BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier



  • dealsdeals Posts: 3
    Hello all,

    I was wondering if there's anyone here who currently has a 98 BMW 740il to tell me about their experiences with this car. Looking to buy one but its about 100,000 miles and concerned about maintainence on a car with such high mileage. Will it be expensive? Will it require lots of fun$$$$ visits to a mechanic? Does the gas mileage drop significantly? Anything will be useful. Thanks.
  • meagvgmeagvg Posts: 13
    '04 745, less than 8K miles.
    Watched this afternoon as it went down the driveway on the bed of a flatbed truck. Headed to the dealer for a 4 day stay - combination light control module dead in the water.

    Guess I'm part of the club now.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Oh, 100K on a complex car like that?---I'd think twice about it unless the price were simply too good to pass up. (risk management).

    Best thing you could do is check out the car's total service history at the dealer or with the help of the seller. If the car has been well-behaved (some are, some aren't) that might give you a sense of which way to go.
  • spicebuyerspicebuyer Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 740 il with 61,000 miles. Yesterday, while it was being loaded on a flatbed to be towed to the dealer due to transmission problems, 2 passenger side airbags deployed for no reason. The dealer tells me it had electrical and computer problems causing some of the mechanical issues. Has anyone had their air bags deploy without a collision? thanks
  • dealsdeals Posts: 3
    Thanks Mr_Shiftright. Is there anywhere else besides carfax that would give me a better idea of the cars history?
  • dealsdeals Posts: 3
    Also i've read most of the postings here and everyone seems to agree that BMW has one of the most long lasting engines in the sutomotive industry. If thats the case shouldn't the engine be able to run to 200-300k miles with no real major problems?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I think the main issue with any modern, complex, out-of-warranty used car isn't the basic powertrain or other major components but rather all the electronic and hydraulic gear that is attached to it. BMW engines are fabulous but ANY car starts to wear out its belts, hoses, suspension, brake rotors, exhaust system at 100K. These are all naturally "expendable" items and on a 740 they aren't cheap.

    So my point is that many owners DEFER all this to the next buyer, rather than address these "expendables" as they arise.

    If you have a car with a clean title history, good service records and no "bad past" of rec-urrent problems (from dealer records), you are way ahead of the used car buyer who buys blind.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    Get yourself a bluetooth enabled cell phone like Motorola V600. Then get a bluetooth hands free kit for behind the dash (Moto sells them but I am sure others do). Then you will have a completely wireless integration for an off-the-shelf cell phone.
  • bsmallbsmall Posts: 4
    Looked at 96 and 99 used 740iL's today -- first time into BMW Land (have a friend that works on them but int'd in other opinions as well) -- I keep cars about 6+ ys --
    96 has 84k mls and was asking $16k (should be $15k) the 99 had 90k mls with 10k left on warranty and asking $18+k

    any thoughts on what is better? older with lower miles and price or the newer version even if I pay a few more$ for it?

  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    I absolutely cannot take all the noise about the iDrive any longer. Particularly in the automotive press. If anyone claims to have the skill and training to be an automotive journalist and yet does not have the ability to work this relativaly simple device is either incompetent or ignorant. I don't mean this to reflect on the 'average joe' who may not like the device, but the press is another story.

    I have an '04 745Li and I enjoy all aspects of the car but mostly the joy of driving such a great machine. My family love the space and interior appointments so we're all happy.

    The iDrive is simply a tool to set certain preferences; and once set I rarely deal with it other than working the navigation system when necessary.

    Anyway, I think the auto magazines simply need something to gripe about because if they would take a moment to reflect on their complaints they would realize how dumb they sound.

    My two-cents.

  • Was very close to buying a new 2003 745Li but after hearing so many horror stories and reading Consumer Reports' less than enthusiastic writeup, I've deferred th purchase. My smarts are telling me to just buy the Lexus LS 430, but I guess everyone in this Board knows it's just not the same. Has anyone here heard similar things about the 2004/5 maybe? Should I even bother waiting for the 2005? im more concerned with the car 'breaking down' then i am about resale value and the iDrive (call me nuts). but if i wanted simple controls and a great bargain, i would ve bot a Honda a long time ago. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    How about a 5 series then? I always thought the 3 series a mite too small and the 7 series a mite too large.

    RE: 740s -- I recommend opting for lower miles rather than lower price. As the used car guys say "you can buy new upholstery and new paint, but you can't buy miles".
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,860
    Seems a shame that no bmw owners talk about the ride and general feeling of the car..I saw a new 7 and it has a nice look about it in several ways..I guess everone knows the apparent flaws no need to harp on that. Tony
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Edmunds has published the "wrap-up" of its long term 745Li road test. Click here to go directly to the last article in the series.

    You can also get to the updates via the Helpful Links box on the left side of the page.

    What do you folks think? We can discuss it here and if you have comments you want the editors to see, use the "Contact Us" option that you find when you click on the Help link at the bottom of the page of the article.
  • We're in the midst of selecting from the current US bound inventory of 7's our next barnstormer.

    (Horn Tooting Mode On)
     - We've narrowed it down to the following:
    2004 BMW 7 Series
    745Li 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 6A)

    MSRP Invoice What Others Pay
    National Base Price
    $73,300 $66,865 $69,729

       ZPS Premium Sound $1,800 $1,640 $1,714
       ZLS Luxury Seating Pkge $1,600 $1,455 $1,522
       268 19" Star Spoke Wheels $1,300 $1,185 $1,239
       ZCV Convenience Package $1,000 $910 $952
       416 Power Rear/Side hade $750 $685 $715
       508 Park Distance Ctl $700 $635 $665
       655 Satellite Radio $595 $540 $566
       524 Adaptive Headlights $300 $275 $287
       248 Heated Steering Wheel $150 $135 $142
       693 Satellite Radio Prep $75 $70 $72
       438 High-gloss Wood Dark $0 $0 $0
    Color Adjustment - - $215
    Sterling Gray Metallic
       Destination Charge $695 $695 $695

    Total with Options $82,265 $75,090 $78,643

    (Horn Tooting Off)

    The dealer here in Jacksonville is offering it for $1000 over invoice - which is @ $76,000.

    We're not sure if we'll be leasing over purchasing this monster, but we're locked in on the price.

    My questions for the site E65 fans:

     - 1) In today's market -- is that a decent deal, $1000 over invoice? Last month, he would have sold the same car for $500 under invoice, but he said his cash incentives from BMW expired 6/30 (I checked Edmunds, and that all bears to be true).

     - 2) I'm considering 2-3 other vehicles that are slightly different equipped and wonder if folks have any negative/positive feedback on these options:

       - Rear Comfort Seats (they worth the extra $3500?)
       - Adaptive Ride Package (I like the current ride of the E65, we don't carry large loads typically, except for the rare 4 folks to dinner night) -- Any additional ride improvement/sacrifice with this package?

       - Active Cruise Control - the dealer says its too new for this option; he's not seen many cars with it so he can't offer his opinion. Any have this option? Your experience with it?

    We're gonna make the final choice by Tuesday night -- I'd appreciate your thoughts on my questions.

    Take care all.

    Lord Z
  • thomsoncthomsonc Posts: 2
    I am close to purchasing a 1996 750il and I was curious to know if anyone knew where I might find figures on the number of 750's and 740's produced each year by BMW. I had heard from someone an incredably low number on 750's produced for that year but it seemed too low in my opinion.

    Also, does anyone know the difference between the 750il for 1995 & 1996? Thanks.
  • seabushseabush Posts: 68
    I'm interested in purchasing a 740il. The car is 2001 with 20,700 miles on it. The dealer is selling the car for $43,950. I think $38,500 is a fair price for the vehicle. What's a good price for a 740iL with low miles?
  • carmaven18carmaven18 Posts: 21
    How are the rear seats in the 745Li? What features do they have? Also, are the sunshades on the side windows and rear window power? Do they cover the whole window and are they worth it? Thanks in advance.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Doing a custom appraisal using Edmunds True Market Value software (see Home Page), for a 2001 740il in outstanding condition, we get:

    private party retail


    dealer retail $42,776
    dealer certified vehicle $44,126

    So it looks like you and the dealer could close a deal at around $40K with some bargaining. I don't think he'll let it go at $38,5K but it's worth a try, who knows?
  • seabushseabush Posts: 68
    Thanks. I've been using the Black book pricing info at They have a 740IL (with 20,700 miles) as follows:

    Clean - $40,175. No body scratches, dents, rust or other signs of wear. Interior is perfect. Very low mileage. Very few vehicles qualify for Clean when a vehicle is traded in.
    Average - $35,800. Body is very clean with only a few minor scratches, no dents and no rust. Interior is very clean with very little noticeable wear. Mileage less than 15,000 miles per year.

    Rough - $30,325. Body is very rough with many scratches, dents, rust or hail damage. Interior is dirty and shows excessive wear. Mechanically needs work. High mileage.
  • I don't have any of the fancy rear seat packages but I do have the power shades. They are all power (side and rear) and both the driver and each passenger can control them. The side ones cover both panels of each rear seat side window and cover them entirely. The rear does not cover entirely but is like the power rear shade from Mercedes, etc.

    On a recent trip to Palm Springs with 90+ weather, the shades do keep the interior of the car cooler while parked outside.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Well price guides are only "ballpark" numbers, and if you digest them all, you'll probably see that $40K is a good target price for a pristine low mileage car. I think $30K for a "rough" car is off the mark though. You can't recondition a 7 series with bad body and mechanicals for $10K. That won't get you through the morning's work.

    When it comes to complex luxury cars, I always tell people to read the price guide and then discard it and focus on buying the best car you can afford. You'll never regret paying top dollar for a truly flawless used 7 series....of course, don't pay asking prices!
  • seabushseabush Posts: 68

    I lost out on that car. However, I'm looking at another one. It's in pristine condition with 13,000 miles on it. I can't believe it! A 2001 740IL with 13,000 miles on it. The asking price is $47,000 (certified BMW). Intellichoice has the price at $44K, Edmunds & KBB $42K, $41K at Nada, $40K at The car was purchased at auction. I wish I knew how much they paid for it. :P
  • For Week Ending Aug 27
     Above Average Below Jul 2004 Mar 2004 sept
    $34,595 $29,751 $24,907 $29,822 $31,969 $34,590
     27,087 43,232 59,377 42,964 41,336 41,067
    Total Sold All 118 91 143 130
    Average Auction Mileage
    Prices are based on more transactions than shown under 'Transactions', above.
      Sep 02 - Sep 09 2004
      Above Average Below Oct 2004 Sep 2005
     $32,900 $29,700 $26,600 $29,100 $26,100
    Est. Retail $36,000 $32,600 $29,200 $31,900 $28,700
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We went to sleep around here and this discussion archived itself - I'm reopening it by request and also because it needs to be open even if it does take a nap from time to time.

  • sfvicsfvic Posts: 2
    I am considering buying a 2001 740i with Sport Package, Navi, Heated Seats, PDC, all bells whistles essentially for $28,900. I'm also buying platinum package extended warranty which is good for 4 years and up to 100,000 miles.

    Are there any problems I should expect with the car. I'm buying this to help myself forget about a bad experience with a mercedes. I'm getting it for low blue book trade in value in excellent condition.

    I have until Tuesday to make a final decision. Thanks in advance.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Well my advice on these newer BMW 7 series is to first of all play with every gadget in the car, look at every gauge, light and function, and make SURE everything is working perfectly---and that all switches, lights, wipers, heaters, AC---all that works....because electronics repair is one of those areas where the costs really pile up.

    Then I'd take the VIN #, check it against CARFAX and also bring the VIN to the dealer where the car was bought or serviced. You might be able to view the warranty history.

    Last of all, I'd pay to have the car checked out stem to stern by a qualified technician.

    Yeah, that's 3-4 hours of your time but you might be paying yourself a couple hundred dollars an hour in savings.
  • sysadbsysadb Posts: 83
    The 2001 shouldn't be too bad electrically, as it predates the 2002 i-drive model with the 17 separate computer systems. I presume you have driven the car and compared it with a non-sport model? Just asking, as I've found the sport package worsens the ride considerably, especially over rough roads. Some feel the benefits of the SP are worth it, but since you are used to a Mercedes I thought I'd bring it up...

  • Im considering a 1997 740il for 13,500 obo.
    Its right at the trade in value.
    My question and main concern is this:

    How much maintenance does a BMW require and what is the cost of proper care and maintenance?
  • Has anyone heard of BMW extending the warranty to 6yrs or 60000 miles for free. If so, why?
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    The first few years of the new model had 'gremlins' that caused lots of grief for the owners. Mostly in the software of the new vechicle. In order to compensate the owners of these 2002 and 2003 vehicles BMW extended the warranty to 6/100,000.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    BMW maintenance is quite expensive. You should plan on $150 a month overall minimum, average out between the good and bad years.
  • Hi, how is the engine and wind noise inside the car.
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    Wind noise is almost non-existent and the engine noise is pretty much the same unless you really put your foot into it. When you do that you get a very nice engine sound, but only for a short time because you'll need to back off quickly as the acceleration is amazing for a car of this size.

  • I'm in the process of negotiating for a 98 750iL that is loaded to the max with only 44,400 miles on it and in outstanding condition for only $15k (the owner is working overseas and just needs to sell his American car because he can't use it). It appears a step up (being that it's in better shape and has Electronic Stability Control) than the 97 740iL that I fishtailed and wrecked in 04-2003. Given the aforelisted data, what opinions on this car (not my driving) can anyone tell me?
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ......... This is one of those deals that $150 spent, could save you $15,000++ ...

                 The price is super cheap considering that most dealers would pay more than that for it ... I would check the history, then I would have the vehicle looked at *very closely* by a Bimmer mechanic and a good body man on a lift - if all is well, then buy it ..

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I agree, price is good, maybe $5,000 under private party retail.

    It should be darn near perfect, however, and all electronics MUST be in good working order. These are wonderful cars but the repair bills can give you a nose-bleed. You really can't even park in front of the dealer for under $600 and even common items like brake pads and rotors will set you back a fair sum of money, 3 times a "normal" car.

    So in other words, this is NOT a car you want to restore or rebuild. It had better be tip top right from the start and you have to have the stomach for the maintenance and repair.

    The local dealer could probably give you a fee schedule for maintenance, and that might help you decide. I'm figuring $300/month average over a few years to keep this car on the road in good condition.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I am wondering if anyone knows what the terms of the 7-series buybacks are/were. I know there was mention of signing a waiver not to disclose the situation, but did this include getting a FULL refund including tax and fees, or was a USAGE FEE or other fees deducted as is typical with buybacks according to lemon laws?
  • wwcwwc Posts: 1
    From my experience be carefull considering a 745' appears they still don't even have the diagnostics available to detect all problems..BMW appears to be in huge denial in dealing with 745 problems...BMW keeps talking about styling being the issue because that's easier to fix than the engineering..for those of us who have bought it we bought into the styling and the idrive...unfortunately we expected everything to work..and we expected BMW to stand behind their cars..unfortunately we continue to hear them blame software and number of computers..But that's part of what we purchased.they're destroying their brand image and customer retention one fell swoop because they continue to make excuses instead of dealing honestly with the customers they have disenfranchised...these problems require novel solutions to win back loyal customers..not marketing speeches that tell you how popular the 7 series is in China..
  • carlkcarlk Posts: 1
    I have a 740i BMW sedan which has a loud whining noise which appears to be coming from the two rear wheels. It starts when I drive about a mile and continues until I shut engine off. Feel no effect on engine speed or brake applying. Someone suggests it is coming from fuel pump in gas tank but doesn't affect fuel delivery. Any ideas?
  • battrlbattrl Posts: 12
    I have an '01 740i Sport and am considering a move from the Bible belt to the snow belt. What can I expect in terms of snow handling on those wide tires?


    I'm obviously going to need to change tires to something geared toward A/S or winter. Any recommendations?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
  • bmw8bmw8 Posts: 1
    Can you please give me the details on the manner in which the factory warranty was extended? Does it extend all aspects of the warranty, or just the coverage for the software and engine? Has BMW put the details in writing somewhere? I can't find any references to this on their website, and have heard conflicting stories regarding the specifics of the extended coverage from BMW dealers and 'non-BMW' after market agents. Thanks! CC
  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    The deal on the 740i seems pretty good. How many miles are on it? I have a 1999 740i and it had been 100% problem free. The reliability beats any Japanese or German counterpart I have owned. The guy who said average is 150.00 a month for service must have a lemon and a bad dealership!

    The 2001 is the last of the "best styled" BMW's IMO. Good luck!
  • someone can Help me? my 1994 BMW 740il the problem is the transmission when I put it in Drive it not run, but when I turn the switch to Manual position its run, then I turn the switch to Auto position its run normally but when the car stop it'll not run again untill I turn the switch back to Manual position, this problem happen when cold condition
    someone here have experiments for that problems. may give me an advice
    thank you.........
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I've never messed with this function but it really sounds like a component in the switching circuit--either the console switch itself or the servo or relay that controls the transmission. In other words, this seems to be electrical in nature, not the transmission itself. You'd need to study how it works and find out what controls the transmission and tells it that you've just switched from Auto to Manual and vice-versa. You might ask the parts department at the dealership to show you a diagram.
  • mh5mh5 Posts: 1
    I have an "Intellicode" Genie opener (which uses the revolving code) and found no trouble getting the auto's opener to work. Just remeber, you first have to program the car's opener with your garage door remote, then sunc the car with your garage door unit. The procedure is outlined in the owners manual.

    Hope this helps.
  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    I have read posts here that seem to indicate that it's almost impossible to get service done on a BMW w/o going to the dealer. Is that true? I have a 1998 740i (awesome car, 2nd 740i) w/58,000 miles and the warranty just ran out (BMW certified). I would rather take it to a local foreign car repair shop, for they are much cheaper re: maint. Also, how likely is it to talk to a BMW tech and ask him to work on your car off of the BMW site (strait cash to him/her). Do tech's have anything that prevent them from "moonlighting"? My dealer has an outstanding tech I would like to ask the ? to in a "hushed" tone:). Any input would be greatly appreciated. Also, I have only been getting 13MPG in city driving. I don't "baby" it in that the car is meant to be "driven". What are other 740 series owners getting in city driving? One last ? .. what grade of gas are you guys putting in your 740 series (1995 and newer). I always use premium. Am I wasting $$ there?

    Thanks in advance!


  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    From my experience having owned a 1995 740i and my current car, a 1999 740i the "average" maintanance charges are no where near 300.00 per month. I have done the "math" and my average for both cars is 48.90 a month. I don't know where you get the high maint. #'s from.

    Mike V
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You folks might be interested in First Drive: 2006 BMW 750i/750Li. What do you think?
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