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BMW 7-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    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.


  • 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.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    I think your model has a crankshaft sensor to activate the ignition doesn't it?


  • 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: 44,403
    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 may want to fix it and bail and try a 3 or 5 series.


  • garguygarguy Posts: 2
    Two month follow-up on my wife's 2002 745i valentine present. The car received a new engine after three weeks at the dealer. 500 miles on the new engine, 29K on odometer. I upgraded the NAV discs and put two new Pirelli tires on the front, my brother in law had just installed two on the rear. The engine sounds great and performs well. That is the good news. Within a week, the car would not move and power steering fluid poured out at a doctors appointment, the BMW tow plan took it back to the dealer for proper hose installation. Two weeks of blissfull driving ensued, then the car would not turn over, another BMW tow to the dealer for two new key fobs and new key module insert. One day later, my wife dared me to drive it to Asheville, NC on business. The car rode superbly for a coworker and myself on the four hour drive. After lunch with clients downtown the next day, the car would not turn over, another BMW tow to the Asheville, NC dealership and a taxi ride for my clients. I was told the car needed a fuel pump and would be ready the following week. My wife has driven a loaner (a 530 wagon) more than the 745. They did not have any cars available in Asheville, so I rented a Maxima (reimbursable I believe under the BMW tow plan)to get my coworker and me back to Raleigh. How I missed my gas guzzling but dependable GMC Denali. Now I was starting to understand where my wife was coming from, the inconveniece, embarrasment and frustration. She just wanted her Acura back. This is a good looking great driving machine when it runs. The service departments are trying very hard, I feel for them. I remember the comment the nice service lady made in Asheville when she referred to the conversation she had with my wifes service advisor in Chapel Hill. He said, "He bought his wife an 02 7 car", she replied, "Oh No, he didn't:, he said, "he has been very understanding with us". I read all the 02-03 7 car reports on the internet before purchasing. How can such a premier luxury sedan have so many problems. My wife's friend has a 04 745i with 55k miles and no problems. My brother in law had just minor service problems with the car, he is now in the 06 760 Li, I planned to purchase that car after his three year lease as an upgrade to the 02 7 out of manufacturer warranty in June 08. I don't think my wife will put of with this that long. What should I do?
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Well, you said you read all about the 02-03 7-series problems before buying.... Frankly, what did you expect? :confuse:

    BMW made so many changes in technology and software that had previously never had experience in real-world driving. BMW openly admitted their mistakes and even gave all 02 and 03 7's a full 6yr/100k warranty (which is a nice gesture, btw, IMO).

    Since then, however, the 7's have been great. No across-the-board issues and nothing out of the ordinary. It took them a year or two, but BMW has really done a nice job with the 7. If you're able to buy that great $120k (new) 760Li from your brother-in-law at lease end, I'd jump all over it. It is extremely unlikely you'd run into anything even close to your 2002.
  • Yeah, I bought the car using poker winnings because it was a perfectly clean 1994 740i with only 95,000 miles and it was $5,000. So I jumped at the deal, thinking of selling it before I went off the college (and hoping that I would not have to make a major repair until then). It did not work out completely as planned....

    I'm going to call the mechanic and repair the cost of: A- a new valve body or B-a totally new/rebuilt transmission, because if I can do the entire transmission for a similar price, it would help me to sell the car more easily/for more money when the time comes.
  • chingichingi Posts: 2
    my 1998 740il refuses to stay in the automatic trans mode unless i am mantaining a speed of 40 mph or higher so i have been forced to drive in manual for the last 4 months. i think its in the switch it self becous as soon as i switch it back to auto it kicks in. If this is the begaining of future problems can some one give me a heads up? or a way to resolve this super shilft problem.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    my 1998 740il refuses to stay in the automatic trans mode unless i am mantaining a speed of 40 mph or higher so i have been forced to drive in manual for the last 4 months. i think its in the switch it self becous as soon as i switch it back to auto it kicks in. If this is the begaining of future problems can some one give me a heads up? or a way to resolve this super shilft problem.

    According to the E38 owners manual, "A" stands for Adaptive and "M" stands for manual with regards to that switch.

    There are actually 3 driving modes, the third of which is "S" (Sport). When you are using "A" and put the gear in "4", it'll be in Sport mode... Basically it's just not using the 5th overdrive gear, so the rpms are revving up higher.

    After reading your post, I can't determine if you are utilizing A/M correctly, so I'll quote their functions from an E38 owners manual:

    "A - Adaptive Program: This is the initial position that transmission selects at every start. In the forward ranges, Adaptive Transmission Control automatically selects the most suitable control program from the available range........."

    "M - Manual Program: This program is for driving in a single gear (4th or 5th with the selector lever in Drive). The transmission then remains in the selected gear both when underway and when starting off. For instance, when you make a steep ascent with the selector lever in Position 2, then transmission refrains from executing undesired upshifts. The same principle applies during operation on ice-covered roads: By placing the selector lever in Position 3 you can move off gradually, and the transmission wil also suppress subsequent shifts into higher gears."

    So, to understand what you are saying, when you start the car you are putting it in "M" mode and "Drive" until it hits 40 mph? If that's the case, then you're probably trying to accelerate from a standstill in 4th or 5th gear... and that's not good for the engine. Could you please clarify?
  • suite7suite7 Posts: 1
    Unfortunately, this isn't a riddle. What does the air back light, the cruise control and the dsp have in common? The air bag light sensor light is on with an error code related to power supply, the cruise control stopped working (in stages - now the light won't even activate when the system is turned on but not engaged), and the dsp led went dim and now doesn't turn on. Does any of this sound familiar?
    Is the car safe to drive? I believe the air bags are inoperative while the light on the dash is lit.
  • chingichingi Posts: 2
    i guss the problem i am having is with Adaptive program (thanks for the info(A)-Adaptive). no matter which program has been used last before cutting of the car,when it is started,it will go to manual program prior to placing it in gear(D)and the (M)lights up to the right of it. I normaly hold the button in the A(adaptive)position until i reach speeds of 40mph or more if not shortly after letting go of the button you feel the car automatically shift back into the manual mode. It will also shift to the manual mode at all most every complete stop right before excelleration. :confuse:
  • finn4finn4 Posts: 1
    i have a 2000 740il...just replaced the transmission at 175000 miles...problem was, right at 30 mph or what seemed to be between 2nd and 3rd gear, it felt like i was driving on rumble strips, then when it got through that speed it stopped...doesnt do it whem in M mode, just A mode...rplaced the trans witha rebuild...still doing has to be electical...right?
  • HI, im looking for some information as to what would be the likely cause for my 90 750il to intermittantly loose power, it does it at cruising speeds mostly, feels like it runs on only 6 cylinders, i let off the gas and then the other cylinders catch on and its fine for a few minutes and then same thing, cuts down to 6 cyl, let off and then back to 12.. its very annoying. I have a complete parts car, but rather than just swapping parts would like to have an idea. The parts car is an 88 750il, will only move in reverse, any ideas what is wrong with the transmission? It will creep forward but will not shift and slips bad. Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    sounds like a "cranky" crankshaft sensor to me. I believe there are two, one for each bank of cylinders, so this makes some sense. Another idea might have to do with throttle control "motor".


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