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BMW 7-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • Well the dealer might be right. The trick is to align the car, THEN drive it around for a while and then check the alignment once the car has settled itself. I have the same damn problem with my Porsche 928. They are so hard to align because only a few shops know how to do it. You must road test and re-check or it probably won't be right.
  • wu8wu8 Posts: 6
    Just purchased my first BMW. I've always owned Japanese brands in the past but when I drove the 740i (2001), I just kept coming back. The deal I got also helped in making the switch...paid $26K with 48K miles. Car runs like it's brand new. An inspection 1 was performed on this car by a dealer in August 03 when the car had 32K miles.

    Since this is my first venture into a BMW, I'd like to know up front if there are going to be any common problems that may arise with this 2001 740. Any feedback would help.
    I finally got a '95 740i, the car is in excellent condition. But the rear brake light on the driver side does not work. I changed the bulb & nothing, so I alternated sides(put the new bulb on the pass. side) and the bulb works fine, any ideas before I go to the dealer for this prob.???
  • For what it's worth, having bought a 2000 740i (51,000 mi.) two years ago, the smartest thing I did was to buy a certified pre-owned car from a BMW dealer with the extended warranty. Between a brake problem, cam timing sensor and broken radiator neck, I have saved well over $2,000 in parts/service and paid just the $50 warranty deductible on three occasions. I very easily could have bought a BMW from a non-dealer and would have had to shell out 100% for the same work.
    Mr. shiftright I filled the tank yesterday and the fuel gauge stopped at only a quarter of a tank. It's working properly going down to zero, now the needles reading 0 and the warning light is on. Any suggestions? thanks for the help WNTABMR.. (1995 740I-107,000MLS) P.S. THE TANK IS STILL 80% FULL.
  • OK, so far so good. But I think that right now you have just broken even, not saved any money. A CPO 7 Series is at least a 2K premium over a non CPO. Incidentally, I know that the factory charges the BMW Center $1200 to certify an X5 (plus whatever the Center has to put into it in parts and labor). I don't know if this same $1200 holds for all BVMW vehicles.
  • Steam is coming from my vents when the heat is on, not always from the same vent. Sometimes is will come from the bottom and usually it will come from the front windshield. I think that there is a leek in the heater core. How much will this cost to fix or can I fix this problem?
  • MELLIS :

    is this warm steam or a cold kind of mist? Does the windshield fog up? Do you smell anything sweet? Check your floor mats where the transmission meets the firewall, under the dash. Any moisture there, is the carpeting wet either by the gas pedal or the passenger foot well?

    WNTABMR: Have your mechanic or dealer check out the sending unit in the gas tank. This is usually a pretty easy test.

    WU8 -- mediasteve mentioned a few problems which I have certainly heard of before on a 7 series, but these are not things you can really prevent or guard against, so......
  • Mr-Shiftright:
    In response to your questions about warm or cold kind of mist (yes). This happens sometimes when I start up. The mist is cold then it changes to warm. But it does it whenever it is hot or cold. But than again it does not do it continuously all the time. As an example I might turn it on and it'll start to come out and than stop. (go figure why would it do that?)

    Also I mentioned that it sometimes comes out the back vents, is this all tied into the heater core system?

    The windshield does fog up. I do smell a sweet odor like anti freeze.

    The floor mats and the carpet do get wet with moisture by the gas pedal and on the passengers foot well.

    Are these all signs of a leaky heater core?

    And if it is how much would a job like that cost or could I do it myself. I heard nitemares of how complicated it is in this type of dash to replace things.

    I would appreciate it if you, could help me with some insight to this problem. I like my car, but I don't like this problem.
  • Yeah, it does sound like a heater core. I have no idea on labor costs but I'm going to guess 6-8 hours + parts. I think you could be looking at a $1,000 repair here, but really I'm only guessing. Maybe the heater core is more accessible than it is on other models I'm more familiar with.

    I don't think you should tackle it yourself unless you had step by step instructions. It's not the type of job that is very intuitive, as things interlock and often come out in a specific sequence.

    Why don't you get a few quotes from say the dealer and from an independent shop that speializes in BMW and let us know what they say.
  • Thank you for replying to me. I will get a price quote like you said from an independent mechanic, and one from the dealer. Then compare the pricing. Was there ever a re-call from BMW, on this, from what you know. Because sometimes the manufacture won't post it but if you go in and complain they will fix it. This had happen to me when I went in to the dealer about moisture in one of my head light lenses. The dealer had said that BMW would fix it, only if an owner would come in and complain about it. But they wouldn't post it. This was also true for a cat. convert, my mechanic was going to install a new one for me and I called the dealer for curiosity, and they fixed it, because they had extended the warranty to 80K, and I was under that limit at the time. So I'll let you know the outcome. Thanks again for the insight.
  • I wish you nothing but the best with your BMW 740i, same one I have. I was smooth sailing until 52,000 miles when a head gasket started leaking, then a power stering hose leaked, then front brake pads and rotars, rear pads, front bushings, and another alignment. Ouch. I'm hoping this is it but disappointed to be told the V-8's are high maintenance. Not the impression I had going in. But hey, great ride.
  • Well rotors pads and alignment are not the car's fault, but that is too bad about the head gasket. I think that's pretty unusual. The front bushings are a chronic wear point though.
  • I was told by a dealer that transmission oil change is not necessary for

    the life of 2001 740i. Did anyone hear otherwise?
  • wu8wu8 Posts: 6
    high performance equates to high maintenance i quess. What year is your 740?
  • eric, I would check your owner's manual on this. I am skeptical that this is true but I don't really know for sure.
  • I have a 1998 740iL. Recently had new Yokahoma's put on it (forget the name, but were definitely right for the car). Had a local independent BMW shop install, balance and align. About two weeks after the install, notice major shimmy of steering wheel at 53 or 54 MPH. Took it back to place where had tires and alignment. They balanced tires again put it up on rack but said everything looked fine. Didn't check alignment because "couldn't be out already". Mentioned possibility of "bushings or suspension" but after a cursory look couldn't detect any problems there. Car continues to shimmy. Any thoughts?
  • Sounds like the tires. They should put a new set on and see what happens.
  • rafc1rafc1 Posts: 4
    740 il sport, 55k, bought used with good clean history, took it to my mechanic <indy specializing in bmw, porsche, jag, etc>, and had brakes done. all was well until heavy rain and deep puddle led to lighting of brake light to red in dash. brakes checked and brake relay changed, no help. Is there a brake pad sensor that could be bad or is the problem in computer? sorry for length of post.
  • Yes, sensors should be changed with every brake job but if your dash light is RED I don't believe this is the brake pad wear sensor. Have you checked the little plunger (like in your toilet bowl) that checks the fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir?
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