Kucloma
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:12 pm

Dead Battery and other problems

Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:19 pm

Perhaps the subject line can be more accurate however I just wanted to create this post to share with everyone the issues that I have had so far and what needed to be done to solve them.

1. Main battery was drained to 0% and then the aux battery was drained dead as well.

Problem: you cannot charge the car if the batteries die completely.

Solution: pop the hood open, unscrew the cargo bucket, and jump start the small battery to give you enough energy so car can start up and charging module will begin charging.

Problem: you can't pop the hood open with a button

Solution: right under the hood open button is a small latch into a compartment that houses a thing you can pull on to release open the hood.

Problem: you cant open the charging door if the battery is dead.

Solution: next to the right passenger door latch there is a small foam thingy you can pop off. Behind it you will see 2 blue circles. One releases the door and the other i havent tried but looks like it releases the charging cable.

P.S. i used one of those portable powerbank type jump starters, not another car.

P.S.S i also have one of those cigarette light auxillary charging port c.harger that you can plug in to both cars. It may work on regular cars but I tried it in this case and it did not.

2. If none of the above works for you and you still need the car towed:

Problem: cant switch to neitral to roll car out.

Solution: make sure you call a tow truck that can lift the rear tires off. Flat bed or not they need to have a sled.

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5106
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Dead Battery and other problems

Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:57 pm

There is an emergency circuit that will recharge the 12vdc battery from the EVSE connection...that can take awhile to build up enough charge in it to then start the normal charging routine, but if the 12vdc battery can accept a charge, it should work. It is not immediate, and it won't look like much of anything is happening until that 12vdc battery builds up, but if you have enough time, it can restore things to full operation. Keep in mind, though, that no battery works great long-term if you fully discharge it.

Using a 12vdc battery charger could damage things, and they warn you not to do that in the user's manual. Obviously, if you disconnect the 12vdc battery, the car won't care, but I'd be leery about contradicting the operator's manual's instructions and charging it while the battery is still connected..
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV
Soon (hopefully!) A 2021 X5 45e will replace the above

MiguelRivera
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:57 pm
Location: Houston, TX USA

Re: Dead Battery and other problems

Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:20 pm

Ok, to anyone who owns a bmw i3, the dead 12v battery WILL cause you to not be able to turn on car, it WILL cause you to be unable to put it in N, and it will give you drivetrains errors. Don’t be alarmed it can be remedied by buying a new 12v battery from Remy battery. But once installed it will not mitigate any problems until you use ISTA + or ISTA D TO diagnose the car and remove the 12v battery problem. The problem will occur slowly by telling you the battery is being drained while the car is off. I got this error for about two weeks+. After this you will get a check engine light and then ultimately it will not let you turn on and get all the errors previously mentioned. The INSTA+ software 2.8## is free from the creator and 3.0 is about $30 US dollars. You will need a usb to obdII or network to obdII a computer and software.

JohnWasser
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:15 pm

Re: Dead Battery and other problems

Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:21 pm

Kucloma wrote:
Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:19 pm
Solution: pop the hood open, unscrew the cargo bucket, and jump start the small battery to give you enough energy so car can start up and charging module will begin charging.

Problem: you can't pop the hood open with a button
You missed a step: :)

Problem: The hood (frunk) button is inside your locked car and you can't use the remote to unlock the car with the battery dead.

Solution: Pull on the keychain hole of your remote. Press the button on the back of the remote to unlatch the key. The key will then slide out of your remote. Under the door handle is an opening. Insert the key there to pop off the cover over the mechanical lock. Then use the key to unlock the mechanical lock.

ScottinOregon
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:31 am

Re: Dead Battery and other problems

Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:38 pm

I wish I had Kucloma's post when I was stuck 100 miles from home with a battery that a public charging station wouldn't charge! The tow truck driver (which BMW graciously paid for) offered to jump me but I haughtily explained that the 12V system isn't what made the thing go, and so on. Now I realize that that might have facilitated the handshake with the charger, which wasn't happening, and I would have saved a bus ride home, and two weeks before I could take a bus back to pick up the car!

ricks2015i3rex
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:05 pm

Re: Dead Battery and other problems

Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:42 pm

In my case the i3 didn't warn me that the battery had a problem until it was dead. I got the "battery discharging" warning and that afternoon while out it as died (also gave me some parking break error code). I called BMW roadside assistance to get a tow. While on the phone with them I tried it again and boom she started. Lucky I was able to get it home, because when it dies you can't move the car. You cannot get it into Neutral, so, need to find a flatbed with a trolley to get the back wheels off the ground. Glad I didn' have to do that.

So the 12v battery has died; its been 5 years, so I'm not upset about that.

First I called around looking for a the OEM battery. Couldn't find it locally, but could order it on-line for roughly $150 including shipping. But, days to deliver it. My BMW dealer wanted $200 and said he could have it in 3 days. I was good with that, but didn't want the car sitting waiting for a battery to arrive, so I contacted another dealer near me and they had one in stock. As asked what they wanted to install it. They said $400 (2.5 hrs). I said that can't be right, they said it was. I drove down, bought the battery and didn't consider having them install it. The other dealer wanted $360 for battery and installation. So, I planned on going there with the battery in hand.

The next morning the car was dead. Thank goodness I was able to open the frunk, which gave me the opportunity to replace the battery myself and get the car running again. I'm no mechanic, but the whole process was about 40 minutes. Everything went as planned. Car is up and running. Only problem now is the "battery discharging" message is still there. Turns out the new battery has to be registerd with the car. I have no idea why this is necessary. So, now I have to make a trip to the dealer so they can tell the car a new battery is in there. Don't know what they will charge, but my expectation is that it will be way more that I think it is worth.

So, when you have this problem. 1) address it quickly becuase you will be surprised how quickly the car will become useless, 2) if you have a 12v battery that is over 3 years old have it tested, if its anywhere around 8v buy a new one and replace it, 3) don't pay BMW to do it -- it doesn't require unique tools and is straight forward.

Here is the link to the replacement video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKRj8gLcsfI

Hope this helps.

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5106
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Dead Battery and other problems

Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:12 pm

Many of the service centers dealing with BMW can register the battery. PepBoys around here will do it for about $30. Basically, unless you're changing the size or type, all that needs to be done is to tell the car a new one was just installed...takes all of about 3-minutes, and a lot of that is hooking up the tool and finding the right menu to then send to the car which takes maybe a few seconds. The paperwork takes longer.

Unless there's still a real error, that message will eventually time out. It can probably be reset with an OBD-II reader if you wanted it gone earlier.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV
Soon (hopefully!) A 2021 X5 45e will replace the above

flyboy320
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Dead Battery and other problems

Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:58 am

ricks2015i3rex wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:42 pm
Turns out the new battery has to be registerd with the car. I have no idea why this is necessary. So, now I have to make a trip to the dealer so they can tell the car a new battery is in there. Don't know what they will charge, but my expectation is that it will be way more that I think it is worth.
Registering the battery does not get ride of the "battery discharging" message. Just leave the car to "deep" sleep (usually over night) and that should get rid of the message. Many people have reported the same message even after swapping in a new battery and what got rid of the message was leaving the car overnight. Registering the battery may or may not be necessary depending on who you talk to. Many people have swapped out the battery without registering it with no apparent problems.

sipabit
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:01 am
Contact: YouTube

Re: Dead Battery and other problems

Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:29 pm

I love the way you posted this info! Awesome format gets to the point. Thorough and concise.

Wanted to add some info too that some may find useful. I just got off the phone with BMW of Concord, CA and they quoted me some outrageous prices:

12v 20ah battery: $235 + tax and requires a trade-in of the original battery. W/o trade-in is an extra $18.
Registering the battery: $215, yes really. I was horrified and had to ask again and yeah that's the price. Crazy.
Replacing the battery: Meaning including labor and parts and registering the new battery, $500 ish last time I checked a year ago.
A fanatic of all things electric. Ridables like electric ice chests and stand up scooters I adore. Drones like DJI, I root for. I'm a fan of both, but nothing beats my love for my 2016 i3 Rex with Deka World. Shhh, don't tell my wife.

flyboy320
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Dead Battery and other problems

Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:21 pm

sipabit wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:29 pm
I love the way you posted this info! Awesome format gets to the point. Thorough and concise.

Wanted to add some info too that some may find useful. I just got off the phone with BMW of Concord, CA and they quoted me some outrageous prices:

12v 20ah battery: $235 + tax and requires a trade-in of the original battery. W/o trade-in is an extra $18.
Registering the battery: $215, yes really. I was horrified and had to ask again and yeah that's the price. Crazy.
Replacing the battery: Meaning including labor and parts and registering the new battery, $500 ish last time I checked a year ago.
Apparently people are now reporting the battery if bought directly from East Penn has gone up about $100 to $220.

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