BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier



  • simcaddysimcaddy Member Posts: 1
    Anything special about the maintanence for BMWs? I remember a friend was complaining that he could not do oil changes at regular shops because those shops could not reset the warning lights after the oil change or brake pads change.

    Is it still true that owners have to take cars to dealer for all the maintanence? like the $100+ oil change. I hope things have changed somewhat. Thanks for your comments.
  • jadeedukejadeeduke Member Posts: 4
    I see they have modified the idrive for the 06 model 750. I'm in limbo between the GS430 and 745-750. I have seen all the writings about the idrive causing some problems for some people,I was just wondering have all the issues been worked out since the earlier versions?

    I never been a big fan of gps systems. Do you need it for idrive to be complete? :
  • jadeedukejadeeduke Member Posts: 4
    I'm glad to hear that! I am looking at one 04.....745il and that is good to hear. I'm not an electronic guru but some of the stuff I read seems like I need a degree in idrive to get it to work. Have you had any hang ups on anything?
  • rowlandjrowlandj Member Posts: 254
    I simpy read the manual once and all was simple with the iDrive; other than the navigation which I had to review one extra time. Once done that was it and never looked back.

    Some options you never visit more than once and the rest are simple to use. There are plenty of 'old-fashioned' knobs and dials for the day-to-day stuff. To this day I just can't understand all the noise over iDrive because anyone with two brain cells touching could figure it out.

    The car is amazing in every way.

  • jadeedukejadeeduke Member Posts: 4
    Cool because I really like the 7 over the gs430 but I'm not trying to be too stubborn if everyone is saying there is a flaw and the gs will not be in the shop as much as the 7. I will go and drive it this weekend. I have been putting that off cause I know I will like it. Have you had to put on more tires yet? Can you get 50k on a set or is that dreaming? I heard it was hard on tires???
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    It's not the figuring out that bugs people JR it's the inconvenience of using it.
  • rowlandjrowlandj Member Posts: 254
    Originals are at 18K now and I suspect that 35-40 is the best you'll do on the 18's. If you go bigger it will likely be less mileage per set.

  • rowlandjrowlandj Member Posts: 254
    To each their own. There are redundant switches and steering wheel controls for the stuff used regularly so again I just don't see the inconvenience factor of the iDrive.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    It's distracting when you are driving I think.

    Or perhaps if I may quote a friend---it is technology to no useful purpose.
  • brent740ilbrent740il Member Posts: 1

    I recently had a battery replaced at the dealership. After taking the car back home and out to dinner, the car started acting up. Several check engine lights came on, the radio wouldn't work, and the navigation screen would come on and off intermittently.

    After taking the car back to the dealership, the service manager said that the code must not have been punched in correctly. They re did the code, and as I got into the car to go back home, the car had the same problems. lights on in the dash, radio not working all the time as well as the nav. screen.

    I left the car at the dealership for a couple of days, and they got all of the check engine lights to stay off.

    Now when I start the car, the steering wheel may not come down on it's own as it should, the radio may not come on, or even the screen may not come on.

    The steering is also tight sometimes on first start up when these other problems are going on.

    Any ideas???

  • 92735i92735i Member Posts: 25
    I just sold my 2001 740iL. I had spt pkg rims but not the spt pkg. 56K miles and a local dealer paid me $29k (not a trade in). I had many options, small screen navigation, 6CD, rear shade, conv seats (not heated) EDC, ESC, Blk/Blk.

    I've now owned 1992 735i (still own with 220kmiles, son drives), 2004 745i with all toys, premium sound, 19" rims, conv pkg, luxury seating pkg, park distance, etc.
    No bugs, no complaints, iDrive is simple, scroll-click, scroll-click. And the 2001 740iL.

    IMHO, the 745i is the best driving car in the world and I never had a break down nor bug.

    The question is, what happens at or after 100k miles?
  • wirefreewirefree Member Posts: 4
    I'm having the same problems with my 03' 745i. My i-drive screen will flash on and off intermittently and my cd changer reboots. The dealer can't seem to find out what the issue is, does anyone have a clue?
  • anthonypanthonyp Member Posts: 1,860
    Went and test drove the 750...It had sports suspension....Could anyone give me their opinion on that vs the adaptive suspension...The car drove very nicely and was responsive..I just wonder if the regular suspension would be as nice? Thanks Tony
  • w210w210 Member Posts: 188
    It does not have sports suspension but when I set the suspension to sports, it has very little roll. I also like the comfort setting when I have other passengers in the car.

    The car I drove has 19 inch wheels, I like the dual personality so will most likely skip the sports suspension.
  • suresure Member Posts: 1
    I am looking at buying my business partners used 2002 745li.
    It has 19 inch wheels and just about every option on it.
    I have heard there are some problems with the early models of this vehical and wonder if anyone has any input.
    I must admit I am an american car guy currently drive an escalade and a 2000 chrysler 300M.
    I am looking to replace the chrysler but want to know how well the bmw will be in the winter and also about these flaws in the software.
    looking from input from anyone good or bad.
    I have been driving it for a week and like it.
    It has 25,000 miles on it and is very clean.
    He wants $43,000 for it.
  • 95beamer95beamer Member Posts: 2
    I am looking to buy a 1995 740i this week. What can I expect to pay for an oil change and where? What are the acceptable oil change intervals?
  • 95beamer95beamer Member Posts: 2
    I am looking at the above and it is in very good condition. I know the owner and they have had all maintenance done at the dealer. Even had the engine rebuilt by BMW at $65K as a result o fthose common engine problems. I usually don't buy older cars but thios woudl not be my ony car but I woudl expect to put $15K a year on it. How much will it cost me to maintain? Any ideas
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    If you do really thorough maintenance, you should figure $100/150 a month to take care of routine maintenance and the usual expendables. This of course will be an average, some months nothing, some months $600. I would however, have this vehicle checked stem to stern by a knowledgable technician.

    Asking price is about correct retail, no bargain but fair enough for a nice car.
  • lobdelllobdell Member Posts: 9
    I have a 2001 740il with the performance package. Over the labor day weekend with the gas shortage, I had to make a trip and could only buy 87 octane gas. It seemed to do OK, but I drove it very easy. Does this engine have a knock sensor that retards the timing if it senses preignition? If the timing automatically adjusts to fuel octane, is it possible that you could get better gas mileage with the high octane fuels?

    Thanks for any comments.
  • xr7convxr7conv Member Posts: 1
    I have have always wanted a 740il and since a wreck a couple of weeks ago totaled my car I had decided to go after one. I am not wealthy and have a limited budget for car purchases. Since the wreck safety has become my NUMBER ONE concern in the next car I get. I totaled a 2001 Bonneville - it did a good job protecting me in the wreck and I am alive because of air bags - this from the doctor.

    Anyway, I have found a 1996 740il with 133,000 miles for $9,850. This looks to be a great car. It is with the second owner who is in college and has gone to Germany for a year of school. His Dad is selling it to get him money for a car he has bought over there.

    Car looks great and all things seem to work. The displays on the radio do not read correctly and he had replaced it once from an ebay purchase. I plan on taking it to a BMW shop for a detailed inspection. But what I read here makes me want to run away from it and all BMW 740's. Can a car that is really "great" as multiple people have said really cost so much to maintain. Is it really engineered so badly that it takes a specially trained BMW Tech to fix it. There are some really complicated cars out there that excellent mechanics are working on. How can something that is supposed to be so good and so well 'engineered' suck as bad as some of the posts say?

    Anyway, I will ask what others have asked. Should I steer clear and forget BMW or not? I am one who maintains my cars. I also understand that this costs money as detailed by others. But if a simple brake job is $500 or more then I have questions?

    Thanks in advance.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Your question doesn't really have a simple answer, but I'll try.

    I think with a high miles used 740 it's like this -- if it's running well and all you are doing is routine maintenance, then all is right with the world. But if something semi-serious goes wrong, EVERYTHING you fix is going to be somewhat expensive compared to a Toyota. You'll never get a 4-wheel brake job on this car for $500. More like $1,000--$1,200 (this presumes rotors)

    As for complexity, a competent and well-trained indy shop should be able to handle a 1996 model, no problem, at least most things, but again, if one has to go deep into computer gadgetry, you may have to go to the dealer---which of course is scary ground for the used car newbie.

    I have an equally expensive car to maintain and sometimes it hurts---you have to really really love the car to put up with the occasional big fat bill. If the idea of $150/$200 a month just in maintainence and repairs doesn't work for you, then you won't be happy with the car I don't think. But if you can handle that, with good luck that's the worst you'll face, averaged out over a few years. Most basic parts aren't too expensive...figure shocks at $100 apiece, brake pads at $60 per axle, rotors at $100 apiece, mufflers maybe $300, ignition wires $200 a set, 02 sensor $120, water pump $125. As you can see it's not a Honda Civic, but it's not a Ferrari or Porsche either. These are, of course, NOT dealer prices.

    Also I think the asking price is too high.... $8,200 - $8,500 should be more than enough for this car, if it looks great and checks out needing nothing of any consequence. Personally, I'd be more comfortable nearer $7,000, just in case.
  • sunnboyesunnboye Member Posts: 3
    I picked up a 1997 740iL with 133,000 miles last month for $9500. The only issue I had was a non-mechanical one-'the hood would not open!' Otherwise the car runs as if it only had 50,000 miles (without problems). This has the upgraded 18" BMW sport rims with Michelin Pilots, car is amazing...and I don't even like BMW's.
    Bought it because my wife fell in luv with the interior, the leg room is amazing, it's almost like sitting in a Limo!
    Now she does not want to drive it because of the cars' size! She thinks it's way to big and powerful to handle.
  • sunnboyesunnboye Member Posts: 3
    U figure if your driving a 740iL, a car that handles like a sport car, 4.4L V8-powerful fast acceleration with the look and feel your getting, for a fraction of what the car sold for new, spending alittle would not hurt.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Absolutely right! A car like this NEEDS to have some money spent on it. What I always try to tell people who want used 7 series cars is

    a) if $150-$200 a month is a burden to you, don't buy the car and try to "play the odds" that you will be the person who spends the least per month.

    b) have the car checked out top to bottom very very carefully. You can never come out right with an abused and neglected 7 series car.

    Think of the 740 as a big checking account. If the previous owner wrote checks (that is, drove the car) and didn't make deposits (did all the maintenance), YOU are going to be the one going bankrupt, not him.
  • transporter2transporter2 Member Posts: 1
    Hello Everyone,

    I don't know too much about cars, but I know that something is wrong when the clicking sound and now rattling sound, is disturbing the once quiet ride. It has been getting worse over the past few months and I am wondering if that is a common problem (one of the components in my car is wearing out) or my car is loose on the bottom?

    The sound seems as if it coming from under the driver's side door and I am wondering if that is a common problem for aging 98 740s.

    Thank You
  • brawnydawgbrawnydawg Member Posts: 4
    Have the opportunity to urchase a 97 w/ 130,000 miles. Brand new engine and just about evething under he hood was replaced. Digital reouts have missing lights on the radio part but, odometer part is OK. Needs fog light. Interior is 95% clean. Third owner. owner wants $10,500. Drives great?? Nice car, would just be a toy. Would drive only about 5000 miles per year? What do you think!?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    This is a duplicate post but I'll give my two cents again here.

    Pass. Too high a price, too many miles, bad history. You can buy a nice one for that without all the miles and all the history of disasters. Run, don't walk from this car.
  • idriveloveridrivelover Member Posts: 1
    What are the buttons called which are located on the Comfort Access transmitter?
  • lavelle1lavelle1 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 1995 740i with 208,000 miles. Bought it in Feb. 2002 w/132,000 from original owner who is a family friend and did a great job of maintaining it. My average cost of repairs per month is around $215. The car had a new engine put in around 50,000 miles.

    Here's my question: How many miles should I expect to get out of this car? Also, I have been getting it serviced at a BMW shop but am wondering if I should look for an alternative maintenance shop to save money?

    Last thing .... how much would you expect to pay for a Level II Inspection?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well the engines rarely fail so I'd guess your main worry would be the transmission---and a realistic transmission life would be maybe 250K, at which point your car might or might not be worth repairing.

    If you can find an independent who really knows these cars, sure, you can save maybe 30% on maintenance. But just because they speak with an accent and work on Mercedes doesn't mean they know beans about a 740i. But I bet a good Indy shop can cut your Level II costs by 1/3.

    Since this car seems to have had a good history ($200 a month is about right on target) I think you should push it as far as it will go.

    I know we all hear stories of cars with amazing mileages but I find it interesting that in all my years messing with cars I have never seen one on the road or at the wreckers that clocked over 300K. I'm sure it happens but then sometimes a man will live to be 105. Not something to bet on, though.

    Also, you have to consider safety factors with a car with 300K on it---things like metal fatigue come into play and I'd certainly have a car with that many miles gone over very carefully, especially in the suspension and steering department, and examine the frame as well.

    Usually,, statistically speaking I mean, an accident or act of nature takes out a car before it can get to 300K anyway. That's a long time on the road, and sooner or later....
  • lefty3lefty3 Member Posts: 5
    I want to ask how the BMW 750 (or prior year) handles in the snow. I like the car but have serious reservations - a friend owned a BMW (M5?) and had lots of trouble. I am also in the Boston area and we would use this car to get into work regardless of the weather. Is this car up for that task?

    We have never owned a BMW we are also considering the A8. The snow is the deciding factor here.
  • rowlandjrowlandj Member Posts: 254
    What matters is the tires you use for the winter. If that M% had the standard tires it's a miracle it moved at all in the snow. I have had many different vehicles over the years and all behaved fine as long as the rubber was appropriate for the conditions.

    A lot of folks get a 'winter setup' from ebay or tirerack and leave the summer/touring tires for the nice weather. I have been following this approach for years and I find it is the best way to deal with Northeast winters. Even on the current SUV (Porsche Cayenne) I have a set of 17's for winter and 19's for summer.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    You know a LOT of how the car does in the snow is related to the least 50% driver, 25% tires and 25% the car itself IMHO. If you have traction control, really good snows and you know what you're doing, I think you'll be as good as most front-drive cars of equal size and uphill you'll be better!
  • lavelle1lavelle1 Member Posts: 3
    Should 740i's have a transmission service? I have been told no but am curious as to your thoughts.
  • eric312eric312 Member Posts: 71
    I have a 2001 740i with about 55K 50/50 highway and city miles on it.
    At what point are you supposed to get Inspection 2 done? I know the manual says to wait for
    indicator to light up but I usually get an oil change before the indicator lights up and
    I am wondering if, when they reset the oil indicator they also reset the Inspection indicator by mistake.

    Also, Service Engine Soon light went up and some of the crystal squares on the digital clock got burned out. Are these common problems? I hope they are covered by the
    certified warranty.

    Thank you for your replies.
  • eric312eric312 Member Posts: 71
    I have been told the same thing by my dealer.
  • quigsquigs Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1990 735iL (200,000) that needs a transmission and has power steering reservoir hose leak. Is it worth putting $2,000 into it and expect to get some "pleasure" driving out of it without having to dump $200 more into it every month? The BMW dealer quoted $1400 for the trans, does this seem right?
  • bdr127bdr127 Member Posts: 950
    I don't know if you're really attached to that particular car... but you could get a newer model year with lower miles for a little bit more than what you'd pay out for repairs. When it gets to that period in a car's life, it's tough to decide whether to keep fixing or to cut bait and start over....
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I'd say that if the rest of the car were tip top it would be worth it since you can't buy much more than worn out crap for $2,000 these days.

    But if there are other issues, like rust, or AC not working, or it's burning lots of oil, or it needs four new tires and brakes and rotors on all four wheels, well then it might be time to bail.

    So the short answer really depends on what else is going on.

    What you might do is take the car in for a thorough inspection and see what other items are coming up for this car related to tires, brakes, exhaust, oil leaks, shocks and overall reliability issues.

    I like the old 735s, they're probably the last really durable, you-can't-kill-'em car BMW ever built.
  • 92735i92735i Member Posts: 25
    I own a 1992 735. I bought it in 1994 (Florida) for $29,500 with 30k miles on it. I now have 223,670 miles. I too have had to decide between repair or replace. At this point I can say that I'm glad I did all those repairs. And some were substantial like a/c, front end suspension, drive shaft, exhaust. I now have a basically refurbished BMW, always reliable, still performs, and worth to me more than what I could sell it for.

    These cars, as well as 528's and older 3 series typically go for 250k-400k miles. I have personally seen many of these cars. The question isn't "how many miles does the car have on it?" but "how many miles does this car have left?" Answer that and you'll probably make the right decision.

    I am keeping my 735, probably give it to my college age son and will look for a 2001 740iL w sport package.

    I think I can get one for $26k-$28k with around 50k miles and all the toys.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I would think any car going 400K would be an astronomically rare occurrence. Certainly it's not something you can count on but I hope you make it. Mostly it takes money to get there....but really I'm not sure it's a good idea to push a car that far. Structural safety concerns come into play and the cost per mile goes up exponentially as you approach the 250-275K mark. Cars are really not built or engineered to go that long.
  • lobdelllobdell Member Posts: 9
    My wife has a 2001 740il with the original battery. I am considering replacing it now on my schedule rather than when if fails. I know this car has some complicated, temperamental electronics. Are there any special precautions that need to be taken when performing this exchange? In other words, is it as simple as disconnecting the cables, taking out the old battery, putting in the new battery, and reconnecting the cables?
    Mr Shiftright do you have any thoughts?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I would definitely do some research before disconnecting the battery---one thing that comes to mind is the radio anti-theft, if you have such a feature. You'd have to know the radio code. I'm not sure how your clock, etc. react to all this.

    So yeah, call the dealer's service department or drop in there and ask, or any competent independent shop would know. I don't think it's any big deal. I know some shops have a little "helper" battery device that keeps a small current flow into the cables as they remove them.

    Good idea to swap out the battery. Five years is long enough.
  • scholderscholder Member Posts: 14
    What is an Indy shop that you keep referring to? Also what should an oil change cost for a 740i. An Express Lube type place quoted me $100. which seems high. Should I get my filter and oil myself to save some $$$?
  • scholderscholder Member Posts: 14
    I recently purchase 2 740i sport 2001 cars from e-bay motors by auction with no reserve. The first went smoothly, but the second was a nightmare. I got a great price but had the seller try everything to make up for his losses; try to get out of the sale, switch the tires, take out the spare, missing phone, not as described both physically and odometer reading much higher on delivery, etc. Am I being too hasty in giving him a negative feedback, or should I have expected as much...?
  • forrestlforrestl Member Posts: 4
    Recently purchased the car and need the best service manual available. Is there a factory service manual available?
  • nuwildcatnuwildcat Member Posts: 3
    I am contemplating purchasing a 2006 750Li. Do the 19" wheels make sense as a $1,300 option? Visually, they look better than the standard wheel but will they make the ride rougher? Are they worse in snow? Thanks in advance for your advice...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    my two cents, don't do it. Rougher ride, slower braking, more risk to the wheels from potholes, probably very pricey tire replacements. Not worth the nicer looks IMO, but aesthetics are personal, so buy what you like please!
  • bdr127bdr127 Member Posts: 950
    Heck yeah, they're worth the extra money. The standard wheels are ugly as all heck, IMO! The 19's look good, IMO.
  • bdr127bdr127 Member Posts: 950
    Standard Wheels:

    19" Wheels:
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