i3Houston
Posts: 156
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:30 pm

Re: How many have had the drive train malfunction error?

Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:39 pm

Got one but dealership fixed it as it was under warranty. But warranty will expire this year. They dont know what caused it but said resetting /updating the software cleared the error, which is super odd. Dealership also said the stale fuel may have caused it to fault. Who really knows!

I am not counting on Rex though, I think i3 as BEV is reliable.
TM3 Reservation holder/ 2015 i3 Rex

jlangham
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:01 pm

Re: How many have had the drive train malfunction error?

Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:51 am

i3Houston wrote:Got one but dealership fixed it as it was under warranty. But warranty will expire this year. They dont know what caused it but said resetting /updating the software cleared the error, which is super odd. Dealership also said the stale fuel may have caused it to fault. Who really knows!

I am not counting on Rex though, I think i3 as BEV is reliable.
That's interesting because I've had about 4 of the errors in the past couple of weeks and now my car is completely dead in my garage! BMW is towing it to the dealer in about an hour and giving me a loaner. The service guy said it may take a while to diagnose. I told him that it seemed like the 12v battery based on info from this forum and my own testing, but this time plugging in the charger didn't correct it and then my alarm went off for about 30 minutes and then my car is dead!

The BMW connected app still shows all of the drivetrain, parking brake, etc. warnings but my car doesn't have anything - no lights, no indicators, nothing.

You might want to talk to the dealership again about the 12v battery. Could have something to do with the problem.

BMW here in Chandler, AZ towed my car (dragged out of my garage) to the dealership and gave me a loaner vehicle. Impressed so far with their wanting to make me happy. They will get back to me on what they find.

alohart
Posts: 1612
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: How many have had the drive train malfunction error?

Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:16 pm

jlangham wrote:That's interesting because I've had about 4 of the errors in the past couple of weeks and now my car is completely dead in my garage! BMW is towing it to the dealer in about an hour and giving me a loaner. The service guy said it may take a while to diagnose. I told him that it seemed like the 12v battery based on info from this forum and my own testing, but this time plugging in the charger didn't correct it and then my alarm went off for about 30 minutes and then my car is dead!
I think your bad 12 V battery diagnosis is correct. I know that disconnecting the 12 V battery when the alarm is armed will set off the alarm, so if the voltage of your 12 V battery dropped low enough, I'm guessing that the alarm could be triggered.

If the 12 V battery is bad enough (e.g., an internal short-circuit), it would not hold a charge or its voltage would drop too low to boot the controllers necessary to enter drive readiness state. If (when?) that happens to our 12 V battery, I'll follow BMW's instructions on safely disconnecting the 12 V battery. Then, I'll charge it with a standard 12 V battery charger in hopes that I can charge it just enough to enter drive readiness state. If successful, I'll be able to drive to wherever I'm able to buy a replacement battery (hopefully, not the dealer).

A better solution might be to buy a replacement battery before the current battery fails. The shelf life of an AGM battery is very long because its self-discharge rate is very low.
Aloha,
Art

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

jlangham
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:01 pm

Re: How many have had the drive train malfunction error?

Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:52 pm

alohart wrote:If the 12 V battery is bad enough (e.g., an internal short-circuit), it would not hold a charge or its voltage would drop too low to boot the controllers necessary to enter drive readiness state. If (when?) that happens to our 12 V battery, I'll follow BMW's instructions on safely disconnecting the 12 V battery. Then, I'll charge it with a standard 12 V battery charger in hopes that I can charge it just enough to enter drive readiness state. If successful, I'll be able to drive to wherever I'm able to buy a replacement battery (hopefully, not the dealer).

A better solution might be to buy a replacement battery before the current battery fails. The shelf life of an AGM battery is very long because its self-discharge rate is very low.
Art, looks like I was too late anyway because the car just bricked (no power to anything) and the dealership had my car towed to there. They gave me a loaner and towing was free (dragged my car out of my garage - that's a whole other story), but just called to remind me that the 12v battery isn't covered under the warrany and it will be just shy of $600 to replace. They have replaced the battery and will charge my main battery overnight. I've asked them to check the capacity of the main battery because I'm showing less than the 70% sometimes (another thread). Should be ready sometime tomorrow unless they find something else.

So, in a nutshell, my Drivetrain errors WERE due to a low/failing 12v battery. Thanks Art and others on this forum. I appreciate the knowledge you all bring from all the experience you have.

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4422
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: How many have had the drive train malfunction error?

Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:06 pm

I haven't priced a battery for my i3, but when I needed one for my other BMW, the battery from the dealer was cheaper and larger CCA than any I could find elsewhere. Now, their installation charge was high, but it's easy to do yourself, even the reprogramming, with the right tools. IOW, don't discount your dealership for things like tires or batteries, you might be surprised.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

TheMK
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: How many have had the drive train malfunction error?

Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:15 pm

Back when I drove a somewhat more mainstream ICE car, I bought most of the parts from the Dealer's parts department. In general, they weren't really more expensive than what you'd find at AutoZone, or O'reilly, or whatever. It also seemed like they were higher quality. So much for "Like OE". In fact, when I needed to buy a rear window wiper, they were cheaper than buying generic wipers at AutoZone. Of course it helped that I had a really good dealer, and that they moved quite a bit of volume through the parts department. I have yet to experience my BMW dealer, Hopefully they are good because it's the only one in my area.

alohart
Posts: 1612
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: How many have had the drive train malfunction error?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:00 am

jlangham wrote:They gave me a loaner and towing was free (dragged my car out of my garage - that's a whole other story), but just called to remind me that the 12v battery isn't covered under the warrany and it will be just shy of $600 to replace.
I hope that's Canadian dollars! If not, that's truly highway robbery. Replacing and registering the 12 V battery should not take longer than 1 hour. The battery itself is sold by BMW parts dealers on the Internet for ~$130 plus shipping.

Also, if a 12 V battery fails during the car's warranty (4 years in the U.S.), it should be replaced under warranty. Others have reported as such.
Aloha,
Art

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

jlangham
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:01 pm

Re: How many have had the drive train malfunction error?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:14 am

alohart wrote:
jlangham wrote:They gave me a loaner and towing was free (dragged my car out of my garage - that's a whole other story), but just called to remind me that the 12v battery isn't covered under the warrany and it will be just shy of $600 to replace.
I hope that's Canadian dollars! If not, that's truly highway robbery. Replacing and registering the 12 V battery should not take longer than 1 hour. The battery itself is sold by BMW parts dealers on the Internet for ~$130 plus shipping.

Also, if a 12 V battery fails during the car's warranty (4 years in the U.S.), it should be replaced under warranty. Others have reported as such.
Nope, Arizona dollars. 2014 vehicle, 2019 means out of warranty and he even seemed almost happy to tell me it wasn't covered. I've had the vehicle for 3 1/2 months. Months, not years. When I pick up the car today, I'm going to "talk" to them about it. I'll let you know.

User avatar
MKH
Gold Member
Posts: 195
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: How many have had the drive train malfunction error?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:34 pm

Suggested retail on the battery is about $140. If you were charged $600, maybe the towing and the loaner weren't free.
Don't see how they can justify charging $460 for just installation and programming.

https://parts.bmwofstratham.com/p/BMW__ ... 35788.html

https://parts.bmwofstratham.com/p/BMW__ ... 21815.html
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 20 inch wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

jlangham
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:01 pm

Re: How many have had the drive train malfunction error?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:06 pm

MKH wrote:Suggested retail on the battery is about $140. If you were charged $600, maybe the towing and the loaner weren't free.
Don't see how they can justify charging $460 for just installation and programming.

https://parts.bmwofstratham.com/p/BMW__ ... 35788.html

https://parts.bmwofstratham.com/p/BMW__ ... 21815.html
$205 for the battery
$300 for labor
$39.95 shop supplies
$19.10 tax
$564.05 total

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