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Dealer trying to charge me $900+ for "DAMAGED CHARGER CABLE HOOK"

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:52 pm
by CharonPDX
My i3 has been having issues with the charge port recently - the vehicle hasn't been releasing charge plugs from the socket reliably. Lock/unlock a few times, wait half a minute to about 5 minutes before it finally releases the connector.

Then this morning, not only that, but all the warning lights came on like a Christmas tree, and it wouldn't start. Keyfob wouldn't lock or unlock the vehicle, nor would Comfort Access do it. (It was already unlocked, as it apparently didn't lock last night, and lock/unlocked from the inside.) After a couple minutes, I got the charge plug free, and the vehicle started right up. But this was enough to have me bring it in.

Only confirmed issue is 12V accessory battery dead as a doornail. (I mean, it obviously had to have *SOME* charge, but sure, basically dead.) Fine, 5 years is a bit short for a 12V battery, and it's frickin' expensive, but whatever. I'll go with ease-and-speed now instead of dealing with replacing it myself for a couple hundred less.

But they also listed "DAMAGED CHARGER CABLE HOOK" as the cause of the charge port not releasing - I called to confirm, and the service advisor claimed it was the occasional use charger's "locking hook" and recommend replacing the damaged charger cable. Which, to me, sounds rather ridiculous. I mentioned that I basically never use it, and that it does it for DC rapid chargers and public L2 chargers alike. But $927 to replace the occasional use charger, when I can buy the exact same thing (Clipper Creek PCS-15) not-BMW-branded on Amazon for $395, or a much better TurboCord Dual for $389, seems ridiculous.

I mean, FFS, a BMW I Wallbox is only $150 more!

Re: Dealer trying to charge me $900+ for "DAMAGED CHARGER CABLE HOOK"

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:12 pm
by vreihen
My $0.02 is that the solenoid in the charge socket is not releasing, which was a common problem on 2014-15 North American models. Make BMW good-will the repair, since it is a known problem.

There are also videos on YouTube for how to "pick" the solenoid when it is stuck.....

Re: Dealer trying to charge me $900+ for "DAMAGED CHARGER CABLE HOOK"

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:36 pm
by jfran2
FWIW, I was having that problem with it not releasing the charger. I put a little white grease on the pin in the car, and it seemed to help.

Re: Dealer trying to charge me $900+ for "DAMAGED CHARGER CABLE HOOK"

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:40 pm
by CharonPDX
Hadn't even thought of 'picking' the solenoid, which is funny, because I enjoy lock picking and have a decent set of picks!

I'll bug them about it being a known issue - is there a technical bulletin or whatever BMW calls it for it that you know of? I can't find any under "i3 charge solenoid"

Re: Dealer trying to charge me $900+ for "DAMAGED CHARGER CABLE HOOK"

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:55 pm
by 3pete
Scared of BMW dealer pricing if they didn't do it as part of warranty goodwill, I replaced my solenoid lock myself because it stopped working about a month ago.

Depending on your charge cable, some make it harder to 'pick' than others. The 'gun' on the Juicebox EVSE doesn't block the pin at all, so I just needed a screwdriver to push it back in, but Clipper Creek EVSEs cover it up pretty good.

In theory, the emergency/manual release cable is in the passenger rear-door jamb but I didn't want to rely on that.

Here's the video I followed to replace it.:

Note that the EU plug in the video is slightly different and the US version has the part mounted more 'behind' the charge socket rather than "on top" of it which makes the security screws harder to get to on the US version. Even still, the hardest part was getting the plastic surround cover off without breaking it. (You'll see where he broke it in the video.) I did get a set of the 5 star (pentalobe) security bits (ts20 is the size to use) which made removing the actual part a lot easier.

BMW of South Atlanta had the best deal on the part (61-13-6-805-424 for the US one) when I looked. ~$130 shipped. A local dealership quoted me $190 and 3-5 business days for the part. I don't regret doing it myself but if you can get the dealer to repair it fully for free, even better!