accidentalyEV
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:36 pm

Test drove 2016 I3 and battery level went down to 2 miles and REX did not start, is this normal?

I am not familiar with BMW I3 but Googled a bunch of stuff before and during the test drive at a non BMW dealer so they had no idea how the extender should work. Based on my searches I expected the extender to start when the battery fell below 6% if the settings were factory. Can anyone help me out with how this should work before I purchase a broken I3? Thanks!
MKH

Re: Test drove 2016 I3 and battery level went down to 2 miles and REX did not start, is this normal?

How much fuel/range shown for the REx on the dash REx fuel gauge?
Is the REx start-point indicator on the electric range gauge (small white inverted triangle/caret) visible?
Did your electric gauge-range drop past the caret?
Any warning messages on the infotainment screen about the REx not available/not able to start?
accidentalyEV
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:36 pm

Re: Test drove 2016 I3 and battery level went down to 2 miles and REX did not start, is this normal?

MKH wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 4:58 am How much fuel/range shown for the REx on the dash REx fuel gauge?
Is the REx start-point indicator on the electric range gauge (small white inverted triangle/caret) visible?
Did your electric gauge-range drop past the caret?
Any warning messages on the infotainment screen about the REx not available/not able to start?
Thanks for your reply! I was only in the I3 for 30 minutes and didn't know to look for some of the things you asked. There was a blue "battery" range on the right side of the dash / screen directly in front of me and that was at 47 miles when I started the test drive. There was a white range o the left which I believe to be the REX range and the was at 34 miles when I started. The white REX range went up to 37 during the test drive and the blue battery range went down progressively during the test drive pretty quickly since it was 14 Deg F outside and the heat was consuming lots of power. My goal was to get the REX to kick on because I have no idea what it is like and how load it is. When I got back to the dealership there was 2 miles left on the blue battery range and then a warning showed that said something like charge main battery to prevent damage. My assumption was the REX should have already started and had I been on the road I would have been stranded. I did not see any warnings about the REX.

A side note with all of this, I read most of this post trying to understand how the REX should work before I started the test drive and that is what lead me to believe the REX should start when the main battery dropped below 6%. I went into the settings and couldn't find any settings for the REX. I did check the oil on the REX before starting the test drive and it was a very clean golden honey color which was sort of a good sign and sort of a bad sign as maybe it has not ran in a very long time. Link below.

https://bmwi.bimmerpost.com/forums/show ... 5%25%20SOC
accidentalyEV
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:36 pm

Re: Test drove 2016 I3 and battery level went down to 2 miles and REX did not start, is this normal?

MKH wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 4:58 am How much fuel/range shown for the REx on the dash REx fuel gauge?
Is the REx start-point indicator on the electric range gauge (small white inverted triangle/caret) visible?
Did your electric gauge-range drop past the caret?
Any warning messages on the infotainment screen about the REx not available/not able to start?
"Did your electric gauge-range drop past the caret?" I didn't notice a caret, but I can say there were 5 horizontal blue bars on the right-hand side and three out of the five were full when I started the test drive. All bars were gone when I got back to the dealer and the blue range on the right-hand side was at 2 miles and then the warning came up about charging the battery to prevent damage.
MKH

Re: Test drove 2016 I3 and battery level went down to 2 miles and REX did not start, is this normal?

Ok, then definitely something not right with the REx engine. Though usually a failure of the REx to start will pop up some sort of message. An OBD code reader should find error codes that might shed light on what's going on.

Try starting it via the emissions test procedure. One of the more common reasons for the REx not starting is a failed fuel pump relay, which is a pretty easy replacement - it's a small cube-shaped relay that plugs into an electrical panel underneath the glove box.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbr1xJNnAQ4
MKH

Re: Test drove 2016 I3 and battery level went down to 2 miles and REX did not start, is this normal?

This is the REx caret you should see on the range gauge, that indicates when the REx should start.
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REx.jpg
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accidentalyEV
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:36 pm

Re: Test drove 2016 I3 and battery level went down to 2 miles and REX did not start, is this normal?

MKH wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 7:56 am Ok, then definitely something not right with the REx engine. Though usually a failure of the REx to start will pop up some sort of message. An OBD code reader should find error codes that might shed light on what's going on.

Try starting it via the emissions test procedure. One of the more common reasons for the REx not starting is a failed fuel pump relay, which is a pretty easy replacement - it's a small cube-shaped relay that plugs into an electrical panel underneath the glove box.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbr1xJNnAQ4
Thanks for all your help! I do not own the I3 we are talking about yet and I don't think I will purchase it from Carmax.
accidentalyEV
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:36 pm

Re: Test drove 2016 I3 and battery level went down to 2 miles and REX did not start, is this normal?

MKH wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:32 am This is the REx caret you should see on the range gauge, that indicates when the REx should start.
I do not recall seeing a caret and the battery level was completely blank when there was 2 miles left. Thank God I didn't run out of battery on the highway in 14 Degree weather and wind chills down to -1. Lesson learned
MKH

Re: Test drove 2016 I3 and battery level went down to 2 miles and REX did not start, is this normal?

I don't think I will purchase it from Carmax.
Point out to Carmax that the REx isn't working properly - to fix it before you take another test drive. They most likely will then take it to a BMW dealer and get it sorted out. Quite likely it's that $20 fuel pump relay gone bad.

One thing about Carmax - if you opt for their extended warranty at time of purchase, it will cover everything, with all repairs done at a BMW dealership. It's rated one of the best extended warranties in the biz.

If I was looking for an i3, Carmax would be at the top of the list for just this reason.
accidentalyEV
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:36 pm

Re: Test drove 2016 I3 and battery level went down to 2 miles and REX did not start, is this normal?

MKH wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:17 am
I don't think I will purchase it from Carmax.
Point out to Carmax that the REx isn't working properly - to fix it before you take another test drive. They most likely will then take it to a BMW dealer and get it sorted out. Quite likely it's that $20 fuel pump relay gone bad.

One thing about Carmax - if you opt for their extended warranty at time of purchase, it will cover everything, with all repairs done at a BMW dealership. It's rated one of the best extended warranties in the biz.

If I was looking for an i3, Carmax would be at the top of the list for just this reason.
I appreciate that information! I was a little taken back in that they told me over the phone the extended warranty would be approximately $900 ~ $1600 all depending on what deductible I picked and when I drove the two-hour round trip to get there, they told me it is actually $2600 ~ $3700. The brochure they gave me seems to be written for a conventional vehicle and I asked it the electric motor / motors are covered and they had no idea. All they were 100 % certain of is the battery isn't covered. I am not suggesting they were being dishonest but lack of specific paperwork on an extended warranty that is a third-party warranty for $3,000 on a 2016 used BMW I3 with 32,000 miles I am paying $21k for is not for me. End of the day they are a passthrough middleman if I buy the vehicle and extended warranty and I will need to fight it out with Experian which they told me would be the third-party warranty. Interestingly enough the brochure did not list Experian as one of the possible company's the extended warranty would be from. https://www.carmax.com/car-buying-proce ... vice-plans

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