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2020 BMW i3S 120Ah BEV
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my i3S refusal to charge rears its head again, 63 miles from home with the family in the car. Bmw assistance on their way, two and a half hours after managing to log the ticket but not actually booking anyone to come out.
All of a sudden I feel like an early adopter.
Stuck at the instavolts just off the M40 near Banbury.
The car has sporadically refused to charge in the past, but it usually does so either after a few tries or after a period shut down, I'll come back to the car after a while and it will behave perfectly.
Symptoms are ac charge attempt results in "cable fault" message, DC charge just never commences charge (Comms is established, the charge point knows the charge state of the car, and the car reports "fast charging active" all as normal. It just doesn't lock the connector and doesn't charge. Bloody irritating if you ask me.
 

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2020 BMW i3S 120Ah BEV
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
My suspicion is that this is a software state in the car. BMW was unable to reproduce it when they had the car in for diags once, so who knows....
 

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Have you tried turning it off and on again?

All kidding aside, disconnect and reconnect the 12V.
That may clear the fault.

It could also be an isolation fault.

More info here:
 

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2020 BMW i3S 120Ah BEV
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
So. BMW managed to arrange a spanner man to drive an hour to poke at the car for ten minutes during which time I explained what the charging port was for and how it worked. He then went away. At this point we ranted at BMW and they finally agreed to put us in the hotel next door, which was going to cost a fraction of the two taxis they were proposing to get us home and which was likely to take another hour or two before the kids got to bed.

This morning, having cooled down and reset the computers, the car charged perfectly so we drove home...

So what the FFF is wrong with a car that refuses to commence charge just because it's sat in the sun too long?? This is identical to the scenario I had last year around the same times. Early spring with very clear skies, very low humidity, and super strong sunlight, and the car won't charge... Wtf
 

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From your description of the fault in post #1, it's possible that the locking pins engaging with the cable connector in the charging port are not actually engaging correctly. Some advice I have seen (for another car) is to support the cable connector at the car port,while holding it to keep it correctly seated, just to initiate the charge process.
Perhaps you know this, but I have found at least once that this can be helpful.
 

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2020 BMW i3S 120Ah BEV
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Indeed that would be one possible. I can hear the pin operating when you install the cable. But why the sun/heat dependency? That part of the car wasn't hot any more last night even (we'd just done 22 miles at 70mph in 10 Deg air), and it has always seemed to me that the only way to get it to charge again is to let the car rest and come back some time later. Then the following morning it worked first time, and every time.

Certainly no amount of wiggling or support of the connector would allow it to charge last night.
 

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Nissan LEAF30
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So perhaps another car that requires you to carry a 10mm spanner to be able to force a reset?
Alternatively, fit one of these:

 

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2015 BMW i3 REx 60ah, Solar Orange
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Does sound suspiciously like the charging locking solenoid. If this doesn't engage it won't charge. The part is quite flimsy in my opinion. If the car is still under warranty then I'd ask BMW to investigate. You can't play Russian roulette at charging points when you're down to 10 miles or so. More details on the fix.

I've done the same fix myself. When you try and charge does the LED charger surround flash red?
 

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2020 BMW i3S 120Ah BEV
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, maybe. Charging from AC it does three iterations with the locking pin, and then gives up and flashes the port red claiming a "cable fault" and logging a failure to charge in the ECU. Charging from DC it does a single iteration with the locking pin and then just sits there like a dumb ass forever waiting for .. something .. with the blue circle spinning on the dash.
I can see the pin operating, it feels fairly positive when it operates; if you try to pull the cable out when you hear it lower, the cable is well and truly retained, but the charge still doesn't commence and the pin retracts and the cable releases - even against my pulling force, so the actuator feels strong.
It's failing to charge again today - another hot day and the car has been sitting on the drive in full sun for several hours.

I am just not sure if the "three iterations" of lock/unlock points to the pin mechanism failing, or some other fault causes the charge session to be stopped and retried resulting in the pin retract and repeat. It could be either.
 

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Kia e-Niro MY20 64 kWh - Gravity Blue
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If under warranty, send it off to the garage, demand a courtesy car and tell them to have it fixed once and for all. There's faults in a car you can live with until it gets sorted out and this isn't one of them
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If under warranty, send it off to the garage, demand a courtesy car and tell them to have it fixed once and for all. There's faults in a car you can live with until it gets sorted out and this isn't one of them
Absolutely, that's the plan. Yes it's under warranty and I first reported this fault two months after collecting the car. My concern is that they're not going to have a clue and this is just going to be one of those cars that never gets fixed. At which point I'll be asking for money back!
 

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40kW Leaf Tekna & 22kW Zoë Q210 dynamique intens
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If under warranty, send it off to the garage, demand a courtesy car and tell them to have it fixed once and for all. There's faults in a car you can live with until it gets sorted out and this isn't one of them
Good luck with that one, BMW’s stock answer is “if the fault isn’t present at the time our engineer looks at it we are unable to do anything”

I had this issue with drivetrain errors for a year before mine went BANG!

Reject the car if you still can and get your money back, my last BMW gave me a whole year of woe and cost me over 5k in losses by the time I got rid of it.

I considered myself lucky, it could have been much worse.
 

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Kia e-Niro MY20 64 kWh - Gravity Blue
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Good luck with that one, BMW’s sock answer is “if the fault isn’t present at the time our engineer looks at it we are unable to do anything”
They did send an engineer for roadside assistance so they should have a valid report on the error.
 

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They did send an engineer for roadside assistance so they should have a valid report on the error.
Been there, they recovered my car in then told me that the engineer had either cleared the fault or it had self cleared on the log so there was nothing to diagnose!

My 225xe reported a crank shaft position sensor fault because it was a transient error and had self cleared by the time it got to them because it “wasn’t a current error at the time it was in the workshop” they refused to do anything.

A actually sat in the dealership and said “this car completely shut itself down and went dead on a stretch of active motorway and I had to coast across 3 lanes of traffic with no hard shoulder” with my wife and then 3 year old child in the car I asked them to replace the sensor that faulted to shut it down and stated that I didn’t feel it was safe to drive.

They flatly refused!

I had my car into BMW about 10 times before it blew up, they never got to the bottom of its issues, it was literally a whole year of grief and they just didn’t care.
 

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Ioniq 38kwh 2020
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Did it have a cable release cable pull anywhere (either in the boot or under the bonnet) I've had similar issues on my Ioniq, and pulling that seems to reset the solenoid lock, mine just seemed a bit "sticky" often if I put the plug in a little wonky though it hasn't happened for ages now.
 

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2015 BMW i3 REx 60ah, Solar Orange
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It's possible to slightly enlarge the hole in the charger mount, so that the solenoid doesn't stick when it's engaging to lock, assuming that's what it is? Obviously BMW won't do this, but if I was stripping the whole lot out to fit a new switch, then I would. The solenoid (unless they have changed the part) is made by Küster Automotive. On a 60Ah REx it's part number 61136805425.

The part has an integral electric-motor and a series of nylon gears inside, so it doesn't take much to strip the gears or foul something. The lever you see on the side of it - that's the manual over-ride if you need to unlock manually. The safety lanyards are at the base of the rear seat barn door (driver's side) behind a bit of foam trim. They're not the easiest to deploy either once you find 'em.
143620
 
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