First service after two years

Our BMW i3 will be two years old in a few weeks and has now just completed the first scheduled service. However, a pure electric vehicle does not need much service.

The first service for the pure electric BEV version only holds three points

  • Change brake fluid
  • Inspect vehicle
  • Replace cabin air filter

In addition to these service points, the car had three actions, i.e. measures that BMW has instructed workshops to carry out

  • Replace gearbox actuator
  • Replace engine mount screw
  • Upgrade software

The vehicle inspection itself did not result in any actions. The only thing the service technician noted was that the brake discs had surface rust and suggested to use the brake more. Because i3 has single pedal control (degenerating and slowing down the car when letting go of the accelerator) there is little need to use the brakes, but now we know that there may be other reasons to use them.Brakerust

The upgrade of the software is said to make the reported range increases with up to 20 km. Our fully charged car reported 8 km longer range today campared to yesterday. Exactly what has been changed is unclear. Batteries are undoubtedly the same as well as the total number of kWh in use (probably). Possibly BMW changed something that improves the energy efficiency of the engine, but more likely they just adjusted the algorithm that calculates how far you can drive. My perception, without basing it on scientific data analysis, is that the reported range to date has been on the low side compared with what is actually possible to drive. Perhaps this has been adjusted.

A small annoying detail after software upgrades is that some user settings are lost. For example, the settings for eight programmable buttons disappears as well as the saved radio stations. No big deal, but it should be easy for BMW to change the upgrade routine so that data is saved, and then restored after the upgrade.

Service protocol  attached (in Swedish).

This service was free of charge. Next service is scheduled another two more years from now.

Share the joy
  • 1

28 thoughts on “First service after two years

  1. Hi, are you able to find out what software version you are on now.
    I am about to take delivery of an i3 and would like to check I am on the latest version.


    1. Hi Stephen,

      I asked when the car was picked up but unfortunately the person in the reception could not say and the tech guy had already left. I will see if I can find it in the car somehow…

    2. Just had a call from the BMW dealer and they told me that the car was update to software version iLevel 15-11-504.

  2. I notice that when I hit a bump going about 20 mph or more, the car accelerates. Does anyone have an explanation for that? Not dangerous, but very disconcerting.

    1. It’s seems you need the s/w fix from last Nov…this cures the rapid increase in revs of the electric engine when the wheels are even very briefly up in the air which is what happens when you pop over a speed bump too quickly…doing this will cause for the Engine Holding boots to eventually shear, so the update included new bolts as well, so we’ll down BMW, it fixes the revving problem for sure it’s much better over bumps now…the downside is that for some reason Brake Regen is not as strong as before but I’m not an engineer so can’t explain whether it’s connected with resolving what your experiencing…hope that helps, give your Garage a tinkle…

    2. This is something I learned about while looking at BMW i3 reviews. It happens if the car hits any rough surfaces after taking your foot off the accelerator. It’s nothing to worry about. It’s just a feature that disengages the regenerative braking if the car hits a rough patch of road. It doesn’t really speed up, it just ranges like any normal car would. Because we get so used to the regenerative braking, it feels as though the car is speeding up.
      Hope this helps!

  3. I brought my car in to get inspected (required in Massachusetts) and mentioned that the steering wheel makes a rubbing sound when it is cold. It turns out there is a BMW bulletin that recommends replacing a bushing in the steering wheel. Not sure what year models this applies to, but you would definitely notice this if you live in a cold climate.

  4. Hi

    Disappointing to see they are still losing customers’ settings. At my first software update about 12 months ago I had saved the seetings to a USB stick in case they were lost. When I collected the car they were gone, I went straight back to the service desk and pointed out (as positive feedback, not as a complaint) that the process should include saving the settings before the update and restoring them afterwards.

    A few days later I received a thank you from BMW UK with a parcel of goodies.


  5. Forgot to mention the software version, I’m pretty sure it’s in the hidden menu somewhere and I think the way to access the hidden menu is available on various forums.

    1. Hi Roger,

      I can enable the hidden service menu (instructions found on Bimmerfest 🙂 ), but it does not show the current software version. The only options under the enabled service menu are 1) Navigation 2) Tel and BMW services 3) TV and 4) Gracenote. Have you found the software version?

  6. How long did it take for this service to complete? Do I have to leave the car overnight or it is done in few hours?


    1. Hi Zsolt,

      I left the car in the morning and he called me 2.30 PM and said it was ready. Had the feeling he was working on other cars in parallel so maybe it can be even faster.

    1. Hi Alex,

      I have travelled slightly less than 20 000 km during these two years. The forecasted range on a fully loaded battery has declined but this is a very dangerous way of measuring reduction in battery capacity since the algoritm of calculating this range is unclear. We do not know how much it reflects historic driving patterns, temperature etc. I was hoping to get a reading from the service (e g “Your battery has xx% of its original capacity) but the workshop said this was not possible. You would think the car could collect this data automatically over time. Maybe I write a separate post on this blog about this as I am sure this is of high interest to all existing and potential i3 owners.

  7. Hi
    I may declare that this latest software update is capable to improve the usual range (e.g. 10 – 20 km). This is the result of decreasing the buffer at both sides of the battery; IOW, i3 has a battery of 22 kWh but we were not allowed to use 100% of this capacity. The usable part was 18.8 kWh and BMW has decided to decrease that 3.2 kWh buffer which consequently raised the range, accordingly. (-;
    On the other hand, our firstly complaint was a noise coming from front disks during deep braking (sth like grooooaaanncchh) and this bad habit has been relieved in due course after using the foot brake occasionally.

    Best regards from İstanbul

      1. It’s my pleasure to contribute such a valuable community / blog.

        BTW, just before the New Year our local dealer has invited me (our i3) in order to apply some software updates along with the exchange of motor mount screw.
        But I don’t remember if the technician engineer had mentioned about “replace gearbox actuator”. Might it be a serie specific issue; our i3 is/was manufactured in the first week of November 2014 as I know.
        Could you please give some details regarding this action(?)


  8. I just bought replacement cabin air filters (2) for my 2014 BMW i3 and I am totally stumped as to where the cabin air filters are located. Can somebody please tell us where and how the cabin air filters can be accessed?

  9. Hi all, one year ago I purchased a 2014 CPO 2014 i3 and have been loving my driving life ever since. The only thing is, there are SO many panel lights and symbols that when something comes on I can’t necessarily figure out what it means. I have read through the owners’ manual, but it seems like some of the symbols mean different things at different times. Has anyone else come across this? And has anyone found a straightforward list of what things mean?

    BTW, I’ve also noticed that rapid increase in speed once or twice. But I would have thought that in 2017 with a CPO car that s/w fix would have already been done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.