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BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier



  • blynn1blynn1 Posts: 2
    how easy is it (or is it even possible) to convert the cloudy rectangular lense covered 95 headlamps to not only the higher intensity lights but the newer looking style of 99 or even newer? i prefer the cutout bottom frame of the newer lamps and the slight curve to the ornage side lamp. is this possible? thanks!
  • f1buickf1buick Posts: 45
    apparently the older E38's can be easily converted to the more recent headlight treatment. Try

    Regarding 750's as potential lemons, I own a 93 750. I've had it for 6 years and 60,000 miles. It is a very complex machine and the newer models did not get simpler.

    Some of the parts are unbelievably expensive (the $1200 xenon headlight is my favorite so far--I passed on it). Other parts (eg., brake rotors) are cheaper than for my chevy pickup.

    As a do-it-yourself kind of guy, I've managed to put maybe $6000 into maintenance and repairs, including oil changes and tires. There have been two "major" mechanical issues that I took care of myself. That's not too bad overall and I would happily buy a newer 750 if the old one died (which isn't looking likely anytime soon).

    However, I can't recommend this sort of car if you are a mechanical neophyte and utterly dependent on a dealer's service department, because they will turn the WV unit up to full as soon as they see you come in.

    WV stands for "wallet vacuum."

    I took my 750 to the dealer one time and left after getting bad advice which clearly was designed to maximize the bill, not fix the problem.

    This can happen with any car if you get the wrong dealer.

    If you're a car nut with a working knowledge of 12 volt electric systems and who doesn't faint at the sight of an open valve cover, then by all means buy one. Otherwise, ask yourself if, in addition to the car, you can afford a $5000 repair bill when something breaks (cause it might happen).
  • I am looking to buy a 2002 BMW 745I. I have been quoted by Passport BMW in Wardolf Maryland for $55,000 for a 2002 745I, 13K miles. These are the options it has: R-side airbad deactivation, 19" wheels, Rear Sunshade, Park Distance Contro, Convenience Package, Luxury Seating Package, Heated Steering Wheel, Rear-Side-Impact Airbags, Wood Trim, Premium Sound Package. Passport BMW told me that this bimmer was bought back by BMW because of software problems. These software problems have been fixed. I can get 0% financing directly from BMW if I buy this car. Here are my questions:
    1) Have any of you bought any of these buy-back 2002 745?
    2) Have you had any issues since?
    3) is $55K a good deal for this car with such options?
    4) What should I be watching out for?
    5) Should I purchase extended warranty?

    Thank you so much for your advice in advance.

  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    Buy backs are certainly not common in a BMW, but there are enough of those 7's that I've seen go through the BMW Financial sales that I can give you some insight. The problem would be continuing electrical issues because I think it's obvious that the price is a BIG bang for your buck on that car. We have had two clients that recently had their 7's bought back. By the way, they both went right into 2003 7's. The center that has the car has to fix it before BMW will participate in the buy back. So, it SHOULD have the bugs out of it. e-mail me - you may need some more info.
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    Does that car have a VIN that ends in DP54070?
    If it does than it does not have comfort seats. I've got a vehicle history on the car from BMWNA.
  • Thank you very much for your advice on the 745I. I spoke with the sale man and was told that BMW has fixed all the software bugs. He faxed me a Vehicle History Report on which it said “Demo Trade-In” at the customer name. When I pulled the car fax report it said this car was registered as a Lease vehicle. The sale man provided me with descriptions for each of the defect code and they were: Software updates (3 times), Airbag connector replacement, Seat adjustment control replacement, rear seat mat replacement, on-board monitor replacement, windshield washer nostrils replacement, windshield wipers replacement, recharging battery, navigation software update.


      I am still not so clear about all this so I have a few more questions if you don’t mind.

    1) If I after I have bought the car and still have problems such as those above, would I have the right to bring it in to exchange it for another one? Would BMW buy this back from me?

    2) Originally, the sale man told me this is going to be sold for $59,500 but when I told him my wife and I were only willing to spend $55,000 and after checking with his manager he said yes they were willing to sell the car for $55,000. Does this sound like a good deal to you?

    3) Should I buy the extended warranty for this?

    4) What are the things I should look out for when I come to inspect the vehicle?


    Your advice on this would be greatly appreciated.
  • jgraveljgravel Posts: 54
    I'm sure this has been discussed at length but I still need to ask the question. I have a 2003 330xi but the family says we need a bigger car. I'm looking for a 2001 iL because I'm afraid of a new model year (2002). Anybody out there whose recently been down this road?

    Additionally, anything I should look for and try to avoid when evaluating a 7?


  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    The 2002 is a far superior car!!! Drive and compare.
  • jgraveljgravel Posts: 54
    Thanks for the response bmwseller but why do you think it superior. I'm concerned that 2002 why the first model year and there may still be "issues" with the design. I've heard many times the electronics. while impressive, are not very user friendly.

    Thanks again,

  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    In my little part of the world here in Illinois it seems that the 2003 7's are not showing up with frustrated clients and reoccurring problems. And, I don't see any showing up as 'buy-backs' at BMW Financial Sales.
  • f1buickf1buick Posts: 45
    I'm not doubting you, but I think the issue is statistical.

    An example: I own a 1993 750 (E-32). During the first 3 years of production the E32 used a circuit board for the instrument panel that was placed near the hvac outlets and was found to develop cracks due to repeated thermal cycles. Starting in 1991 (4th year) the circuit board was replaced with a better unit.

    I would have been very surprised if a BMW salesperson in 1989 would have been aware of this issue. Maybe only one or two E-32's came in with the problem, and why would anyone in the service department tell him about this? The number of failures would be too small for him to see in his "little world" (as you put it). Clearly, however, BMW saw the problem in Munich as it had access to world-wide data.

    So I'm glad you are not seeing lots of 2003 E-65's coming back immediatly after purchase. But how relevant is such a statistical sample to someone who might want to own a car for more than two years?

    Anyone who buys a car in the first 3-year of production is a "beta tester." I want to add that I'm not singling out BMW here. Everybody does it because they HAVE to. No matter how thoroughly a company tests a new car, its sample size will be limited. There is no substitute for the 25 million miles of use 30,000+ customers will subject those cars to in the first three years.
  • When the E65 first came out, I fell in love with it. I was impressed by the athleticism, the performance, the features. In my mind owning a BVMW (I've owned two 5 series and one 7 series, the last one 12 years ago) doesn't present the same gullible ("Gee, I don't know much about cars nor understand the technology, but every other doctor/ cpa drives one so it must be the car to have") status striving image as owning a MB/Lexus. I thought I'd wait a couple of years and pick one up used. After all everyone knows (Car and Driver even had a column by Eddie Alterman on this) that 7 Series depreciate like a stone thrown into a mill pond and are a "good deal" a few years down the road.

    To get my ducks in line I even joined BMWCAA to get the member's discount/deal when I eventually pulled the trigger. Every month the membership mag arrives with long tech columns full of insightful comments about the F14- like maintenance schedule you have to adhere to on these things. Including changing the brake fluid every year. And yet they still break down. Randomly. Expensively. Frequently.

    Then I read the Edmonds 7 Series Board. I don't know, guys. Currently, BMW is offering in the Wall St. Journal a 2003 7 Series lease deal of around $790 per month (on a 70K car!) Even if in the fall/winter of 2004, I could get a CPO 2002 745 for 40K, it seems like it will be one unending headache. (The 40K figure wasn't random; it seems that two year old 7 series do go for about that; Maybe the 2002 E65 will depreciate even FASTER? I see them now at 55K, retail.)

    Sure the Chevy Tahoe/Ford Expedition/Toyota Seqoias of the world ain't perfect, lack panache,and the dealership experience is something that reminds me of the alley across from the main gate at Ton Son Nhut Air Base, but they will get you to work every day and skiing every winter weekend. (And I've never known anyone who owned one of these things who maintained it like a C130 with yearly fluid changes.)

    I write this though I fit F1Buick's definition of a knowledgeable 7 series buyer: someone who doesn't panic when he sees a valve cover lying on a fender pad. (Heck, I've even made nifty portable tool boxes out of Detroit Diesel Valve covers and lucite). I probably also fit BMWUSAs demographic profile of a 7 Series buyer.

    But, the more I think about it, life is short and you make choices. I've got things to do, a company to run, and maybe I just don't need this hassle in my life, however glorious it would be when everything was clicking. Am I giving up too easily?
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    I've got a manheim auction report here in front of me and there hasn't been one 2002 745i sell for under 44 g's. The average sale price on these cars in Oct. was 50, that's wholesale. Looks like those cars certified from a BMW dealer are selling from 50 to 60 g's. check and search the certified pre-owned inventory nationwide. I'd say that's not bad depreciation. Figure two years it dropped about 15-18 grand. That's about $750 per month!! However, there is dealer incentive on them right now so, that might kick it in the pants a little.
  • BMWseller, I guess I wasn't clear: I think that in the fall/winter of 2004, not now in 2003, that the 745's will be down to 40K. I'm shocked though that one at auction was already as low as 44K.

    But speaking of depreciation IMHO I think your calculations may be off. Didn't the MY2002 745 actually came out in maybe Jan or Feb 2002? So, it isn't the case that it dropped 15-18K in two years. More like 18 months. And that to me is horrible.

    One last thought on depreciation: for a business guy like me, to express a car's depreciation in monthly terms as high as $750 per month is a real turn off when I think what could be done with that cash. I've always thought that one reason (in addition to status insecurity and general gullibility) why you see so many MDs, lawyers, and CPAs in big buck sedans is that they simply don't have the opportunity to invest it in a growing business. In other words, they have no opportunity costs. Its either expense it on a German sedan or the wife gets it.

    Can you get Manheim reporets on line? With a password? Are they the most reliable?
  • tasillotasillo Posts: 51
    I own a 2000 740iL I bought used in Oct 2002 with 27k miles in very nice shape. At that time I paid 39k for the car, significant depreciation considering the 72k sticker. I believed I got the best of the depreciation curve. A year and 30k (very enjoyable) miles later, the car is worth 24-25k wholesale. Several dealers told me point blank, no one wants an expensive, complicated european car that's out of warranty. Thus the steep depreciation. Interestingly, it appears if I drive the car 2 more years and another 40-45k miles, it will only depreciate another $7-10,000. What this does point out to me however is, these cars can become expensive and less desirable to own as the mileage approaches 6 digits. If you drive a lot, an Acura, Infiniti or Lexus is probably the smarter purchase, from a cost of ownership and depreciation standpoint. The same is true, to a greater extent of Audi's, they're worth nothing with 70k miles +. Mercedes seem a little better, but a 2001 S500 with 50k miles was advertised in the Atlanta paper at 43k. A 90k car!

    Moral of the story, if you drive a lot, by Japanese or, god forbid, American. If you love machines and a great driving experience and are willang and able to support expensive maintenance and repair as well as steeper depreciation, by all means, go German.
  • Tasillo, nice post. But, leaving patriotism aside, do you really think that buying American is a bad idea? Boring, maybe, no status, definetley, but dependability and reliability are there in spades. An American cast iron V8 is good for upwards of 200K before a valve cover might have to come off, the transmission will go at 110K plus, i.e, somewhat longer than one of Munich's best, and the you will never, ever run thru brakes as often as your dermatologist in his E Series or a soccer mom in her Rover. Sure, electronics, as always, can be difficult to fix, but the upper limit is always set by the availabililty of a junkyard takeout.

    I'm not going to insult you with a story from a sample of one (me) who has had good luck with Chrysler 318 V8s. But just check out the full size SUV boards. Sure, lots of complaints about cold start knock, noisy body cladding, etc. but nothing like the insane stuff I read on the German boards. (I saw over the weekend on the E Series board that a guy spent 5K in one service appointment just to fix his 2001 E Series AC system!) And the funny thing is that they seem to eat it up although they are just being taken to the cleaners in a way that they would never allow in any other area of their life. Thats the power of branding, a marketing guy would say. "I don't care if you beat me up and rob me blind, as long as I can have one of your (fill in the blank) "exclusive" luxury goods, I'll feel secure, fullfilled and happy."
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    There are plenty of discussions on our News & Views board where the subject of buy American (or not) can be debated. This discussion is focused specifically on the 7-Series sedan, so let's not get sidetracked.

    Thanks for your understanding.
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    The manheim report is for dealers only and is password protected. It is the only truly reliable indicator in my mind because the guys buying these cars are setting the market and are check writers based on the dollars, not likes or dislikes. The car that sold at 44 may have had damage and or a horrible color combination. There is a lot that goes into retailing the car above and beyond what a dealer pays at the auction.
    The premium miles (under warranty) cost premium dollar. My analogy that at 750per mo. or even 1000per month is a good value is based on the idea that if a client chooses a typical finance term, 60 mo, at a good interest rate, say 4%, on a 78 g car that comes to over 1400 per month. Now that doesn't really fit a budget that I would set for a car but for the ones that do elect to spend that much they get to drive some of the finest vehicles in the world EVERYDAY.......that would be sweet.
  • tasillotasillo Posts: 51
    Not to get off point in this forum about American vehicles, but I was being sarcastic about the "god forbid, buy American" statement. I agree that American and Japanese vehiles are likely to be much less expensive to own over the long haul than the Europeans. I've also owned several domestics, put over 100k on them and had minimal major issues. That's all I was trying to say!
  • f1buickf1buick Posts: 45
    is somewhat of an economic fallacy. You maximise profit by placing the least amount of money in depreciating assets. Percentages are irrelevant If you buy a $70,000 BMW and it only depreciates by 50% in 8 years, you have lost $35,000. If you bought a $25,000 Buick and it depreciates to zero in the same 8 years, you still are $10,000 ahead, even though the depreciation percentage is 100% compared to 50%.

    So let's face it. When we buy these things we are buying toys, not making investments.

    My experience with 7-series depreciation is similiar to Tasillo's. I bought a 1993 750 in 1997. Only 27k and about 1 month left on the warranty. Priced at $36,000 (original retail $88,500--really).

    Now, at 10+ years old and 90,000 miles, I'd be happy to get $8,000 for it (and at that price I'll take my 750 any day, thank you).

    Why so "cheap," relatively speaking? Because (1) there is little market for a $50,000 used car, and (2) people are scared to death of the maintenance costs, especially with a V12.

    And, to be frank, BMW contributes to this situation with its "black box" approach to auto repairs. An example: the headlight relays are contained in a box called the "LKM." It is located in the fuse box and easily replaced. If your LKM acts up and you bring it into the dealer, the service tech will dutifully hook it up to the diagnostic computer, or will consult a diagnostic flow chart. When he gets to the end of the chart, the instruction will be "Replace LKM."

    Thanks, that will be $400 for on "black box" (LKM) plus $150 for the labor. To fix a headlight. Add to that the hassle of scheduling a dealer appointment, etc. No wonder people are scared of these cars!

    What will the artful do-it-yourself'er do? He'll pull the LKM, pry it open, spray the sticky relays with contact cleaner, put it back in and drive another 100,000 miles. Time spent: less than 30 minutes. Cost: about a nickle.

    Since most (all?) BMW's use LKM's, you'd think those in charge of fixing the cars would know this. But they don't because BMW discourages this sort of repair. There are several reasons.

    First, there is no money in it. If an LKM is replaced, BMW earns a fat markup on the part, as does the dealer. Also the dealer gets to charge "book" time of one hour labor for an operation which took less than 15 minutes. More profit. So there's no money in imaginative repairs intended to save the client money. The money is in "black box" repairs with big parts markups and overblown labor charges.

    The above is typical in the whole industry and not just BMW. The high-end German manufacturers, however, have more of this because their cars are so cutting-edge complex. They manufacturers really don't want service techs opening up the "black boxes," cause who knows what some yahoo in Oshkosh might do? And there is big money in fixing these expensive technological toys when they break.

    Getting back to the E 65, it is telling that last year BMW began forbidding aftermarket publication of repair data about their cars (by Chiltons, Haynes, Alldata, etc.). Part of the reason probably is concern over technical neophytes messing with such complex machines. But I think it has more to do with profit--this baby is going to be a serious money maker, because the dealers will have a complete MONOPOLY on repairing it--independents and DIY'ers will not even be able to get a manual.

    Sorry BMW, but that's the last straw. I'll pass.
  • F1Buick, Tasillo, and BMWseller. Nice, informative and analytical posts. They probably should be compulsory reading before entering any high end showroom.

    What do you think though, do you get your cake and eat it too with a CPO used 7 Series with up to 100,000 miles of available warranty?
  • f1buickf1buick Posts: 45
    With a CPO and an extended warranty you are just paying, up front, for the risk associated with holding a used car. Its like buying insurance in a hurricane zone: If that risk is high, then the premium associated with the insurance will be comenserately high.

    Which leads one to wonder if it wouldn't be cheaper to live somewhere else or, in the case of a used car, to buy something without such a high maintenance risk associated with it.

    In the case of an E65, this risk analysis contributes directly to the rapid depreciation. So what you end up with is a car with a low relative market value compared to, say, a Lexus, but with a high premium tagged on for the CPO/extended warranty, so the cost seems to be the same, or even higher.

    To me, the real cost in this situation is the ancilary cost of having your vehicle serviced. In my job I bill by the hour, so the cost of trudging up to the dealer, dropping the car off, farting around with alternate transportation for 1-3 days, and then returning to pick up the car easily adds up to $1000 or more in lost time. I vastly prefer a car which is reliable or, if it breaks, I can fix myself during my time off. From this point of view, a reliable car is a better deal than a car with questionable reliability, even if the questionable one comes with an extended warranty.

    Why do you suppose Honda gets off with the crummy warranty it gives on its vehicles? Because given the choice between a reliable car with no warranty and an unreliable one with a warranty, the rational consumer will minimize his/her costs by picking the reliable car. So Honda outsells Kia despite the huge warranty difference.

    Since the ultimate subject is the BMW 7 series, I want to add that my old E32 750 is reasonably reliable for its age and complexity. By the 6th year of production the bugs were pretty much gone. If it was totalled in an accident I would buy another. A used E38 should be solid as a rock. I would not hesitate to buy one without a warranty. And why buy a BMW over a Lexus? Because the former is a driving machine and the latter is not. The Bimmer is a better toy.
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    I like the CPO 7-series option. Be aware however that the CPO warranty is not the same as the new car warranty. Get the details so you don't have any surprise. Certainly, you can spend less and get a car with a better frequency of repair number but each car will have it's own service history and everyone doesn't have big problems with 7's. Besides that big grin that a 'bimmer gives you is worth something, right?

    As far as service goes, our center and I would guess that the majority of the others around the country have scheduled loaner cars available and pick-up and delivery service. You can't beat that for convenience and then you don't have to be driving your honda around wishing that you'd gotten your very own "Ultimate Driving Machine".
  • F1Buick, I (usually) like your line of reasoning: analytical, mindful of opportunity costs, etc. Most dealers don't view these things as a Caterpillar dealer would: an expensive captial investment that should be available 24/7. So, parts are ordered by UPS, there is no great BMW inter-dealer courier service, etc. (The CAT dealers in the East run an 18 wheeler out of a factory CAT parts depot in PA up into New York and New England visiting every dealer every night before 8AM so no CAT customer is left with a machine down because of parts. This NightHawk Service is one reason why CAT can charge more than Terex for virtually the same machine.)

    But, do you really think that a used 7 Series with a CPO is the same price as a Lexus? What is the CPO premuim? 3K or so?
  • tasillotasillo Posts: 51
    When I bought my '00 740, I compared CPO prices with non-CPO cars. I found the differnce close to $5k! I rolled the dice and bought the non-CPO car, figuring I could buy either a great warranty from an independent for less, or just take the chance with no warranty. My first reality check was that BMW treats the second customer a little different than the original, despite still being in factory warranty. No loaner car, questions about maintenance, etc. One firm discussion about repeat business and standing behind their product regardless of who owns it seemed to clear some issues up, but still no loaner!

    Anyway, my '00 E38 with 58k is running like a freight train, just the usual minor issues. I'm feeling lucky!
  • Bmwseller and others, which 2002 model when properly equipped with four winter tires like Blizzaks is better in the ice and snow of say a far Chicago suburb?
  • f1buickf1buick Posts: 45
    "But, do you really think that a used 7 Series with a CPO is the same price as a Lexus? What is the CPO premuim? 3K or so?"

    You'll have to answer that for yourself. I really have no idea. I do know that in comparison to a Lexus 400, my 750 cost a lot more new and is worth a lot less used. I think BMW 7-series depreciates faster because BMW lacks the reliability rep that Lexus has built for itself. Further, the reputation for technological advancement may create more sales for new cars, but used car seekers translate that same rep into words like "complex" and "expensive."

    I can't disagree. My '93 750 has this gizzmo on the firewall plumbed into the brake system. I couldn't figure out what it was. Then I found out it was the "traction control module." Seems that in 1993 the Bosch ABS pump couldn't effect traction control because it didn't allow separate manipulation of the rear brakes. So BMW built a custom ABS module, plumbed into the rear brakes, which allows for traction control. The unit costs $2495 if it breaks (mine hasn't) and is almost impossible to access (add another $800 for the labor).

    But I agree with bmwseller on one issue: ain't nothin quite like a BMW when running down the road. These are driver's cars with a veneer of luxury--iron fists in velvet gloves. The top of the door sill in my 750 is the same height as the sill for a C5 corvette. At a stop light I find myself looking UP at drivers in Mustangs and Civics. Can you say "low center of gravity?" My 7 is a 160mph sports car that happens to be a luxury car. A Lexus is a luxury car and nothing else (can you say "boring?")
  • tasillotasillo Posts: 51
    750 guy, how many miles on your '93? I ask because my '00 740 is fast approaching 60k and I'll put another 50k on it in the next 2 years. Trying to decide if I should keep it and "run it into the ground" or bail out now while it still has a shred of value. Any significant problems with your 10 year old 7? I'm more concerned about major accessory systems, etc. I think the 7 series drive train is pretty bullet proof, but I hate those nickel and dime (or in a BMW, $500 and $1000) frequent repairs on things like power windows, cruise control, A/C, etc. What' your experience been?

    By the way, couldn't agree more about the "drivers car" statement. On the interstate or rural secondary roads, nothing compares to a big, fast German car!
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    Handling in the chicago suburbs will be fine in either car with the proper tires and technique. Maybe with the 5 weighing less it would have an advantage if it was to be said one way or another but there are plenty of sevens running around up there, pull someone over and ask.
    You'll do great!!! I like the size of the 5 but would certainly "settle" for a seven.
  • f1buickf1buick Posts: 45
    I've owned the 750 for 6.5+ years and 60k+ miles. On a day-to-day basis the car is very reliable. There have been very few "nickle and dime" repairs for items not in the normal maintenance schedule.

    Hmm, lets see . . . I just replaced the switch for the rear sunshade @ $50. One xenon headlight went out and I passed on the $1250 replacement (!!!) and rewired for halogen. Just replaced the master cylinder. Still have original shocks, alternator, starter, a/c, cv joints, bushings, exhaust (except one your car doesn't have). Pretty darned original, really.

    I totally replaced the cooling system, but that was because of a defective expansion tank cap (missed the recall). The headbolts failed and I had to rebuild the top end myself (no competant mechanic would touch the V12), but that's a long story not relevant to your V8.
  • F1Buick, your head bolts failed? How do head bolts fail? Bolts stretch, bolts fatigue, but bolts usually don't break. Were you in there retorquing a head and a couple broke off? Did someone not used Grade 8 head bolts?

    This is mind boggling.
  • f1buickf1buick Posts: 45
    Well, if you grew up with cast iron chevies and fords like i did, the mind indeed does boggle.

    Many all-aluminum engines, including the BMW M70 V12's, use a head bolt system known as "torque to yield." Do a google search if you want more detailed info. (I can talk about it for pages, but I'll pass). At the simplest conceptual level, the "stretch" in the bolts is an integral part of the clamping force used to seal the head/block/gasket. The bolts are stretched just short of the point of permanent deformation (the "yield point").

    One of the benefits of this system is that the bolts can be used as "circuit breakers" in case the block/head is overstressed, with the most obvious example being overhearting. It the bolts were extremely strong and held fast, the block and head would have to absorb the thermal expansion by warping. This would be very expensive with a V12. But with torque-to-yield the bolts already are stressed just short of permanent deformation, so when the block/head expand, the bolts just fail by stretching too far. This releaves expansion stress on the head/block, but leaves you having to install new bolts and head gasket. Way cheaper than new head/block castings, but still a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] (you can imagine how accessible the engine compartment is in a 750).

    Anyway, my V12 did not overheat. The bolts just failed in normal use. This is a rare occurance, but it appears that BMW just couldn't get the V12 bolts quite right. There were several iterations of bolt design. To analogize: they stuck a 19.5 amp fuse in a 20 amp circuit and it thus was possible to overload the bolts during normal use.

    Have I said enough?

    Many motors by BMW and others use torque to yield head bolts. I've been told that Honda had similar issues with some of its 4cyl motors in the late 80's and early 90's. I would imagine that others also have not got the bolt design correct at first. I believe that most BMW I6 and V8 motors use torque to yield but have not exhibited premature failures like on my V12.

    My other car is 2000 Buick Ultra. It has a CAST IRON BLOCK AND HEADS, which makes me feel very secure :). Now if they could just work on the chinzy interior . . . .
  • F1Buick, thanks for the well done bit on t-t-y bolts. Yeh, to people raised on flathead, indeed inline 6 cylinder flathead, cast iron blocks and heads, this is new stuff. Kind of like when capscrews replaced studs.

    BUT, you went opaque when you got to the good part. What do you mean by "The bolts just failed in normal use." How did you recognize this? A bolt just fell out? A blown head gasket?
  • f1buickf1buick Posts: 45
    when I started loosing coolant and then I got 9 quarts of fluid out of a 7 quart pan during an oil change. Uh oh! A compression check confirmed the worst--one cylinder about 40% low and several down about 20-30%. This on a motor that during a previous check had shown only 5lbs variation between cylinders.

    TTY bolts usually do not fail by "breaking." They are stretched until they permanently deform (yield point) and thus loose their ability to hold the deck/gasket/head seal. They seldom reach the modulus of rupture, ie., the point where they actually crack and break. None of my bolts broke, but when I removed them I check the torque with my click-stop wrench. None retained more than 50 ft/lbs and some were under 40. This will not hold compression very well! :(
  • Bmwseller, you posted a week or so ago that the warranty on a CPO wasn't the same as on a brand new BMW. Without asking you for an exact comparison, what are the big differences? Here I was all prepared to save 30 large (70-40=30) on a 745 AND still get a factory warranty.
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    I recommend the cpo's. It is a BMW product and that's good.

    Maintenance is obviously not covered. Also, paint, glass, headlamps, mirrors,body seals, gaskets, iterior trim, exterior trim, moldings, fatsteners, upholstery, headliner, air/water leaks, wind/body noises, wheels, and "wear and tear". There is a big explanation for "wear and tear" and includes possible exceptions that may include piston rings, valves and valve guides, suspension bushings, ball joints, etc.....

    Add in the $50 deductible and it is a fair departure from a new car warranty. But, check on one of these 'free warranty quote sites and see how where non-BMW products are going for so, it's good, but it's not too good to be true. As you would expect.
  • Bmwseller, thanks for the outline. It seems to me to be a very good warranty, probably about the equal of a new car warranty of 10 years ago.

    Certainly, more of the trim maintenance (mirrors, headlights,headliners, etc.) is now being shifted to the owner. The 7 series CPO owner can possibly expect some $500 service bills in exchange for a 30K reduction in purchase price and a $1500 reduction in sales tax (5% of 30K). for a gently used 7 series. Thats OK and more than fair. Sign me up.
  • sysadbsysadb Posts: 83
    As BMWseller mentioned, you might want to check out other warranty plans. I paid Warranty Gold $1650 for their Diamond Plus plan on my used 740i a month before the factory warranty expired. (The price is different depending on whether you buy it before the fac. warranty expires). In comparing the available plans I found WG to be the most comprehensive and flexible (especially good on the wear-and-tear issue).

     For example, the best part of the WG plan for me was that their coverage period does not start until the date you buy the plan; not from the in-service date of the car. In other words, if you buy a 5-year 100k plan from WG a month before the fac. warranty expires you'll get close to NINE years of protection, assuming you don't hit the 100k mile limit before the 9 years are up. Most other plans advertise a maximum of 7 years/100k miles, but the 7 year period starts on the in-service date of the car. You're really only getting 3 additional years of coverage over and above the factory part.

    This doesn't matter if you get to 100k miles on the car quickly, of course. I only have 44k on my 1998, so the extra 4 years (and 75k limit) that I bought suited my driving needs. WG will also quote you customized plans, even over 100k miles, but the price rises quickly on those. I think the quote I got for 5 extra years (limit 100k) was around $2200-$2300, IIRC. Once you get an online quote from WG they send you email "sale" notices regularly on their plans, and I was able to negotiate an extra few hundred off as well. Also keep in mind that if the CPO car is still in factory warranty you're paying for additional coverage up front. If you decide to get rid of the car early you've wasted a lot of money..

    The only problem with WG (and other competitors) is that they use Chilton (or similar)rates to determine their claims reimbursements. This is fine for most shops, but your BMW dealer service department might get Bitter Beer Face over the claims "process". If you know you'll want to use a BMW dealer for repairs you might want to ask them whether they'll honor the rates before you decide.

  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    I'm thinking that the $1650 figure from warranty gold seems a little too good to be true. That company might go out of business, who knows? But, wouldn't you expect to pay MUCH more than that for service on a 98 model seven series in that higher mileage range?
    I'd want the BMW product that I know any BMW center will honor without question.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Read about other TH members' experiences with Warranty Gold by inputting that phrase into the Keyword Search box on the left side of the page.

    And scan through the list of the active discussions here at this link for further scoop on other companies: Finance, Warranty & Insurance board
  • sysadbsysadb Posts: 83
    I've used the WG plan at my BMW dealer.
  • I'm going to buy a 2001 740iL. Will I need snow tires to keep move in the Northeast this year? I assume yes. I just want to factor in the $1K when making a decision.

  • If you want to get to work every morning and home at night you'll need $1100 worth of tires, wheels, mounting, balancing and shipping. This $1100 will get you through only three seasons if you choose Blizzak and don't put on more than say 4K between 1 Dec and 1 April.
  • Earlier this year, I replaced my OEM Michelins w/ Dunlop 16" all-season Sport A2's. I'm in Boston and they're fine in the snow. Consumer Reports rates these the #1 all season tire. You will probably want to switch tires for the winter if you are currently runnin the M-Parallel tire and wheel sport package.
  • Thanks for the responses.

    I'm zeroing on a 2001 740iL with sport so I'll need to replace the tires/wheels for the winter. I'll check out what TIRERACK has to offer.

    Thanks again,

  • on my 750. They seemed great for the first 5000 miles but were disappointing over 30,000. They were vulnerable to road hazards, had difficulty sealing to my rims, and lost a lot of traction as they wore down. The handling deteriorated so markedly that I finally ditched them even though they weren't down to the wear bars.

    I now have had Firestone SH30's for 20,000 and it is a vastly superior tire, especially in the rain. Unfortunately, it is out of production!
  • The car I'm buying is being prep'ed now. Anything particular I should look for in the final inspection? Has 39K and just came in off a lease. It will be Certified when I pick it up.

    Thanks again for the help,

  • I've been asking some what some may consider "stupid" questions. I appreciate the tolerance of the board.
    I was looking at custom wheels for the snows I'm going to buy. The wheels will end up costing $400-$600. Are the rest of you that put snows on for the winter going through this?? or do people just buy steel rims and wheel covers for the the few months that the snows are on the car?

    Thanks again,

  • did somebody pull the plug??
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    They have packages with wheels and snows that you can likely find in a more reasonable price range. You can find wheels not quite as plain as steel with covers. I am sure they have something in the less than $400 to $600 range as above.

    They'll ship the goods ready to install so there's not a lot of hassle.

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