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BMW 7-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • rafc1rafc1 Posts: 4
    Ironically, as soon as problem posted, it went off, is the plunger possibly intermittent in malfunction? Also should this be part of brake job? if not does it get replaced or simply adjusted like the float in the toilet? what should this cost? obviously I am not a mechanic.

    thanks for your input, happy holidays
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    No it's not part of a brake job but if say the fluid reservoir is drained completely during a brake job, the little plunger may drop down further than it is used to and stick. See how it goes. This is an any device to check if the problem re-occurs. Just unscrew the filler cap to your brake fluid reservoir and the plunger is usually attached to the cap on some models. I don't recall exactl how your car measures brake fluid level but obviously there is some measuring device that knows how much fluid is in there. Often you can just

    just pull the wires off the measuring device and see if the light goes out. When the plunger drops (inidicating low fluid) it makes a connection, lighting the light. So dropping plunger = a light and rising plunging = no light.


  • fikfik Posts: 1
    I have a BMW740IL, 1997

    It was a cold night last nite. Suddenly no heat inside the car with the fan on and "low coolant level" sign came on but the engine temperature gage showed normal. I noticed coolant was coming out thru the radiator releif valve. I tightend the releif valve, but it still leaking. And still no warm air in the car with the fan turned on to max heat.

    Please, tell me what could be the problem and what do I need to do.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    Sounds like the thermostat is stuck!


  • I have a 735 that has been sitting quite awhile and now the locks won't work. Any hints for getting into the car?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    I think if you are careful you can still open the doors with the key regardless, but it will be hard. But please don't force it!


  • I am a new couple weeks 2000, 4.4 740iL owner

      It has about 114K miles which may be a bit different from your problems but consider this.. This car stacked a lot of miles and the guy, (Biloxi lawyer) sufficed with the usual 10-30 oil off the shelf. The owners book sez use synthetic 5W-40 so I hunted it up at an oil dealer. It ran rough,so with the recommended plug change being 100K miles I guessed the plugs were never changed. Wrong, new and correct plugs were put in at about 53K miles and these were well coked. All plugged up.. shorted and the car ran rough. New plugs and presto, smooth as silk.


    It is not hard for a novice to check and if necessary do the plugs and buying them from Advance Auto or something like that at $6.00 beets ( :) ) the hell out of BMW Bosch. Adv also had the NGK or whatever was in it before or can order in a day or so. Get a bit of advice on plugs and alum heads as they are a bit more fragil. Put a couple drops of oil on the threads...for next time and don't overtorque...


    Bosch and net info tells that the wrong oil contributed (possibly) to the coking of the plugs and possibly low octane gas..Will check on the gas quality soon. To be sure, use premium till you get the problems ironed out but I think a look at the plugs would be a start. Seemed to turn off my check engine light.

    228 863 8688 for non professional (no fee) conversation on the thing.


    An independent garage possibly can do you some good if they have diagnostic stuff... and probably not at the BMW price. BM is tight with their tech info. Sorry on the Buck Rogers stuff as I am just getting familar with this high tech stuff.
  • Same car as #151. 2000 4.4 740 iL. Car is clean and now runs very smooth.

     Like I said there, the 114,000 mile vehicle was not particularly subject to 'high end' maintenance...wrong oil and possibly regular gas. Sludge in valve covers is a giveaway. Plugs had only 60K on them and were foul foul fouled. Coked. Ran quite rough. New proper 4 prong plugs made it run veeery smmmmooth. Phew!

    Only have about 120miles on the proper synthetic

    oil and no visable leaks or consumption but after a trip and a shutdown, on re-start it puts out a pretty impressive cloud of blue/white smoke. Wife complains. Since I have only a couple weeks fooling with the thing I have limited knowledge of the exact internal engine assembly but does this suggest worn or aged valve seals??

    If so, can they be replaced without pulling the heads?? (I could live with this if it stays like this) I have yet to find things like engine specs, drawings, instructions, torque specs and such.. Where can this be obtained particularly if I eventually have to get into the thing???


    If things get bad, will a Chevy engine fit?

    (hea, just kidding!!!) How can I check tranny oil?


    Anybody know how to eventually locate a runout but not destroyed 4.4 that can be had for a rebuilt project?



  • Hmm...nobody home here in 24 hours. I have another problem! 740 doors are like on a tank. Figure I can squirt various oils and lubes on the hinges but think this vehicle should have a more reliable method to grease/lube the door hinges.. . Any thoughts??




  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    Yes, it does sound like worn (or gummed up and hardened) valve seals and you should be able to fix them without pulling the heads---but it still won't be a cheap job by any means. You have to consider also that with the lesss than perfect maintenance that your valve guides are worn, and that will cost a considerable sum to rectify.


  • I bought a 02 740il in November with 52000 miles on it. The dealer is telling me that the rear ball joints are worn along with upper rear suspension links.Repair cost is $1250.This is my first BMW and my question is,is this the kind of quality I can expect from a $70000 automobile? If ball joints wear out at 52000 miles, what's next? I'm thinking about selling it and trying a Lexus. Any thoughts?
  • wabendswabends Posts: 102
    I thought the last 740il was in 2001.


    For a first time BMW buyer, you may have to read more from this forum before you decide. I am about to get my 3rd beamer this weekend and information from this forum has been invaluable.


    Although you are not paying $70K for the car, worn rear ball joints at 52K miles is not the norm. The wear and tear on a car depends on how it was used and/or maintained by previous owners.


    My 2 cents...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    More like 80K miles for those, but as wabends said, it depends on who's driving and how he/she has treated the car.


    If you want fewer repairs and less maintenance, statistically speaking, perhaps a Lexus would be a better bet for you, although once a Lexus DOES need a repair, it's not going to be appreciably cheaper than a BMW to fix.


  • wabends an Mr. Shiftright,

    Thanks for your responses- very helpful.



    p.s. wabends, you are correct. hat was a typo on my part. My car is a 2001
  • devondevon Posts: 2
    Hello everyone, I'm thinking about buying a 745i, but when I read Consumer Report,I have second thoughts. It seems as if the car will be in the shop more than I will be driving it. I know everyone is bias but can you tell me why I should get the 745i instead of an Acura TL, something that is more reliable.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    Because nothing drives like a 745. You have to jump from car to car in one day and you'll have your answer --- or if it isn't dramatically different for you than buy the TL!


  • anyone can help me the light is staying on my 98 740il the p light when i park it overnight is this a common problem
  • I have owned my 2003 745Li since November 2002. While it has taken a while to get used to the ugly exterior, the car is the best I've ever owned. The only problem I've had in over 2 years is that I continue to park too close to the parking curbs and my little flap in front of the front tire continues to come off. But, I've had no mechanical problems, and it is, by far, the most fun to drive. By the way, regarding the bad press on iDrive, if you can work a mouse on your PC, you can master iDrive. Don't believe everything you read in the media, including Consumer Reports. Is the Acura supposed to be more reliable? Who cares? It's a Japanese car with Japanese handling.
  • devondevon Posts: 2
    Thanks. That's why I pose the statement to you all. When I hear electrical problems and AC problems plagues this beautiful car,you have to practical and say maybe I should try something else. But, I think you've sold me.
  • My mom has a 1997 740i with 72k miles. She used to drive it alot, but much less in the past few years (<10k / year). I am going to be driving the car now, at least for the next couple years, and am considering buying an extended warranty from an independent insurer. The best quote I received was $2300 for major component coverage for 4 yrs / 112k miles, i.e. 50k miles in addition. Basically, I don't have any experience with this model in the 7-12 year 70-120k mile range, and am thus unsure whether the warranty is worth it. Of course, I need to check the fineprint of the warranty to make sure it actually does what it says it does, but assuming its good, is it worth it? I'm inclined to say yes, but I'd love to hear feedback from the experts. Thanks alot.
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