i3an
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:09 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:21 pm

Data point: My i3 is a 2014 18.8 kWh BEV Electronaut, one of the earliest produced for the US market, date of manufacture 26 March 2014, first sold in May 2014, so the batteries are just shy of 6 years old, 36,300 miles. Current Max Kappa is 16.1 kWh, or just over 85% of original, with a light-foot range of 80 miles; so at this rate it will take another 5 or 6 years to drop below 70%, with a range of about 60 miles. It is due for a service/inspection in May, so I'll see if they tweak anything.

JLB2
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:41 am

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:04 am

Not surprising that your battery still has good charge since you've only driven 36k. My 2014 had about as much when it had that many miles on the odometer. Today, it's driven 59k miles and battery is at 14kwh kappa max. I'm hoping it goes down to 13kwh in the next year so I can get it replaced under warranty.

panamamike
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:21 am

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:04 pm

JLB2 wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:04 am
Not surprising that your battery still has good charge since you've only driven 36k. My 2014 had about as much when it had that many miles on the odometer. Today, it's driven 59k miles and battery is at 14kwh kappa max. I'm hoping it goes down to 13kwh in the next year so I can get it replaced under warranty.
I'd recommend talking to BMW about this potential warranty work. I'd find out ahead of time how they determine a battery is eligible for replacement. From a previous thread, was told Max Kappa wasn't the determining criteria.

rgames
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:23 pm

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:34 pm

Summary of my experience: my 2014 i3 started cahrging to less than 60 mi about 6 months ago at about 40k miles. It charged to about 90 miles when I first got it. The car has been at the dealership several times over the past year because of the "drivetrain malfunction" sensor error and every time I took it in for that I pressed them to change the battery under warranty.

They fought me on it (of course...) and would never tell me exactly what metric they use to decide whether it meets the 70% capacity stated in the warranty. They would only tell me they "did not" use the mileage. Well that's fine but process of elimination is a stupid way to give me the information I'm asking for.

They never did explain to me what metric is used for the 70% threshold. But they did eventually replace the battery at no cost to me. It took them more than two months.

My experience with the service department is that they're entirely clueless about the i3. One guy cleary didn't understand the difference between a regular 12V battery and the main power pack. But then again, I do love in a state where I was required to bring my all-electric (no REX) car in for an emissions inspection, during which the technician asked me where the tailpipe is. Between the drive to the emissions inspection station and calls to the state I lost about 10 hours getting that resolved. So maybe that level of cluelessness is par for the course.

Just a point of reference.

rgames

eNate
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:08 pm

rgames wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:34 pm

They fought me on it (of course...) ... But they did eventually replace the battery at no cost to me.


Somebody explain to me the logic behind this.

With a previous employer (aviation) we had a full time warranty person whose job ultimately was to ensure we got paid for the warranty work we did, and this included the tons of paperwork and sign-offs required by the various aircraft manufacturers we had affiliations with. It looked like a huge pain in the butt, but we did it because it was good steady income and it paid for a decent sized service department and a large cadre of mechanics.

Contrast that to BMW (or any auto dealership), and the above example. A battery replacement isn't money out of the dealership's pocket, it's reimbursed by BMW. I can't understand why they would be so reticent to move this along when (a) they're going to get paid and (b) with a battery replacement, here's a new training opportunity for a group of mechanics who have probably never done anything like this, but are going to be called upon in the future.

It just doesn't make sense to me that they wouldn't be itching to take up a job like this.

rgames wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:34 pm

...I was required to bring my all-electric (no REX) car in for an emissions inspection, during which the technician asked me where the tailpipe is. ...


Lol!
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panamamike
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:21 am

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:10 am

eNate wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:08 pm
rgames wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:34 pm

They fought me on it (of course...) ... But they did eventually replace the battery at no cost to me.

...
Contrast that to BMW (or any auto dealership), and the above example. A battery replacement isn't money out of the dealership's pocket, it's reimbursed by BMW. I can't understand why they would be so reticent to move this along when (a) they're going to get paid and (b) with a battery replacement, here's a new training opportunity for a group of mechanics who have probably never done anything like this, but are going to be called upon in the future.

It just doesn't make sense to me that they wouldn't be itching to take up a job like this.

rgames wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:34 pm

...I was required to bring my all-electric (no REX) car in for an emissions inspection, during which the technician asked me where the tailpipe is. ...


Lol!
It's money out of BMW's pocket and I'm sure they don't make it easy for high dollar claims. I had a similar incident with Acura, have a recall out to do an engine rebuild for engines that have been consuming oil. My vehicle is clearly consuming oil, so I took it in to the dealer which has done a good job for me over several years. They said I had to have an engine oil service and would an oil consumption test, they would take a measurement after 3000 miles to determine if the car was consuming oil. O.K., did that , came back in and they check the car. They go on to inform me that my car isn't consuming enough oil. Acura has a threshold of at least 1 quart of oil over 1000 miles because this is "normal". My car wasn't consuming enough oil to be covered by the claim, they were being rejected by Acura when they tried doing the service when it didn't meet this threshold, even when the consumption was close.

JLB2
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:41 am

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:54 am

Acura/Honda are notorious for avoiding warranty claims. For me, it was a bad transmission. There was a class-action against them and they paid-up on that on the condition that no further claims could be made after the case was settled. Unfortunately, my transmission broke after the class-action was settled so I got nothing.

Thankfully, no such problems with EVs. Now if we can only get that battery replaced....

3pete
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:03 pm

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:33 pm

Another anecdote, but I had my i3 in to the dealer for its 'every two years' brake flush and I asked them to check the battery because I track my Batt. kapa max readings and it's down around 13.4 (13.3-13.7 depending on the day). I figured it would be worth getting the dealer's take on this and also see if they would do 'something' magical to give me a slight bump in capacity as some people seem to have had that happen.

For $120, their official, documented response was that there were no faults for HV battery stored and that the overall voltage, cell min and cell max voltages were found to be in normal range at both half charge and full charge.

As far as I know, they did NOT drain the battery fully because I don't think they kept the car long enough to do so, and I was somewhat keeping an eye on the car via the connected app.

They did have a print out from the test that they showed me but did not give to me (not sure if they would have if I had asked for it) and I was able to note a few things from it:

Both my max and min individual cell voltages were 3.88v
There was a line that showed "State of charge, upper limit" and "State of charge, lower limit". My values were: 69%(!) and 8% respectively.

That means I have 61% of my battery capacity left, yikes!

But wait, it's a 22kwh battery, with an (original) usable capacity of 18.8kwh so let's do some math:

My usable capacity is (69-8)*22 = 13.42 which is unsurprisingly close to the typical Batt. Kapa Max reading.

13.42 also happens to be 71.4% of the 18.8 usable capacity limit which is clearly not far off of 70% threshold. So, I'm thinking I'm about 1.5% away from crossing the warranty threshold line and was hoping for some corroboration from the dealer.

When I picked the car up he summarized again that the battery was "normal." I asked if they could assign a level, percentage or any sort of assessment on how close I was to the 70% threshold. After checking with another person he said that the test doesn't give them a result like that or any sort of score. When I asked how I would know if I should bring the car again for another test or possible warranty claim, since it allegedly has 2 years left on the warranty and I wouldn't want to waste my time, their time and another $120, and he said that the car would show an error message. Additionally, he said there's no way that I can calculate the % used for warranty claim (suspicious) and the warranty is triggered when the battery "fails" the test (duh). Possibly to their credit, he did also imply that if I have any concerns I could bring it back and they would test it for free but I may have misheard that part.

So, long story short, no new information from what has been posted elsewhere:
1) Batt Kapa max is probably the best guide to battery health even though it varies based on the day/ conditions
2) BMW is extremely cagey about what they actually measure to trigger a warranty claim. The official answer(s) is their software, either in your car and inside their test machines.
3) Dealers also don't seem to be very forthcoming with this information. Possibly because BMW corporate is keeping them in the dark as well.

flynt
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 8:07 am

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Wed May 13, 2020 8:54 am

New user here. Love my 14 REX, aside from this battery degradation thing. Here's my story:

I got my car around this time last year. I'd get around 75 miles of range on battery-only power for the first 7-8 months of ownership. Then I never got more than 65 miles. Chalked it up to cooler temps in the fall and winter, no big deal. I always charge the car to full on my 220 charger. When the car is ta home, it's usually on the charger.

In January I started seeing 60 miles max per charge, and the weather was warmer. Read about "batt. kappa max" here on the forum and started tracking it. First entry in my spreadsheet is January 27th - 48 degrees Fahrenheit, 52 miles of range, batt kappa max at 13.8. By April by April 26th - 3 months later- I saw my range drop to around 52 miles (83 degrees, 50 miles range, 13.2 batt. kappa max). My low for a single charge was 44 miles. You can see as you red down the spreadsheet - 13.8, 13.6, 13.4, 13.3, 13.2. It's a pretty smooth decline..

According to my calculations I was at 70.2% battery capacity. Granted, batt. kappa max is an estimate, etc.. but it was trending down over a fairly short period of time. Falling off a cliff, really. To go from a consistent 75 miles to 55 miles TOPS in a year is unacceptable. Time to call the only people I know of that have the ability to look into this problem for me - the dealer.

This is where the story gets weird. The dealer is cagey about what info they'll give. I ask what they do in this situation, how they check capacity? They tell me they plug the car in and BMW looks at the car and tells them how to proceed. They then measure the capacity of the battery with their diagnostic software. Questions are answered with rambling non-answers. No real info for me. 6 days later I get the car back and magically I'm at 16.2 batt kappa max. The car says it has roughly the same range, but after a couple drives it goes up to 64 miles. Dealer says I had 77% capacity. Also says they'd be happy if I was at the threshold for a warranty claim as they'd love the work. Right.

Now, I'm happy they've returned some range to me. What I'm afraid of is owning a failing battery pack which my local dealer (or BMW corporate) has moved the "safety stops" on. I had a pack which according to the car (batt. kappa max) was at 70%. I have the same pack, which is now miraculously at 86%. Not only did the dealership not tell me that they got me more capacity, they didn't tell me how they test capacity or what parameters they check. Doesn't seem right (legal?) to engineer and sell a car with certain parameters built into how the main power source functions, and when it stops functioning in that way the manufacturer reengineers it.

I'm going to call the dealer and try to get some info. Just thought I'd share some real world experience here. There doesn't seem to be much out there.

i3Houston
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:30 pm

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Wed May 13, 2020 9:34 am

flynt wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 8:54 am
New user here. Love my 14 REX, aside from this battery degradation thing. Here's my story:

I got my car around this time last year. I'd get around 75 miles of range on battery-only power for the first 7-8 months of ownership. Then I never got more than 65 miles. Chalked it up to cooler temps in the fall and winter, no big deal. I always charge the car to full on my 220 charger. When the car is ta home, it's usually on the charger.

In January I started seeing 60 miles max per charge, and the weather was warmer. Read about "batt. kappa max" here on the forum and started tracking it. First entry in my spreadsheet is January 27th - 48 degrees Fahrenheit, 52 miles of range, batt kappa max at 13.8. By April by April 26th - 3 months later- I saw my range drop to around 52 miles (83 degrees, 50 miles range, 13.2 batt. kappa max). My low for a single charge was 44 miles. You can see as you red down the spreadsheet - 13.8, 13.6, 13.4, 13.3, 13.2. It's a pretty smooth decline..

According to my calculations I was at 70.2% battery capacity. Granted, batt. kappa max is an estimate, etc.. but it was trending down over a fairly short period of time. Falling off a cliff, really. To go from a consistent 75 miles to 55 miles TOPS in a year is unacceptable. Time to call the only people I know of that have the ability to look into this problem for me - the dealer.

This is where the story gets weird. The dealer is cagey about what info they'll give. I ask what they do in this situation, how they check capacity? They tell me they plug the car in and BMW looks at the car and tells them how to proceed. They then measure the capacity of the battery with their diagnostic software. Questions are answered with rambling non-answers. No real info for me. 6 days later I get the car back and magically I'm at 16.2 batt kappa max. The car says it has roughly the same range, but after a couple drives it goes up to 64 miles. Dealer says I had 77% capacity. Also says they'd be happy if I was at the threshold for a warranty claim as they'd love the work. Right.

Now, I'm happy they've returned some range to me. What I'm afraid of is owning a failing battery pack which my local dealer (or BMW corporate) has moved the "safety stops" on. I had a pack which according to the car (batt. kappa max) was at 70%. I have the same pack, which is now miraculously at 86%. Not only did the dealership not tell me that they got me more capacity, they didn't tell me how they test capacity or what parameters they check. Doesn't seem right (legal?) to engineer and sell a car with certain parameters built into how the main power source functions, and when it stops functioning in that way the manufacturer reengineers it.

I'm going to call the dealer and try to get some info. Just thought I'd share some real world experience here. There doesn't seem to be much out there.

Not sure why they are not transparent about it. Are they supposed to use the reserves range to increase the kappa percentage or is that even possible?
TM3 Reservation holder/ 2015 i3 Rex

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