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Re: My i3 is Dead

Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:20 pm

Before modifying the solenoid lock, verify that DC fast charging would work with an unlocked plug. My understanding is that if a DC fast charger plug won't lock to the charging port, DC charging won't occur.

On earlier i3's, a small thin screwdriver could push a stuck solenoid locking pin back into the charging port so that the charging plug could be removed. I don't know whether the charging port design was modified on later i3's to prevent this screwdriver fix. The shape of the charging plug might affect whether this fix could be used.

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

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Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: My i3 is Dead

Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:50 pm

Interesting note about the DC fast charging. Definitely something to keep in mind.

I'm not sure how much I'll worry about this since BMW has built in the manual unlock provision. But if I ever need to use it and it snaps off, I'll wish I had...

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Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:54 am

Re: My i3 is Dead

Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:12 am

Thanks for the recommendations of how to replace the 12V battery. I had no idea what the issue was when my car alarm went off and the whole car was dead. Following your instructions above made it easy. I removed the old 12V, found East Penn locally for a new one, then resurrected the car completely with the new 12V.

If I had gone the dealer route, I would have had to tow the car to the dealer ($150) , pay them $200 for a diagnostic fee, then pay them to replace the battery. Instead, I read the post and bought the battery for $130. Owner forums really change the game.


How critical and useful is the code update? I called a local service garage and was quoted $40-80 depending on the time it would take to update the code. Seems a bit high for a re-code, but of course, I'm far ahead anyway on the cost. Still, I was expecting maybe $20-30 and figured I'd ask.

I looked at Bimmercode and didn't find any codes for the i3 that seemed to track 12V battery life. For a dongle and the app cost, that's $60-100. I'd be more open to that route since it also enables changing other items, but I thought I'd defer to the team here to see if you have any advice about the need to code.

Thanks in advance for any guidance and thank you for helping me change the battery!

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Location: Orange County, NY (FN21vm)

Re: My i3 is Dead

Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:48 am

Bimmercode does not do battery registrations AFAIK, but my search engine du jour indicates that iCarly does. Never used it, so I can't tell you what it does or how useful it would be for other things.

If you want to go down the pirated Windows software rabbit hole, a few of my search results indicated that some of the leaked BMW tools floating around can also do this.....
2015 BMW i3 BEV, Giga World, Tech and Driving Assistant packages, 15K miles

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Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:54 am

Re: My i3 is Dead

Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:31 am

Thanks vreihen. I'll keep it straight and narrow and work with either the published apps or a mechanic. I dug around a bit more and it does appear that Bimmerlink does battery registrations, although it's not clear if that app supports i3. I have an email into the developer to confirm and will report back here.

Maybe $40-80 is about right for 30 minutes of a mechanic's time. Not really trying to just save money. Honestly, it's a lot more fun to learn how to do things on your own. I just wonder more about how and what battery registration accomplishes and what it regulates. I can imagine that the lifecycle of the 12V battery somehow informs the main computer how to recharge from the DC DC converter, but I don't really know that to be true. Wondering if anyone else out there happens to know.


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Location: Dallas

Re: My i3 is Dead

Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:40 am

I dug around a bit more and it does appear that Bimmerlink does battery registrations,
Although it says so on the web site (or did), when I checked with the developer a few months ago, after reading a posted complaint from a Bimmerlink purchaser that battery registration in fact did not work, I was told that battery registration for the i3 was not supported in Bimmerlink, but would be something added 'in the future', with no estimated date.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

Posts: 85
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: My i3 is Dead

Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:53 am

It took my local mechanic about 30 minutes by the time he hooked up his equipment, found the right numbers on the battery, etc. When he was done he said "no charge" but I gave him $40 anyway.

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Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: My i3 is Dead

Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:40 pm

The expert mode in Bimmercode can tweak things not supported in the 'normal'/default mode. I did use it in that mode on my GT after I located the specific codes required for the new battery. I have not tried that with the i3, but it may be possible.

Does anyone know the code names of the required fields?

Note, the Foxwell 510 scan tool has some capabilities in this area. Also note that Bimmercode app was updated in the last week or so, so check for updates. Don't know what they added. Sometimes, there's little tweaks that aren't listed in the description. On my GT, the scan tool was able to set the install time info, but had issues with the battery size change. I found the code and used the expert mode in Bimmercode to then change the size (I put a larger one in). Since you're not changing the size, all you need to be able to change/reset is the installation time, and the scan tool may work. ECSTuning sells the same thing as a Schwaben branded item, but you need to go to Foxwell's site to update the firmware.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:23 pm

Re: My i3 is Dead

Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:47 pm

Fisher99 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:41 pm
Turns out that this is the original battery that came in this 2014 i3/REX. I just checked it with my meter and it shows 5.7v, so hopefully replacing that battery will get me going again!

Fisher99 –

When you tested your aux battery, was there a load on it when you got that 5.7V reading?


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