Sprint501
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:49 am

Jacking point disaster

Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:00 am

I’ve had a BMW i3 for three and a half years and it has been really good, especially for local trips, but I have also done a number of long-distance journeys in it as well. A joy to drive and super-low running costs. Even working on the REX it still does 40+ mpg (why have they stopped selling the REX this year???)

But my views have changed completely after my "specialist" BMW dealer damaged a jacking point on the car last August when in for an end of warranty check.
I only discovered the damage in December and the latest estimate on getting it repaired is £6,000 – £10,000. According to BMW the car is unsafe to drive (risk of electrocution) but despite this, when I took it to another "specialist" BMW dealer for assessment, the first thing the workshop did was to jack up the car on the damaged jacking point!

I have been warned that the car could be a write-off if the detailed assessment at BMW Thorne finds more extensive damage. Apparently they have three other cars on their books with the same problem. If you consider the fact that the guilty dealer suggested cutting away part of the carbon bodywork to solve the problem, it's looking like the technology on these cars is too sophisticated for the rigours of your average garage; either that, or is it a design fault with the car and should the jacking points be mounted onto the chassis by an aluminium bracket?
I'm faced with having the car rectified on my own insurance and that will cost me thousands of pounds in increased premiums over the next few years. So much for economical to own. And it's hardly environmentally-friendly if the car is a write-off.

Has anyone else had this problem?

My advice to owners is to photograph your jacking points before it goes into a dealer and inspect them immediately afterwards, otherwise you won't be able to prove it was them

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4500
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Jacking point disaster

Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:06 pm

There are sections of the front/rear of the i3 that are designed to be replaced, but the core, I'm not so sure.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

MagicCarpet
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:17 pm

Re: Jacking point disaster

Sat May 11, 2019 5:54 pm

could you explain how the damage looks to have occured? I have read about the i3 plastic guide fitments splitting and breaking when the car is jacked with a garage type hoist or trolley jack.
Yours sounds like the plastic guides have broken the frame they are attached to and what is the high voltage hazard referring to?

Because I dont have a BMW roadside jack and the brand is new to me, I have looked at the aluminium adaptor pads on Ebay but decided to cut some wood blocks out of plywood so they fit snugly inside the jacking fitments and protrude enough for using a normal pan head jack on them.

I plan to fit these before taking the car in for any jacking operation and probably will leave them in place.

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4500
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Jacking point disaster

Sat May 11, 2019 7:16 pm

When I last swapped out my winter tires, I got to the right rear, and found that the lift adapter was literally gone...in playing with the hole, a few small pieces fell out of it, but the structure seemed to be intact. It probably happened when it was in for the state inspection. I' thought you could pry them out, but when I tried so I could get that last tire replaced, the locking arms broke off, so now I need two of them. If there is a way to remove one without trashing it, I'd like to know! The OEM one retails for about $28, but there are aftermarket ones for as little as about $5 each. Need to order up at least a couple. Over the years, my luck has it that they've been chipped some, but this is the first time one is totally gone. I do use an aluminum puck when using a jack on the car, so I've not damaged them on my own...wish the service people were more cautious. FWIW, the state inspection was not done at a BMW dealer, but still...
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

User avatar
MKH
Gold Member
Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: Jacking point disaster

Sun May 12, 2019 3:39 am

If there is a way to remove one without trashing it, I'd like to know!
They are made to break away if hit by road debris or curb so not to jam into and damage the body/frame - when you pry one out, the locking tabs break off by design, so prying one off, means replacing it with a new one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DVTTAkfKcU
Last edited by MKH on Sun May 12, 2019 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

alohart
Posts: 1686
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Jacking point disaster

Sun May 12, 2019 12:00 pm

MagicCarpet wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:54 pm
Because I dont have a BMW roadside jack and the brand is new to me, I have looked at the aluminium adaptor pads on Ebay but decided to cut some wood blocks out of plywood so they fit snugly inside the jacking fitments and protrude enough for using a normal pan head jack on them.
Make sure that your jack point adapter extends all the way up to the aluminum frame rail to which the jack point is attached. The lifting force should be transferred to the frame rail and not to the bottom edge of the jack point. The jack point should function as just an alignment device that doesn't take any lifting force.

I bought a set of 4 rubber jack point adapters. They appeared to have been made from hockey pucks. Unfortunately, they did not extend up to the frame rail, so the lifting force was transferred from the adapter to the sharp lower edge of the jack point. This resulted in the hockey puck base of the adapter being cut and destroyed by the lower edge of the jack point.
MagicCarpet wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:54 pm
I plan to fit these before taking the car in for any jacking operation and probably will leave them in place.
Doing this would reduce the road clearance below the jack points. That's probably not a big deal. However, unless your adapters fit very tightly in the jack points, they would risk falling out while driving.
Aloha,
Art

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

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4500
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Jacking point disaster

Sun May 12, 2019 2:24 pm

The aluminum puck I bought has the part that fits into the adapter such that it is deeper than the pocket, so there's no force applied to the edges when you then jack up the car. I think I bought this one from ECS Tuning.

ANyway, it looked like there was no way to remove one without trashing it...was wondering if I missed something.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

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