bwilson4web
Posts: 710
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:59 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Well that was not fun . . .

Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:10 pm

I was stopped at a traffic light, Four Mile Post Road and 6500 Whitesburg Dr, Huntsville when it changed to green. I moderately pushed the accelerator; there was a 'clunk' and; no motion. Power cycling the car, same thing. I set the emergency flashers and shifted into "N". A slight grade let me turn into a parking lot and coast to a parking place. I put it in "P" and tried again and it cycled through a series of error messages, stayed in "P", and shut itself off. So I called BMW Connect.

It was 4:00 PM Friday afternoon and after an hour and a half, no luck getting a tow truck with the "skate", the small wheels that fit under the rear wheels so the car can be put on a flat bed tow truck and taken to the dealer. By now the sun was down and it was headed to freezing temperatures. So we agreed to start again Saturday morning.

Various error messages seen:
  • Drivetrain: Stop carefully
    Pedestrian Warning - Malfunction. Consult service center.
    Vehicle battery charge low - Charge by driving for longer periods use external charger. Function requiring battery will be switched off.
    iRemote reported 6i2% traction battery SOC
I have a video of each display during the aborted starts but it will take a while to reduce them to small, downloadable, files. Here are what I saw on the displays:
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/BMW/repair_041.mov

http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/BMW/repair_051.mov

Bob Wilson

All of my tools and meters were at home but the symptoms are consistent with a 12V battery failure. Can't be sure until tomorrow when I go back to the car and take a peek. I'll also put a Scangauge on and see if there are any error codes to read out. But the primary goal on Saturday will be finding a tow truck company that can safely take the car to the dealership.

Good thing we're weren't mid-way to Arizona when this happened. Stuff happens so we deal with it and move on.

Bob Wilson
Last edited by bwilson4web on Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
20k/27k mi 2014 BMW i3-REx
10k/10k mi 2017 Prius Prime

alohart
Posts: 1686
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Well that was not fun . . .

Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:43 pm

If your stranding turns out to be due to a failed 12V battery, did you have any prior warnings?

I hope to avoid a bad 12V battery stranding me by monitoring a voltage gauge plugged into the accessory power port underneath the center of the dashboard where it's easily readable. If I start seeing the voltage below 12V, I'll start checking the 12V battery's health.
Aloha,
Art

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

bwilson4web
Posts: 710
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:59 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Well that was not fun . . .

Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:28 pm

alohart wrote:If your stranding turns out to be due to a failed 12V battery, did you have any prior warnings?

I hope to avoid a bad 12V battery stranding me by monitoring a voltage gauge plugged into the accessory power port underneath the center of the dashboard where it's easily readable. If I start seeing the voltage below 12V, I'll start checking the 12V battery's health.
No prior warning. It was the cycling later that suggested a weak 12V system.

The real answer is to use my DVM to monitor the 12V battery in the morning when I try to start the car and get it shifted into "N". I'll take some wheel blocks for the front tires incase I succeed. Possible outcomes:
  • 1) no change - continue to work on getting a qualified tow truck. The local dealer will be open so we can have a 'face-to-face'. I'll have my car and can scamper around town to the 'usual suspects.'

    2) jumping from good car to BMW works and car goes into "N" before winking out - YEA ordinary tow service will work. It become a BMW shop problem on Monday.

    3) jumping from good car to BMW works and the car appears to go into READY and move normally with regular battery voltages - AAAGGGGHHHH!!!!! intermittent. "Problem cleared while testing." I will try to reach the BMW dealer via back roads.
Hummm, perhaps wheel dollies instead of wheel skids to get the car on a flat-bed transport?
20k/27k mi 2014 BMW i3-REx
10k/10k mi 2017 Prius Prime

alohart
Posts: 1686
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Well that was not fun . . .

Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:48 am

The DC-DC converter frequently, but not always turns on when I unlock the driver's door. It seems to do so when the 12V battery's voltage is on the low side. So you might measure the 12V voltage after opening the driver's door to see whether it's over 14V. If it is, the DC-DC converter is on and is charging your 12V battery, so there would be no need to jump your battery from a good battery. But if the 12V battery's voltage is too low, the DC-DC converter might not start.
bwilson4web wrote:2) jumping from good car to BMW works
A BMW tech warned me about jumping the 12V battery without first disconnecting the high-voltage system by opening the orange disconnect under the driver-side frunk cover near the front of the car. The disconnect lifts to disconnect and pushes down to reconnect. However, I don't know whether the car will enter Ready state without the high-voltage system connected, or if so, whether connecting the disconnect while the car is in the Ready state might cause a problem. I would probably attempt to charge the battery from the good battery for a while before disconnecting the jumper cables, reconnecting the disconnect, and then attempting to enter Ready state.

Good luck!
Aloha,
Art

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

bwilson4web
Posts: 710
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:59 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Well that was not fun . . .

Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:41 am

Thanks!

I'm headed to the car in about 15 min. Will let you' all know what we find.

Bob Wilson
20k/27k mi 2014 BMW i3-REx
10k/10k mi 2017 Prius Prime

TOEd
Posts: 99
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:15 am
Location: Toronto Ontario Canada

Re: Well that was not fun . . .

Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:57 am

Our 2015 i3 REx had its first oil/filter change after 5 months when CBS notice in dash said service was needed. 5,221 km on REx and 7,400 km on battery. Systems check found defective 12 volt battery which was replaced. No symptoms prior to replacement.

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4500
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Well that was not fun . . .

Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:06 pm

It appears from looking at the parts list on www.realoem.com that the original battery for the i3 was changed to a higher capacity one if warranty work was required. This might also be a function of what's available easily in the USA verses importing one from Germany, but it might also be that they've had problems on (some?) cars with parasitic losses(?), and a larger one ends up being more reliable?
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

bwilson4web
Posts: 710
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:59 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Well that was not fun . . .

Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:46 pm

Found the 12V dead when I arrived this morning suggests a controller failed and effectively put a heavy load on the 12V so normal functions soon failed. I can't call it a failed 12V as another part may have been the excessive load.

The Saturday morning crew was much more clued and actually scheduled the work and sending an SMS message with the ticket:
Image
The Friday evening the BMW rep told me she couldn't find a tow truck with 'tire skates' which are large plastic pieces that under the tires, allowing the car to be pulled onto a flat-bed. In reality, all that was needed is a tow truck with a tire, lift gate. Since it was 4:00 PM, it would not have been seen by the techs in time to diagnose, much less, repair. Still, it did mean a second trip to the car Saturday morning.

So I called the tow company and let them know the 12V is dead and the rear wheels are locked and can not be unlocked because of the dead battery. He showed up 20 minutes later and quickly got the car up and on the way to the dealer:
Image

Image
After securing the rear tires, the tow truck operator used the seat belt to 'tie' the steering wheel.

Image

Calling the tow company was important because it let them know the actual condition of the car. So they sent the truck with the wheel lift gate. Unfortunately the magnetic, rear light bar would not attach to our carbon fiber hood so the operator put it against the base of the windshield ... and during the tow it fell down (there is a $500 fine if the bar is not there.) I probably should have laid a sweater or something under it to keep it from falling below the windshield.

No technicians on the weekend so I left the key with a paper and the 7 digits of the VIN with a sales clerk. Since I had a tire check that showed 5 mm with one 6 mm and the right front tire alignment off, I'll have them do an alignment and won't worry if they also rotate them side-to-side.

I'll share what they find but it looks like 'a week at the spa' for our BMW i3-REx.

LATE THOUGHT: It is important to test every aspect of the car during the warranty. The recent addition of a 100A, 40kW, charger allowed testing the fast DC charger. Other than the row of 'programming buttons,' I don't think anything has not be tested. But there are two non-standard mods: (1) coding for 75% REx operation and (2) the 2" receiver hitch for my wife's wheel chair carrier. In theory, these pose a risk to the warranty. ... We'll see.

Bob Wilson
Last edited by bwilson4web on Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
20k/27k mi 2014 BMW i3-REx
10k/10k mi 2017 Prius Prime

bwilson4web
Posts: 710
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:59 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Well that was not fun . . .

Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:16 pm

20k/27k mi 2014 BMW i3-REx
10k/10k mi 2017 Prius Prime

bwilson4web
Posts: 710
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:59 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Well that was not fun . . .

Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:12 am

Left rear motor mount bolt broke. Apparently there is a TIS on this with a lot of things to check and replace the motor mount.

When I mentioned left-right tire rotation, the tech and service writer had not heard of this. Anyone have BMW document ID that discusses this?

I am not sure it is worth bringing it up since my tires appear to be evenly worn.

Bob Wilson
20k/27k mi 2014 BMW i3-REx
10k/10k mi 2017 Prius Prime

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