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I had coded my REX to allow turning it ON manually. That's a standard "optional" setting for the rest of the world, and it helps enormously with both longer trip fuel-up logistics, and overall REX function and range anxiety.
I think its ridiculous that US law doesn't allow it to be turned on at 785% as we can. It actually causes more emissions to be running the Rex when down at 6-7% as it's in "full emergency power" mode much of the time.
My view is that it's much more efficient to start the Rex at 75 and keep it on until you can either reach your next charge destination, then switch it off. In this way it doesn't have to bust a gut every time the power levels drop a few % and can run at the most efficient speed much more of the time. You also don't get the deadly hill fade. Using the rex this way I have achieved 53 mpg at 60mph (our gallons are larger) so on a full tank of 9 litres I can go about 106 miles on the Rex fuel.
When I let the Rex come on at 6% to get home on a number of journeys, I was getting more like 30-36 mpg!
Sometimes people get in the rear of the car and we are waiting for a front seat passenger. In the height of winter or summer...or worse still rain....I often thought why there was not a powered door closure for the passenger front door. This is because the driver cannot reach it without getting out. of the car. It could be interlocked to prevent it being activated when the rear door is not properly closed.
On a car of such cost, it would seem like a small feature to add.
You are absolutely correct on CF being repair unfriendly. In the US, if the "life module" is damaged in any way, including a scratch to CF shell, it is not repaired. The car is totaled.
My wife got mildly tapped in the rear bumper by a van the other month, while sitting at a traffic light in the i3. Scratches to the bumper cover that I would have NEVER touched, had it not been a leased car. Because I will need to lease-return it in ~15 months, I had to submit an insurance claim. When I was picking up the i3 from the body shop after $2.3K in repairs, there was a totaled i8 sitting on the lot. The only damage to the i8 - paintwork mess and scratches in the rear quarter panel. One of the cuts went too deep into the CF shell - totaled!
What a waste! This explains why my insurance payments are marginally higher on the i3 than on the M3 !
This is a fact that is only slowly drifting into the Zeitgeist of enthusiastic owners. If you try to say anything, it often enrages the community. I tend to be philosophical about it. In fact people on a certain UK forum was told it's cheaper to repair Carbon fibre than steel and you just get a kit for a small amount of money to do it....it was a ridiculous statement, but grabbed upon by people who didn't want to hear anything different.
I even got ragged for getting a 2017 i3 as to why did I do it if it was such a bad car. The reason I did was because unfortunately I had a very early 2014 car, it was a bit of a Lemon and had £1000s worth of faults just waiting to go wrong, because certain things had not failed under warranty. I had around £4,000 of faults under warranty....but I still had KLE, Rex and other well known faults still to occur. my brakes and disks were shot after only 27K (and I hardly ever used them), when taking it up to PX for the 2017 car, I got my first drive train error. So I was happy to be shot of it. The 2017 car is very different to drive and so far no problems.
Sadly there are a few more home truths just waiting to hit owners as the cars continue to age and I dare-say these will come out in the wash as warranties end. In the UK the first cars have already been out of warranty almost a year, in the UK they will soon start dropping out of warranty. I found this REALLY concentrates the mind on ownership issues.
In July 2014, I purchased the first i3 in Albany, NY for about $54,000. This week, I was looking at the new Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid (Wow!) and learned that my loaded i3 REx was hovering around $17,000 trade value. You do the math, but what I'd like to know is how and why BMW allowed us to take a bath on these iconic cars like no other before them. One of the main reasons for low valuation seems to be the flood of lease turn-backs, including those low-balled BMWNA leftover leases to dealer employees. But I got my first hint of hit from a BMWNA sales pitch for a new i3, over the late summer, telling me that my '14 trade-in was worth....wait for it....$13,000! Come and get it! ["Again?" I asked my long-time salesman?]
Sorry, but after 40+ years behind the blue and white roundel, I'm ready to get out, despite the fact that I can't afford to. Anybody else headed for the lifeboats?
I upgraded to a 94Ah rex, due to the potential for massive depreciation on the 60Ah Rex and I still had a need for an i3 Rex. Once a Hyundai or similar car to the Chevvy bolt comes out with the 60Kw packs and 240 mile range of the bolt...of course I will leave BMW. The depreciation is the same in the UK and it ruinous on the pure Bev 60Ah. The reasons the depreciation is so high is they made a car that's fantastically expensive to repair once out of warranty, is written off with a small accident at 3 or 4 years old. At 4 years old buyers are thinking about 4 years or so left on the battery and the warranty also has only 4 years left to run.
BMW built an over complicated disposable car with a 8-9 year life, because people won't want to buy one older than that. People will never ever upgrade the batteries or replace a 60 with a 60Ah as we are compelled to do in the Rex. Simply because at BMW prices it will be so expensive, it's better to use the money to get a new model electric car with hugely better range and probably 1/3 the cost to run. People in the UK have the dream that independents will surface who can do battery upgrades repairs etc.. That has not happened in the UK and I don't think it ever will. BMW have been super careful to make the electronic side so complex, that if independents try to put a larger pack in etc.. they will find it so locked down that they might have to replace most of the control systems...then in the UK, good luck getting it insured.
I have the last i3 I will ever buy, because of the Rex, but in a few years time, range will be such that it's not needed.
P.S. I was told on a UK forum that "any numpty can repair carbon fibre", but this is completely untrue. If the life module side has even the smallest damage, you got $6000 to buy a replacement carbon fibre side, just so you can cut the part you need (at recommended 3 or 5 cut points) out of it as a replacement. This is before you even start repairs. That's in addition to other panels paint mirrors etc... costs of a minimal side impact will exceed 12K usd. In a normal car, you would just pull that dent out . This means lots and lots of write offs as the cars age.
Last Edit: Nov 15, 2017 20:56:43 GMT -5 by davecuk
I broke the glass on my navigation display screen part number 65509306743. Per the dealer no replacement glass is available. Must buy entire unit for $3000. Does anyone know if I can get just the glass repaired?
$3000, my god...there should be some law to stop this sort of daylight robbery.
Thank you for the insightful replies afadeev and davecuk.
I suppose I will just gut-it-out and enjoy the car before the 8th year is up. I will owe about $12k in two years and the car will be 5 years old. That looks like a happy medium.
Do you think with all that you stated, does mileage matter?
It made no real difference when I traded mine for a more up to date model (6 months old not a new one).. The main thing affecting trade values are condition and having the Rex model, rather than the Bev. Personally I think you have the right attitude. I have the Rex and as far as I am concerned, it will make a good very phev even with the battery 70% degraded....so year 9-11 you don't need to replace battery, just use as phev for as long as you can. A 30% degraded 60Ah rex would be a phev with 56m elec range and then an unchanged 80 miles Rex range. The 94Ah would still have around 95 miles elec range and 80 miles Rex range. A 60Ah pure bev will just be useless at 8-10 years old.
Of course at 6-11 years old any major accident would write it off in the UK and you cannot get agreed value insurance on the car, it wouldn't qualify (I believe that might be different in the states?)
I only got it because I have been waiting 40 years to be driving a proper electric car.......
There are a number of reasons for the poor resale value and why it will get a bigger hit as it ages
1. The VERY expensive costs of repairs for faults and problems. People are wary of cars that can cost many thousands to repair. 2. The battery is only warrantied for 8 years, the closer the car gets to 8 years old the less its worth 3. The repair costs for an accident are brutal, no doubt writing the car off easily in later years 4. it's expensive to run on tyres and brakes (older models) 5. a 6 or 7 year 64Ah car with perhaps only 64 miles of EPA range ain't an attractive purchase 6. No one will ever buy a new battery for an i3...who would spend 12K-14K usd on an 8 year old car, to get 80 miles EPA range, when the next accident could scrap it. 7. Newer cheaper cars will have ranges of 300 miles oin 3-5 years time, who is gonna want a 60 or 70 mile range i3
The final nail in the coffin is the fact that the car is very very very expensive to buy new....far too expensive and you get very little for that money. That expense is not well reflected in the used value.
It's a box operated by the 12V battery that manages the battery packs contactors (relays). When the vehicle is off the relays are all open between the modules of the pack and between the pack and the car. When you switch the ignition on the safety box is told to close all the pack relays, it needs the 12 system to do this. The safety box is a another piece of over complicated BMW bollox designed to make the car safe in the event of an accident and if it's faulty can cause EXACTLY the problems you describe. Surprised your dealership don't suspect it!
That no energy on the gauge and then magically it's got energy again = safety box. I had the problem and it required changing and I'm not the only one. The no energy, is because the car can't see the big lithium battery.
It's a big job to change it, the box is about 800 USD and they have to drop the pack to do it., so well over 2000 USD I would think....but hey it's under warranty. If you give them accurate times and dates or perhaps it's mileage (I can't remember) you had no energy on the gauge, they should be able to look up the error code and see it with the scanners, but I suspect it does not always throw an error code!
I have a 2016 i3 and have many issues with the car not moving or running, I have been told to not drive my car when it is hot outside. Above 105 degrees. It seems they do not run well when it is too hot. I have had it in the shop six times for about 8 days each time. They tried spraying an insulation over the battery but that has not helped. I have had the car just stop when on the freeway, luckily I was able to pull over to the side. Yesterday I drove it to Orange County, about 80 miles one way and when I started to drive back it would not move again. The car turns on but it shows no energy on the gauge, no other error messages. I turned it off for about 10 minutes and then when I turned it back on everything seemed to work. Still no error messages. I was able to make it home. This is unacceptable for a new car. I have been told that they will not buy it back and I just have to live with it. I will never buy any BMW again. I really like the dealership here, they are great. 3 or 4 employees that have this same car here all have the same problems. Seems like BMW does not want to admit that they have problems. I had a fiat 500e for three years with zero problems.
The only slight problem with this advice is for people with cars over 3 years old and no longer under warranty.
I'm not sure where you are, but in the US, i3 is covered by BMW's 4 yr/50,000 mile warranty. Given that i3 went on sale as MY14/CY14 (in the US), all should still be under warranty through some point in 2018. Unless, that is, you managed to clock more than 50K miles on the car.
If they have the BMW insured warranty and ignore errors, then they invalidate the warranty cover. if they don't have that warranty and ignore errors, getting it fixed under goodwill would be very difficult. At least this is the case in the UK. Your US dealerships/warranty extension conditions may be far more charitable than ours.
The point is that the "drive-train malfunction" is a catch-all error, similar to what used to be a "gas tank cap not tight enough" check-engine light that plagued BMWs late 90s (when ODBII first came out in the US).
If the error is intermittent and not reoccurring for dealer to reproduce on demand, it can not be conclusively diagnosed nor repaired by the dealer. Thus freaking out about every random occurrence becomes pointless.
w.r.t. warranty inference: can you please cite the relevant BMW warranty clause that mandates specific dealership appointment turn-around time after seeing a warning light? I do not believe there is one!
If the problem is real and reproducible, go the the dealer and fix it. Especially if it's free under warranty. If the problem is intermittent, can't be conclusively addressed, and reoccurs seasonally, feel free to visit dealer each and every time, or move on with your life.
interesting about it being Rex related, it may well be, although I got the error after 170 miles on the Rex, no problem, switched back to electric only and 30 miles later...drive train error?
I don't believe it's related to actually actively using REX.
Rather, any vacuum leaks in air intake, stretched rubber fittings, or pressure changes in the gas tank or fuel lines, engine, or in between, will throw off a CE light. Changes in ambient temps expand/contract the fittings in all of the above, leading for plenty of opportunities for innocuous and intermittent CE lights. If the conditions does not reoccur regularly, the CE light we get automatically reset by the car itself. Usually after 50 miles or X-many hours of operation.
In the UK and we only get a 3 year warranty
For the BMW Insured warranty scheme, which you can take out once the warranty expires (in the UK that's 3 years as mentioned previously). BMW Insured Warranty Handbook, Page 4 Para 1 and 2
ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS FOR THE BMW i3 WARRANTY. The terms and conditions of the BMW i3 Warranty listed below must be adhered to. Failure to do so may result in the rejection of a claim or termination of your cover. This does not affect your statutory rights.
1. Your warranty may be invalidated if you continue to drive your vehicle when a fault becomes apparent. Any defects must be reported to a BMW i Service Authorised Workshop as quickly as possible. A minor defect corrected now could prevent you from being inconvenienced in the future.
The point I was trying to make and have been trying to make is that you can only give the advice to ignore it to people who are still under manufacturers warranty, one they are not, the advice is not necessarily great advice. Especially as you don't really know what's causing it? In the UK people all have the same easy attitude to faults, or problems. Once the car is out of warranty though and every dealer visit hurts, they suddenly become a lot more worried about faults.
Now it does appear that your warranty terms are a lot better than ours (longer) and UK consumers could learn a lot from this. We are too willing to accept poor value and find it easy to put our hands in our pockets.
Last Edit: Sept 15, 2017 3:49:45 GMT -5 by davecuk
Hi there! I've only driven my Rex for about 3 weeks (711mi. to date) and I got the "Drive Train Malfunction" alert. I wasn't driving at high speed...just getting out of the garage. I'm just getting to know my new car and have no idea what a Drive Train is and if it's a serious problem. How much driving can I do with this malfunction?
Later on, I just learned to deal with it and ignore the error. It would reset itself after ~50-100 miles of driving with no lasting ill effects. I did not need to limit your driving distance or speed. Just keep doing what you are doing, and if this is an intermittent problem, the light will reset itself. If it's a persistent problem, you will gather ore faults for the dealer to diagnose the root cause.
If you are new to REX ownership, you may choose to setup a dealer service visit to alleviate your concerns. Chances are they will find nothing, will reset the indicator light, and sent you on your way. If you've seen this error a few times already, relax, cycle ignition on/off a few times, and the light will go away ~25% of the time. For the other 75%, either have dealer reset it, or keep driving, and it should go away if the issue does not resurface again.
Hope this helps, a
P.S.: With the BEV, I am yet to see this error. My bets are that it is REX engine/gas tank related.
The only slight problem with this advice is for people with cars over 3 years old and no longer under warranty. If they have the BMW insured warranty and ignore errors, then they invalidate the warranty cover. if they don't have that warranty and ignore errors, getting it fixed under goodwill would be very difficult. At least this is the case in the UK. Your US dealerships/warranty extension conditions may be far more charitable than ours.
interesting about it being Rex related, it may well be, although I got the error after 170 miles on the Rex, no problem, switched back to electric only and 30 miles later...drive train error?
Last Edit: Sept 13, 2017 7:59:17 GMT -5 by davecuk
I expected cruise control to be more efficient, but I find not using it to be a little better. Especially as you can ease and squeeze up and down hills, which the cruise won't do. Cruise can even go so far as to apply brakes in a desperate attempt to keep you to the preset speed!
P.S. tested out on my regular commute route.
Last Edit: Sept 13, 2017 7:52:14 GMT -5 by davecuk
So, I stopped DCFC for a week now. Just 120v at work and 240v charge at home. And yesterday I tried DCFC my car. Battery at 40%, outside weather 69 degrees. Charged for 15 min. Battery is up 83%. Starts car with no accessories on and drive off without "DTM and or "CEL" issues. So, at 95 degrees using DCFC I get "DTM" and "CEL". Definitely the i3 has issues with DCFC heating/cooling battery and or software controlling issues. I hope BMW is reading this.
They probably are not reading this and all of you guys taking it to the dealers under warranty...just remember that warranty doesn't last for ever. What's it going to cost when you have to run it into the dealer then? Perhaps the dealers are going to say...oh yeah they all have that problem...we will fix it free?