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BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier



  • pirhpirh Posts: 1
    I would greatly appreciate some of your experienced opinions on what routine maintenance and anticipated repairs should be expected on a car like this. I am thinking the best way to go is through a BMW dealer and get the Certified Warranty, but perhaps it is not worth the additional costs. I am inclined to believe nothing should go wrong in the first 100K miles (that didn't show up fairly quick) on such a fine vehicle, but am looking for suggestions. As far as maintenance goes, what can I anticipate for routine stuff like oil changes, tire rotation, tire replacement, brake replacement, etc on something with new tires and 40K miles. $40K is quite a bit to plunk down on a used vehicle and I just want to be aware of the operational costs to expect. Thanks in advance for you responses. By the way...I think the 740IL is most likely the finest vehicle I have ever had the pleasure of driving!!! Dan
  • maw1982maw1982 Posts: 62
    I'd like to know the anticipated costs also. I am looking at a '96 750il with 41k miles. I think $28.5k is a great price but I just want to know what I am getting myself into.

    BTW, does anyone look at this board. I have not gotten any responses to my post above. Can I hook up my digital cell phone to the hands-free guts of a 7-series BMW? Thanks
  • linardlinard Posts: 59
    I have to admit, the new 7 is growing on me as a close friend just purchased a beautiful copper/bronze 745Li with chrome wheels, unfortunately, she has decided that one more problem and she will return it. In 1000 miles, she has had to return to the dealership 4 times for some niggling electrical issues. First, her check engine light came on and the dealership, Crevier BMW, did not know why it came on so they reset it. Then the computer said the airbags were malfunctioning and now her car says it has four completely flat tires when they are all within normal PSI specs and she has had another problem which I cannot think of now. None have been as severe as experienced in her previous car, a 99 Jaguar XJ8L which blew it's transmission (I guess maybe that's why they put the Benz S-Class transmission in all the supercharged 8-cyl Jags?) at 35,000 and was in the shop another 8 times for a faulty interior, an engine fan that wouldn't turn off after the engine shut off until the battery was dead, and many many other electrical and hardware issues. However, I cannot accept that an 87 grand car has had so many issue. I understand that while Hondas and Toyotas are much simpler, the price you pay for a Jag or Beemer should amount to better engineering etc. I have not met one person that fears a first year Honda or Toyota but a first year Beemer, Benz, etc? I wouldn't get one... But then again, our 525i is far from being a first year, and it has not been reliable either...
  • force98force98 Posts: 81
    First, I would never own a 740i/iL without a warranty--the CPO will defintely pay for itself, as the car is known to have some problems. A few of them are disappearing pixels in the instrument cluster and radiator neck failure (and don't use the cup holder, as it will only break). They are wonderful cars, but are VERY expensive to fix and maintain.

    Other specifics:

    Lube, oil, filter - depending on your location, dealer charges $50-$75. Keep in mind the car uses synthetic oil

    Tire rotation - BMW does not recommend rotating the tires

    Check to see if the car has had Sevice II. If not, this can cost upwards of $700.

    For excellent info and great tips from great guys, go here:
  • syodersyoder Posts: 1
    Hello. Considering '95 740iL with 123k miles. Tennessee car. What items/areas might be suspect at this age/mileage and therefore bear close scrutiny?
    Thanks, Stan Yoder, Pittsburgh.
  • I'm thinking about selling my 98 STS with 100K miles to pick up a 96 740 iL with 75K. It appears that I'll have to add $6K to $8K to make this happen. Does anyone have experience with both vehicles that could offer advise?

    What are the pros and cons?

    Here are some that immediately come to mind.

    Pros: More room, more comfortable seats, better ride and handling

    Cons: Slower acceleration, lesser quality sound system, dated IP, higher maintenance cost

    How gracefully do these large BMWs age? The Cadillac at 100K is running strong and still feels fairly tight, easily has another 50k to 100K left of fairly reliable driving.

    Bottom line, should I make this jump?
  • kthor6kthor6 Posts: 3
    Anyone have any good scoop on possible re-design for 2003? I've read so many i-drive horror stories that I feel like it might be best to wait until next year's model comes out. If so, has anyone heard that efforts have been made to work out the i-drive kinks for next year's model?

    Also, if anyone has something positive to say about their use of i-drive I'd love to hear it. (I'm currently driving a rather low-tech Land Rover.) I'm not scared of technology at all, it's just that I have a toddler who can be distracting enough on her own!

    Thanks for the input.
  • dave203dave203 Posts: 13
    If you are looking to buy a 7 series, look at '99 and above 7-series with the Sport Package. I bought a '99 740i Sport. Buying a '96 is somewhat risky because they tend to have problems with the catalytic converters, radiator, instrument cluster etc...many of these bugs were worked out in '99 when the 740 achieved LEV status. The 740i Sport does 0-60mph in 6.1 sec per Road N Track, top speed limited to 155. Handling is totally flat, tight and stiff suspension. I have 80K miles and is still just as tight as new, rock solid, no glitches at all. These cars do not age like typical cars since they get a cataphoteric paint job with all kinds of corrosion protection and and ultra tight, stiff body.
  • sanj1sanj1 Posts: 1
    I bought new 745i about 3 months ago. The cars been back to the dealer 3 times. First time to get a software upgrade as the navigation system was in German. The dealer had the car for a weeks and in the end the problem was not solved. Then I began to have p[roblems with the i-Drive. In very hot weather the i-Drive shuts down........all you see is "BMW" on teh screen. In addition, the i-Drive won't work at time when you are in the phone or audio. I have to switch to another function before it'll work again. So, dealer kept the car again for over a week and I was told everything was fixed. Well, 3 days after I got it back the car was parked in the garage at work. You'll laugh at this one. The car sent a message to BMW response team and the message code was "the car has been in an accident and the airbags have been deployed". They got eight of these messages. They called my wife and created a panic. They also called the police with the street address of the parking garage. Obviously, there was no accident and when my wife called me I went out and checked the car. Tried to start the ran without a problem but guess what ..... the I didn't work. Two days later the car is in my garage at home and the Cops come knocking at my door at 1:00am asking if I own a BMW. Again, the BMW response got a message that the airbags had been deployed and the cops were called to respond to an accident and the address my street. Car was in my garage and when I got in it BMW response team responded using my phone asking " is anyone there....are you alright". Well, the car went back to the dealer the next day and its been almost 2 weeks and still haven't gotten it back. Worse of all it is clear that they are not telling me everything. They seem to be covering up. I think the safety issues they have built are a great idea if they work appropriately. If I was in a real accident and was hurt I would want the BMW response team to call the cops and emergency services. But right now my experience is becoming a nightmare.

    I would like to say that the car drive great. I gave my my Porsche Boxter for the new 745i and I have to say love the way this luxury sedan handles. Also, its a beautiful car.
  • Have 745LI and love it, but agree with #657 that its difficult to see i drive screen and the same for the odometer &fuel reading etc. This comment is applicable to daytime hours.
  • trmgatrmga Posts: 50
    Thanks to all for the very enlightening comments that I've read over the past weeks. Was uncertain as to whether to get the 745 or Lexus LS 430. 430 seems like a no brainer after reading about all the 745 problems. Time to buy.
  • This is my 3rd 7 series,Love the look, idrive, voice activation. Having one problem and it is not with the electronics the car has a slight shimmy/vibration in the steering which drives me crazy. It has been in for service 5 times in 2 months, they have balanced, aligned, put new front tires, changed from my 19" to 18" tires and still the same problem. I don't know what they will do next but I understand that I am not the only one with this problem. If someone has a suggestion let me know.
  • kthor6kthor6 Posts: 3
    What about warped brake rotors? This can create vibrations in the steering column. Even a millimeter of varation can create problems such as this.

    (FYI: I'm not really a "car" person, just an attorney who happens to represent people in a warped rotor case against GM.)

    I'm still thinking about getting the 2003 model. I'm glad you like yours.

    Good Luck. Kelly
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,318
    it sounds like they are prolonging the inevitable and need to replace the brake rotors. They might be warped.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    Both cars offer plenty of interior room and a rich leather interior. No V8 available in the Avalon but performance is good. Of course when it comes to low maitience and reliability BMW cannot compete here. However think of the all the fun you will have at the golf course instead of sitting at the BMW dealer hoping they kiss your a$$ and making you feel special.

    Your wife will miss the image & status with the Toyota but her friends and neighbors will get over it. Invest the 50k you will save and use it towards a preferred nursing home when you get old.

    Ok, I'm being a little extreme. If it make you feel better get the LS430 and invest only 20k towards the nursing home.
  • trmgatrmga Posts: 50
    jimxo--LS 430 is a done deal. Friends and neighbors being reasonably tolerant,whole deal has done absolutely zilch, nadda, zippo for my handicap, and being a former Naval Aviator, none of the nursing homes will talk to me. Being a very austute investor, will probably put the $20k in Worldcom. Best to all with the new 7 series. :=)
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    Nice move on the LS430 that thing should purr like a [non-permissible content removed] cat for years.

    As for the rest of you say hi to the parts guys for me.
  • force98force98 Posts: 81
    Great engineering and reliability, but BORING! And I wish Lexus would be a little more creative with their LS series, instead of copying Mercedes Benz styling year after year. Don't get me wrong--LS is a great car in its own right, but 7-series is a driver's car. And for the money, I think the Infinity Q45 is the best deal. Toyota Avalon? Please--not even in the same universe as the three other cars.
  • dahamdaham Posts: 3
    Does anyone have any personal experience with Dinan mods on a 740i sport. Visited the Co. recently, and they do really great things to the other model. Not sure if the 740 sport would benifit much from the software downloads, but wondering about the other mods. Supercharger takes it to 400 HP, but for $16,000, why bother. Comments welcome.
  • I recently discovered the Edmunds’ Town Hall discussion site. During the last two weeks I’ve read through virtually every post from the last fifteen months or so, and have found the discussion group very informative. I have especially enjoyed the spirited dialogue regarding the 745i.

    I’ve been a diehard BMW fan for many years. My first car was a ’74 Bavaria. My second car was a ’75 3.0csi, which I am glad to report is resting comfortably in my garage as I scribe this email. Now I am in the market for a 2001 740il sport package – my 200,000 mile Camry just no longer does it for me, especially since I have two small children and am beginning to drive them around much more than in the past.

    With the safety marketing "message" Volvo has cornered so well, I figured I would go the conservative route (since I’m a frugal guy) and buy a Volvo. What boring cars – all of them. I’m sorry, but basically the only four-door sedan that excites me is the 740il w/sport package. I love the idea of the 740i "short" sport, but one of the main reasons I will buy a replacement for my Camry is to haul my kids around, so I feel the need for the additional 5.5 inches. Plus – given what I will have to spend on one of these cars, I would not be at all surprised if I keep it for ten years or more, so my children will be able to grow into the rear seat area.

    So, that brings us to the purpose of my email. What is a good and fair price for a late "build" 2001 740il w/sport package/winter package with fewer than 15k miles? Based upon the numerous price info posting during the last year or so, it appears that the showroom floor price for the car I want was probably about $65k give or take $1k. If, on a lease basis, BMW drops the cars residual value during a 36-month lease to approximately 50% of the invoice amount, I calculate a monthly depreciation amount for the car of approximately $900/month. Therefore, a car driven moderately for twelve months should have a value of approximately $54,000 ($65K less 12 months of depreciation). However, most of the cars I’ve seen advertised – even with mileage approaching 20K or more, have asking prices starting at $57,000. In addition, the Town Hall postings describing the Year end 2001 sale of the il sport package cars at less than $60,000 brand new seems to throw a further wrench in my evaluation of the same year car, now used at the same price as a new one at the end of last year. Furthermore, the E39 is now discontinued – shouldn’t that further depress the price on these cars? Am I missing something here? Any input on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Finally, I want to weigh in on the 745i. In some respects I am quite drawn to the car. However, the design of the rear-end just doesn’t work for me – so much so that I would not purchase the car. By the same token, I completely support controversy, descent and provocative ideas. Therefore, I give BMW a hardy bravo for pushing the envelope.

    It is unfortunate I do not care for the design of the 745i, since it is described as a truly phenomenal automobile. BMW has, and continues to, produce wonderful cars. I have recently been reminded of their design instincts as I now routinely drive my ’75 3.0 coupe around town after five years of having the car in storage. Virtually every time I take the coupe out it draws positive attention. Ultimately, BMW is in the business of selling cars, not simply pushing innovative ideas, though, and if the new 745i is turning off potential buyers in large numbers, I would expect the 745i will be redesigned in the not too distant future.

    Thanks for reading.
  • welcome to the message boards!
  • Keep in mind the sport package on a 740iL is strictly cosmetic, while on the 740i you get the mods that make the car a rocket. As far as back seats go, I don't think you'll need the extra 5.5". The rear seats in a 740i are more than adequate, especially for kids.
    My thoughts on depreciation--I think the new E65 has had a reverse effect on values of the E38. So many people (including me) were so turned off by the E65 styling that it created a demand for late model E38s. I turned in my off-lease 740iL and opted to replace it with a 740i Sport, even though I could have afforded a 745i.
  • Steven -FORCE98 You mention that sports pkg for 740il is only cosmetic.what does the sports pkg do for the 740 i that it doesn't do for the 740il? thanks,Joe
  • 740i Sport:
    Steptronic transmission
    3.15:1 performance rear axle
    Higher stall speed torque converter
    Lowered about 1"
    Firmer shocks
    Thicker roll bars
    M-Parallel wheels with tires front 235/50ZR-18, rear 255/45ZR-18
    Shadow line exterior trim
    18-way Contour sport seats
    Vavona redwood interior trim

    740iL Sport:
    M-Parallel wheels with tires front 235/50ZR-18, rear 255/45ZR-18
    Shadow line exterior trim
    18-way Contour sport seats
    Vavona redwood interior trim
  • Autobuffalo, I just bought 4 more years of coverage for mine. Warranty Gold has a better price if you buy it while the car is still in the manufacturer's warranty, so I bought WG's Diamond plan for about $1,600 right before BMW's expired. If you get theirs make sure it's the Diamond plan, as it covers electrical components that can bite you. I usually wouldn't recommend these plans, but I rationalized buying it as a $400/year insurance policy.

    Force98 - I believe one of the big differences between the 740i and the Sport model is the top-end speed limitation on the non-sport model due to the chip. My 98 740i has H-rated tires thanks to the 129mph limiter.

  • What does everyone think of the 7 series styling? I think from the back window forward, it's gorgeous. But the trunk leaves me cold. Still, the criticism is overblown. Thoughts?

    -- Car Guy147
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    Hi there,
    Hope someone out there responds to my journalist friend on the following mission:

    Anyone out there shopping for a BMW? I'm a journalist with a national
    publication looking for people who have owned or are seeking to buy a
    BMW. I'm also looking for long-time BMW owners with thoughts about the
    styling of the new 7-series. If you don't mind being quoted, please send
    an email with your telephone number to and I will
    call and interview you. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks from both of us,
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • wow! thanks for your comprehensive layout of the difference between 740i and il.called 3 dealers and noone even mechanics could tell me ALL the differences but you did.I'm impressed. Now could you tell me how you would go about buying a 2000 740? would you use Ebay?thanks
  • fasrfasr Posts: 6
    i have reached the point of capitulation with my 1997 jeep grand cherokee limited (with 78,000 miles). it is totally unreliable and has too many problems to warrant keeping it. i have been looking at an older 740iL (or 540) as a replacement. the most important features i'm looking for are reliability, longevity, and quickness. i have found a 1997 740iL with 105,000 miles for $18,000. what do you think? i would really appreciate any advice i can get. thanks.
  • I believe the best way is to get a CPO car. Go here:, click on Certified Pre-Owned, and Vehicle Search. This allows you to see what the dealers around you have in stock. I personally would buy only a CPO car as they are very expensive to fix when out of warranty, and they are not as reliable as a Lexus, but much better than domestics.
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