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  7. BMW I3 Charging Problems: 6 Possible Problems & Solutions

BMW I3 Charging Problems: 6 Possible Problems & Solutions

BMW I3 Charging Problems

BMW I3 Charging Problems: 6 Possible Problems & Solutions

With the advent of electric vehicles, the world has taken a new step in the right direction. Tesla is the trendsetter in this department, but many companies like Audi and BMW are also stepping up efforts to improve their batteries and ensure that clients have a more sustainable vehicle. However, dealing with the BMW I3 charging problems can be daunting.

The most common charging issue with the BMW I3 is the check engine light flashing. However, it will come on and go off intermittently, making it harder to know whether there is a real issue or not. It could hamper the charging and many users have complained of having to test different charging ports before the vehicle is charging.

Aside from these common issues, there are a few others. While the BMW I3 comes with an extended petrol tank that will help in times of need, electrical power is the main source of energy it will use. Dealing with possible charging problems can be daunting. However, we have done some research to find the most common issues and possible solutions.

BMW I3 Charging Problems & Solutions

Having a vehicle that will save you a few bucks on gasoline is a great investment, especially with the massive increase in fuel in the last year or so. Electric vehicles can help you with short trips and save you a couple of bucks each month. If you own the BMW I3, here are some of the possible charging problems you could potentially encounter.

1. Intermittent Check Engine Light

bmw steering wheel
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: One of the common issues experienced by many owners is having to deal with the check engine light on their BMW I3. Since the light flashes intermittently, many people ignore it as an electronic defect when they cannot feel or notice anything wrong with the engine. However, it hampers the charging.

When you plug your vehicle into certain public charging docks, the charging issues can significantly come into play. Some users have found that changing charging docks until they find one that doesn’t reflect the check engine light might helpful. However, this is not always possible with limited options available.

Solution: It is best to be on the side of caution and since the check engine light is flashing, you might have some form of defect in the engine. If not, it could be an electronics issue, and dealing with this is paramount. Once your mechanic has found the issue, they could resolve it and you will be happily recharging your battery.

2. Draining The Battery To 0%

bmw battery
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: Much like any other battery that you use for your mobile device or PC you are always warned to not have it run down to 0%. While the first couple of times might not have a severe effect, the constant discharging of your battery to 0% will substantially lower the lifespan of the battery in the car.

The problem many people face is that all electronic operations in the car can cease when it hits zero and this will leave you stranded. The car also takes significantly longer to charge when you deplete it down to zero and this will make it more frustrating. If there are any other possible issues, you could be exacerbating them.

Solution: In the manual of the BMW I3, the manufacturer tends to give you an idea of when you should consider charging your vehicle. If you follow the manual, you will never completely drain the battery and it should make it much easier to ensure the vehicle is in optimal running condition. We recommend not having the battery drop below 15%.

3. Low-Cost Charging

charging station
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: One of the adapters for the BMW I3 is the low-cost charging feature, which slowly charges your vehicle and reduces the overall cost of charging. However, the current produced might not be sufficient and aside from taking longer, the battery might not even charge. Older batteries might need a stronger current to ensure charging.

The issue can leave you in a precarious situation if you are taking a break to charge your vehicle, only to return and nothing has happened. One of the biggest issues with low-cost charging is charging your vehicle from a depleted battery. Your BMW I3 might need a strong current to get the charging process underway.

Solution: While we cannot say that you should avoid low-cost charging, it is best implemented when doing so in off-peak times. Many people use the low-cost charging method when they can maximize the current pushed through. The best times to use this form of charging would be between 12 am and 6 am in the mornings.

4. Damaged Charger

damaged electric charger
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: While the BMW I3 comes with a good charging unit, time can be the biggest enemy for your charging unit. If you are not careful to make sure it does not bend or get damaged, you could damage some of the internal wirings and this will lead to bad charging issues. Initially, you might think it is the battery when the charger is the issue.

Leaking from the BMW I3 chargers is a common occurrence for many people and it could be frustrating if you are unaware of the issue. Fortunately, your charging light should come on to inform you of the issue. However, not setting the maximum charging load could also affect the charging performance.

Solution: BMW will allow you to take the vehicle to the dealership for them to inspect the charger. However, you can do this at home by testing the vehicle with a different charger. If the charger is damaged, you might need to rely on public charging. Fortunately, you can buy a new charger to help with the issue.

5. Public Charging Stations

electric car station
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: It is easy to simply visit a public charging station when you are in the vicinity. However, these charging stations are not always the best option for your BMW I3. One of the common issues is that people simply connect their vehicle to one of these chargers and often return to find it has not been charging.

The other common issue is having to deal with issues that the vehicle simply will not even start charging and this is more frustrating. Many users will hop from charging port to charging port and eventually forcefully use the charger to connect it to the vehicle. Since these chargers are heavy, they could damage the internal pins that make the connection.

Solution: One option you have is to take your own charger with you when you need to charge the vehicle from a portable location. However, you might need to play around with different charging ports until you find the correct one for your car. There are certain public charging stations around the US where BMW I3 drivers have had issues charging vehicles.

6. Worn Out Charging Port

bmw i3
Photo by Eder Nunez on Unsplash

Problem: One of the most common issues reported from older BMW I3 drivers is the having the spring mechanism jumping out or not working after a few years of constant use. While this could be due to forcefully opening the mechanism, it is also a general maintenance issue that should be addressed when you take your vehicle for a service.

The worn-out flap could hinder you from accessing the charging port, which means you will need to deal with a constant forcing open of the flap. Eventually, you might damage the unit, leaving the charging port exposed if you do not have it fixed. This could significantly impact your ability to charge your vehicle.

Solution: As mentioned, this is a general maintenance issue and when you notice the spring is having issues or your charging port does not open with the flap as it should, you should determine the issue. Adding lubricant can often revitalize the spring. However, you might need to have it replaced after a couple of years.


Can You Overcharge The BMW I3?

If you own a BMW I3, one of the key elements of your vehicle pertains to the charging and the battery. You must keep the battery in the best operating condition and this means avoiding overcharging as well as complete depletion. As a rule of thumb, you should not let it discharge lower than 15% and not charge it higher than 80% daily.

How Many Years Does A BMW I3 Battery Last?

The BMW I3 battery is surprisingly resilient and can last you numerous years. Some have reported ages that exceed the warranty. However, the warranty states that the BMW I3 battery should last you around 8-years or 100,000-miles. You can increase the lifespan by taking good care of the battery.