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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone else have issues where when battery is depleted ie 10% & in comfort mode the petrol engine & electric will cycle between each other constantly every 10 - 15 seconds?! Concerned of wear and tear on starter motor.. have resorted to driving in sport mode once battery is depleted
 

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Leaf 30kWh, HS PHEV
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Phevs do not tend to have starter motor. Once battery is depleted, Phevs act like mild hybrid. They can occasionally take load but not for long. Do you have any screen that shows motor / engine speeds?

Can you feel the engine starting every so often?


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I doubt that your PHEV has a starter motor. Sorry, can't help with the rest.

You can try providing some extra info? Speed? Accelerating, braking or constant?
Once the battery is depleted the petrol engine starts, as expected then after 10-15 secs the electric starts again as the battery is at 11% then after depleted to 10% the petrol cuts in a cycle. This happens at constant speed below 50mph, above 50 mph the car is always petrol.

Is this normal behaviour for a BMW 330e plug in hybrid?
I circumnavigate this by putting in sport mode as the petrol engine stays on once the battery is depleted however surely the petrol should stay on if the battery is low?
 

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Kia Soul EV 2020
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Sorry, don't know about the BMW. I drove Golf GTE for 4 years.

Under hybrid mode, it would maintain about 3miles on the GOM (roughly 10%). Maintain means that it would use Electric to get moving, but as soon as you pick up speed it would operate mostly on ICE. Under low speed and low acceleration, EV mode will mix in with ICE, I don't see that as a problem. It would be normal if slowing down to shut down the ICE, and regen some electrons too, which would result in some pure EV after. Then the ICE will pick up again.

Hopefully someone with a BMW, can help you further.
 

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Leaf 30kWh, HS PHEV
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Sounds like a design flaw - hovering in and out of EV mode at 10%

My current Phev tends to start engine over 20 mph though in its first journey it used up the battery in Auto mode over 222 miles


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2021 BMW 530e
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My 530e has a similar drivetrain to yours, but possibly a slighter newer derivative - I don't have a 'Comfort' mode, as the buttons are labelled 'Sport', 'Hybrid' and 'Electric' (plus 'Adaptive'). I suspect my 'Hybrid' button is the equivalent, although the software may be somewhat different.

I'm pretty sure mine doesn't behave as you are describing. However, my longer journeys tend to be mostly on major roads, such that when the battery is empty, it just runs on the ICE, while gradually accumulating some charge back again for my final few miles. I don't think I've done a great deal of low speed driving when the battery is flat, to compare. Sorry. I'll have to experiment at some point.

I'm curious to see what others have to say about this.
 

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F30 330e Sport
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OP - posted an answer in the other thread, but just to confirm the 330e does have a starter motor - in fact it’s had to be replaced under warranty for a few people when I was doing some pre-purchase research. However I still believe it’s quite normal dependent on load being asked by the driver - eco pro will drop to electric as soon as you don’t require much power as it prefers to coast, Comfort mode takes a little longer, but does so because in the moments of coasting and braking, it’s putting a little back in, eventually enough that it will sustain driving for a little longer. My car behaves much like the OPs and I’ve never seen it as untoward, although it isn’t as fixed as every 10-15 seconds, it’s more to do with requirement of power…
 

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2021 BMW 530e
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Yup, I did a little experimenting on today's long journey, and agree with @f30paul. It really comes down to what you're doing with your right foot.

When the battery is completely depleted (such that it can't run in electric mode anymore), the ICE will start and it will recharge the battery as it propels you along, and it won't attempt to run e-only. When it's put a bit of charge back (5-10%, I guess - indicated as 1 mile range), then it changes behaviour. From the dials (the blue highlights indicate the e-compatible ranges), it looks like it'll run in electric mode again at below 40mph and 15% throttle. If you exceed either of these parameters, then the ICE restarts and takes over.

So, if the road you're driving (or your driving style) is such that you apply more than 15% throttle every 10-15 seconds (maybe lots of hills and dips in the road?), then yes, the ICE will keep restarting.

The reason I've not really noticed this before is that I hate letting the car do what it wants to do, itself! I know where I'm going and the type of roads better than the car does, so I tend to make use of the sport mode when I want to use the ICE driving along fairly freely moving roads, and keep the battery charged for when I know I'm going to in slow moving traffic or driving around town. On motorways, I switch back to Hybrid mode, but use the battery control set to just a little below the current level, so stop it taking too much charge if the motorway speed drops such that the car wants to switch back to electric mode. On a good day, I get home just as the battery level reads '---'.

This seems to return quite respectable mpg, minimises stops and starts of the engine, and reduces emissions where they matter most. It also means I can ensure the ICE is started and up to temperature when I know I don't need to accelerate hard.

I'm probably atypical in driving the car like this, but I figure anything I can do to help prolong its life is worthwhile (I intend to keep it a while), and it's kind of fun. It's a whole new dimension of car control most people will miss out on.

Or you can just drive it like any other car and not care about it, but your car might not last quite as long or be as efficient.
 

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F30 330e Sport
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Your 530e is probably a later revision of eDrive and it sounds like I much prefer it! On the 330e the only way to force ICE to preserve battery at will, is to put it in sport (which is thirsty) or full manual (not as thirsty but a real pain!), I do try to avoid the save function!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OP - posted an answer in the other thread, but just to confirm the 330e does have a starter motor - in fact it’s had to be replaced under warranty for a few people when I was doing some pre-purchase research. However I still believe it’s quite normal dependent on load being asked by the driver - eco pro will drop to electric as soon as you don’t require much power as it prefers to coast, Comfort mode takes a little longer, but does so because in the moments of coasting and braking, it’s putting a little back in, eventually enough that it will sustain driving for a little longer. My car behaves much like the OPs and I’ve never seen it as untoward, although it isn’t as fixed as every 10-15 seconds, it’s more to do with requirement of power…
Agreed, I have sussed why the ICE is very on off at low speed when battery is depleted as I negioate speed bumps near my house. The coasting / acceleration causes the ICE to kick in and off, can you hear the starter motor noise? Wondered if my is nearing end of life as it’s quite noticeably.. I have checked no recall however it is the 2016 model. Do you have any more info on why there Was a recall please?
 

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F30 330e Sport
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Don’t think there ever was a recall? Was just for some a component that seemed to fail - as with all things the internet makes one problem seem larger than it actually is.

What do you mean by hearing the starter motor? Obviously at low speeds I hear the engine kick in, if that’s what you mean it’s perfectly normal. It’s only silent for me when drowned out by tyre noise.
 

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2021 BMW iX3 Premier Pro / 2018 BMW 225 M Sport ProXE
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Can only comment on mine, 125xe, at 7% will click to mild hybrid mode, engine on for mo ing, and a few seconds after pulling off from a stop. I tended to press the mode button a d pop it in battery save mode till charge is upto 20% or so, then back to auto.
 
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