Marki3
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:11 am

Re: Sensivity to wind

Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:50 am

kwind wrote:When wind is strong and gusty, combined with the short wheelbase, the high body, narrow tires and sensitive electric power steering, I find it quite a job to keep the i3 going straight. It does not allow one to take eyes off the road ahaed, even for one second. Does anybody experienced this as well?
I too find the steering a bit too responsive on the highway. I love the steering speed around town. But it has very little self centering action. If you set the wheel in a turn and take your hands off there is minimal pull the recenter the wheel. This combined with the fast steering response makes the highway cruise a bit less laid back.

Since they damp the throttle response in Eco Pro mode perhaps they could also slow down the steering rate at the same time. The steering mechanism is electric so I am sure that is a programmable feature. The geometry of the steering rack is such that as you turn it increases the toe out so that accounts for some of the rapid turning response. That isn't going to change but I am sure they could slow down the response to the wheel by programming.

BoMW
Posts: 265
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:22 pm
Location: Sherwood Forest

Re: Sensivity to wind

Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:15 am

I drove the i3 on the highway yesterday in gusty winds and immediately felt the side ways wobble. Steering is twitchy at high speed anyway so extra caution is necessary. I was also experiencing some strong head wind which effected my range. From having a 12 mile surplus I ended up with a 10 mile short fall, 22 miles lost :(
My i3, collected 02/05/14---44000 miles by 30/05/16
SOLD 05/03/17 :(

i3Alan
Posts: 272
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: Sensivity to wind

Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:43 am

BoMW wrote:I drove the i3 on the highway yesterday in gusty winds and immediately felt the side ways wobble. Steering is twitchy at high speed anyway so extra caution is necessary. I was also experiencing some strong head wind which effected my range. From having a 12 mile surplus I ended up with a 10 mile short fall, 22 miles lost :(
Sounds like some serious winds! Also sounds similar to my experience commuting 22 miles on an electric bicycle (set for a fixed 35% boost on top of my pedaling). On a calm day, I would use less than half my battery charge, about what should be expected for the 60 claimed boost range. On windy days, I could be peddling my last block or so with no boost remaining.

Note that head winds hurt far more than tail winds help, due to the V-squared effect of wind. For example, a 10 MPH headwind on a 60 MPH drive is like a windless 70 MPH drive. A 10 MPH tailwind on a 60 MPH drive is like a windless 50 MPH drive. Your range is hurt far more going from 60 to 70 than it is helped going from 60 to 50.

110Commuter
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:22 am

Re: Sensivity to wind

Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:11 am

I too find the steering a bit too responsive on the highway. I love the steering speed around town. But it has very little self centering action. If you set the wheel in a turn and take your hands off there is minimal pull the recenter the wheel. This combined with the fast steering response makes the highway cruise a bit less laid back.

I bought my car two days ago and never test-drove it at freeway speeds. If I had, I might have reconsidered and waited for the eGolf. The steering, particularly at high speed on the freeway, requires more attention than it should. I am constantly tweaking the wheel to keep it in line. My other car, a Passat, hasn't ever caused me stress steering it as does the i3. I intend to go back to the dealer and ask them if there is anything that can be done to improve steering this car. Other than this one issue, the car seems ideal, yet since I bought it to commute on the freeway, it's too high a price to pay for a sub-par performance.

WoodlandHills
Posts: 751
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: Sensivity to wind

Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:18 am

You might want to check the tire pressures, mine came with 28psi all around while the book recommends 35/41. When I brought them up to spec, I found that the car self-centered a bit better on the highway.
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jadnashuanh
Posts: 4796
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Sensivity to wind

Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:47 am

I've got about 1200-miles on mine now, and do not find the sidewinds a problem. Yes, you do need to be alert, but you should be when driving any car. I have not found it to be tiring. Wind noise very much depends on the direction of the wind, though - sometimes, it is quiet, sometimes it is not. But, again, considering what it was designed for (not what some people use it for, especially with the REx) - low-speed, running around town or the reasonable commute, I do not think adding extra pounds to include more soundproofing, or messing with the body style (would likely result in less headroom and useable shoulder space) is a worthwhile modification.

I've had one glitch so far - the charging plug would not release when unlocking the car...I had to use the emergency release. It has worked fine since, with no idea why it happened. When that happened, the car stopped updating information to the server, so the remote app was useless...I ended up having the dealer unplug and replug the telemetrics module's power/data cord and it immediately started to work again after multiple account resets and forced vehicle data updates had had no effect. I asked what fuse powers that module, but was told by the I-concierge that was not a good idea as it could be powering other modules as well. I asked if it was powering other modules, or they just thought it was and they could not answer...people, it either is, or it isn't...I haven't found out yet.

As an aside, I went to pick up a new set of winter tires, and they had sent four of them mounted to fit on the left side of the car! If you elect to get some, make sure that you get a proper set. The dealer is flipping the tires on the wheels, and I should be able to pick them up tomorrow, but it should never have happened. Be very careful on any directional tire - if it has a rotation arrow, or something that says, this side out, make sure it is!
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

drb
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:40 pm

Re: Sensivity to wind

Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:35 pm

Over 2,000 miles now on my REx. When I am on city streets, even when it is windy (I live by the ocean), wind is no bother so long as I am under 60 miles an hour. When I am on the freeway and accelerating to 70 miles an hour or more, I feel and hear the wind. There are trade offs in everything. In the i3, I've learned to be more alert on the freeway than when I drove my Lexus. Both hands on the wheel and all that--something I should have been doing all along. As for the noise, I compensate by boosting the volume on my Harman Kardon sound system. While many ideas come to mind for adding to the i3, I am always drawn back to the idea that I do not want to add additional weight to the vehicle. Its "lightness" is a great part of what makes the i3 so special.

Boatguy
Posts: 301
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:25 am
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Sensivity to wind

Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:18 pm

It's a city car, not a touring car.

After more than 1,000 miles my perspective is that the car is pretty twitchy at freeway speeds, not relaxing to drive, you have to stay on top of it. Combine that with light weight and narrow tires and it certainly does feel sensitive to side winds.

The super sensitive steering is great around town, but owners in the US do not live in mega-cities (California really doesn't have any compared to London, Rome, Shanghai, Tokyo, etc.) and do more freeway driving that I believe was in the original design brief of this car.

BMW could probably further refine the steering just by adjusting the software. It needs a larger dead zone in the middle, and perhaps an increase in the turns "lock to lock" to reduce the sensitivity.
2014 i3 BEV | 2016 Tesla S90D | No ICE!

110Commuter
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:22 am

Re: Sensivity to wind

Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:36 pm

WoodlandHills wrote:You might want to check the tire pressures, mine came with 28psi all around while the book recommends 35/41. When I brought them up to spec, I found that the car self-centered a bit better on the highway.
I asked the dealer to check the tire pressure yesterday. I can only presume it was normal.

Regarding Boatguy's statement that it is a city car vs. a touring car, BMW never disclaimed the i3's value as a commuter car at high speeds: it's capable of more than 90 mph. (Have you driven on the autobahn in Germany?) Driving fast in LA should be within the car's purview, which is why I suspect the steering/handling issue is a defect in engineering. If, as Boatguy suggests, there could be a fix in programming the steering's electric assist, I want to know about it (soon).

I won't be a cheerleader for the i3 until I learn the issue is acknowledged and a fix is forthcoming. I think anyone considering buying the i3 should be aware of the problem. It's a significant one to anyone who bought BMW's electric car because they love to drive.

Stevei3
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:02 am
Location: the Netherlands

Re: Sensivity to wind

Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:25 am

Hi 110commuter,

perhaps this will sound as obvious bordering on the superfluous: you really do get used to it. At least I did... Still: I would have preferred the steering to be more like a 3 series (or the like) as well.

Regards, Steven

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