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BMW 7-Series Maintenance and Repair

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  • when you say pressure, i am thinking of the water blowing out of the tank, and it does that. how hard is the head to replace. is it somehting i may could do? if not guesstimation of repair cost for this kind of job?
    thnaks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    The problem is, if you suspect a head gasket and you open up the top of the engine, you have to be prepared to deal with whatever is necessary. Also this is a great time to replace belts, hoses, etc. If the head is cracked you will need a rebuilt head or a used head. Here's a link for that where you can get pricing:

    http://www.data.bmrparts.com/bmwparts/343.html

    So you'll need a new head or head gasket, a repair manual, an top head gasket set. I'd take a rough guess that on your own it would cost you maybe $1,000 and at a shop $2,000 or so. Even if it's just the gasket you'd want to have the head shipped out and checked and cleaned up at the machine shop.

    Given that these cars aren't worth very much, you may need to consider if it's worth it, after you've determined the problem.

    MODERATOR

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    couple ways to test for a bad head gasket:

    Pressurize the cooling system and then remove a spark plug and look for water on it..might be tough to remove all of them, put it's one way to know.

    Test coolant for combustion gases

    Sometimes with engine running you can see combustion bubbles in coolant by looking into radiator

    Check for water in oil, or oil in water

    MODERATOR

  • I purchased a 750Li earler in the year. The recommended
    oil change is 20,0000, that seems like a long time before
    an oil change. Any thoughts would be appreciated?
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Some people may get as much as 20k (if you tend to drive long highway miles, not many cold starts, etc).

    All BMWs dynamically calculate the service interval based on the driver's driving habits and style. Some people will get as low as 10k between service and some as much as 25k. Most people get right around 15k.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    I think that's crazy. What's the point of such a long interval?

    If you want to keep in in there that long, I'd definitely do an oil analysis at 10K.

    You lose that engine, you've lost the entire car.

    MODERATOR

  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    The primary reason they are able to go so long between oil changes is the use of synthetic oil... far superior to standard motor oil.

    As far as your question of "what's the point of such a long interval", my response is "what's the point of short intervals like every 3000 miles?" I would rather not have to deal with 4-5 oil changes per year. Just doing it once per year is a heck of a lot more convenient... not to mention the car tells you when to do it, anyway.

    By the way, BMW's been doing this for almost 15 years now.... If there had been any issues, I think they would have run into them by now.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    your call of course.

    MODERATOR

  • Thanks for the response, I have just turned 10,000 miles.
    The cars computer is saying I will need an oil change in
    about 7,500 miles. I am considering paying for an oil
    change out of pocket instead of waiting.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    your call of course.

    It's not really my call... It's a call that BMW's been making for the past 15 years, and they haven't had any problems with their engines as a result.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    I meant it was your call to stick with what BMW says to do in general or to adjust for your own driving conditions and comfort level. I run severe service conditions in my cars so I don't adhere to the generalized manufacturer recommendations.

    MODERATOR

  • rafc1rafc1 Posts: 4
    2001 740 IL with sport pckg, 70K miles, I'm second owner since 52k. car had clean history, and really no problems. I recently got caught close to empty on gas and 'check engine soon' light came on. after filling tank and waiting a couple of days the light went off. 1 week later, it's back on. I thought it might have been gas cap but it seems secure. Is my catalytic converter to blame? car is off warranty and before I bring it in with carte blanche for mechanic I could use some ideas. Thanks in advance.
  • Two weeks ago, I purchased my brother in laws 2002 745i off lease for my wife with 27,000 miles. He now is leasing the 750li. He had the maintenance package and all records and service done correctly. I drove it from Dallas to Cary, NC. During the trip, I noticed an engine noise and took it to the dealership under the 100K/6 year warranty coverage. The car has been at the dealership since, after two days I was told their was a piston knock in the cylinder and the cast was defective and I might need another engine. Then more ideas and service test/request from BMW, the dealer says BMW is sending a field rep out next week to inspect and I will probably get a new engine. What should I expect/or do?
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    What should I expect/or do?

    You should probably wait for the field engineer to come out and check it, then wait for the engine, if necessary....
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    The "diagnosis" sounds pretty fanciful at this point (not the noise, the reason I mean). How in the world does someone spot a casting defect in the block without completely tearing apart the engine and examining it internally. And if they did that, why do they need a factory tech to verify a casting defect?

    Doesn't add up. A "knock" generally means something has worn down or collapsed internally...or....sometimes it is nothing more than a bad piston wrist pin, which isn't so serious.

    But the good side is that a tech is coming. He can not only verify the problem but also authorize the repairs. So you should make sure the tech is prepared to authorize the repairs for the dealer. The dealer will do nothing without authorization I don' think because the cost is going to be really really substantial and he's not going to gamble on having the cost bounced by BMW.

    MODERATOR

  • scholderscholder Posts: 14
    How close is "close" to empty? There is a section in the owners manual that refers to getting too close to empty, (I believe less than 1 or 2 gallons which can create a problem. Check this area or call BMW customer service and they can answer this for you.

    By the way, as a note for future reference; I have a 740i 2001 with 88,000 and the lower coolant level sensor that is located under the reservoir tank fill area sprung a leak of anti-freeze recently. Just 2 months earlier the upper radiator cracked and had to replace; but my point is there is a design flaw in the sensor placement as when the leak occurred the only way to repair it was to replace the entire reservoir tank as the sensor part did not have a gasket that could be replaced. The plastic mount just gave out and the sensor was fine. Very expensive for what should have been a minor item. I will call BMW to see if I get any sympathy. Has anyone out there experienced this? Earlier someone said to just figure $200/month for maintenance and repairs for their car. I can see why. Good luck!
  • rafc1rafc1 Posts: 4
    I was so low, I was worried I would get stranded. About 2 days after post, light went out again. now a week later, its still not lit and all is well. I read the same in manual. I suspect it has to do with fuel pump sucking air (is that even possible?), I would be interested if anyone can enlighten me. thanks.
  • drbondsdrbonds Posts: 2
    I am considering purchasing a 1994 740il for light highway usage(@5000mi/yr). I want a performance sedan, and these cars seem to be priced low...Why? I was wondering if there were any "buyer beware" problems with these specific cars, even with low miles? If so, what other reccomendations might you have to meet my needs. Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    They are low priced because of punishing repair and maintenance costs. Buyers are shy of them consequently. So to make this work for you, you need: a) low mileage super cream puff used car + knowledgable independent repair shop willing to work on them and cut corners for you (used parts, installing eBay parts you find, etc.). But if you buy a car with needs and go to the dealer for repairs, you'll be staggered under the heavy blows the car will deal you I think.

    Some indy shops won't even work on a 740, so check first.

    Summary: best car possible + perfect shop + right price or else don't pull the trigger. Can be heaven or can be hell, depending on how you play it IMO.

    MODERATOR

  • drbondsdrbonds Posts: 2
    Would you consider under 70K low miles for this car? If well maintained, what would you consider a reasonable lifetime mileage for a 740. If not BMW, then where should I be looking to mix my desire for a performance car with a fairly roomy sedan?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    70K isn't bad. I'd prefer 60, but I guess one must be realistic.

    You mean a 1990s era performance sedan that drives like a BMW but runs like a Lexus?

    No such animal IMHO.

    If you could live with a mid to later 90s 5 Series BMW, that might work better for you. Again, low miles.

    MODERATOR

  • I bought the car as a CPO in 2002 as I didn't like the 745i's at the time and knew of the problems associated with them. The warranty just expired and dumb me, I didn't look into the lemon laws within that 3 year period. The car has been in the shop 26 times in now just over 40 months, 25 times within the 36 mo warranty. I have tried doing everything I can to get BMW to fix the car but they refuse to fix it under warranty even though the car was in the shop around 100 - 120 days during the 3 years. Now the car continually kills batteries. I am on my 3rd pair of batteries and now one of these is gone! I am getting this under the battery warranty. The car somehow discharges the batteries every day now. I have it in an independent BMW service shop. It's been in there now for almost 2 weeks.

    i have tried getting in tuoch with the BMW ombudsman who advised me to send a certified letter to the car dealer I have dealt with in San Diego. After 7 days, I have had no response. The ombudsman indicated he will go to BMW NA. When I tried contacting the regional service BMW employee (who has flown in to San Diego on 3 occasions to try and fix the car), nobody will give me his phone number or email address. I have phoned BMW NA, in New Jersey, all to no avail!

    I am extremely frustrated as I can't really even drive this car now!

    The independent shop is doing an iterative process to see if they can find what is happening.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Surely I can't be the only 750 (12 cyl) with electrical problems?! Oh, by the way, ALL PROBLEMS FOR THE 26 TIMES HAVE BEEN ELECTRICAL RELATED!
  • tozietozie Posts: 3
    i own a 1999 740I witn 162,000 miles. has any one hit 200,000 miles on any of the 97-2001 7 series models....
    is your 7 series still running smootly at such a high milage?
  • This is exactly what happened to my 1993 bmw 740il. Did you ever determine the answer. I haven't dug into it, but it sounds like the same issue. Started slowly taking longer to start, and then one day nothing at all. I too changed the spark plugs and noted that they were a bit wet with what apppeared to be oil, but had a gas smell to them. I was thinking to check the ecm, fuel pump, but after that I'm at a loss. It cranks over, but doesn't even act like it wants to start. Any help would be great.

    Thanks,
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    I think your model has a crankshaft sensor to activate the ignition doesn't it?

    MODERATOR

  • mikeb7mikeb7 Posts: 3
    Does my 1992 735il also needed valve body repair kit ? Started as intermintent problem in drive then reverse (when it would go in it hooked up with any slippage) and now will not move at all, all other gears are fine.
  • mikeb7mikeb7 Posts: 3
    Edit to #454 (with out any slippage). And if it is the problem, please recommend a supplier where valve body repair kits can be purchased. Thank you.
  • I have had the engine rattle problem with my 2006 750i as well. At first I didn't notice it as much but one time, with music off, windows open and driving on an empty quiet road, I could hear the rattle, specifically when accelerating at low RPM's at low speeds, might get worse when I select the S sports mode transmission program. Took it to the dealer, apparently seemed to have fixed the problem with a computer upgrade. After they have serviced the car, I didn't hear the rattle noise and the acceleration was better, but I noticed a different feel from the steering. In the work order sheet they stated to have reset the steering angle, any input on that?

    Nonetheless, now I am starting to hear the rattle sound again, though less frequently and not as intense as before. It comes intermediately and especially when accelerating. There is some hesitation in acceleration as well. Leaves me scratching my head, and wondering what could be wrong. And just to clarify everything I always fill my BMW with premium high octane fuel. Very unfortunate, given how much I love this car, but I will be taking it to the dealership soon for further analysis and hopefully they will get rid of that annoying rattle noise and sensation for good! :cry: :sick:
  • One day, my car simply would not respond in reverse. I took it to a repair shop that came highly reccomended, and after they tried cleaning/replacing filters, the problem persisted. They are reccomending ordering a new valve body (costing rougly $2,000!!). Is this overkill? Are they doing this because I'm an 18 year old kid who bought the car just a month ago and I have never been a customer before? Advice would be GREATLY appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    How much is a complete rebuild? Or can you buy a used unit instead?

    I think that unless you are on your own making a pretty good buck this may not be the car for you...they cost a lot to maintain and repair...you may want to fix it and bail and try a 3 or 5 series.

    MODERATOR

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