Auction Bought BMW i3 – 6 Months Update

Spoiler Fix:

There were also a few things I’ve done off camera as none of them constituted a full video. If you’ve watched the “Everything wrong with my BMW i3” video, I showed how the rear spoiler was grinding on the roof, so I have adjusted it by loosening the 4 screws from the inside and physically moving it to the correct position. It seemed to have been popped out of place and secured while in that position. No clue how, but now it works perfectly.

Seat and Armrest Repair:

Buying a car at auction sight unseen always comes with risks, but usually it’s the mechanical surprises that get you. For me though, it was the interior. I have never seen such a rough interior on a newer car. Whether it’s the lack of quality of the interior or the neglect from the previous owner, this one was bad. So, I ordered a color matched leather die and tried to fix the seats, the armrest and the door panel as much as I could Here is the result, it doesn’t look perfect, but much better than before.

Got the windshield replaced:

Next, I had the windshield replaced since the crack grew larger and larger and became an eye sore. I’m sure it wasn’t safe either.. I also have a new plastic surround on the way from Europe, but it’s been a month and still not here.

Added tint, replaced rear and front driver side:

With all of the glass now intact on the car, I tinted my rear driver side window and retinted the from driver’s door as well. The glass on the hatch also had some scratches in it and needed to be replaced.

Restored Plastic Trim:

While working on the tint, I noticed how sticky and dirty the plastic panel was and it had to be cleaned. Removing it made it much easier to get rid of all the glue on the glass left by the old tint. It also made it much easier to install new tint and allowed me to properly clean and restore it the plastic panel.

After a good scrub, it was clean, but still didn’t look that great, so I decided to use this technique I saw on the internet. I used a light and later a propane torch to restore the plastic and it turned out better than I expected!

Another Clean:

Speaking of cleaning, I did another round of interior cleaning to get rid of the filth I didn’t notice the first time or couldn’t get it out in the middle of winter. I had a little bit more success this time and it looks much better, especially the doors, headliner and carpet around the seats. Is it perfect? NO, but it’s good enough to use for daily driving.

Q/A, Updates:


Now, let’s answer some of your questions. With all of those upgrades and changes, how has the car been as far as reliability? Surprisingly, after fixing the electricals, for the last 6 moths, this has been the most reliable BMW I have owned. Even after being so mistreated and abused in its past life and with over 90,000 miles, this car drives like a champ.

Suspension Comfort:

Speaking of driving, I’ve got a lot of questions on how it drives after the suspension work I have done. To be honest, it’s not as comfortable as it was before BUT it’s a lot better in the corners and far more stable on the highway. I can easily do 80 mph and not feel like I’m about to tip over or jump in the next lane from a light breeze. The ride is slightly harsher and sometimes a little bumpier on really bad roads, but this could also have to do with the fact that not only did I lower the car and widen the track, I also went from 19 in wheels and tires to 20 in wheels and tires. Overall, I would 100% do it again as it made the car handle better, feel a lot safer and of course look a little less like an SUV. Which I love.

Battery Life:

Another question I’ve been getting in regards to getting a 90,000-mile abused EV was about the range. It seems that most people were expecting this car to have about half of its original range, but from what I can tell, there has been absolutely no noticeable battery degradation as the range is basically what I would expect when the car was new. Of course, I know that BMW has built in some buffers into the battery which it might be using now to keep the range the same, I will do some further investigation in the near future and make a video about it. So, stay tuned! We’ll see battery cycles, state of charge, range extender usage and hours and more.

Plans for Future:

Last thing I wanted to talk about is my plan for the future.. as you can see, I have failed to fix the paint on this car. By now, I wanted to have the body panels painted or wrapped, but being a small YouTuber, my budget had to go somewhere else for a while and I’ve just ordered a new bumper and fenders for my BMW 335 project which will take preference for now. I’m hoping to paint the hood and attempt wrapping it myself. If I succeed, I’d love to do the entire car as well, but I know it’s much harder than it looks If that doesn’t work, it will go to a real shop.

Under the front trunk, I’ve not done much progress either, I haven’t fixed the storage box as I never really use it other than to store the charging cable. As I mentioned earlier, the windshield surround is broken and I will replace it as soon as the part gets here. Other than that, I think the car is great! What would you do next? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Perfect timing for buying EV:

With all of that said, am I happy that I saved this abused BMW i3 and gave it a second chance? Absolutely! Not only have I learned a bunch working on this car, I’ve also got it at a perfect time. Gas prices have more than doubled around here and while I will always drive my gas guzzlers, it’s very nice to use something this efficient for things like grocery shopping. I’ve also learned that I can have fun driving this quirky futuristic electric vehicle which makes the future seem not so grim once the gas vehicles are being phased out. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next one?