BMW i3 REx: owner's 3 years with range-extended electric car Page 3

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2014 BMW i3 REx range-extended electric car at 3 years [photo: owner Tom Moloughney]

2014 BMW i3 REx range-extended electric car at 3 years [photo: owner Tom Moloughney]

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Improved wndshield wipers, sun visors

The BMW i3 has very good outward vision for a modern car. The seating position is high and there’s a lot of glass to look through, including a very large windshield.

However the windshield wipers have an annoying habit of dragging water back into the driver’s field of vision.

This is a little bit of a nitpick, granted, but it can be annoying—and I’d like to see BMW figure out a way to eliminate it.

Watch how the wiper blade pulls the water back into the driver's field of vision when it changes direction in the video above.

Another complaint is the tiny sun visors, which don’t have extenders as those in many other cars do.

Because of this, there's a huge gap where the sun can poke through and interfere with the driver’s vision. 

Improve the reliability

Unfortunately, I’ve had quite a few reliability issues with my car. Thankfully, all except one were covered under than warranty. 

Among the list of problems I've had are: a bad voltage regulator, a short-circuit in the battery’s heating element, a failure in the onboard charger, a fuel-door release mechanism that was flaky and had to be replaced, a faulty fuel-pressure sensor, incorrect state-of-charge readings that had to be recalibrated, and a passenger-side airbag that was recalled and had to be replaced.

All of those were repaired under warranty; the one thing I ended up having to pay for were replacements for the front strut mounts, which failed at about 60,000-mile mark. That little repair cost me about $1,200.

2014 BMW i3 REx range-extended electric car at 3 years [photo: owner Tom Moloughney]

2014 BMW i3 REx range-extended electric car at 3 years [photo: owner Tom Moloughney]

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My battery had to be removed to replace its failed heating element, above.

On the other hand, I know plenty of 2014 BMW i3 owners who took delivery as early as I did and haven’t had a single problem to report.

While my i3 hasn’t been my most reliable car, there is possible good news to report.

My car was a very early build, in fact the first range-extended BMW i3 REx sold in the U.S., and the i3s that seem to have had more problems than most are, in many cases, some of the first cars sold. 

While I probably wouldn’t recommend buying a used 2014 i3 that’s out of warranty, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a used 2015 or later BMW i3.


 
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