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BMW 7-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • elightelight Posts: 1
    I had the same problem; a Version 25 (V25) software CD has to be loaded & installed where the Nav CD goes. This CD is a spacial tool that has been sent to all BMW dealers. V26 is also now out.
  • mimeomimeo Posts: 10
    mr shiftright or others,

    I want to replace the brake pads on my 2001 740i w/ 69000 miles. I do not care for the local BMW dealer and am looking for an independent in Memphis. Can I use any premium aftermarket pad or is the OEM pad superior? Suggestions? price paid for job?
  • See message #343. Similar problem with 1993 740iL.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    I think any premium German pad would be fine. Be prepared however to replace the rotors if they don't meet minimum thickness or are roughed-up. You don't want to be cutting rotors on a car of this size and power. If you needed four pads/four rotors you could easily hit $1,500--just pads, maybe $300 per axle something like that..

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  • ps8318ps8318 Posts: 1
    I have the exact problem witht he radio and nav system. Wondering if anyone has sourced this out and found a solution?
  • kdubbskdubbs Posts: 1
    hello all. I purchased my 740i about 6 months ago.
    And I noticed that it had 3 garage door opener buttons.
    Unfortunately there was no manual with the car.

    So I have to use my Genie Garage door opener (which of course is bulky and messes up the over all interior look of the car).

    I was planning to purchase a manual, but in the meantime can anyone help? THANKS

  • mimeomimeo Posts: 10
    You can download or view a .PDF version of the owners manual in the "owners" section of the BMW site. Much easier/ cheaper than buying manual.

    Thanks to Mr Shiftright for brake pad info!
  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    >"You don't want to be cutting rotors on a car of this size and power."

    You mean cutting them below minimum, right? As long as the rotor is within spec, do you think there would be a problem with grinding them?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    I'm not even sure BMW allows you to cut rotors on that model no matter what....I suppose you could clean them up a little of course but if I recall there is no cutting allowed even if you make it to spec. You'll need to double check that but I personally wouldn't cut rotors on a car like a 7 series unless I really needed to be economical (and I've had to do things like this now and then).

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  • My problem is that the knob to use the navigation system doesn't fully work and I don't think it is a mechanical problem. Are you saying that the software CD you referred to is able to fix some of the problems we are having with the Nav computer?
  • I am hoping someone out there knows how to reprogram the remote/key. I recently bought my BMW and I know the dealership can do this, but the nearest dealership is an hour away and it appears the dealership wants my car for 3 days everytime I take it in for something. Very inconvenient and frustrating. Thanks.
  • vchiuvchiu Posts: 565
    Thank you for your advice

    It seems it makes sense as I have been told the diag showed there was too poor or too rich a fuel/air mix in some cylinders. I will check when I am back in France ( the car is there)

    The car is running OK. It is regrettable the BMW electrics are so fragile. I sometimes have some error messages saying the rear plate lights are not working (they are) or the coolant level to be checked (even just after a BMW-service).

    I regret they don't take electrics reliability courses at Toyota's. They wouldn't have trashed the 2002 model this way.
  • :( My 1994 BMW 740 IL (93-94, E32 model) won't start. This was slowly starting with the symptoms of taking longer and longer to crank over. I changed the spark plugs and even change all the ignition coils. It will crank, but not turn over. In the past, when it would eventually start it ran fine. It just started taking longer and longer to turn over until now where it will not start. When it was running I ran a can of BG44K through on a tank of gas. Any ideas I can check myself before unloading my checkbook at the repair shop?
  • Recently purchased the car and do most of my own work. Is there a factory service manual available on this model? If not, what is the best service manual available for this vehicle?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    This may be a dealer only item and I'm not sure they even have a 7 series beyond 1994 (E32). It's not a car most people work on themselves, so probably not enough demand. Bentley Publishing does the best job for German cars but they only have BMW 3 and 5 series for year 2000 and up cars.

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  • fflipsfflips Posts: 1
    Funny how that check engine light keeps coming on. I just bought a 740il and within 24hours the check engine light came on and said coolant level needed checked. So we took the car back to dealer and he sent it to BMW dealer where they said it was a sensor and replaced it. Well, it has been one month and the check engine light came on two days ago and it went off today. My husband said to take it to the dealer, but it is two hours away and if the light went off, I'm thinking it is just a short or something dumb like that. I keep reading about the check engine light having problems. Hopefully it isn't anything serious since the light went off. How is a person to know whether to believe it or not???
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Well it's hard to know because the engine light being on doesn't always mean you have to do something like RIGHT NOW...on some cars only if the light blinks are you in an urgent situation...not sure about your would be worth reading up in the owner's manual to see if you have a check engine light with both a steady and a blinking mode.

    Sometimes the engine light is activated by minor things like a loose gas cap.

    Even if you read the codes the computer scanning tool doesn't tell you the defective component, only the circuit or system that is affected. So even if the dealer reads a code and is says "check the so and so", you still don't know exactly what the problem is. No car computer can do that (yet).

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  • Thanks. That's what I was afraid of. Has anyone purchased a late model Series 7 service manual from a BMW dealer, and if so, what was the price?
  • '97 740 IL, looks and runs great, 135K miles, when driving over 60 m/hr I get sort of a humming sound coming from the front end. Car has 2 week old Kumho sport tires, so I know it's not the tires.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    See if the noise rises and falls in frequency as you speed up or slow down. See if it goes away if you shift momentarily to neutral and let the engine idle down (be SURE no one is behind you!). Try it on different road surfaces, such as concrete highway or smooth black asphalt.

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  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    I would recommend just checking on ebay for a Bentley manual (Bentley is the name of the company, not the Bentley cars) or Chilton's or Haynes manuals. You can probably find good deals on used books (or maybe CD-ROM, if you prefer).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    I checked Bentley---they don't show a manual for this year and model on their website. Maybe Chilton's or Haynes makes one, but don't expect much out of it. Bentley is the best, AND factory authorized, too!

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  • i have a 89 overheats...i have replaced the water pump and bled the still overheats...any suggestions...thanks for the help :cry:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    tough problem to beat, overheating. Water pump was not a good first choice, but oh well.

    Okay, let's go from the most obvious to the least obvious.

    If overheat is FAST overheat, 10-15 minutes off idle:

    1. Thermostat (remove and test_
    2. Electric cooling fan (observe)
    3. head gasket, cracked head (test)

    If overheat is SLOW overheat, at highway speeds or only after a while

    1. clogged radiator (flow test)
    2. contaminated transmission cooler (observe)
    3. not shifting into high gear (observe)
    4. dragging brakes (test on lift)
    5. excessive lean mixture, vacuum leaks (test on machine)

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  • ok...head gasket is what i thought after i changed the it hard to replace? is there a chart or diagram somewhere that i could see to figure it out...i have changed heads on a chevy 350...never messed with a bmw...maybe i should just sell it as is...


    mike :sick:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Have you checked the other stuff on the list? Head gasket might show water in the oil and you can also test the coolant for combustion gases.

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  • Thanks for checking on the Bentley manual. I'll see what the dealer has to offer.
  • Yes, I have had the same problem. The battery on my 740iL has now died 4 times in the last 18 months. Did you ever discover exactly what the problem is? It is a very frustrating issue and I don't blame you for thinking of turning your car in (I'm about to the point of doing the same).
  • okay,
    i checked for water in oil, no luck there. i bled the system as well. motor is fine for about 5-10 minutes and then it overheats. it sounds like the water is boiling in the motor. like i said, first time with bmw. how can i tell if gasket is blown or head is cracked without taking it to a shop. how hard is the gasket to change?
    thanks :cry:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    You can test the coolant for combustion gases. I beleive such kits are available from like Kragen or Autozone. That would be a sure tip off. Such a fast overheat suggests a blockage or a combustion leak. A cracked head could heat coolant without adding oil to coolant. If you have high pressure in your coolant overflow tank, that's a bad sign.

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