BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier



  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    The new 7 is supposed to have (gulp!) automatic lane-correction as an option, among other off-the chart things. I expect Mercedes to come up with an answer around about 2004, both of these cars will need their own factory rep to help you drive them.

  • cconkeycconkey Member Posts: 1
    Are there any sites out there that have decent photos of the 2002 model?
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Not yet. All the ones I've seen don't really do the car justice, I like to wait until the company in question releases their first photos. I would say look for the new 7 at the Geneva show next March.

  • gearmangearman Member Posts: 30
    As you may have gathered from tracing this thread back over the last year, BMWs are revered for their wonderful highway road behavior, nicely finished interiors, consistently clean interior and exterior styling (thanks to IDEA SpA.of Italy), and an enthusiastic owner group. On the downside, the comparatively tiny size of BMW means that the company has insufficient economies of scale to afford the extraordinary costs of designing the manufacturing systems and construction methodology that permit low labor hours per unit, minimize post-production hand repair of manufacturing glitches, and low maintainence costs.

    As a result, as noted by many contributors to this thread, as well as to the 5 series thread, is that higher mileage / older Bimmers tend to require regular mechanical attention, some of it rather expensive. This characteristic is also evidenced by large amount of depreciation expense owners of new Bimmers incur; the escalating maintainence expenses associated with higher-mileage vehicles is the economic cause of the high depreciation cost. (note that once you sweep aside the marketing smoke of "depreciation rate" v. the actual dollar amount of the depreciation, the 7 and 5 series BMW suffer from rather high depreciation expense.)

    In assessing the particular car that you are considering, your first action should be to find an experienced mechanic who specializes in BMWs and understands their specific maintainence requirements and deterioration characteritics. Investing a couple of hundred dollars for a through mechanical evaluation is cheap insurance. With a knowledgeable mechanic's advice, you should be able to determine if your candidate car offers both a good value and a reasonable mechanical life expectancy or if its just another candidate for the BMW Lemon web site.

    You should avoid any Bimmer with the ZF automatics (the V-engined 5 & 7 series). Those cars are still subject to recall and continued mechanical adventures.

    The manual transmission cars and the GM autotrans cars have reliable transmissions. Also, the manufacturing short cut that BMW took with many of its aluminum alloy blocks of deleting the pressed-in steel cylinder liners produced significant manufacturing cost reductions at the expense of manifold long-term maintainence issues. The sixes have always been BMW's forte. They are delightfully smooth powerplants that offer reasonable mechanical reliability.

    The brake systems are another area of manufacturing expediency. The brakes perform very well, but they are subject to unusually high maintainence frequencies.

    Be sure to check for signs of trailer towing, such as signs of trailer hitch receiver removal, wiring system modification,etc.). Unlike in Europe with its short distances and moderate climate, BMW has typically required warranty voidance if trailers are towed in North America. While the warranty issue is not relevant to you, the beyond-design-intent wear imposed upon BMWs used to tow trailers would exacerbate the car's deterioration (as per BMW-NA; speak to their consumer affairs dept if you need more info on that topic). BMWs are not Suburbans or Crown Victorias; they don't have the mechanical integrity for towing and are not intended to be mechanically stressed in that fashion.

    Good luck with your search. If you're successful, you'll be delighted with a terrific car.
  • maneesh1maneesh1 Member Posts: 39
    I'm interested in getting a 98 740iL. I think this was last redesign before the 2001. Does this come with HID lights as standard? Also, I've seen some with an aluminum plate in the back over the trunk lid opening and I've seen some without. Does a 98 come with this or is it a dealer installed option?

    Thanks in advance,
  • is4b2rdis4b2rd Member Posts: 66
    I have a 98 740i. The 99 model was the year that the minor update was done to the front turn signal lights and scalloped headlamps. Also, the rear tail lamps were changed to bright optical look. I don't think the navigation and xenons were made standard until the 2000 model. Both were available as an option on the 98.

    The rear chrome strip above the license plate area was standard as of 2000 model year, though not on the Sport. The part is only about $35.00 and you can apply it yourself very easily. I prefer the clean look. It looks better on the EUro models because the chrome is the length of the license plate area. The US version, has a smaller (not as wide) openeing and the chrome strip looks kinda dorky hanging off to either side I think.
  • maneesh1maneesh1 Member Posts: 39
    I guess it's the 99 I want then. I don't like the older lights. I was going to trade in my 97 Inf. I30T for a 98 740iL... But the 99/2k are too much right now.

    Thanks for your input.
  • is4b2rdis4b2rd Member Posts: 66
    One bonus to the 99 is it is fairly simple to switch out the front corner lights to clear and the rear tail lamps to the red/white clear optical as on the 2001. Add the chrome strip and your car will look exactly like a 2001.
  • bnolan7534bnolan7534 Member Posts: 3
    This is what your Christmas list will look like this year. Don't say anything, just listen.

    1)Mercedes S600 Sport
    2)Mercedes S55
    3)Mercedes S500 Sport
    4)Mercedes S430 Sport
    5)BMW M7 (If they made it)

    Why are the 740i Sport, and the 740il, faster than the 750il? Anyway get your order in now. For further information, go to

  • 1stbmw11stbmw1 Member Posts: 2
    I have never owned a BMW before, but currently considering a 95 740i that has had the 4.0L replaced by the 4.4L engine. The car is in excellent condition. Are there any issues with this model that I need to be aware of? Is it expensive to maintian? Please advise.

  • buyer4568buyer4568 Member Posts: 7
    Dear First, I am on my 6th BMW and it is a 95 740iL. I bought it new. While I only have 45,000 miles on my car, it is probably the best car I have ever owned. Now mind you, the 40,000 or so mile check ups are not cheap, but I only change the oil every 5,000 miles at $55 at the dealer. My only complaint is that my car suffers from disappointing torque at low speeds. I understand this was corrected with the 4.4L engine, so you should not have that complaint. I would have an independent garage (or your dealer) check out the engine before you buy. Just because it looks great, doesn't necessarily mean that it's mechanically fit. You will find this to be the most comfortable car you have ever owned. The drawback - you can never downgrade!
  • is4b2rdis4b2rd Member Posts: 66
    Hi, how much is the 40k checkup? My 98 is scheduled to go in in a couple weeks for the Inspection checkup. I now have 41k on the car.
  • bwhbwh Member Posts: 76
    Since when is the 740 faster than the 750? We just upgraded from a '95 740iL to a '98 750iL, there is NO comparison, the power of the V12 is omnipresent. Anyway I have the closest thing to an M7, the 750iL with the 18" M sport wheels.
    Are you sure they replaced the engine with a 4.4? Just because the short block was replaced does not mean it is the 4.4. When BMW does this under warranty the cars get new 4.0L blocks. Have the front lower control arms inspected, when the ball joints wear out the whole aluminum arm must be replaced. Make sure all of the gadgets work, spend a good half hour in a parking lot with the car. Like any premium auto the maint costs are high. I think the inspection 2 service is about $500, and the inspection 1 is about $350. Awesome cars though, this is our 4th BMW and second 7 series.
  • joe_jensenjoe_jensen Member Posts: 27
    Anyone here put metalized window tint on a newer 7 series? Does it impact the AM radio reception?...joe
  • m5davem5dave Member Posts: 1
    Hi everyone,

    I'm considering a '95 740iL for my wife but I'm wondering about a couple of things. First, does anyone here have high miles on an E38? If so, have you found any particularly troublesome areas, such as the transmissions? Not too worried about small stuff, just the major hardware.

    Next, I suppose the '95 had the original 4.0 M60 motor (same as E32 and E34). Is this correct, and if so, does anyone know for sure if these had nikasil blocks? I haven't noticed E38 owners talking about motor replacements, but then again, I've only just started paying attention to E38s.

    Thanks for any input.

    '91 M5
  • 1stbmw11stbmw1 Member Posts: 2
    As it turns out, the 740i was a '94 and the new engine was a 4.0L which was replaced under warranty work at 50K miles. I had the car checked out and purchased it last week. I love driving it, but it won't be cheap--especially if gas prices keep going up. The BMW manual recommends 90+ Octane, is there a significant advantage running 93 vs. 90? I do a fair amount of highway driving.
  • bwhbwh Member Posts: 76
    The '95 had the nikasil block still. It was corrected in '96 with the 4.4L. Many of the blocks have been replaced by now. I would not under any circumstances take a chance on a nikasil block. My '95 had 88k miles on it when we traded for the 750. The transmissions in the E38 have been much better than the E32, no problems there. The cars have a lot of electronics though, make sure everything works.
    1st bmw, running lower octane gas will not HURT your car, it will retard the spark curve accordingly to avoid knock. You may lose a small amount of performance, although most people would not be able to tell. Personally I run the reccomended fuel in all of my cars, all three require premium, one of the pitfalls of buying a premium car.
  • bmwaaronbmwaaron Member Posts: 16
    I was at a restaurant the otherday, and infact I saw an M750iL and that's what it said on the back, M750iL. I had the choice between the sport package and chose not to take it because from what I've heard and read the people who purchase the 7 series (besides the 740i) regret adding the sport package because it is a luxury sedan, and don't like the stiff ride.
  • pflaumpflaum Member Posts: 13
    I have a 7 Sport Model and I don't regret it for a minute. I previously owned a 740 iL. The ride of the sport is not all that rough and the performance is outstanding. I have even taken it to driver's school.

    According to my dealer, almost every short wheelbase model that they have sold has been a sports model so your information regarding unhappy customers is suspect. I would never go back to a standard 7 after owning this beast.

  • mlabusmlabus Member Posts: 1
    I have a 95 740i with 98K, bought with 79K. How do I know if I have the nikasil block? I have an October/95 manufacture date. I have noticed a little vibration at idle that I have heard is a sign that the engine is going. With a 100K warranty, I am taking it in to BMW tomorrow for inspection. I discussed this with my arrogant BMW service advisor (a prerequisite, I think, to become part of BMW), who says that if I had a bad block, I would have known about it long ago.

    Also, whats the story on the reliability of the dot matrix for the temp readout and MID? The temp readout has already been replaced, and I lose a few pixels, it seems, every time I look at the MID. Cant BMW figure out how to make a reliable readout?

    Last, any experience with maintenance at 100K or so? What should I be expecting? Unfortunately, I am familiar with the catalytic converter(s) going bad, and have the death rattle to prove it. Is there a suitable aftermarket product, or should I stick with the BMW part? Can you replace one, or should both be replaced?
  • bwhbwh Member Posts: 76
    Your car came with a nikasil block originally. The dealer will be able to tell you if it has been replaced. Or if you can find the engine number and croos referance it, you will know. A slight vibration at idle does not mean the engine is bad, these are highly strung V8s and do have some vibration. Find a dealer willing to work with you on the nikasil problem. If your current one is a PIA, switch immediately. He is wrong, many of these engines exceed 100k before having problems, but they ALL have them eventually.
  • obiwankenobi1obiwankenobi1 Member Posts: 290
    I am selling a 1995 BMW 740i to a friend of mine. It has 32,000 original miles on it, but now I am worried about if it has "nikasil block" that you all are talking about. I would love to sell this car, but since it is to a friend, I don't want it to come back and haunt me.

    Please, let me know how to find this out!

    Worried Seller
    P.S. I am selling him an all comprehensive 4/48,000 warranty with the car. Will that be sufficient?
  • bwhbwh Member Posts: 76
    I looked it up so those interested can review the info themselves. Go to
    This will give you all of the info on the M60 V8 and the nikasil problem. I personally feel that eventually all of these engines will develop the problem. It is caused by a chemical reaction and will affect the performance sooner or later. As for selling to a friend, as long as he/she is aware of the problem I would sell in good consience. Paying to put a new block into a lower mile car is preferable to putting it into a high mile car from a resale standpoint. Good Luck.
  • mtdreammtdream Member Posts: 1
    I am possibly going to purchase a 740i it is a 97 and about 70k mileage. Since I am new to the model and make are there any known problematic areas. I read with interest the other topics like the nikasil block and the silicon injected cyclinders. Are these fixedint eh 97-98 models? are there other issues?

    I love the experience and the safety of the 7 series. hope to get one and heard lots of good stuff but am concerned about the trannies and engines. I understand routine stuff have no problem with it etc. but help is appreciated.
  • bwhbwh Member Posts: 76
    The 95 models had the engine problem, the pre 95 models had transmission problems. The 96 and up cars are pretty solid machines. Make sure all of the electrical do-dads work. If you do not care for surprises an extended warrenty is a good idea on any used car this complex.
  • viktvikt Member Posts: 1
    I am close to purchasing a 98 740I with 53K mileage. Is there anything I should know about this model.. repair history, experiences--both good and bad-- etc. I am also shopping for warranty? Can someone share some info on warranty?
  • is4b2rdis4b2rd Member Posts: 66
    I have a 98 740i with about 43k miles. The car is an absolute dream to drive and truly a pleasure to own. I haven't had any problems thus far and am getting ready to take it in for its first "major" service in a couple weeks, which unfortunately will be out of my pocket as the free maintenance is over. If the car was well cared for and maintenance kept up on it, I don't think there should be any problems. I'd definitely have it thoroughly checked by a good mechanic prior to purchasing as well as extended warranty. If you are buying from the dealer, and the car has passed their checks, they should be offering you a warranty, similar to the Mercedes Starmark. Then, you are pretty safe.
  • sysadbsysadb Member Posts: 83
    IS4B2RD: I just bought a 98 740i with 13k miles in August. I'd be interested in hearing the major service details (and price) when you do it. My car went into service 8/4/98, so I have some time left on the service benefit.

    VIKT: I checked with Warranty Gold before I bought mine and they have a nice feature where the coverage (in time) begins when you purchase their plan, instead of when the car went into service originally. The miles limitation still applies, but this works well for people that do not put a lot of miles on their car, and thus are looking for more years of coverage rather than just milage. Regards,

  • redraiderptredraiderpt Member Posts: 1
    I am looking at buying an 89 735 iL for $6500. It has a great exterior and interior, new tires and battery. I am going to have my mechanic check it out first, but wanted to know if anyone has had any prior experience with this year model. The downside is that it has 170,000 miles, which my mechanic said is nothing if the car has been maintained. thanks. JSL
  • bwhbwh Member Posts: 76
    That is a lot of miles for any car. Fortunately you can buy a rebuilt engine for that car for a pretty reasonable price if you need to. The "big six" is a nice engine though, very long running.
  • joe_jensenjoe_jensen Member Posts: 27
    My salesman, while very nice and respectful, doesn't understand some of the details very well...joe
  • whemmewhemme Member Posts: 4
    I believe that the automatic transmission in this car is a ZF unit. It has exhibited a strange behavior on at lease two occasions in the past 24,000 miles that I have owned this car. When pulling away from a stop sign and at a speed estimated at only 5 to 15 MPH, the car will jerk almost violently like the automatic transmission shifted into reverse for only a 1/4 of a second or so and then will proceed normally with its acceleration from the stop sign. It almost seems like the computer controlling the transmission got momentarily confused as to which direction the car should be traveling. Have any of you 7 series owners out then every experienced this and if so what other information about it can you provide me. I would hate to think what would happen if this problem ever occurred when traveling down the highway at 70 MPH!
  • coolmatt44coolmatt44 Member Posts: 54
    Hey everyone currently drive a 200 740i Sport/fully loaded. We have been looking for an SUV, does anyone know when the x7 is due to come out we would love to have another one fo these babies in the garage. Also we are looking at the rr cross Country, any feedback? Thanks a lot.
  • is4b2rdis4b2rd Member Posts: 66
    If it were my money, I'd wait for the NEW Range Rover, which should be available next year. I like the style of the Rangie more than the X5.
  • bmwaaronbmwaaron Member Posts: 16
    Please post the details about the key memory, because my dealer and parts department said they know of no such thing. The details would be greatly appreciated.


  • force98force98 Member Posts: 81
    I have a '99 740iL with this feature. The keys were programmed for my wife and I. There is no need to have the keys reprogrammed each time you make changes. I have discovered that the particular key remembers all settings from the previous time it was used. If I use my key remote to open the car after my wife has used it, the seats, mirrors, radio, HVAC, etc., all return to my preferred settings. Also, for security, the car will lock the doors automatically when my wife uses her key, but not when I use mine. Nice feature!
  • force98force98 Member Posts: 81
    Hi to all you 7-series owners. My wife owns a '99 740iL, which has been virtually trouble-free over the 18 months we've owned it. The driver seat leather, for some odd reason, wore out prematurely where one's lower back is located (only had 9K on the car at the time). The dealership pulled the seat out and had it reupholstered, at no charge. Also, the transmission slips at times, then bangs into gear hard. This occurs mainly when the car is in the middle of a downshift at slow speeds, then I suddenly accelerate. BMW says this is normal, which I find odd. When we purchased the car we immediately upgraded the wheels and tires. We purchased 17" Momo Sport wheels and Nitto NT 450 Extreme Performance tires. Car handles much better than with the stock Continentals (don't have the sport package).
  • brucec35brucec35 Member Posts: 246
    Sounds like a good price to me, depending on condition. Some '97's with that mileage are going for about the same price.
  • bwhbwh Member Posts: 76
    Be prepared to open your wallet. Transmissions are known to fail. If it shifts abruptly that is a bad sign. Rear shock accumulators are known to fail. Not real expensive but very common. Heater cores are prone to leaking. I looked at one that had the ASC (traction control) illuminated. Turned out to be $3000 worth of electronic parts. Not all of the power seat controls worked right. This was on a very nice looking '90 with 63,000 miles. They are wonderful cars, they are just VERY complex and getting old. If you don't mind tinkering yourself you can save some but this is a very expensive car to care for. On the plus side they are magnificent machines, king of the road.
  • vovovovo Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know if/when BMW is introducing the new shape. I have seen a sleekier version of the 7 series in one of the auto mags but could not figure out if it will be introduced as a 2002 or a 2003 model.

    I am seriously looking at 1998s 740i, 749iL, and 750i. Am very interested in hearing about their perfromance/troubles (if any) from respective owners.


    p.s. any experience with BMW White Plains vs BMW Greenwich dealers?
  • joe_jensenjoe_jensen Member Posts: 27
    BMW is going to introduce an all new 7 series as a 2002 model year. I have not been able to determine exactly when they will introduce it. Apparently, BMW launch dates are uncertain and they move a lot until the cars show up. One local dealer claims the new 330 is 5 months late. On the 7 series I have been told as early as June of 2001, and as late as June of 2002. I think it will most likely arrive in the US in the fall of 2001.

    Check this site out [url][/url]
  • traumagastraumagas Member Posts: 64
    I read in auto week that next generation 7 will be 2003 but who knows, I have a 95 740 il with 50k on it loaded out its for sale and has warr until june 2001 (cashemere). I would stay away from 750il who really needs a v12 the maint and resale are the down side
  • millerro3millerro3 Member Posts: 136
    From what I can decipher in the BMW internal bulletins, new 740i due out in spring of 2003 with the iL to follow in summer of 2003. That's what BMW is saying NOW, when it comes time, I'm sure timeframe will change

  • millerro3millerro3 Member Posts: 136
    I meant spring and summer of 2002, sorry!

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    And it promises to be some kinda car. One feature I found very interesting is "Automatic Lane Correction" and of course the "I-Ball" system (?), if you think the S-Class is techy just wait.

  • shannon11shannon11 Member Posts: 1
    famous ky horse trainer just traded 1998 740ilbmw 25,000 miles
    $45.900 if interested contact shannon

    [email protected]
  • sergeymsergeym Member Posts: 275
    Does anybody know when 7-series body was refreshed last time? I saw 2001 740il yesterday and it looks a little different than 95 model.
  • bmwaaronbmwaaron Member Posts: 16
    This is only one of many letters I have written to BMW and a few times I have recieved a reply from the CEO in Munich. Here it is:

    What is the epitome of driving? THE BMW 7 Series.

    BMW sets trends, not follows them like Mercedes or Audi. So what all you so called "Loyal BMW-Fans" are actually urging the complete disintegration of the 7 series. You are actually plotting against classic BMW design, even the Z8 encompasses classic design, whereas NONE of the new designs have any classic styling. If BMW wants to continue updating, that's fine but don't destroy the Ultimate Luxury Car. The current design commands respect and prestige. Where I live, five or six Mercedes S500 and S55s go by and no one turns their head, when a new 740iL or 750iL (2001) comes down the street, traffic stops and everyone looks. BMW can create a new design, but re-number it, keep the current design and call it the 740isL or something of that nature, S for sport. BMW has always set the trends, and Mercedes and all the other companies follow BMWs designs, BMW sets trends, not follows them.

    If you agree with me, please write BMWDesign Works and express your feelings.


  • bigbrother1bigbrother1 Member Posts: 5
    I am looking at purchasing a 1993 740il with 65000 miles on it. I gather from some of the messages I have read that there is a problem with the block? Can someone expand on this and also are there any other known problems with that year?
  • tscanlon2tscanlon2 Member Posts: 1
    I just purchased a 740IL with 50K miles. I got a great price but the car was short the manual. I've tinkered with the universal remote for the garage door opener unsuccessfully while I wait for my manual.

    Can someone give me a quick sentence on how I "teach" my beemir remote to talk to my garage door opener?
Sign In or Register to comment.