BMW I3 Not Charging – 5 Practical Solutions

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Written By John Paul

John Paul is a tech enthusiast dedicated to troubleshooting. He is passionate about fixing glitches, simplifying complexities, and empowering others in the digital realm.

Are you having trouble charging your BMW i3? It can be frustrating when you plug in your car and nothing happens.

Maybe the charging cable won’t connect or the battery won’t charge at all. But don’t worry, there are several things you can do to fix the problem.

In this article, we’ll guide you through some common solutions to resolve the BMW i3 not charging issue.


Troubleshooting BMW i3 Not Charging – 5 Solutions 

Here are several troubleshooting steps you can take to identify and potentially resolve the BMW i3 not charging.

BMW I3 Not Charging Battery 5 Solutions - Infographic

1. Checking the Charging Cable for Damage

The first step in troubleshooting a BMW i3 not charging issue is to thoroughly inspect the charging cable for any signs of damage or wear.

The charging cable is a crucial component in the charging process, and any damage can hinder proper power transmission.

To inspect the charging cable:

  • Inspect the charging cable for visible damage such as frays, cracks, or bends.
  • Do not use a cable with any visible damage and replace it promptly.
  • Check both ends of the cable for loose parts or damaged connectors.
  • Inspect the pins inside each connector to ensure they are not broken or corroded.

However, for the protection of the charging cable, it’s important that you:

  • Keep the charging cable clean and dry to maintain its integrity.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials when cleaning the cable.
  • Store the charging cable in a dry place when not in use.

By following these steps and ensuring the charging cable is in good condition, you can address any potential issues and maximize the charging efficiency of your BMW i3.

BMW i3 charging cable

2. Inspecting the Charging Station for Issues

After checking the charging cable, the next step is to inspect the charging station for any potential issues.

Here’s what you should do:

BMW i3 connected to the charging station


  1. Verify that the charging station is receiving power. Ensure that it is properly connected to a functioning power source.
  2. Check if other electric vehicles can charge successfully at the same station. If other vehicles are charging without any problems, it indicates that the issue may lie with your BMW i3.
  3. Examine the charging station’s display or indicator lights for any error messages or warnings. If you see any, consult the charging station’s user manual or contact the manufacturer for guidance.
  4. Ensure that the charging cable is securely connected to both the vehicle and the charging station. A loose connection can prevent proper charging.

By thoroughly inspecting the charging cable and the charging station, you can identify any visible issues that might be causing the BMW i3 not to charge.

If the problem persists, proceed to the next troubleshooting steps.

3. Verify Charging Settings and Preconditioning

After conducting a thorough inspection of the power source and checking the charging cable, the next troubleshooting step is to verify the charging settings and preconditioning features of your BMW i3.

– Check the Charging Settings in the iDrive System or Infotainment System:

  • Start by accessing the iDrive system or infotainment system of your BMW i3. This is typically done through the central display screen or a dedicated control panel.
  • Navigate to the charging settings menu. The exact location and menu structure may vary depending on the i3 model and software version.
  • Verify that the charging settings are configured correctly. Some key settings to check include:
    • Charging mode: Ensure that the desired charging mode (e.g., Normal, Eco Pro) is selected.
    • Maximum charging current: Confirm that the maximum charging current is set appropriately, based on the available power supply and the capabilities of your charging equipment.
    • Charging time: If there is an option to schedule charging during specific hours, check that the desired charging time window is set correctly.
    • Charging limit: Make sure there are no charging limits set that may restrict the charging process.
  • Adjust any incorrect settings as necessary, ensuring they align with your preferences and requirements.

– Verify Preconditioning Features and Avoid Conflicts:

  • Verify preconditioning features: Ensure enabled features like timed charging or climate control are not causing conflicts or interruptions.
  • Check for conflicting timers or settings: Ensure timed charging doesn’t clash with other activities or power usage at the charging location.
  • Pay attention to climate control settings: Avoid running power-intensive features like heating or cooling during charging.
  • Disable or adjust interfering preconditioning features.
  • Initiate the charging process after modifying settings.
  • Monitor the charging process for proper function without interruptions.

4. Resetting Your BMW i3’s Charging System

If your BMW i3 is having trouble with its charging system, resetting it may be the solution to get you back on the road.

Here are some steps to help you reset your charging system:

  • First, turn off your vehicle and unplug it from the charging station.
  • Next, open the driver’s side door and hold down the brake pedal for 30 seconds. This will drain any residual power in the car’s electrical system.
  • Finally, plug your BMW i3 back into the charging station and turn it on. The car should automatically start charging again.

5. Updating Car’s Software

Updating your BMW i3’s software can help fix charging problems and improve the overall performance of your vehicle. It’s important to note that updating the software may require a visit to the dealership or a qualified mechanic.

First, check if there are any available updates for your BMW i3’s software. You can do this by visiting the BMW website or contacting your local dealership.

Once you have confirmed that there is an update available, schedule an appointment with a qualified mechanic or take it to the dealership for them to install it.

BMW i3 Not Charging – Preventative Measures

To prevent charging issues with your BMW i3, consider implementing the following preventative measures:

  1. Regularly inspect the charging cable for any signs of damage or wear. Replace it if necessary.
  2. Keep the charging connector and port clean and free from dirt, debris, or corrosion.
  3. Avoid exposing the charging equipment to extreme temperatures or moisture.
  4. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for charging, including using compatible charging stations and cables.
  5. Ensure that the power source meets the required electrical specifications for charging the BMW i3.
  6. Regularly update the vehicle’s software to ensure compatibility and optimal charging performance.
  7. Avoid overloading electrical circuits by minimizing concurrent power usage during charging.
  8. If using a public charging station, verify its reliability and security before connecting your vehicle.
  9. Consider using surge protectors or dedicated circuitry for your home charging setup.
  10. Educate yourself on the vehicle’s charging features and settings to maximize efficiency and prevent conflicts.


1. Why is my BMW i3 not charging?

There could be several reasons why your BMW i3 is not charging, including issues with the charging cable, charging station, battery, or software.

It’s important to troubleshoot each potential cause to determine the exact problem.

2. How can I check if my BMW i3 is receiving power from the charging station?

Ensure that the charging station is functioning correctly by checking if it has power and if other electric vehicles can charge successfully.

Also, verify that the charging cable is properly connected to both the vehicle and the station.

3. What should I do if my BMW i3 shows a charging error message?

If you see a charging error message on your BMW i3, first consult the owner’s manual to understand the specific error code or message.

It may guide troubleshooting steps or suggest contacting a BMW service center for assistance.

4. Why is the charging cable not locking in place on my BMW i3?

If the charging cable does not lock in place when inserted into the charging port, check for any debris or obstructions preventing a secure connection.

Ensure that you are using the correct charging cable and that it is properly aligned with the charging port.

5. Can extreme weather conditions affect the charging process of my BMW i3?

Yes, extreme temperatures can impact the charging process of your BMW i3.

Extremely cold temperatures can reduce battery performance, while high temperatures may cause thermal management systems to limit charging speed to protect the battery.

6. What should I do if the charging port on my BMW i3 is not opening?

If the charging port on your BMW i3 is not opening, try pressing the unlock button on your key fob or using the manual release option located inside the vehicle.

If the issue persists, consult a BMW service center for further assistance.

7. Why is my BMW i3 charging slowly?

Slow charging can be caused by various factors, such as using a lower-powered charging station, a faulty charging cable, or issues with the vehicle’s charging system.

It’s recommended to check the charging equipment and consult a professional if necessary.

8. Can using a non-compatible charging station damage my BMW i3?

Using a non-compatible charging station can potentially damage your BMW i3.

It’s essential to use a charging station that is compatible with your vehicle’s specifications and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

9. What is the expected charging time for a BMW i3?

The charging time for a BMW i3 can vary depending on the charging method and the battery’s current state of charge.

On average, it can take approximately 3 to 5 hours to charge from empty to full using a Level 2 (240V) charging station.

10. Can software updates affect the charging performance of my BMW i3?

Yes, software updates can influence the charging performance of your BMW i3.

Keeping the vehicle’s software up to date can help address any known charging-related issues and optimize the charging process.

11. How often should I replace the charging cable for my BMW i3?

The charging cable for your BMW i3 may need to be replaced if it shows signs of damage or wear.

It’s recommended to inspect the cable regularly and replace it if necessary to ensure safe and reliable charging.

Official References & Resources

Our research for providing accurate information about BMW involved a thorough analysis of official resources, including the official BMW website owner’s manuals, technical specifications, and relevant support forums.

Our research and data gathering involved thorough analysis of the official websites, including:

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