Tuesday, June 3, 2014

BMW i3 Delivery Tips

Did you know your i3 has a little tab to hold the charge port cover while it's charging? Bet you didn't!
Over at our Facebook i3 group we have complied a list of a few "Getting to know your i3" facts. I've put them together here to give new i3 owners a quick run-down of some of the things you may not find in the owners manual or be told by your dealer. The electric vehicle community has proven to be an invaluable resource for new LEAF, Volt and Tesla owners and I expect the same to happen with the i3. There is so much new ground to cover that the dealers simply can't provide all the information the customers need. That being said, they need to do better than what we have seen so far. If you have more tips and suggestions, please leave them in the comments section below and I may even add it to the post.
  • Your car is delivered with both charge rates purposely set to low. If you took delivery and are wondering why it's taking much longer to charge than you expected, this is the reason why. You need to go into the idrive settings > Charging and adjust to maximum setting.  Be aware that you can set these yourself and you might need lower settings depending on available current when charging.
  • Both seats will be likely be set up to the maximum height. Pull the lever to go down so your wrist can rest on the pad by the iDrive. The height of the armrest is also adjustable. Pull the tab on the leading edge up and you can set the height to your liking. The steering column not only adjusts up and down, but it also telescopes outward and is adjusted by the lever underneath the steering column.
  • Be mindful of the speed restriction setting in ECOPRO (75mph) and ECOPRO+ (55mph). You may need to adjust it. The car doesn't actually have a hard speed limit at those marks, but when you reach those speeds it temporarily holds the car from accelerating past them. If you want to go faster you really need to push the accelerator further to bypass the "soft" speed restriction. It is more of a gentle reminder to watch your speed than an actual speed limit.
  • The rear passengers can let themselves out by pulling the front seat headrest cable and pushing the seat forward to reach the door pull. 
  • To lay the rear seats flat, there is a fabric loop that you pull on the bottom corner of the seat back.
  • The front trunk is not water tight and under certain conditions water may spray up into it so don't put anything in there that can be ruined it if gets wet. If you need to do so, buy a watertight bag to store it in. Many people will keep their 120V occasional use EVSE up there. While it is indeed fine for outdoor use, I'd recommend storing it in a waterproof bag up there also so water doesn't pool up in the connector frequently.
  • There is an extra drink holder under the arm rest that you can insert at the front of the center console.You can also purchase an additional one and have three cup holders in the center console.
  • Check to make sure the AC and charging system is working before you leave the dealer; BMW disables both for shipping and the port or dealer needs to enable it before delivery. There were quite a few people in Europe that had this issue and now a few in the US are reporting  it also. It is evidently a 15 minute fix to enable the A/C at the dealer, provided your dealer has been trained on this and knows how to do it. Unfortunately not all dealers know this yet!
  • Download the BMW i Remote app from the iTunes store and have your CA register you for it.  More detail: There are two BMW apps , MY BMW Remote app and BMW Connected app. Which is correct?BMW i remote and BMW Connected (both for US) are correct. My BMW Remote was used for the ActiveE and is no longer applicable. Is the BMW Connected app used to monitor charging, precondition etc.. or is that a different app? The i Remote is for pre con and opening the doors etc. The Connected one does have some monitoring but it's mostly to run apps in the car (via a standard USB-to-phone cable rather than bluetooth) Go to iTunes App Store, put in search string “BMW” in search box, Filter for iPhone Apps only. (See photo of resulting apps, loaded as a separate file under the title "BMW iPhone Apps for i3")
  • Ask your insurance company for the Hybrid or Electric Vehicle discount.
  • Press the end of the turn signal stalk on the left side of the steering wheel to display the external temperature on the driver info screen.
  • Press the small button on the left side of the Driver Information Screen to reset the trip odometer displayed on that screen. The other trip computer is reset from within iDrive.
  • To play Pandora in the car, install apps from ConnectedDrive menu in idrive, then plug your phone into the USB cord and launch Pandora. The Pandora icon will appear in the radio menu. You can then use idrive to control Pandora in the center screen.
  • Download the BMW ConnectedDrive App to get many other features and apps like BMW Radio, Audible, Glympse, Amazon Cloud Player, Rhapsody, Stitcher, Aupeo, Facebook, Wiki Local and Twitter. You have to connect the USB cable to make it work.
  • When charging you can use the hook on the charge flap to hold the plastic "gas cap" cover. there is a small slot under the plug cover that aligns with it.  Or you can drape it over the top of the J1772 plug rather than letting it dangle in the wind against the paint.
  • Before you leave the dealership, put the car into reverse with no surrounding obstacles and verify that the sensors all work.
  • If you didn't order your car with the Technology Package, you may be missing the default code 606 navigation package.  BMW acknowledged that they was a problem and some cars didn't have the basic navigation installed:     

    "Today, we have identified a number of i3 Rex (Model 14iB) that have not been equipped with the standard Navigation Business system (Option 606). Your dealership has taken delivery of one or more of these vehicles. We are actively investigating and considering all avenues (option retrofit, option credit, vehicle reorder, etc.) for a dealer/consumer friendly resolution. We will have further updates as new information arrive.
    "
 Followed by:

 "We expect to know by Monday, June 2nd, the status of the retrofit for the missing Navigation Business system (option 606). The affected vehicles include all i3 Rex vehicles without ZTD (Technology + Driving Assistant Package) produced weeks 10 through 22 and half of week 23. Any vehicles that arrive at your dealership without Business Navigation can be retailed but you must disclose the missing option to your customer. The remaining affected vehicles will not be released until we have an update."
  • When you get home, press the BMW Assist button on the overhead console (open the button cover to reveal it) and speak with a representative to activate and set up your account. It takes about 5 minutes.
  •  
  • There seems to be some capability issues with the i3 and EVSE's made by Leviton. I know of three people that have reported their i3 won't charge on their Leviton unit. I have personally reported this to BMW engineering and contacted Leviton to help put them together on the issue so hopefully they will figure it out and correct the problem quickly.
  • Send a place to your car:  You can send a place in Google Maps to your car using the Send to Car feature. The first step is to add your car: Go to https://www.google.com/maps/sendtocar. Click Sign in and enter your account information. Click Add car or GPS device. Select “BMW" from the car type dropdown menu. Type in your account ID (email address) provided by your car manufacturer in “Account ID” field. Go to Google maps, look up a business or address and click the More link to send.  Once you send it from your pc google maps to the car you click my messages under bmw connected in the iDrive. Open the message and you will see the checkered flag to initiate navigation.
  • The radio will continue to play for a few minutes after you exit the vehicle. If this bothers you then press the Start/Stop button again with your foot off the brake pedal and it will shut off.
  • Check to make sure the tow bolt is located in the front trunk of the car or elsewhere. Page 195 of the owners manual says the tow fitting is located in the storage compartment under the hood. It should be wedged into the foam caddy for the tire inflation kit.
  • You can set your presets (above the AC 1 thru 8) to different functions to fit your own needs. I did this in the ActiveE, and to simplify the process, hopefully this will make sense.  Go into the idrive and select your sub menu, example click on vehicle info, then choose trip computer.  Don't select trip computer, but turn the idrive controller over it until the check mark shows.  Then select the preset you want, and press and hold until it confirms.  it should then show up on the top of the screen with the rest of the presets in blue.  You can absolutely go into the sub menus and select options to save on some things, but not on others.  Play with it.  I also selected all of my radio/satellite presets and saved the presets as a preset.  When you leave the radio is preset mode, you can then scroll thru the radio presets on the steering wheel while in other menus.  
  • Download the following apps to locate charging stations and set up the associated accounts. It's good to have a few of them as none seem to have all the charging stations available listed: Chargepoint, Greenlots, Plugshare, Recargo, Blink, Carstations.


Do you have any more i3 delivery quick tips and suggestions? If so, please help out the i3 community and leave them in the comment section!

20 comments:

  1. Excellent. Thanks so much for doing this.

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    1. As always, Tom, you are tremendously helpful. These hints and tips will make life much easier when my i3 arrives--about mid July.

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    2. Thank you Dr.B. By July I should have everything about the car figured out so you can ask me anything! :)

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  2. BMW is seriously shipping a car with a trunk that isn’t waterproof?

    Why is it the buyer’s obligation to go through this obscure checklist, which few buyers will have in hand, while at the dealer to make sure the dealer does what it’s supposed to do?

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  3. The front trunk does have holes in it so any water that may possibly splash up in there from underneath will leak out. It's not an enclosed area, the little storage compartment up there is surrounded by equipment and water can under some circumstances splash up I guess.

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    1. When are they going to make the "board case " or frunk organizer available in the US?

      ,CDspeed

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    2. I thought it was already. If not, I'm sure it's just a manufacturing issue. As soon as they have enough made they'll be available at your BMW dealer.

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    3. It's available now from various dealerships or 3rd party vendors. Cheapest place is getBMWparts.com. they are based out of a bmw dealership and sell only oem items.

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    4. I've been looking on Shop BMW USA, of course I did a google search and found it at a BMW dealer in Georgia. I just figured BMW's own national site would have it, at last check it's not there. Shop BMW usually puts your order through your nearest BMW dealer so I just figured it wasn't available. The Georgia dealer had a complete online shop so I ordered it through them, they also took PayPal so that, and the free shipping they offered made it a no brainer.

      ,CDspeed

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  4. Ok, let's not ignore the gorilla in the room. When are you going to talk more about your vinyl wrap? I was actually thinking of getting the hood done to match the Ionic silver exterior of my i3 (after it arrives).

    ,CDspeed

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    1. Haha. I've just been really busy at work. It will probably be the next post! ;)

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  5. Talking about gorillas... How about the smaller gorilla, any news on the NJ tax situation? :-)

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    1. No word yet Alex. As of now we all owe the tax. I am hopeful though. I do believe that BMW NA has to, at the very least, acknowledge they provided false information and offer something to the people that have already ordered the cars and have signed contracts. How many can that really be in NJ? Maybe 50 to 75 people at the most.

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    2. I seriously doubt BMW would "acknowledge they provided false information" publicly. But, Tom, you have a strong case to persuade your dealership/BMW to give you a satisfactory resolution privately -- it would be good to have it resolved before filing your 2014 tax return.

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  6. I agree, expecting BMW to admit a mistake is not happening, so the only hope is for some sort of soft resolution on a case by case scenario. Unfortunately, even that may require few Rex buyers to cancel their orders in order to attract enough attention... Not holding my breath on any of these...

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  7. Right now i3 is selling at stick price and virtually there's no available i3 in any dealership's parking lot. So I think canceling order will not have much leverage -- they are profit driven, not conscience driven, unfortunately.

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  8. Thanks for this Tom. Super useful.

    Srini

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  9. the greenlots app says that chargepoint has removed their access to the real time chargepoint data, FYI.

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