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BMW 7-Series Maintenance and Repair

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  • I know this is old but do you remember the result? Mine did it twice once was the suspenison arm or something now its back and no one can tell me why?
  • I have owned BMW's for a long time and my current 740I will be my last. At only 75,000 miles (1998 model year) the thing is falling apart re: repairs and I am not the only one with these problems.. too many to list. The latest and perhaps most costly problem is the Catalytic converters. I don't have the engine light yet, however they are making that trademark 'gravel' type sound after car is on for a few minutes. I am not going to let the dealer do it for they want 5,800.00 (they must be on crack). I will use aftermarket items that cost less than 100 each plus installation (will use a muffler shop I know of).

    I have friends who have Toyota, Nissan ect and they are much less to maintain. Do they feel as good when you close the door, no. Why can't BMW engineer cars that don't cost a ton to maintain? You see a lot of people with Honda Accords with 150K miles and they run strong and have not needed much re: repairs.
  • Hello, I just bought a 99 750iL & the seller (dealer) assures me that the on-board computer/nav system needs only to be reprogrammed. It comes on, but only the steering wheel radio controls work, can't get the CD player online... I don't care about the navigation system, I only drive locally. I DO care about the radio/CD player! My question is: Is the seller lying? Anyone? Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    This is an extremely trouble-prone system with many historical faults so it's hard to know what's going on without proper diagnostics.

    If it's so easy to program why didn't the dealer do it? And I never heard of "re-programming" to correct a blank screen.

    You might check with the BMW dealer to see if there are software updates on CD. Maybe that'll help?

    You apparently need (according to my book) the Software CD V17.0 inserted into the Navigation computer (the CD-ROM V17.0 bears the P/N 01 59 9 789 299 Index "u"). There is a step by step procedure for installing this upgrade and also getting the radio to work.

    If your dealer hinted that all you had to do was press a few buttons---well, lotsa luck.

    MODERATOR

  • I would have thanked you sooner for the information, most appreciated, but I wanted to update you on after investigating. I took the car to a BMW specialist who ran diagnostics on the control panel, which apparently, is fried. Replacement unit costs $956, plus labor... plus labor... grrrrr. The dealer I bought it from is a small used car dealership, who buys at auction, does minor repairs/sprucing up, and resells at his shop.
    BUYER BEWARE!!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    Well sorry to hear that, but hopefully a lesson learned here...when a dealer or seller says "all it needs is a ....." , in my opinion the response is "well, then, that's all you need to do before I buy it".

    You might consider taking the dealer to small claims court if you think he misrepresented the car to you. The term "AS IS" does not relieve anyone of the consequences of misrepresentation per se, especially a licensed dealer. I'd try to hit the dealer up for 50-50 on this one if the purchase was fairly recent. If you bought the car 6 months ago, forget what I said. You own it now.

    MODERATOR

  • My apologies if my post comes across the 3rd time, but I just joined and there seems to be a problem posting. This neck is the plastic bend on the top on the driver side of the radiator. It's a small leak and I was wondering whether anyone has been able to stop the leak with a special glue or something.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    That might be tough given the heat and pressure, but I have successfully mended a hole in the plastic intake of a BMW heater core with JB Weld, and lasted for a long long time. Worth a shot, that radiator can't be cheap...let's see....

    Actually for a 745 model it's only $300...that's not bad at all. My Porsche 928 was $1200 bucks. :(

    MODERATOR

  • Thanks, I had a shop try some glue but it didn't hold. He said it held and he pressure tested it and all was well, but I'm wondering if the plastic contracted when it cooled and cracked the glue. I notice it tends to leak more as it cools...

    This 740i only has 70K miles and is otherwise in great shape. I might give the JB Weld a try. The independent shop also said the radiator was "a couple hundred bucks".

    One thought for owners with power steering hose issues - while hoses may go bad, a leak might not necessarily be because the hose is bad. My BMW dealer said the hoses needed to be replaced, but I looked closer and one of the hoses was leaking from the top end (and running down the hose). Turns out the clamp was deteriorating. Thanks, BMW dealer.

    Ironically, I also had a 928. Unlike the 7-series, nothing was reasonably priced, especially the torque tube. :) I got tired of the timing belt triggering the warning light and dumped it. Not knowing if it was really worn/loose was just too stressful.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    JB Weld is pretty awesome stuff but you have to do very good prep work. It won't work on anything that moves or flexes however.

    MODERATOR

  • I'll find out which glue the shop tried. The plastic neck seems reasonably firm, but its subject to jarring, obviously. I also saw an amazing epoxy that sets up fast used by a body shop to reattach the flexible plastic trim under the driver door. I might ask them for it.

    If not I guess it's a new radiator.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    yeah well welcome to the BMW radiator club.

    MODERATOR

  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    I find it truly amazing that the American consumer puts BMW, Range Rover, and other car lines into the SuperBrand category. The monthly maintenance bills on an out of waranty Bimmer or Rover have got to average $500 a month. For the Ultimate Drivers Machine to use plastic components such as plastic water pump impellers in the cooling systm is absoutely irresponsible. The typcial new GM car has zero, repeat zero maintenance out to 100,000 miles. Just change the oil, use synthetic if you are a keeper, and rotate the tires once in a while and you are free to travel about the country until 100,000 miles.

    Oh, well this must be the reason that a flawless 06 750i is now worth less than 40K.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    They are wonderful cars to drive and you pay for the privilege of that experience, and for the prestige of ownership. You simply cannot compare apples and oranges. A bicycle would be even cheaper to maintain. :P

    And it's not $500 a month. With the worst of luck, maybe $250 a month out of warranty. Still cheaper than buying a new Yaris.

    MODERATOR

  • Hello all, I am brand new to this forum and a brand new BMW owner. I recently purchased a used 98 740i, have had it for 2 weeks and have fallen absolutely in love with it. That said, the car mysteriously and suddenly died while driving on the highway. It was as if it ran out of gas. I am trying to save some money on the mechanic and am going to try and diagnose the problem myself, and thus far am waiting on the repair manual cd's in the mail.

    I wanted to pose to the community if there is a common problem with these symptons. It very well could be and probably is a fuel filter or pump or something of the sort, but was wondering if anyone had any info. I did not run out of gas, and all of the electrical components outside of the hood are working fine, but I have not tested anything under the hood yet.

    Anything would be helpful,

    Thanks
  • sysadb420sysadb420 Posts: 12
    Bickisland - by maintenance I assume you mean repairs? My car is not the best example since I only just turned 70K miles on my 98, but I have spent $1200 on repairs since I bought the car in August 2000. I've spent another $1700 on service including F&R brakes and 2 batteries. To be fair, several items broke during the warranty 4-year period including the water pump and the CD changer. It also had electrical issues with most of the exterior lights. That problem seemed to be a design issue as a service bulletin repair straightened it out. But with my car the bottom line is that most problems were caught and fixed during the warranty period and have not re-occured.

    I've had very few problems since the warranty ran out June 2002. This radiator leak is the first in awhile. I bought the two year old car for $41.5K in 2000 with 13.6K miles on it, and could easily sell it for $10K now. So from my perspective it's cost me about $31K in depreciation plus $3K in maintenance and repairs. Not bad, IMO, for 8.5 years of driving the best. I would admit that the equation is more expensive if you buy one new due to the rapid depreciation the first couple years. But the flip side is that you can buy a fabulous used car at a good price due to that depreciation.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    Have a scanner might help for diagnosis. I suppose that without one you could do some crude sleuthing---for instance you could check for spark in the usual manner---and/or you could squirt some starting ether into the intake--if the car fires up for a second, then you know you have a fuel delivery problem and not an ignition problem.

    Those repair CDs generally aren't any good, if they're the $9.95 variety. That's a kind way of putting it. CRAP would be more like it.

    You may need to invest in something better.

    http://www.bimmerzone.com/bmwproducts.htm#38

    Well worth it for the DIYer. That and a hand-held scanner and a service light reset tool.

    MODERATOR

  • bmlexusbmlexus Posts: 755
    And it's not $500 a month. With the worst of luck, maybe $250 a month out of warranty. Still cheaper than buying a new Yaris

    What do you mean by, still cheaper than buying a new yaris :confuse:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    I meant that if you bought a new Yaris that's about what it would cost you per month---$250+.

    Soooooo even though it SEEMS like you might be spending a good deal on your out of warranty luxurious great handling 7 series, you STILL couldn't buy much of a new car for the same money.

    I trust this clarifies my obscure prose.

    MODERATOR

  • bmlexusbmlexus Posts: 755
    I meant that if you bought a new Yaris that's about what it would cost you per month---$250+.

    Soooooo even though it SEEMS like you might be spending a good deal on your out of warranty luxurious great handling 7 series, you STILL couldn't buy much of a new car for the same money.


    Well, at least the Yaris will keep you away from a workshop for at least 3 years, it wont get you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

    I've read so many bad reviews about the x6, even from people I know who work for bmw, its hard for me to buy and trust a brand new bmw for reliability issues. I don't want to get worried about my new car engine being over heated on a long drive and be stuck in an unknown place in the middle of nowhere.

    A used bmw seems to be out of the question, at least for me.

    Thank for the quick reply
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    well it's a trade-off. No Lexus equivalent model so far drives anything like a BMW 7 Series. Not even close.

    MODERATOR

  • Hi, im new to this forum and I'm very close to buying a 98 740i with 105,632 miles. however, how does this car handle in the snow, bcoz i plan on moving to Minnesota after this summer...Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    Should be fine with 4 snow tires and a good snow driver---the driver is at least 50% of the equation of what we call "good in snow".

    Of course, you aren't going through snow drifts like a jacked-up 4X4, so be realistic as to what you attempt.

    MODERATOR

  • eric312eric312 Posts: 71
    I used to have 2001 740 with sports rims/tires. In NY snow the car was very difficult to drive. Not sure how it would have been with snow tires.

    Also, with 100k+ miles i would be VERY careful. Repairs on this car are very expensive.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    Well sport rims and tires would be the worst possible combo for snow, so I'm not surprised you had difficulty. I applaud your ability to get around at all on a setup like that.

    With 4 snows, this big heavy car should be okay, but ground clearance could be a problem.

    As for repair and maintenance, I presume the buyer already knows about that and is ready to deal with it.

    MODERATOR

  • Hi,
    Like i said b4 I want to get one of these cars. I have test driven the 98 740i with 105,632 miles. everything works perfectly, although the engine sounds like that of a motorcycle from the outside, bt like a V8 from the inside.

    The 00 740il has 60,362 miles, bt needs engine work (oil pump is spoilt). Which do u think i should go for, mind you the 98 has a flood record.

    Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    The engine overhaul will cost you more than the entire car is worth, so forget that one. Free wouldn't be cheap enough, sorry. :cry:

    I think you should pass on both cars given what you've presented to us. My two cents.

    MODERATOR

  • bobmc4bobmc4 Posts: 2
    Just looked at a 92 w/157k. Warning message Tacho. No service records. Body and interior in good shape. Owner says there was a small fluid leak in the interior of driver side.(his freing "bypassed" the leak. He wants $2500. What do you think?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,613
    Okay so it's got a leaking heater core. This is a 735 right?

    So that's about $175 for the heater core.

    Labor to R&R is 8.0 hours

    Labor to evacuate and replace AC freon --- not sure about this.

    Anyway, total cost where I live would be about $1350.

    This presumes that the AC system is okay....or you can just skip fixing the AC part and just do the heater core for maybe $1200.

    We assume you want the car to have at least heat/defrost?

    Your call on that. My impression is that you can buy a very nice clean 735i with no major problems for about $3000--$3500.

    If I were buying it, to cover my butt, I'd offer $1500 tops.

    MODERATOR

  • sysadb420sysadb420 Posts: 12
    Update on trying to epoxy the radiator neck: It's a no-go. I loosened the overflow cap to relieve pressure, let it sit a couple days after 2 applications so it could cure, and after one dry day I saw a coolant drop on the second day - before starting it or resuming pressure in the system. I then drove it about 20 miles and it seems to be retarding the leak, but it's still leaking.

    I'd say a new radiator is in my future.
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