With the gas prices shooting up nowadays, everybody is looking to move to either electric or hybrid vehicles. Of course, if you want to travel in style, choosing a BMW PHEV is a great option! You will be saving the environment while also saving on gas prices. Like every other car in the market, however, PHEVs have their own problems. This post will thus be about the charging problems that you might find in the BMW 330e.
Fortunately, very few charging problems occur in the BMW 330e. These charging problems are generally related to software issues. Such issues can sometimes be rectified by a simple software update. Those that aren’t can be fixed at a BMW dealership near you. This post will cover these software issues, their solutions and some other problems faced by 330e owners.
Before jumping into the charging problems that you might face, it is important to realize when you have a problem. The easiest way to do this is to look for the color indicator light next to the charging port. There are many different colors to indicate charging status. But the problem is when the indicator starts to flash red. This generally indicates there is some hardware issue that you might want to check out at the nearest dealership. Alternatively, you might get an error pop up in the infotainment system of your dashboard. This error will be a little more informative on what the problem is.
Electric and hybrid vehicles are even more software dependent than common internal combustion engine vehicles. Hybrid vehicles have dozens of ECUs each programmed to do a specific set of tasks with long lines of code. One of these ECUs is in charge of charging the electric battery of your hybrid 330e. Sometimes, this software runs into errors in the code that cause them to behave unpredictably.
Charging outside of charging window
For example, one error that owners often complain about is that the car doesn’t charge according to the times set in the app. Instead, the car starts charging instantly when plugged in. It even stops and starts again intermittently. This can be quite annoying since you want to save the battery’s life and energy costs by optimally charging at the correct times of the day.
Fluctuating charging currents
Another problem that some users have faced is related to the charging current of the car. The BMW 330e allows you to choose from three settings – 6A, 10A, and 16A. Depending on your preference, you can change your charging speed. The problem that users complain about is that their charging speed sometimes automatically resets to a lower value despite them choosing the max value.
At this point, it is important to understand the car will only charge at a current that is safe for the battery. Moreover, some of the charging stations simply aren’t capable of supplying the 16A charging current. Thus, even if your car is set at 16A, it might charge at 10A when connected to a charger of a lower caliber. The real problem is when you take it back to a high-powered charger, the charging value stays constant at 10A.
For many users, a software update or a reset has solved the problem. Another possibility is that your user settings are not being saved since you didn’t create a personal profile. In case, none of these solutions works, you might want to take the car to a dealership to rule out other possibilities. There might just be a problem with the charging stations you are visiting (whether at home or in public).
Blown fuse for the charging system
One of the problems that might trigger the flashing red light is a blown fuse in the charging system of your car. In such cases, since the fuse is blown your car won’t be able to charge despite the correct infrastructure present around you. A fuse usually blows when too much current is passed through it. Such events occur when there is a power surge at the charging station or a short circuit somewhere. For these reasons, a fuse is installed to prevent damage to the components beyond it.
Thus, all you have to do is replace the fuse in the charging system. The legend in the owner’s manual can guide you where to find it. An auto parts dealer should be able to help you with a new one. Your problem should be solved when you replace the fuse. However, this is a tricky DIY since you are dealing with very high voltages. So, remember to disconnect any electrical connections and to wear protective gear before you attempt anything. Better yet, ask a professional for help.
Modules getting Separated
Another reason for charging problems in the BMW 330e is that the modules get disconnected from one another due to some physical damage to the car. For some context, battery packs in EVs and PHEVs are a combination of modules that are just several cells grouped together.
Thus, if the modules get disconnected due to some rough handling of the car over unfavorable terrain, the circuit is left incomplete. The battery won’t be able to charge under such circumstances.
It is hard to determine if this is the case, but a quick trip to the dealership and you might be able to get the modules reconnected and your PHEV charging back in no time.
Battery Issue – Recall
Finally, the worst-case scenario in which your battery is not charging when connected is if there is a manufacturing defect in the battery. Several thousand BMW cars were recalled for this reason between 2020 and 2021 for this reason.
Apparently, there was some internal short circuit in some of the batteries which in some cases even led to the batteries catching fire. If your car falls under this bad batch of cars sold, then you would be eligible to get it fixed free of cost.
As cars become more advanced, it is both a huge advantage and a disadvantage. Several issues can now be solved by a simple update that can be downloaded from anywhere in the world. You don’t even need to visit the dealership for such repairs. But at the same time, you end up with twice as many problems as well.
Hopefully, this article helped you understand the charging problems that you might face if you buy a BMW 330e. Otherwise, we wish that you found the solution to the problem that troubled you in your current car.
A final reminder to be careful if you decide to work on these charging problems at home as these are high voltage circuits and may be fatal. Our recommendation would be to take it to a professional to get the car diagnosed. More importantly, since the field of PHEVs and EVs is rather new, it is best to take it to an authorized BMW dealership rather than a third party to prevent future problems. With any luck, you will be charging your 330e very soon!
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