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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:49 am

Maintenance cost on used BMW I3

Hello friends!!

I am thinking to buy used 2014 BMW I3 for my wife, she has only 20 miles a day commute.
can anyone please let me know the how much Maintenance cost would be? i know factory warranty expires after five years.
battery warranty still applies for 8 years ? how much dealer charges for regular maintenance?
i am thinking to buy pure EV only. Please let me know cons of used one.

Thanks in advance!

Posts: 303
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:55 pm
Location: Orange County, NY (FN21vm)

Re: Maintenance cost on used BMW I3

The only scheduled maintenance on a BEV model is the brake fluid flush every 2 years. Your dealership will charge you about $300 for it, but any independent BMW repair shop can also do it. There are competing trains of thought about whether or not this actually needs to be done every two years. I look at it as cheap insurance to do it as scheduled to prevent corrosion, and it's not like the car needs oil changes or anything else done a few times per year like an ICE engine requires.

There is also an accompanying gazillion-point inspection every two years, if you want to pay them to go over your car looking for repairs to sell you. I actually wrote the check for this one (and the brake fluid change) two weeks after picking up my new-to-me 2015 i3 BEV, so that I knew there were no issues with the car that I missed in my own pre-purchase inspections.

Plan on a round of tires every 15K miles, and a new 12V accessory battery every 36-48 months. Other than that, it's washer fluid and wiper blades...and buy the wiper blades from BMW if the car has the tech package since some of the aftermarket ones are allegedly an inch too short to wipe the KAFAS camera lens spot clean on the windshield.

My commute is 21 miles round-trip, and the BEV is fine for two days between recharges.....
2015 BMW i3 BEV, Giga World, Tech and Driving Assistant packages, 15K miles
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Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Maintenance cost on used BMW I3

vreihen wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:40 pmPlan on a round of tires every 15K miles, and a new 12V accessory battery every 36-48 months.
This is a worst-case scenario based on almost 5 years of owning our 2014 BEV. Our original 12 V battery is functioning normally although I am prepared to replace it at any time based on reports from other i3 drivers who have experienced shorter 12 V battery life. Like any car, the 12 V battery's life might be shorter in extreme climates.

If one drives conservatively with 19" tires, tire life should be considerably longer than 15k miles. However, if one enjoys the i3's instant torque frequently, the rear tires will wear quickly. This is partially due to the fact that the i3's strong regenerative braking is applied only to the rear tires.
[22-04-25 to now] 2019 BMW i3 Imperial Blue Metallic, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Heat Pump, 428 Wheels
[14-11-05 to 22-06-15] 2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging
JuiceBox EVSE
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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:49 am

Re: Maintenance cost on used BMW I3

Really thank you for you valuable comments!!
I will check with dealer on battery and tires.
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Maintenance cost on used BMW I3

If nothing breaks, normal repairs are fairly routine. The car does have shocks, tires, brakes, a cabin air filter, and wiper blades that need to be serviced like any car. The actual brakes should last a very long time if you actually use the regenerative braking to best advantage. You then only need to use the actual friction brakes if a light changes when you're not ready or someone pulls in front of you (or some other emergency and you're too close without using them).

Most European companies have a long list of things to check, and that does take time. But, except for wear items, the computer is fairly good about announcing a pending problem so it gives you a heads up. A used one is likely to have experienced most all infant mortality failures.

One thing to verify is that all service campaign activities have been addressed along with any pending recalls (there weren't all that many). Those should be free, regardless of the age of the vehicle.
Jim DeBruycker
2014 i3 BEV, 2021 X5 45e
(The i3 will be sold soon, <17K-miles, interested?)

Re: Maintenance cost on used BMW I3

Have the Dealer look up what warranty repairs were done to the car. One thing that should have been taken care of are the motor mount bolts. 2014 and most 2015 i3s have plastic motor mounts, and the original bolts were prone to shearing off under heavy torque. BMW should have replaced the bolts with new stronger ones and possibly the mounts, and updated the car's software to prevent heavy torque spin if the rear wheels go airborne over a bump.
You can also get your service done at an independent garage that works on or specializes in BMW, if there is one in your area, for about half the cost of going to a BMW dealer. There is and indy BMW shop near me, run by two factory trained BMW master mechanics - all they service and work on are BMW, and their rates are way better than the local BMW Dealer. The two-year brake flush is an easy service, and should only cost $80 to $150 at most at an indy shop. BMW will charge $300 plus for the same service.
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:17 am

Re: Maintenance cost on used BMW I3

My maintenance costs have been minimal. Rex adds an annual oil change. BMW currently has a promotion around here $99 oil change, and they'll give you a $25 visa gift card (so about $75 oil change). Given the amount of driving I do, its much cheaper than an ICE.
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: Maintenance cost on used BMW I3

My AC went out on mine. Repair quote was $23K, as the compressor spewed metal filings through both cabin and battery heat pumps taking both out. I was one year past the 4 year warranty, and the only other maintenance costs for me were tires.

No I would not touch a 2014 i3 for anything, given that $20K AC repairs are showing up (at least three that I know of in Phoenix). I have not heard of such catastrophic failures in 2015 and later, but...
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Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:38 am

Re: Maintenance cost on used BMW I3

My maintenance experience with my CPO 2015 BMW i3 has been disappointing. I've spent $5,200 (that's $2600/year) in repairs after 2 years. Despite having CPO, all the major costs charged by the dealer have been labeled as 'wear and tear' which is excluded from CPO coverage (don't miss this). Compared to the Bolt, the tire wear seems excessively (15-20K miles vs. 60K miles for the Bolt). Each time you change your tire at the dealer, they require a 'Computerized Wheel Alignment' of $270. Here are some examples of my major expenses:

-Replaced both LEFT and RIGHT engine mounts for REX = $1,627
-Tires = $1,600
-Broken camber arm = $572
-Wheel alignment = $270
-Brake fluid service = $248

My i3 has 70K miles right now and yes, I'm driving 20K miles/year, but I'm also benching my cost against other non-I3 high mileage EV drivers and I'm coming up 3 to 4 times higher in maintenance costs. To ensure the viability of the i3 in the used car market, independent mechanics will have to takeover servicing these cars (more reasonably we hope), as the dealer repair option simply erodes the fuel savings from going electric with BMW.

Re: Maintenance cost on used BMW I3

Unusual that the motor mounts and camber arm were not CPO covered. I'd call BMW direct and complain.

And if your dealer is charging you for a wheel alignment every tire change, why in the heck are you letting them change your tires? And in most cased the Dealer tire prices are not competitive, so shop elsewhere. They are basically ripping you off - a wheel alignment is not needed unless your tires showed uneven wear, or your car is not tracking properly - though if they changed the camber arm, that might call for an alignment as part of that repair. Any tire shop can change your tires. When I had mine changed, I bought the tires online, and had a mobile tire-shop-in-a-van outfit come over and do it in my driveway for less than even the local discount tire dealer charges.

From the sounds of it, you need to change BMW Dealers, or find an Indy BMW shop in your area. I have a local BMW's only independent shop that will change the oil and brake fluid on my i3 for way less than the BMW dealer.

There are four BMW Dealers in my area, and I wouldn't take my car in to two of those for any reason, because they constantly try that kind of cr@p.

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