lopezjm2001
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:02 am

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Mon May 03, 2021 4:56 pm

Just wandering if anyone has done their own HV battery health test using the BMW diagnostic software ISTA+. It involves fully charging the HV battery and then fully discharging the battery using the air-conditioning with the windows open. You can get this software on the net for a reasonable price from https://www.bcables.com/. Just need a OBD2 to ethernet cable.

Joff
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:44 am

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Sun May 16, 2021 7:37 pm

lopezjm2001 wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 4:56 pm
Just wandering if anyone has done their own HV battery health test using the BMW diagnostic software ISTA+. It involves fully charging the HV battery and then fully discharging the battery using the air-conditioning with the windows open. You can get this software on the net for a reasonable price from https://www.bcables.com/. Just need a OBD2 to ethernet cable.
I have a laptop loaded with ISTA software and cable. It has helped me troubleshoot wiring damage, but I am no expert. Do you have any instructions on how to use it to test HV batterie state of health?

rcyyan
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:59 pm

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:08 am

For everyone in CA, CT, ME, MD, MA, NJ ,NY,RI and VT....I'm guessing we have 10yrs and 150k mi. Or am I reading this incorrectly.

From the owners manual under the emissions warranty section:

Manufacturer’s Warranty Coverage
(California, Connecticut, Maine,
Maryland, Massachusetts, New
Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, or
Vermont ONLY):
– For 15 years or 150,000 miles, whichever
occurs first**:
**Except High-Voltage Battery (Traction Battery),
which is covered for 10 years, or 150,000 miles,
whichever occurs first
.

eye3guy
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2021 5:47 am

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Sun Jul 04, 2021 6:21 am

I recently bought a 2014 i3 BEV (a couple of days ago), however it is actually still with the (independent, non official BMW) dealer. Apparently the a/c wasn't blowing so cold, which is why they stated that they would keep it, and fix it for me since the local dealer I bought it from has their own 30 day warranty. This doesn't seem relevant now, but just bear with me-

Now...The Carfax report provided by the dealer shows that the car started out in CA, then made it's way to Phoenix, AZ. in fact funny enough the dealer was "Chapman BMW". This dealer was in possession of the car twice. I say it's funny because I've been sort of lurking, and noticed that some board members are from phoenix, and even noticed someone bought their 2014 i3 from the exact same dealer! (maybe mine?)

The car has found it's way to Houston, where I have now bought it. Anyways...the point is that, I was supposed to have my car delivered to me by the local Houston dealer yesterday. However, the guy calls me and says "hey man, so sorry, but they are still working on the a/c" then he asks, "do you live more than 35 miles away?" lol...That second part, his question about how far I was raised a pretty massive red flag.

What I noticed while I was test driving the vehicle is that the battery gauge was around 60% full, (from eye balling the lines at the bottom of the instrument panel), but the range remaining, said 19 miles...hmm...That seemed a little low to me, however in Houston these days, reaching close to 100 degrees is common, plus the car may have been sitting for some time, since it was sent from AZ to TX, and doesn't seem to have had a previous owner for a couple of weeks. So i just sort of chalked it up to a more or less inaccurate range calculation. But, I have a few curiosities, and a few facts. Might anyone be able to help me out?

Facts:
-Car has been minimally driven (if at all) for at least 2 weeks.
-The a/c was NOT blowing cold when I test drove the car
-The battery meter was around 60%
-At the same time, the range was 19 miles
-It's hot as crap in Houston
-I found 2 pictures (of my exact car by VIN) from 2018 of the instrument panel showing the range as being really, REALLY bad from the cars past life. Both in AZ, and both within a few miles of each other. I will post them after this.

Curiosities:
-if the a/c went out in AZ, where it's SUPER hot, is it possible that the batteries got overheated, since they surely need the a/c working in AZ in the summer to cool them down?
-Could this just be the 12v battery needing to be replaced?
-Could the car's software be factoring in the short dealer test drives here and there, with minimal charging, thus showing a below normal range? Like how the range can be skewed in a gas propelled vehicle if you reset the mpg meter, then instantly hit traffic showing worse mpg than what it is in reality.

The car is still under BMW battery warranty, however, I'm a bit worried based on what I've read here that they wouldn't help me anyways. It is also under a 30 day warranty (powertrain and drivetrain) from the small Houston dealer too, under which the battery should be covered.

It seems like they didn't want to attempt to deliver the car to me because the range was likely showing 35 mile range AT FULL CHARGE. and I would just send it right back under their 30 day warranty, plus leave all sorts of bad reviews (potentially, I'm guessing from their perspective).

Now...I'm no mathematician, but regardless of what the secret menu says (which I wasn't aware of until AFTER I bought the car. A 35 mile range at full charge would be WELL within any sort of threshold for a BMW warranty. But I just don't want to neglect any other factors before potentially having to raise to the issue with BMW or my local dealer, and having to pay to have it tested. Any advice? (sorry for the novel).

eye3guy
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2021 5:47 am

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Sun Jul 04, 2021 6:31 am

The two pics as promised. Based on the report that I pulled for one of the pics is from 2018, and considering that they are only a few miles within each other on the odometer, I am assuming that both pics are from 2018.

Image

Image

Any thoughts or ideas would REALLY be appreciated!

User avatar
MKH
Gold Member
Posts: 904
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Sun Jul 04, 2021 7:19 am

The AC is critical for heat management. cooling the HV battery. If the those pics show that the previous owner drove the car with no AC in Arizona for several years, the HV pack could be toast - and BMW could easily deny any warranty on the HV battery, claiming the failure was due to owner negligence for not fixing the AC.

Chapman BMW also has a less than stellar rep with the i3 (and customers in general), particularly with AC issues.

There is an iPhone App called 'mi3' that pulls up a lot of i3 internal charge and battery info, requires an ODB dongle to connect to the car. Could be used for a quick and easy deeper dive into what is going on with the range/charge.

Some other points to consider:
* A small number of AC compressors in 2014 and 2015 i3 had QC issues and were prone to early failure, particularly in hot climate environments.
* If the AC compressor in an i3 has a catastrophic failure which puts metal fragments into the system, the repair costs are five-figures and basically total the car. (I would wonder if this is what happened, and the prev owner just drove the car with no AC when faced with a repair bill more than the car was worth, until he paid off the car, then traded it. Any BMW Dealer can look up the service history of the car by VIN, and see if it was ever in for AC service, when it was brought in, and what the diagnosis and outcome).
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch Rial X10-i wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

alohart
Posts: 2451
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Sun Jul 04, 2021 11:42 am

I would think that an i3 with a malfunctioning A/C would store a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) that would display a warning to stop driving and have the car taken to a BMW dealer.

I would steer clear of an i3 that had spent much time in a very hot climate. Even though i3's have a good battery pack cooling system, it doesn't operate when an i3 is parked and not charging or preconditioning. So if an i3 is parked over hot pavement in the sunlight on a very hot day for several hours, its battery cells could become so hot that their output is purposely reduced to avoid more serious damage. The cell degradation rate accelerates at high temperatures which seems like what might have occurring with your i3. Without knowing its history, BMW might deny a battery warranty replacement if its A/C system wasn't properly maintained.

Many 60 Ah battery packs like the one in our 2014 BEV have degraded for reasons that aren't clear. Don't buy an i3 older than a 2017 to avoid the 60 Ah battery pack. I can't recall reading about any 94 Ah (2017-2018) and 120 Ah (2019-2021) battery pack that has degraded significantly.

If I were you, I would cancel the sale and look for a 2017 or later i3.
Aloha,
Art

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

eye3guy
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2021 5:47 am

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Sun Jul 04, 2021 12:19 pm

Thank you for your responses! I figured that there may have been some sort of trouble code as well. I should also note that I pulled two reports from two different independent companies about the car and neither of them showed any issues at all. In fact they both just showed regular maintenance. I would also find it very difficult to imagine that someone would drive around in phoenix in the summer with no a/c. I've been to phoenix a few times, and the really is no joke. As a side note, they sold it to the AZ dealer in October, so it wasn't peak heat season when they sold it. which sort of makes me doubt that they would've sold it due to lack of a/c because it wouldn't have been painfully hot at that time.

I may be showing a bit of overoptimism here, but upon thinking about it, there are quite a lot of hills/valleys in AZ and around phoenix. And I was the first person to test drive the vehicle after it arrived at my local dealer from AZ. The previous owner also had the vehicle for 2 years and 8 months, so I'm not totally sure that they went without a/c for that long. I even ran the numbers on the mileage that they racked up, and if they drove it every single day for the entire 2 yrs and 8 mos it would only have average like 23 miles a day. Having said all of that, yes, it really does get very hot there, and i believe last year there was a heat wave too.
But the sale is already final, and the car has been paid for, so I don't think there will be any returning it.

What I'm getting at here, it that it IS possible that whoever had it before me, drove it up and down mountainous terrain, in (at least) fairly warm temps, and likely at decent, (near or at) highway speeds.

While it's only one data point, I saw a YouTube video where a guy drove his 94ah up a mountain, and at the start of the trip it quoted him 145mi (in comfort), but his battery ran out closer to 71mi. because of the temps (cooler in his case), but mostly the elevation. So I mean, I wouldn't put it past mountainous driving at highway speeds to half cause the range to show half of what it would be on flat terrain. And his average was like 35mph or something to that effect, if I'm not mistaken.

It would be super awesome, if anyone from phoenix or any mountainous area really could chime in with their actual numbers. I'd like to have hope that it's still a good purchase, since like I said, there won't be any returning it.

OH, I should also note, a couple more things:
-When I test drove the car, and when the salesman and I turned on the car and then turned on the a/c it was 96 deg outside and the car had been sitting out in the sun all day (windows up). He waited all of 10 seconds to say "this is way too hot, the a/c isn't cooling as it should". Which I chalked up to it just needing to take a minute or two because it's so hot and humid here, that that's typical of any car to need a min or two to really start blowing cold.
-When I test drove it, i went for about 3 miles or so, and the predicted range didn't even budge. which 3 miles isn't long, but it's a large percentage of the 19 miles predicted remaining range (~15%), so I would imagine that if it REALLY only had 19 miles of range left it would've at least gone down by even one mile during the test drive.
-When I called the local dealers service dept, they said that they were going to replace the fan and the compressor. Although, I didn't see any CEL or anything like that. (I don't know if they're just shooting in the dark, or what lol)

Meh, maybe I'm just being a hopeful i3 romantic lol

But again, there's no report showing that the a/c was damaged or CEL, or anything like that. So Maybe if the packs are jacked, (but hopefully not), then they could still be replaced under warranty. Could anyone please provide their experience with actual range in mountainous areas?

alohart
Posts: 2451
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Sun Jul 04, 2021 8:53 pm

If I were you, I'd get the estimate of the battery pack capacity as shown in the service menu. The battery pack capacity, "Batt. Kapa. max", must be less than 13.3 kWh to qualify for a warranty replacement. A BMW dealer would not base a warranty replacement on the Batt. Kapa. max value but would perform a rigorous test at the owner's expense unless a warranty replacement were indicated. For some reason, the test procedure frequently increases the usable capacity, so I wouldn't spend money for the test unless multiple Batt. Kapa. max readings over a period of time were less than maybe 12.5 kWh.

Aloha,
Art

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

User avatar
MKH
Gold Member
Posts: 904
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Mon Jul 05, 2021 12:39 pm

If the local dealer is prepared to replace the AC compressor and the fan, that's a big bonus. Parts and labor puts that job at over $2 grand. And the replacement compressor will be a newer version that hasn't been prone to heat-failure.

Third party reporting agencies provide limited, basic info, only what the insurance agencies provide to them, and any online shared maintenance databases. A lot can and will be left out. Case in point, when we sold my daughter's car for her, I printed out the Carfax to provide prospective buyers. The report indicated that the car had never been in an accident. It actually had been rear-ended by a drunk driver on the freeway, causing over $6,000 in damage. Not a peep on the report. Intrigued, I ran a carfax on our old Jeep Cherokee, which had been T-boned by a red-light runner - $8,000 in repairs. Again, nothing at all on the Carfax. I have the carfax on all the service done on my i3 since 'new'. I also was able to print out the actual BMW Dealer service records on the i3, from the Connected App, before they 'improved' the app and locked that feature out. About a third of the service visits on the BMW service database are missing from the Carfax report.

One other thing can damage an i3 battery pack - leaving it parked for an extended period of time with an almost flat HV battery. So much so, that if you drive and deplete the battery, when you get close to the bottom of the charge, the car throws up a warning to change the HV battery as soon as possible.

But since you have a 30 day warranty - put it through a week of drive/charge cycles, and see what's up with the car. If the mileage in the guessometer stays low, worth a shot at getting BMW to evaluate the HV battery pack - could be a couple of dead cells in the pack that need to be replaced, BMW will charge around $300 to do the test. If the battery fails, they rescind the charge.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch Rial X10-i wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

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