providing an accurate miles-to-go estimate. It takes battery health into account, so higher mileage i3s with "broken in" batteries will show reduced range. The car also factors in variables such as temperature, previous driving history, and even planned routes if you enter a destination (taking into account freeway vs. street routing, and hilly terrain).

Sounds like you've got the correct app, "BMW Connected." Those should all be options on the main screen, about midway down (icons): Lock, Unlock, Lights, Horn

From the standpoint on tire wear, my 175 rears wear faster than my 155 fronts. I have a BEV without the extra weight of the REX. Probably due to acceleration / regen. I'd have to guess that 155 tires in the rear wear even faster. When if comes time to buy new tires, I'm fairly certain that 175 tires will work on your current rear wheels. I'm assuming they're aftermarket 5.0" wide? It's not a matter of 175mm tires being compatible with 5.0" rims, but any inside clearance / tire rub issues.
Last edited by eNate on Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2 0 2 1   B M W   i 3   1 2 0 A h   B E V  O a k l a n d
 Wokeby Trunk Extension | Duosida 16A L1 EVSE
 SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack

alohart
Posts: 2431
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Questions from a new 2016 owner

Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:25 pm

All new REx's have been equipped with 5.5" rear wheels and 175 tires 19" standard or 20" optional and 5.0" front wheels and 155 tires 19" standard or 20" optional. Some owners buy a second set of wheels on which to mount 155R19 winter tires front and rear. 175 tires are preferable on the rear of a REx due to their generally higher load rating.
Aloha,
Art

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

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5196
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Questions from a new 2016 owner

Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:56 pm

The OEM winter tires are all on the narrower rims...they work, but using winter tire tread when the temp is above 50-degrees is likely to induce higher wear as the rubber tends to be softer to account for the colder temperature makes rubber harder so they still have decent grip when it's cold. So, you'd get better traction when it's warmer with the all-season tires, and a bit better only in the summer, if you use the summer performance tires, but they only came from the factory in 20", but I think you can find them in 19" sizes, too.

You have to register the app with your car. You'll need your VIN to get access, and BMW needs to have registered you as the owner, so then, you can access the vehicle's information via the app. You may need to go to a BMW dealer to get them to do some of that paperwork, or to call the BMW Genius hotline for help in getting the car registered to you.
Jim DeBruycker
2014 i3 BEV, 2021 X5 45e
(The i3 will be sold soon, <17K-miles, interested?)

Amsr
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:25 pm

Re: Questions from a new 2016 owner

Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:17 am

The OEM winter tires are all on the narrower rims..
Do the rear and front rims have the same size? Only the rear tires change to 175 right? No need for different front and rear rims, right?

Regards.
André.

eNate
Posts: 760
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Questions from a new 2016 owner

Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:10 am

Depends.

The stock wheels with the REX models are different: 5.0 +43 front, 5.5 +53 rear.

Did the original owner mount the winter tires to the original wheels? Or purchase a second set via BMW? Or put them on the aftermarket Rial rims?

Easiest way to know is grab a tape measure -- besides the ½" difference in width, the 10mm difference from the wheel face to the hub (near the lugs) is visually apparent between the two sizes. If they're the Rial wheels, those are all the same 5.0.
2 0 2 1   B M W   i 3   1 2 0 A h   B E V  O a k l a n d
 Wokeby Trunk Extension | Duosida 16A L1 EVSE
 SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack

Amsr
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:25 pm

Re: Questions from a new 2016 owner

Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:20 am

My 2017 car just arrived with 19" tyres with the standard "pizza" wheels. All tyres are the same size and are winter tyres. I have a set of 4 new tyres that came with the car to change, all of them are the same size to.

I would like to understand if I can buy and use the larger tires on the rear wheels?
And also to understand the if I can change or not the wheels from back to front, and "vice versa", if they all have the same tyres measure instaled.

When someone call to buy wheels from bmw, do you need to specify if you want them for front or back of the i3??? :?

Regards.

Return to “General / Main i3 Owners Forum”