808Pants
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2022 10:26 pm

yellow triangle & exclamation mark??

I don't know i3s at all yet, but test-drove a 2017 today. Car was in GREAT shape, just 26K miles. The only funky aspect was the subject item: dash displaying a yellow triangle and exclamation mark. The owner said it just DOES this when the SOC drops to 75%, as part of a monitoring process, checking the ReX, and that it would go away soon. But we drove around for another ten minutes or so, and it didn't go away. I said I'd like to see it go away, and asked if we could just keep driving until it did so, and he said it might be another 20 minutes... I left it at that, figured I'd find a definitive answer online.

Nope. Seems it's somewhere between the keyfob battery being low, and 'service required,' which is a huge gap.

I'm wondering what to do. We've got a verbal deal and I'm supposed to meet up tomorrow to pay him, so I'm wondering if meeting at the dealer (with no appointment) would resolve this? I don't have a reason to distrust the seller, but know there's virtually no recourse I will have once the money changes hands. So if that light is hinting at something big...
808Pants
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2022 10:26 pm

Re: yellow triangle & exclamation mark??

Well, here's the deal, apparently: when I called to confer with him about this, the owner reluctantly agreed to drive it around this afternoon for a while, saying that it would indeed clear, but that he needed to get the pack below 75% for the ReX to spring to life and hence begin its diagnostic. He sent me photos at various stages enroute, showing the screen's differing status displays that verified his claims/expectations, eventually resulting in the Yellow Triangle of Confusion and Suspicion being extinguished, along with its exclamatory sidekick (!) Looks like it took a while for the diagnosis to be completed, but not really sure.

I was happy to see the 'all OK' screen.
alohart
Posts: 2683
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: yellow triangle & exclamation mark??

For some reason, I have been unable to send private messages for months. They just remain in my Outbox unsent. So I will reply to you publicly. Hope you don't mind.
Alohart - thought I'd say 'hi.' Monday AM I expect to hand over the money for my first i3 (or ANY EV) after a near-miss with a Leaf a week ago. Rebounding with the i3 will, I expect, not leave me looking over my shoulder - the leaf felt comfortable, intuitive, and boring, as I'd expected, but someone bought it out from under me so it's history regardless.

We're up in the back of Palolo, in Honolulu. I'm a nearing-retirement engineer who loves to get hands into projects, but with less tolerance now for open-ended ones (since they're essentially cluttering up my existence at this point.) Do you do much work on your i3 yourself?

Since you clearly have extensive history on the site, and I've not yet stumbled on (or been able to search out, even) certain themes in posts that would probably interest me, I hope I can ask a few questions. And, with your perspective, if you think this deserves posting to start off, I can do so - just LMK.

1) With a 2017, what maintenance tasks can I do on my own without offending the pack warranty (or any other about which I don't know anything, yet?)
2) Any basic must-haves like code-reader, apps, etc, per your long experience?
3) I've got nothing other than the stock level 1 charger available (and that might be entirely sufficient, honestly, since we don't go anywhere) but I'd assumed that I'd be able to do something as simple as wiring an adapter 'whip' to fit a 240V extension cord to end in a charging plug. It's #10, IIRC, heavy enough for some of the welding I do occasionally...but that Simple Plan doesn't square with the cost of some of the nice wall-mounted rigs, at $400 and up. What makes those worth their cost?

That's more than enough for now. Hope you've got time for this...but if not, no worries.
If possible, avoid buying a REx. The REx system has been a source of problems that don't exist in a BEV. The 94 Ah battery pack in a 2017 - 2018 i3 BEV provides sufficient range to travel round-trip anywhere on Oʻahu, so why bother with the additional complexity, maintenance, and weight (+300 lb.) of a REx? Instead, buy a 2017 or later BEV.

A problem with the REx system might explain the yellow triangle and exclamation point which is called a check control symbol. That indicates the presence of some sort of warning that can be displayed in iDrive. The seller should know how to do this. Hopefully, the Check Engine light wasn't on as well. Some REx warnings are transitory and tend to go away on their own, but others indicate a real problem that needs to be fixed. These can be expensive to fix, and not all fixes are easily done by the owner. I'm guessing that the seller hasn't used the REx recently (a likely situation on Oʻahu) and the REx engine needs to start itself which it does if it hasn't been used within something like 60 days. It won't do this periodic startup unless the charge level is below 75%.

I bought a 2014 BEV new. The only maintenance that I performed was after the 4-year scheduled maintenance that was included with the purchase, and that was changing the brake fluid and checking the cabin filters which looked new after <13k miles driven total, so I didn't replace them. BMW recommends changing the brake fluid every 2 years, but I replaced it with some Bosch extended life (3-year) brake fluid, so I don't plan to replace it until 3 years have passed. With a REx, an engine oil filter and oil change is recommended every year. I don't miss ICE maintenance chores like these, and with a REx not necessary for most who live on Oʻahu, why add to your maintenance chores?

I installed and licensed the BimmerCode app which can modify settings to change behaviors. For instance, I eliminated all the legal warning screens that must be dismissed every time an i3 is started. I disabled seat belt warning messages and sounds because my wife and I always wear seat belts. I changed the default driving mode from Comfort to Eco Pro because that's what I prefer. I've made a number of other changes as well, so BimmerCode has been well worth its license fee plus the cost of an OBD to WiFi (or Bluetooth) adapter. Had I not wasted money on a Foxwell NT520 PRO+ diagnostic trouble code (DTC) reader, I would also have licensed BimmerLink which uses the same OBD adapter as BimmerCode.

Any work you could reasonably do on an i3 should not affect its battery pack warranty.

Your Level 1 EVSE (120 V) might work well enough for you since you don't drive much. It pulls 10 A when the Level 1 charge rate setting is set to "Max" in iDrive. That can stress a corroded 120 V 15 A outlet and any extension cord that you might use, so the first time you charge, touch the outlet and plug(s) after an hour or so to ensure that they're not overheating. It might be worth replacing the outlet with a commercial quality outlet because outlets corrode pretty rapidly in Oʻahu's salty, humid climate, especially back in Palolo. You would have the option of using your 240 V welding outlet if you need to charge faster, but you'd need to buy a Level 2 (208-240 V) EVSE. Charging is slightly more efficient at 240 V vs. 120 V, so more of the charging power would be used to charge the battery pack rather than be lost as waste heat. Not worth buying a Level 2 EVSE if charging with Level 1 is sufficient.

I'm traveling in Europe for 3 months now, so I can't stop by to discuss anything with you until I return at the end of September. Meanwhile, the 2019 i3 BEV we bought to replace our 2014 (needed a bit more range to avoid having to charge en route returning to Hawaii Kai from the North Shore) is asleep in storage.
Aloha,
Art
[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
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alohart
Posts: 2683
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: yellow triangle & exclamation mark??

If you didn't buy the 2017 REx, you might want to enroll in IQautos' InventoryCloud Buying Service. After searching unsuccessfully for over a year in Hawaii and on the West Coast for a 2019 BEV, IQAutos found a couple of 2019's that met my requirements on the West Coast within a couple of months. I thought the total price including shipping from the West Coast was reasonable although I was nervous about not buying a car in person.
Aloha,
Art
[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
808Pants
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2022 10:26 pm

Re: yellow triangle & exclamation mark??

alohart wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 12:56 pm If you didn't buy the 2017 REx, you might want to enroll in IQautos' InventoryCloud Buying Service. After searching unsuccessfully for over a year in Hawaii and on the West Coast for a 2019 BEV, IQAutos found a couple of 2019's that met my requirements on the West Coast within a couple of months. I thought the total price including shipping from the West Coast was reasonable although I was nervous about not buying a car in person.
Hey 'art - I just stumbled back here because (of course) I got no notification of any forum response... seems like a chronic problem regardless of forum, but maybe I missed a setting.

I'll reply more fully to your very-helpful response above after I get some more sleep, but yes, I did pull the trigger on the ReX (and now wish I'd known/thought about your perspective on this.) I'd LIKE to think that if there's some fatal problem with the ReX that it can be virtually 'unplugged' and forgotten about, but that thinking preceded my discovery (after some ten minutes sitting and fumbling at roadside on the way home) that reprogramming the radio presets was beyond me, so god only knows what it would take to shake the REx out of its memory. A problem for another day -- I hope never.

I'd surely have been interested in the IQAutos thing, too, though. I still can't quite believe I once bought a diesel dually via ebay, never seen in the flesh, from South Carolina, transported here (with no nasty surprises other than an occasionally-strong pipe-tobacco smell in the cab, but I kind of like that anyway.) So they don't provide any inspection? Or maybe just no guaranteed inspection, then?

Happy travels - will reply more fully when time permits.

Aloha - Dave
alohart
Posts: 2683
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: yellow triangle & exclamation mark??

808Pants wrote: Wed Aug 10, 2022 12:17 amI'll reply more fully to your very-helpful response above after I get some more sleep, but yes, I did pull the trigger on the ReX (and now wish I'd known/thought about your perspective on this.)
I'm sure you'll be happy with your i3.
808Pants wrote: Wed Aug 10, 2022 12:17 amI'd LIKE to think that if there's some fatal problem with the ReX that it can be virtually 'unplugged' and forgotten about, but that thinking preceded my discovery (after some ten minutes sitting and fumbling at roadside on the way home) that reprogramming the radio presets was beyond me, so god only knows what it would take to shake the REx out of its memory. A problem for another day -- I hope never.
Fatal problems seem to be rare. The problems that do exist can be transitory or difficult to diagnose. Unfortunately, many BMW dealers seem to want to throw expensive parts at the problem rather than actually diagnosing the problem correctly. However, you'll likely rarely use the REx, so if a problem occurs, you could probably ignore it and drive your i3 like a BEV.

You could download Owner's Manuals to your desktop computer and/or the BMW Driver's Guide smartphone app to learn more about your i3 including how to set the presets which can link to much more than radio stations. Unfortunately, the translation from German isn't the best and the organization of the manual isn't very intuitive to me. This makes the glossary with links to relevant text in the manual very handy in the digital versions.
808Pants wrote: Wed Aug 10, 2022 12:17 amI'd surely have been interested in the IQAutos thing, too, though. I still can't quite believe I once bought a diesel dually via ebay, never seen in the flesh, from South Carolina, transported here (with no nasty surprises other than an occasionally-strong pipe-tobacco smell in the cab, but I kind of like that anyway.) So they don't provide any inspection? Or maybe just no guaranteed inspection, then?
I could have inspected their i3's, but that would have meant flying to the West Coast to look at an i3 that they had just bought at auction (mostly lease returns). Buying an i3 off their lot in Marietta, GA, would have meant expensive transportation costs that would likely have made the purchase price more than I wanted to pay. By buying an i3 at the West Coast auction site before it was shipped to Marietta and prepped for sale, I saved a considerable sum. The cost of flying round-trip to inspect an i3 in person would have increased the purchase price considerably, so I took a chance looking only at photos and a description provided by the auction site which turned out to be accurate.
Aloha,
Art
[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
frictioncircle
Posts: 347
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: USA West Coast

Re: yellow triangle & exclamation mark??

alohart wrote: You could download Owner's Manuals to your desktop computer and/or the BMW Driver's Guide smartphone app to learn more about your i3 including how to set the presets which can link to much more than radio stations. Unfortunately, the translation from German isn't the best and the organization of the manual isn't very intuitive to me. This makes the glossary with links to relevant text in the manual very handy in the digital versions.

Just a quick note that if you email bmwiconcierge@bmwusa.com they can send you a PDF of your i3's Owner's Manual.
alohart
Posts: 2683
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: yellow triangle & exclamation mark??

frictioncircle wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 11:06 pmJust a quick note that if you email bmwiconcierge@bmwusa.com they can send you a PDF of your i3's Owner's Manual.
A PDF can also be downloaded in the U.S. from BMW USA's Website.
Aloha,
Art
[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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