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BMW i3 60ah bev, solar orange
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

Had an error show up about 3 weeks ago - 'powertrain error, possible to continue journey's.
After a brief moment of panic, I continued on my way to work, when leaving to go home the error had gone and since then it comes on maybe every 3rd or 4th journey. Sometimes upon start-up, sometimes mid-travel or it waits until I'm just pulling onto the drive and it gets me.

Bought a Carista OBD and pulled code

21e96f

Done a couple of Google searches but still none the wiser, can anyone shed some light on it and possibly arm me with info before taking it in to my local franchise.
Praying its software related because I bought the car last year without a BMW warranty in place.
 

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EGGY
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Bit of a trail here that may be of help ?
 

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BMW i3 60ah bev, solar orange
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, yes made for interesting reading. Majority of the issues on that thread seemed to be REX related but a faulty 12v battery or the charging electronics module would be applicable. The module at least would hopefully be replaced under the 8 year high voltage warranty.
 

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2015 BMW i3 REx 60ah, Solar Orange
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My wife's got a REx and it's had it's share of faults this year - and enough to put me off the main BMW dealer for life. That fault back in the autumn was finally traced back to fuel pump relay which lives under the dash, but only before they changed the fuel pump and and NOx sensor and emptied our bank account. I think in your case, and assuming it's on the original 12v battery I would get that changed first. It needs to be coded too.

If you're handy spanner-wise, these cars can be worked on if you disconnect high voltage before commencing work. I replaced the charging lock solenoid at the weekend. Parts wise, then see Hubauer-shop in Germany. Not sure how much it is for the 12v battery. Also, and no disrespect to EV Forum but mybmwi3.com site is excellent. Most of the owners are state-side, but they know their stuff.
 

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EGGY
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Another tip (not applicable in this case) for Rex issues is to check the BMW motorbike forums, I've seen people fix issues with the rex by taking the car to a BMW motorbike service specialist (as it's a scooter motor).

It's a great pity in that as these cars depreciate they become affordable to a wider group of people (part of my reason for buying one) but they need to be reliable and economic to maintain for people to have the confidence to pick them up. One of my reasons for trading mine in was the £800 pa warranty costs.
 

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BMW i3 REx 2014
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If you're handy spanner-wise, these cars can be worked on if you disconnect high voltage before commencing work. I replaced the charging lock solenoid at the weekend. Parts wise, then see Hubauer-shop in Germany. Not sure how much it is for the 12v battery. Also, and no disrespect to EV Forum but mybmwi3.com site is excellent. Most of the owners are state-side, but they know their stuff.
I usually do car diy, but rely on workshop manuals, etc. I note the solenoid work, but don't you need to remove the rear 'wing'? Also, regarding rear brakes - don't you need to have some software to back off the brake calipers.

So, what tools does one need to get to your diy level?

TIA, Mike.
 

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2015 BMW i3 REx 60ah, Solar Orange
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I usually do car diy, but rely on workshop manuals, etc. I note the solenoid work, but don't you need to remove the rear 'wing'? Also, regarding rear brakes - don't you need to have some software to back off the brake calipers.

So, what tools does one need to get to your diy level?
More details here on solenoid. Charging port solenoid - BMW i3 Forum

For rear brakes it's possible to press in rear piston. No you don't need special tools other than a Draper brake wind back tool, the car electric handbrake off, etc.

BMW how to guides for workshop used to be on line but we're disabled.

I've been working on cars for 30+ years and self taught. BMW would have you think it can't be touched, but it's not economical based on their ludicrous rates outside warranty. Use genuine parts and disable high voltage system. A decent selection of tools does help.

I run Audi and VW too so have VCDS software, but nothing for BMW.
 

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BMW i3 60ah bev, solar orange
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update

The i3 went off to Sytners last Friday and just collected it this afternoon.
Arriving at the service area, I was told the diagnostic would be £50 which I thought was quite reasonable.
Couple of hours later I had a call saying the problem identified was to do with the high voltage traction battery and this requires a further diagnostic scan at a cost of £290.
Didn't worry too much about this as the work would be covered under the 8 year battery warranty.
Fast forward to Monday and another phone call to tell me it actually isn't the battery at fault; its a high voltage cable between the battery and motor.
Cost of replacing this £450.
Work carried out on Tuesday.
Phone call Tuesday afternoon - fault still showing and now needs another high voltage cable from the heater module to the battery and also need a new heater module.
Cost of replacing these £1100.

This was surprising as the heater has always worked spot on, but didn't have much of a choice.

So picked the car today and was relieved of £1900.
I had asked for them to put it on charge for a bit because from the app I could see they had run the battery down whilst doing various tests, but unfortunately this was too much for them and so had to rapid charge in order to get home.

For anyone else who gets fault code

21E96F

This is potentially what you're looking at.

Cheers
 

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BMW i3 REx 2014
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Thanks for the useful info.

.... they had run the battery down whilst doing various tests
Was this to see if the battery passes the capacity warranty, or will you have to pay for another test nearer the end of 8 years?
 

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BMW i3 60ah bev, solar orange
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the useful info.

Was this to see if the battery passes the capacity warranty, or will you have to pay for another test nearer the end of 8 years?
They didn't say they were going to do a capacity test and no paperwork with a result from it, just a 'deep diagnostic test.
It's possible they played around with some of the battery/thermal software because on Friday I used 10% less battery going to work and back - which on the 60ah makes a difference.
I regularly check the secret menu for the battery health, which I know isn't a reliable figure and should be taken lightly, but it showed 16.8kwh yesterday - not bad for a MY2013.
 

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2015 BMW i3 REx 60ah, Solar Orange
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Not charging the car is something I'd challenge them on, they have charged you a small fortune. This has happened to me a few times the car had to go in and is poor customer service. This should be part of the hand-over experience. They are happy to wash and vacuum it for you, although I always refuse.

This won't help, but it's useful to see how much these parts cost versus the labour. The HV cable (item 3) from the battery to the motor is part number 61 12 6 809 274 and is Є150 and goes under rear passenger side wheel arch to the battery bank. I think it's literally plug and play once you've routed it. Moisture or corrosion no doubt in one of the terminals.

The other cable looks like it runs across the top of the battery module (item 4), so would mean dropping the entire battery bank to route, assuming it's the right HV cable 61129339959 to the auxilliary heat pump at Є82. Not sure about the heater module? The electric flow heater is a pricey part at Є970, so can't be that, but could be the Air Conditioning Heater Control which is 64119343287 which is Є150.

Again any part numbers detailed on the invoice would be useful if others face this fault.
140595
 

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BMW i3 60ah bev, solar orange
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Not charging the car is something I'd challenge them on, they have charged you a small fortune. This has happened to me a few times the car had to go in and is poor customer service. This should be part of the hand-over experience. They are happy to wash and vacuum it for you, although I always refuse.

This won't help, but it's useful to see how much these parts cost versus the labour. The HV cable (item 3) from the battery to the motor is part number 61 12 6 809 274 and is Є150 and goes under rear passenger side wheel arch to the battery bank. I think it's literally plug and play once you've routed it. Moisture or corrosion no doubt in one of the terminals.

The other cable looks like it runs across the top of the battery module (item 4), so would mean dropping the entire battery bank to route, assuming it's the right HV cable 61129339959 to the auxilliary heat pump at Є82. Not sure about the heater module? The electric flow heater is a pricey part at Є970, so can't be that, but could be the Air Conditioning Heater Control which is 64119343287 which is Є150.

Again any part numbers detailed on the invoice would be useful if others face this fault.
View attachment 140595
Have attached pics of the bill,
1. HV cable from EME to HV battery
Part number 6112460
2. HV cable from EME to heater
Part number 6412821
3. Electric auxiliary heater
Part number 6112960
 

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2015 BMW i3 REx 60ah, Solar Orange
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81 Posts
Have attached pics of the bill,
1. HV cable from EME to HV battery
Part number 6112460
2. HV cable from EME to heater
Part number 6412821
3. Electric auxiliary heater
Part number 6112960
Thanks. That's a sore one.

The part numbers you've quoted don't look like part numbers. The EME is basically a rectifier, AC to DC, and suspect it is 61126809274 (item 3). The other cable is 61129339958 (BEV) which is probably exactly the same as variant ending in 9959 for REx (item 4). Interesting - it was the electric auxilliary heater at the end of the HV cable (item 4) on the left hand side, and not an electronic module, part number 64129873690 for 750 Euro if you search on Hubauer Shop. BMW sourced that for £539. There seems to be a multitude of variations on that unit, so not sure if it's been updated.

Anyway it's done now. You have 2 years parts and labour on this fix, so hopefully that's the last of it.
 
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