Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier



  • I'm in the process of deciding on purchasing a 740IL probably the 2001 model. I had a great mechanic in Atlanta who worked on an older 535 that I drove for over 200K miles and he suggested the 530I over the 740 based on frequency of maintenance required on the 7 series. For me the 5 series is no bigger than my wife's Honda and I get the size and the performance in the 7 for not much more money than the 02 530. I found an 01 740il at a dealer in Addison, TX for 10K less than what most folks are asking and it was loaded. Any suggestions on things to look for on this model or a reputable dealer or mechanic in the area ?
  • sboothesboothe Posts: 4
    I've decided to keep my vehicle even though it has one of the M60 Nikasil liners engines I realize the wholesale value is ~10k or less; however, the interior and exterior are in excellent condition. Since 23 Apr of this year, I've completed the following repairs: replace fuel pump (included diagnosis, troubleshooting and labor for $600); replace both sides leaking valve cover gaskets and all bolts seals, renew coolant, replace oil & filter and spark plugs ($700); and replaced all drive belts, engine mounts, power steering return&supply hoses/seals/gaskets (including diagnose - $1400). Things still needing to be repaired front thrust strut mounts (estimate $650), center steering link ($650), and tie rod ($400). Oh forgot $1000 for new A/C system in 2002 when I bought vehicle (I thought this was the only thing wrong with the vehicle). I have been getting my repairs done at a local Va Bch dealership and found their prices to be very comparatible to another independent repair shop. I'm not bitter - I love the looks of the vehicle and it drives well. According to BMW dealership, not all Nikasil liner engine blocks go bad. The recent rough idleing I was experiencing could have been due to two injectors that were mistakenly recoupled during one of the previous repair events.

    Thanks to all those above who have provided feedback; especially, the individual who says I can get a new short block for less than $2k (brentwoodvolvo). Please provide additional info for obtaining this block. I might purchase and put in storage since as you can see I now have invested heavily in the continued life of this vehicle. Bottomline - I'm committed to keeping it for a very long time and want it to be in excellent/like new running condition.

    A friend provided me with a lead for hyperlink for Zionauto ( which is where I obtained fiscal data on $2400 new short block (plus couple hundred shipping). 40 man/hr estimate provided by local independent repair shop specializing in BMWs.
  • muddogmuddog Posts: 26
    It's been 16 years, but I used to take my 7 series to Joe Priore, who had a shop near Love Field. Don't know if he's still around.

  • goose1207goose1207 Posts: 113
    The radiators/expansion tanks are prone to fail/leak. Also, check for any power steering or oil leaks. Control arm bushings are another one as well as O2 sensors. Most of these last to about 60k miles or so.
  • cmeskiicmeskii Posts: 3
    You have FINALLY made it!!! A BMW in the garage, and you are indeed a proud person.
    Sleep comfortably.. with the thought that a Buick is a better built vehicle than yours is...
  • kuselerkuseler Posts: 6
    Take a look at:

    The 7 face lift looks very sharp, they must be listening at BMW.

    We'll see how the un-screw the new 5 disaster?
  • eric312eric312 Posts: 71
    I recently bought a 2001 740I and I keep having random electronic problems with it. Just wondering if someone has experienced something similar. For example:
    1. When I press the button on the door the side mirrors do not close
    2. When the door is open I have to press and hold the memory button in order to get driver’s seat into programmed position. According to the manual I should only have to hold the button when the door is closed.
    3. Alarm does not unlock the doors until I unlock them with a key manually.
    4. If I leave the car parked with the front wheels turned, when I come back to the car and start driving the steering wheel is very stiff until I stop with the wheels straight and turn off the car for a few minutes.
    All of the above happens randomly so if I just go to the dealer I will not be able to demonstrate it to him.

    Three more “improvement” questions:
    1 Has anyone connected a later model Motorola phones to 740 instead of the old StarTec that it came with and how much did it cost?
    2. Where and for how much can I buy updated DVDs for navigation?
    3 Is it possible to watch TV and play DVD on the navigation screen?
  • bmwgurubmwguru Posts: 51
    The first two problems could be the switch cluster. The problem with the alarm could be the key battery being weak. Do you have a power steering leak? The later model phones will cost you about $1500-$1700 before installation, IF one is available. Call 1-866-NAV-TECH for the nav CD/DVD. I don't know if you can play regular DVD's, but you can't get a TV reciever to integrate with the nav unit.
  • goose1207goose1207 Posts: 113
    You can get a TV receiver for the nav unit:
    The kit is about $1200 - $1300
    They also sell a DVD install kit as well.

    As far as the cell phone goes, BMW just introduced the Bluetooth kit for their current models. The word is that a retrofit kit will be available any day now for '01 5 & 7-series built after a certain date (unknown but the later the bld date, the better your chances of it working). Bluetooth will allow you to use all of the cars integrated cell phone features w/o having to spend $1500+ for the old CPT8000 BMW phone. It is just WLAN technology.
  • bmwgurubmwguru Posts: 51
    BMW did introduce the Bluetooth in Europe. Not in the U.S. as yet. They will be an option later in the year, maybe in October. There has been no official word on when. Retrofit kits will most likely be introduced after the first of the year. I work in a BMW parts department, so I'm giving you the straight truth.
  • sdevsdev Posts: 7
    I am looking at buying a '98 740iL for $20k. It is on good condition inside and out, but has 79,000 miles, doesn't have a CD changer and needs new tires. Its CarFax report is clean. Anyone have experience out there with this vintage?

    How do I go about replacing the integrated phone on the center console with a storage tray?
  • goose1207goose1207 Posts: 113
    Currently, BMW is filling orders here in the U.S. on Bluetooth for the 3, 5 & X5. They're working on the retrofit kit for the E38 7's.

    SDEV: Get the service history for the car. If the previous owner had it maintained at a BMW dlr, any BMW dlr can pull the records for you.

    Some things to look out for are the radiator (common for cracks to develop around the neck), water pump, and thrust arm bushings and ball joints.

    Personally, I would go with a '99 or newer since you get the VANOS and xenons. And w/ a '00 you get the nav and some other goodies as standard equipment.
  • bmwgurubmwguru Posts: 51
    Goose, please tell me where you are getting your info on the Bluetooth.
  • coo1coo1 Posts: 5
    Hi 7 owners/experts,
    I just purchased a 2002 745i demo with 3995 miles from an out of state dealer. While waiting for the car to be delivered, I had a few questions.
    1)I have only heard about the iDrive issues. So what should I expect and how can I get used to the system quickly?
    2)Is there a dealer in DC metro region who you would recommend based on quality of service? Especially since I am not buying from the local dealer.
    3)Any other tips and 'watch outs'.
  • What are the chances of a an owner of a 2001 740IL with a CPT7000 phone cradle being able to use the upcoming bluetooth upgrade kit. My car was built 10/2000. If the answer is slim and none, then how do I find an upgrade kit to upgrade my CPT7000 to a CPT8000 and find the CPT8000 phone also.
  • dansa2dansa2 Posts: 28
    Would like to purchase 99 or 00. How do the two years differ and how do the i and iL differ in the way each handles while driving? Is the back seat in the i comfortable?
  • dansa2dansa2 Posts: 28
    No need to reply. I know, read previous posts starting with the first, and I will.
    If you want to see a great chase scene featuring a 99' 735 with a v-12 check out the movie 'The Transporter'. Not sure if it is the i or iL, but it seemed to have the sport package because it was a stick shift.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421

    You can look up the differences between the two model years by clicking on the "Used" blue tab at the top of this page. And you can use the "search this discussion" feature on the page bar to look for messages here by any keywords you'd like.

    This is not an extremely active discussion, but someone may still show up who can give you some relevant thoughts.

    Meanwhile, check out some of the other discussions listed under the Make/Model search for 7-Series. You might drop by the High End Luxury discussion with this question and you might want to scan through some of the ones in the archives.

    Good luck!
  • wazoodawazooda Posts: 1
    I am looking at owning my first BMW - a 2001 740i.

    I plan on getting it from a dealer with an extended warranty... yet... I am concerned about the anecdotal information I have gotten from friends and family with BMW's who say the cost of repair is WAY more expensive than even Mercedes or Lexus.

    I'm curious for thoughts on this. I live in the Southern Calif. area and wonder if it is more a regional issue, a dealership issue, or if they are just incorrect.

    Thanks in advance,

  • goose1207goose1207 Posts: 113
    Read my previous post #816 regarding maintenance costs. Repairs, like most other cars are expensive if you go to the dealer. But if you have the BMW CPO extended warranty, you should have nothing to worry about. Find a good independent after the warranty runs out. If reliability is a key concern, then get a Lexus. If you are willing to trade-off some repair issues for excellent driving dynamics, then get the 7. This is not to say that these cars are prone to breaking down. I'm just saying that there are some known problem areas (radiator, control arm bushings, MID pixels, etc.)and if you buy one with the expectations of having to spend some $$$ at some point in time to fix these items, you should be ok.
  • goose1207goose1207 Posts: 113
    The 2000 model year came standard with the premium package. This means that if you buy a '99 w/o the PP, you will miss out on the nav, dsp, xenons, headlight washers, & rain sensing wipers. The leg room in the iL is like a limo. It's great if you frequently transport tall (6'+) folks in the back seat.
  • aciampiaciampi Posts: 66
    Not to try and annoy anybody but I was wondering how people felt about the new look to BMW's and the idrive. Personaly I am not a fan of the new look of both the 7 and the new redesigned 5 series. In my opinion the previous generation was the all time best looking BMW. As far as the idrive goes I feel as though it is too complicated and too much.
    I have had both a '97 and '00 740iL, both were the absolute best car I have ever driven. The only vehicle to actualy impress me more was when I test drove an '02 745i. The acceleration and handeling was just unbelievable, and I would be driving one today if the didn't complicate that idrive and take away the center console shifter. Also and correct me if I am wrong but I believe that BMW is missing the big picture here by not putting back the center console shifter and by the idea of installing a second idrive for back seat passengers for the owners children. It's bad enough the buyer has to sit through a 4 hour test just to be able to take your new car off the lot.
  • spiros2spiros2 Posts: 1
    Here is the question:

    I am looking into purchasing a certified pre-owned 2002 745Li at around 40K miles.

    I commute to work at about 100 miles a day round trip and notice that I put about 30K miles per year on any given car.

    Within 2 years, I would reach the 100K mile point and therefore run out of extended warranty.

    Several questions for you gurus:

    1) Should I spent $45K for this car knowing that I drive that much?
    2) What is the average maintenance cost ( not paying someone to go through checklists, but when something is really wrong ) with cars like this that would shock the pocket above the 100K mile range?
    3) What would I expect to trade in this car in 3 years from now with 130K miles on it? ( I am sure the dealers have not yet seen what could go wrong with this model as of yet ... Not many 745's could be above 100K at this time ).
    4) How difficult is it to locate qualified mechanics above the 100K dealer extended warranty point?

    Thanks !
  • Spiros2, are you saying you have found a 2002 with CPO for only 45K? Or that you would like to find one at that price? If you have found one, recognize that this is way under market and just jump on it. Then drive the wheels off it.
  • adobadob Posts: 18
    Anybody know when the 2004 models should hit the showrooms, and more importantly, what updates are planned?
  • I, like many others out there I'm sure, have just purchased a beautiful 2001 740iL. It has all of the bells and whistles, yet is missing the phone. I know this has to be a common problem and I have read some archived posts. I have yet to find the solution. I would like to think that one of the phone manufactures, and HOPEFULLY BMW has given this some thought and effort. Can anyone point me in the right direction to get a phone that will be compatible with my car systems? Thanks.
  • des1des1 Posts: 1
    I'm considering purchasing a used 2002 745i. Are there any particular problem areas I need to look out for?

    Should I maybe wait a bit for any of the 1st production year bugs to be worked out before getting the 745i?
  • I would talk to the former owner. I think that the first year had more than its share of lemons.
  • There were some software patches for the iDrive that it might need, but I don't think there were any real pervasive problems with the car. Best thing to do is get the service record for the car and see how it's done so far..DB
  • I am looking at buying a 1985 735i with 138,000 miles on it from the original owner. The body is in good shape. Carfax reports no problems. It drives well and the guy is only asking 2K. Is this a good deal or am I going to be eaten alive with repairs. The car will actually be for my two teenage drivers, so that is a factor. It does need new tires and the windshield has a star crack. I also will neeed to put in a CD player to pacify the kids. Let me know what you think.
Sign In or Register to comment.