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BMW 7-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    I'm curious...did you have trouble with the front and rear control arm bushing? Did you have the door trim (between front and rear door, on the "B" pillar, constantly detach? Did you have the brake warning light go on a lot, and constantly have to replace rear brake light bulbs?


  • I am considering purchasing one of the last E38s. I can find a few across the country with under 50k on the odo, and many with under 60k for around $20-22k. I need it for an occasional driver to take clients to dinner, to play golf, and for a couple long haul trips a year. All told, I doubt I will put more than 6k on it a year, and it will be in service for about 4 years. Does anyone have suggestions on specific issues to look for or things to avoid? I appreciate any feedback.
  • eric312eric312 Posts: 71
    These cars usually have issues with electronics/computers. Make sure to check all of them out.
  • I'm looking at purchasing an 07 750. Just got out of a Lexus LS430. Love the reliability but not real excited about the aesthetics. I keep hearing and reading about reliability problems with the 750. It's a great drive, but is it worth dealing with the mechanical and electrical problems. Anyone out there with an 07 that can comment, I'd appreciate it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Well it's got a great warranty, so if I were in your shoes that's what I'd weigh against some almost certain glitches....which may not be too serious but which will be inconvenient. I guess it depends on your level of patience should something happen--and also how well trained your dealer staff is. Will you get a loaner. Do they have a tech who had specific 750 training?

    It's certainly a much better driving car than a Lexus and a lot faster, so it's tempting if you are an enthusiastic driver.

    Ah, the old dilemma---do I marry the librarian or the flemenco dancer? :P


  • I have a 2001 740iL. It is fully loaded,handling package, SEDC, massaging seats etc. It currently has 72K on it and was purchased w/ 58K on it. The car drives great, has great looks and is fairly fast but in my opinion is a P.O.S. as far as electronics and gadget reliability goes and would not recommend buying one of these with any amount of miles on it. The list of broken gadgets on my particular car is very long. It is not a COPO car, nor was it in any accidents, In fact it was very clean when I bought it. I'd rate it an 8.5 if 10 is perfect. What has gone wrong starting at less than 60K miles:
    pixles in instrument cluster, radiator, leaky sun roof, 5 pieces of plastic trim with broken fastener features, leaky power steering lines, broken gas door solenoid, broken driver door window regulator, broken SEDC module, intermittent LCD display failure in center console, broken wire controlling 12VDC to driver side view mirror, power driver seat, memory seat and telescoping steering wheel and that is about all I can think of now, There may be a few I forgot. Anyway, steer clear unless you like dealing with broken stuff every other month. I'd get a Lexus. They are getting better looking and they are leaps and bounds more reliable than a BMW ever will be. Just my 2 cents from a current E38 owner.
  • I agree. 740s are great cars but reliability is very bad.

    I got my 2001 740i when it had 25,000 miles on it and it was certified by a BMW dealership.

    It has 62,000 on it now and my NAV broke twice. I had to replace radiator, instrument cluster, window regulator, power steering hoses twice and a few other things.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Did the interior panels that cover the pillar between the front and rear doors fall off? NAV problems seem chronic. Did you ever have a problem with the "brake light" warning on the dash going off and bulbs burning out a lot back there?


  • If you look at the patterns here there seems to be many similarities
    Most of the cars are 2000,2001 E38 are relatively low milage cars. I suspect that there is chemical issue in the radiator and power steering area (I have had mine replaced as well). The Nav is also a problem and replaced mine I believe that Nav unit is suseptable to Heat because the area that the Nav unit is enclosed in get realitvely warm and there is no venting. The Nav device controls all audio function. The LCD in the dash are have elastomeric connections and is common for the time.
    So there are some very common problems that can be seen and they seem to repeat.
  • What kind of NAV problems are you having?
  • No panels falling off but brake light bulb burned out once.

    I had a problem with service engine soon light, dealer replaced oxygen sensor under warranty.

    I forgot to mention one time i got stuck in the middle of the bridge. Could not restart the engine. Dealer said it was a fuse. The car had about 40k miles at the time.

    With nav, the screen goes blank or has some gray lines all over. I had to replace "black box" from the trunk. Got it used since dealer wanted $1300 for rebuilt one. Should have sold the car at that time when everything was working. That nav broke 3 months later and now i am on ebay looking for another one. :(
  • At +100 degree outside sometimes the nav freezes and then stereo goes out. Once I reboot its fine
    this is the second unit
  • Ok, now that everyone is scaring me, I have to ask: how many of you would buy again? Do the benefits outweigh the risks? I ask because I'm looking at the 2007 750iL and a VERY attractive incentive. I'm also considering the LS460. Yeah, I know they're two very different cars: performance vs. luxury. But having owned an SC400 for 14 years w/o a single problem is very compelling! The other side of the coin has me owning a 2002 vette with the average number of chronic problems traditional of vettes, but what a hoot to drive when its healthy. I'm leaning towards the 750iL b/c I figure it would give me the best combo of luxury and performance (selling the vette). But if the problems are even worse than what I've had with my $50k vette, I don't want any part of it, especially not for $86k. I think the BMW beats the Lex in performance, styling, and discount percentage off list; but Lex wins in reliability and features (ie. touch-screen vs iDrive). WWJD or what would you do? Thanks
  • where do i start with my grief- 2000 740il less than 90k
    it was 100 degrees for 5 days , equals new navigation system,
    new radiator,, water pump, replacement of jam between passenger and rear seat window- belts, both steering arms last week- one helluva ride when its out of the shop- buy japanese!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Differnet Cars the E38 was a very nice vechicle but in the life of upper level cars and thinsgs it was loaded and had some faults that showed up later. The new platform of the new cars is much different. I was able to have my daughter drive me with me in the back- sweet ride , I have fun driving it too and would buy a new one if I needed it. The Lexus 460 is a nice ride as well butdoesnt seem to be a drivers car. I hope this answers your question - with the issues there is no better car to fly down the I5 to LA
  • If you are buying new you get the warranty, so at least you do not have to pay for the repairs. Bring it to the shop which is still a pain get your loaner and drive away.

    I would not want to own a BMW without warranty but with one i would get it again.
  • I wanted to post my problem - hope this is the correct format:

    I have a 2001 740IL - Navigation system – Words are out of alignment – should say “in 300 yards, turn left”, instead it says “in 300 yards, left, turn”. Also, should say “turn left ahead” instead it says “Left, turn ahead”. You can tell that there should be another word afterwards. I just purchased the car and it was transferred from California. I changed the CA CD for the TX CD. It's weir because this happened to me several years ago when I purchased a 740IL from Ohio. They ended up replacing the Nav system. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
  • I am getting pretty scared reading all the entries about all the problems on the older 740 BMW’s. I purchased a 1998 740IL in 2004, traded it in on a 2000 740IL in 2006, and traded that in on a 2001 740IL this week. I have been very lucky as I have not had any major problems with them at all. The only two problems I’ve had were with the NAV on the 2000 & 2001 and I could not find my problem in the forum which makes me think it’s something new. I purchased both cars from CarMax, one transferred from Ohio, and the last one transferred from California. On both cars, the words were out of alignment – should say “in 300 yards, turn left”, instead it says “in 300 yards, left, turn”. Also, should say “turn left ahead” instead it says “Left, turn ahead”. You can tell that there should be another word afterwards. On the 2000, BMW replaced the NAV system with a 2006 system and it worked great. CarMax paid for everything. They even paid for the whole CD series since the car came with Ohio CD. I love CarMax. I already made an appt with CarMax for them to look at this problem – I assume the same results will happen where they will take it to BMW center and they will replace it. But isn’t this weir?? Has anybody hear of this? Thanks
  • Just curious here.. do you have Mk2 or Mk3 Navigation? (Widescreen is generally Mk3) and what version software are you running?
  • What kind of warranty/service contract does CarMax offer?
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