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BMW 7-Series Maintenance and Repair

czmaczma Posts: 3
Hello All:

I was out for half year, and I dis-connect the battery for my 97 740il. I came back over the weekend, and I was able to start the car after I put the battery back on.

Here is the problem: at the early begining, I couldn't lock/unlock the car/truck by using the car key. So that I have to do it manually. And then two days later, all a sudden, it works fine! I can lock/unlock the car by using the car key.

And now I still have another problem on the trunk. If I want to unlock the trunk, then I have to RE-LOCK the car again, and use the key to unlock the trunk manually. I remember back to the old days, if the car doors were unlock, then I can go ahead to push the trunk key-hole, and the trunk will be unlocked.

Does anyone know how to fix it? I called dealer, and they said it will cost me $79.99 to reset. And this is too pricy. Thank you in advance.


  • f1buickf1buick Posts: 45
    you didn't say what year your car is. makes a BIG difference.

    you could try your own "reset" by disconnecting the battery negative ground cable for about 30 minutes. seems like you cpu is confused and stuck in some sort of software anomoly. before doing this, make sure all of your physical systems are as close as possible to the same position, i.e., the locks all are unlocked. hopefully, when you reconnect the cpu will reset itself with all physical systems "synced".
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    unless you like paying the dealer to unlock the radios.
  • czmaczma Posts: 3

    My radio is OK. I just don't know how can I reset the computer. Can you give me some more directions? Thanks!
  • Only a month after leasing a 2001 740il, with only 14,000 miles, went thru carwash and front body colored outside mirror cover came off, all 4 tabs inside seemed ok, so just hooked back in and still a little loose, is there an epoxy that should be used to keep cover from being so loose? welcome any ideas for help,

    Second question, notice black weatherstripping inside front right door was painted with must have been door area, rubber is black on left side (painting is also on same side mirror cover came off), some body painting was done, job is perfect, dealer knows nothing, nothing showed up on Carfax, is ther another way to find out history of 740, and if details of work done? BMW Corp. said I can go to original dealer, but not sure if any record, anyway to find out exactly what work was done?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Carfax won't show fender-bender type damage, only if the car was totalled. It might have been shipping damage. Most states allow dealers to repair minor damage to new cars without telling the customer. I think it's around $499 or less in California at any rate.

    As for the mirror, don't do anything so permanent as epoxy. Perhaps a silicone that sets up would be better.
  • mgemge Posts: 1
    I just bought a 1999 740i. I think I may have done something to the computer because I turned off the engine and tried to remove the key and turn the key before realizing that I had not put the car in park. Now when I start the car The air light come on goes off and then comes back on and stays on. According to the manual this means there is a malfunction un the system. Can I try to reset the system by disconnecting the battery. I have the navigation system so by disconnecting the battery will this cause more problems with the system.
  • tlcmantlcman Posts: 220
    I have a 2000 740 iL with the navigation system, Countless times I have been careless in pulling it into my garage and push the shifter up from 4th not drive, into N or reverse, if i put it in N i usually catch my self. But when I put it in R, and shut my car off, then realize that its not in park. I turn the key to the on position not starting the car and shift into park. Disconnecting the battery in any BMW is a very hairy situation, first of all you hard boot the computer and erase the code, so you have to re-enter it upon startup (well at least on my last few bmers) this is a anti-theft device installed by bmw. If you have not disconnected your battery STOP!!! do NOT disconnect it, it will be a nightmare most likely, The best that I can say since im not a BMW mechanic is take it to you local BMW service department, have them look at it. Or call them which ever works
    Hope this helps.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Wow......This is way too tempermental for me.
  • f1buickf1buick Posts: 45
    My gawd! Tlcman, you clearly are slave to your local dealer's service department! I sympathize with someone who is so terrified of performing the simplest operations on his vehicle.

    I've disconnect the battery on my 93 750 on several occasions with no problems whatsoever. In fact, there is a panel under the right rear seat cushion, with a negative ground connection for exactly that purpose! Disconnecting the battery resets the antitheft codes, but all that means is that you have to punch the codes into the radio and on board computer. Why is this some sort of big problem?
  • tlcmantlcman Posts: 220
    After buying an 80,000 dollar car i would like someone a little more prone to work on my car. There is a difference between the 93 and 00 correct me if I'm wrong but they only made one type 750 in 93 thats the iL. On my BMW and from what i take on Mge's 1999 BMW we have the navagational System which for some reason is slightly more complicated than the radio... Read the Manual Mge.
    I am completely terrified to do simple projects on my cars and trucks. Thats why I have a 1994 LandCruiser that i have put a lift kit, Kumara Turbo Charger, and rear differential lockers on it with no help from any service department besides the one that i purchased the hard wear from.
    I have owned a 318 i (88-90) 535i (90-2000) and currently a 740iL (2000-present) I take pride in the BMW's that I have owned and would not want to screw anyone elses up.
    For all we know disconecting the battery might not do a hill of beans. Mge just shoot you local dealer an e-mail, they might beable to tell you in a response
  • Hi all,

    I bought my 97 740il a little over a year ago and have begun noticing that it sometimes shakes a bit when I brake at about 40-50 mph. It still drives really smooth at high speeds, but this shaking is frieking me out. Any thoughts before I go to the dealer? Thanks!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    That's usually the symptom of a warped brake rotor. Any shake in the steering wheel under braking?
  • tlcmantlcman Posts: 220
    How many miles does it have on it? alcan is mostlikly right, you can try this but because its a BMW i would doubt that you would feel anything,,, Ok when slowing down at a stop sign / light push the brakes a little harder than usually but not to a skid, and see if you can feel any response in the peddle, If you do then it is the rotors. Also check your brake fluid. Do you drive the BMW like a sports car or like a regular around town car?
  • Thanks for the quick responses alcan and tlcman -
    I tried what you suggested tlcman and didn't feel anything in the peddle. The shaking/vibration also sometimes occurs when I'm on the accel, but only right around 50mph - any faster or slower and it's pretty smooth - and it doesn't occur on all roads, definitely a strange problem. Someone who had a similar problem thought it may be a balancing issue (I recently went with new 18" M-parallel wheels with Conti sport tires) and suggested I get "centering rings." What are those? Any thoughts? Thanks guys.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    If you have aftermarket wheels on it, that could easily be your problem. If you still have the old wheels, put them back on and try it. I'll bet the problem goes away. If it's not the wheels, or one of the wheels, it could be one of the new tires. A front to back rotation would prove that out for your.

    The steering is very sensitive on the 7-series, and any imperfection in balancing or roundness can be detected at the critical speed. As expensive as they are, many aftermarket wheels are not well balanced or round like the factory wheels are.
  • If the problem is that the wheels are not round, what's the fix?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Different wheels...See if you can take them back and exchange them, or find the one that's bad and demand a replacement maybe? If they're all goofy, get another brand. Frankly, on a car that precise, I see this a lot. There's nothing better than the factory wheels on a BMW for true handling. On a Chevy, you'll never notice, but on the BMW, any little imperfection will be magnified.
  • My 2000 740iL (18" M-Parallel wheels) recently developed a similar problem while driving (not braking). I know I was on my way to needing new tires, but did not notice a balance problem at any other speed. Also, on one ocurrence, I hit a small bump while accelerating onto the interstate. The wheel began to shake pretty violently until I hit about 60 mph. Pretty similar to headshake for any motorcyclists out there.

    I checked with my local high-performance tire dealer who told me he sees this problem frequently on BMW's when the mileage starts to creep up. Normal wear on the suspension/steering components make them extremely sensitive to tire wear patterns, balance and quality. I replaced the tires (Pirelli PZero Rosso's) last week with Michelin Pilot Sport A/S. Presto, no more problem! I will say that the steering does indeed feel "looser" than it did at lower miles. Anyone know of an adjustment that reduced free-play in the steering?

    If you 18" wheels are not OEM, make sure they are "hub-centric", or fit snugly around the hub or dust cap. If there is any free play, you'll never get the wheels to stay in balance as they actually shift on the hub. I had this problem with some beautiful Centerline wheels on my Suburban, and Centermine did not make a centering ring for a good fit. Ended up replacing them with Axis wheels which are hub-centric and no more problems.

    For anyone contemplating new tires for the 18" wheels, steer clear of the Pirelli's. They rode beautifully when new and were much quiter than the Michelin's. However by 6k miles they began to cup and get extremely noisy. The dealer rotated them (side to side) which did not help at all. At 12k miles the noise was intolerable and embarassing. Also, the rear tires were worn to the center bars. No better experience with the Continentals either!
  • tlcmantlcman Posts: 220
    But before you replace your tyres check your air pressure. Make sure that it is correct. I had a similar problem with my old 535 i and it turned out to be low tyre pressure, and it created a very distinct wear pattern.
  • I'm having this problem too. 1998 740iL. Pulled Continental Spare out of trunk, bought a match, and placed them both on the front, on or about same time as new front brakes. Put old worn out Michelin's on and reduced the shake-when-brake. Alignment expert says the wobble should not have harmed steering components. Hope it's true and off to replace tires, I guess. Any other advice?
  • tlcmantlcman Posts: 220
    mostlikly just the tyres,,, continental has made some pretty cruddy tyres for BMW's i personaly like Michelins or Goodyears. and remember that the 7 series has a very sensitive steering and fron shock system... i do take it that the new tyres were balanced correctly right?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Continental makes pretty cruddy tires for everybody, I found out through experience....
  • Thanks nvbanker and tlcman. The tire dealer called yesterday and confirmed that Continental was OEM for BMW 740iL spare tire. Interesting, maybe I just got hold of some bad tires. I have an appt tomorrow to see if brake rotor is warped, or was re-surfaced leaving less than the required 1.118 inches width on the rotor. (They call it "discharge of 1.118"). Yes - the tires were balanced by computer, then taken to an old speed balancer where a device is rolled up under the car and the mechanic held a "card" against the tire, showing the Continental tire was "out of round" - but they say that all tires are slightly out of round. And - I have same wobble when putting a worn out Michelin back on it. That's the last Continental I'll buy. Am I on the right track in isolating the problem? Do you think I have worn out steering components or shocks/struts?
  • The problem was that the last shop to replace brake pads resurfaced the rotors to 1.006 width (discharge) when you should never go below 1.118 inches. Everything is back to perfect. Hope this helps someone else out there.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Interesting. Only on a BMW would you notice that.
  • I'm not sure how well this translates into the E38 chassis (1995-2001), but both the E32 (1988-94) and the 5 series E34 have EXACTLY the problem described by eworker 1. The problem can be exacerbated by bad tires/rotors, of course, but that is more of a symptom than a solution.

    The specific cause is (are) the upper control arm bushings, or "thrust arm" bushings as they also are called. They take a big load during braking and tend to wear out rather quickly on these very heavy and agressively driven cars--I got 55k out of the originals before vibration set in.

    Unfortunately, before I discovered the root cause I managed to burn through a set of new oem rotors in only 12,000 miles--everything seemed "cured" for about a year and then the vibration returned. The next time around I replaced both the rotors and the bushings, and things returned to normal.
  • I've got a 1997 740il that's producing a noise that sounds like a tape deck changing tracks. It's not that loud and there's no tape in the deck.There is also a clicking sound coming from the same area.It sounds like something is trying to reposition but never succeeds. has anyone ever heard anything similar to theses noises.
  • those are the electric stepper motors for your vent system (open and close the vents). one of them either is off track, or it is confused about its position and is bumping up against the limit of its motion range. I've had one doing this intermitently for about 60,000 miles, in the same area you've mentioned. they are an absolute pita to get to and not worth fixing imho. my hvac continues to work just fine.
  • ideanidean Posts: 1
    I recently drove into a snow bank with my 2000 740il, after I drove off I noticed the external temperature gauge going from -20 to -40 finally stoping at - 40 . I guess I must have broken the extenal sensor , does anyone know where it is located and how to change it .
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You may have just put it into the snow, it may not be broken. But they are usually located behind the grille somewhere, in front of the radiator.
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