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BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier



  • Dear First, I am on my 6th BMW and it is a 95 740iL. I bought it new. While I only have 45,000 miles on my car, it is probably the best car I have ever owned. Now mind you, the 40,000 or so mile check ups are not cheap, but I only change the oil every 5,000 miles at $55 at the dealer. My only complaint is that my car suffers from disappointing torque at low speeds. I understand this was corrected with the 4.4L engine, so you should not have that complaint. I would have an independent garage (or your dealer) check out the engine before you buy. Just because it looks great, doesn't necessarily mean that it's mechanically fit. You will find this to be the most comfortable car you have ever owned. The drawback - you can never downgrade!
  • is4b2rdis4b2rd Posts: 66
    Hi, how much is the 40k checkup? My 98 is scheduled to go in in a couple weeks for the Inspection checkup. I now have 41k on the car.
  • bwhbwh Posts: 76
    Since when is the 740 faster than the 750? We just upgraded from a '95 740iL to a '98 750iL, there is NO comparison, the power of the V12 is omnipresent. Anyway I have the closest thing to an M7, the 750iL with the 18" M sport wheels.
    Are you sure they replaced the engine with a 4.4? Just because the short block was replaced does not mean it is the 4.4. When BMW does this under warranty the cars get new 4.0L blocks. Have the front lower control arms inspected, when the ball joints wear out the whole aluminum arm must be replaced. Make sure all of the gadgets work, spend a good half hour in a parking lot with the car. Like any premium auto the maint costs are high. I think the inspection 2 service is about $500, and the inspection 1 is about $350. Awesome cars though, this is our 4th BMW and second 7 series.
  • Anyone here put metalized window tint on a newer 7 series? Does it impact the AM radio reception?...joe
  • m5davem5dave Posts: 1
    Hi everyone,

    I'm considering a '95 740iL for my wife but I'm wondering about a couple of things. First, does anyone here have high miles on an E38? If so, have you found any particularly troublesome areas, such as the transmissions? Not too worried about small stuff, just the major hardware.

    Next, I suppose the '95 had the original 4.0 M60 motor (same as E32 and E34). Is this correct, and if so, does anyone know for sure if these had nikasil blocks? I haven't noticed E38 owners talking about motor replacements, but then again, I've only just started paying attention to E38s.

    Thanks for any input.

    '91 M5
  • As it turns out, the 740i was a '94 and the new engine was a 4.0L which was replaced under warranty work at 50K miles. I had the car checked out and purchased it last week. I love driving it, but it won't be cheap--especially if gas prices keep going up. The BMW manual recommends 90+ Octane, is there a significant advantage running 93 vs. 90? I do a fair amount of highway driving.
  • bwhbwh Posts: 76
    The '95 had the nikasil block still. It was corrected in '96 with the 4.4L. Many of the blocks have been replaced by now. I would not under any circumstances take a chance on a nikasil block. My '95 had 88k miles on it when we traded for the 750. The transmissions in the E38 have been much better than the E32, no problems there. The cars have a lot of electronics though, make sure everything works.
    1st bmw, running lower octane gas will not HURT your car, it will retard the spark curve accordingly to avoid knock. You may lose a small amount of performance, although most people would not be able to tell. Personally I run the reccomended fuel in all of my cars, all three require premium, one of the pitfalls of buying a premium car.
  • I was at a restaurant the otherday, and infact I saw an M750iL and that's what it said on the back, M750iL. I had the choice between the sport package and chose not to take it because from what I've heard and read the people who purchase the 7 series (besides the 740i) regret adding the sport package because it is a luxury sedan, and don't like the stiff ride.
  • pflaumpflaum Posts: 13
    I have a 7 Sport Model and I don't regret it for a minute. I previously owned a 740 iL. The ride of the sport is not all that rough and the performance is outstanding. I have even taken it to driver's school.

    According to my dealer, almost every short wheelbase model that they have sold has been a sports model so your information regarding unhappy customers is suspect. I would never go back to a standard 7 after owning this beast.

  • mlabusmlabus Posts: 1
    I have a 95 740i with 98K, bought with 79K. How do I know if I have the nikasil block? I have an October/95 manufacture date. I have noticed a little vibration at idle that I have heard is a sign that the engine is going. With a 100K warranty, I am taking it in to BMW tomorrow for inspection. I discussed this with my arrogant BMW service advisor (a prerequisite, I think, to become part of BMW), who says that if I had a bad block, I would have known about it long ago.

    Also, whats the story on the reliability of the dot matrix for the temp readout and MID? The temp readout has already been replaced, and I lose a few pixels, it seems, every time I look at the MID. Cant BMW figure out how to make a reliable readout?

    Last, any experience with maintenance at 100K or so? What should I be expecting? Unfortunately, I am familiar with the catalytic converter(s) going bad, and have the death rattle to prove it. Is there a suitable aftermarket product, or should I stick with the BMW part? Can you replace one, or should both be replaced?
  • bwhbwh Posts: 76
    Your car came with a nikasil block originally. The dealer will be able to tell you if it has been replaced. Or if you can find the engine number and croos referance it, you will know. A slight vibration at idle does not mean the engine is bad, these are highly strung V8s and do have some vibration. Find a dealer willing to work with you on the nikasil problem. If your current one is a PIA, switch immediately. He is wrong, many of these engines exceed 100k before having problems, but they ALL have them eventually.
  • I am selling a 1995 BMW 740i to a friend of mine. It has 32,000 original miles on it, but now I am worried about if it has "nikasil block" that you all are talking about. I would love to sell this car, but since it is to a friend, I don't want it to come back and haunt me.

    Please, let me know how to find this out!

    Worried Seller
    P.S. I am selling him an all comprehensive 4/48,000 warranty with the car. Will that be sufficient?
  • bwhbwh Posts: 76
    I looked it up so those interested can review the info themselves. Go to
    This will give you all of the info on the M60 V8 and the nikasil problem. I personally feel that eventually all of these engines will develop the problem. It is caused by a chemical reaction and will affect the performance sooner or later. As for selling to a friend, as long as he/she is aware of the problem I would sell in good consience. Paying to put a new block into a lower mile car is preferable to putting it into a high mile car from a resale standpoint. Good Luck.
  • I am possibly going to purchase a 740i it is a 97 and about 70k mileage. Since I am new to the model and make are there any known problematic areas. I read with interest the other topics like the nikasil block and the silicon injected cyclinders. Are these fixedint eh 97-98 models? are there other issues?

    I love the experience and the safety of the 7 series. hope to get one and heard lots of good stuff but am concerned about the trannies and engines. I understand routine stuff have no problem with it etc. but help is appreciated.
  • bwhbwh Posts: 76
    The 95 models had the engine problem, the pre 95 models had transmission problems. The 96 and up cars are pretty solid machines. Make sure all of the electrical do-dads work. If you do not care for surprises an extended warrenty is a good idea on any used car this complex.
  • viktvikt Posts: 1
    I am close to purchasing a 98 740I with 53K mileage. Is there anything I should know about this model.. repair history, experiences--both good and bad-- etc. I am also shopping for warranty? Can someone share some info on warranty?
  • is4b2rdis4b2rd Posts: 66
    I have a 98 740i with about 43k miles. The car is an absolute dream to drive and truly a pleasure to own. I haven't had any problems thus far and am getting ready to take it in for its first "major" service in a couple weeks, which unfortunately will be out of my pocket as the free maintenance is over. If the car was well cared for and maintenance kept up on it, I don't think there should be any problems. I'd definitely have it thoroughly checked by a good mechanic prior to purchasing as well as extended warranty. If you are buying from the dealer, and the car has passed their checks, they should be offering you a warranty, similar to the Mercedes Starmark. Then, you are pretty safe.
  • sysadbsysadb Posts: 83
    IS4B2RD: I just bought a 98 740i with 13k miles in August. I'd be interested in hearing the major service details (and price) when you do it. My car went into service 8/4/98, so I have some time left on the service benefit.

    VIKT: I checked with Warranty Gold before I bought mine and they have a nice feature where the coverage (in time) begins when you purchase their plan, instead of when the car went into service originally. The miles limitation still applies, but this works well for people that do not put a lot of miles on their car, and thus are looking for more years of coverage rather than just milage. Regards,

  • I am looking at buying an 89 735 iL for $6500. It has a great exterior and interior, new tires and battery. I am going to have my mechanic check it out first, but wanted to know if anyone has had any prior experience with this year model. The downside is that it has 170,000 miles, which my mechanic said is nothing if the car has been maintained. thanks. JSL
  • bwhbwh Posts: 76
    That is a lot of miles for any car. Fortunately you can buy a rebuilt engine for that car for a pretty reasonable price if you need to. The "big six" is a nice engine though, very long running.
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