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BMW 7-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • Hey! Does any know if I can interchange my door lock actuator from the rear left to the front left? It's on a 94 740i. It just turned the big 200, thats the most mileage that I've ever owned. And I'm likin' it. Just a few bugs of varying sizes came with the deal. It don't have a D.L.Actuator in the drivers door. I do have one at the rear left and front right and the rear right is locked and I can't open it, yet. The right side is opposite (of course) to the left side. Question; Is the rear left the same as the front left. I'm asking the question before I 'plug and play' and see what happens!
    Thanks, Mr. Luck
  • telexontelexon Posts: 1
    a good deal or not?, already kno it needs about $3k of work, was listed for $11.9k initially. am aware of all potential problems. right now everything works, needs some suspension work most of all.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Too much!! $10500 would be retail for a nice one that needs nothing. You'd best be very careful with a 750iL and verify the "work" and the "estimate". A 750iL can break you in half with repair costs.

    If a BMW tech is quite certain that $3000 will fix everything, and if the car is very clean, offer $7500 tops or keep shopping. These are fabulous cars but also Elephanto Blancos, and hard to unload---so it's a buyer's market right now for used 750s.
  • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Can anyone tell me how difficult it is to replace the oxygen sensor on a 735il? The manual is not too clear. Thank You.
  • I figgered it out. After removing three of my door panels, it turns out that the accuators are all the same. They mount the same if you move front to back. You can move left side to right side cuz there are mounting holes on both sides of the accuator. Now, I'm missing a door lock accuator, does anyone know a good place to find one and save some money? Thanks, Mr. Luck
  • Lexus dealer in Gwinnett, Georgia is selling 2001 BMW 740il-asking $12,990.00, with 106,000 miles. I test drove it and didn't notice anything irregular (drove just fine), and it looks fantastic. I'm no mechanic however. No maintenance records are available. Tried checking the local dealers with the VIN# and was told the last time was October of 07. Very worrisome-but I love this car! BIG concern about costs-have read many posts, gone to various forums, having many doubts about how much money I'll end up spending on repairs. Spoke with a BMW specialist/mechanic about inspecting the car, and he warned me to expect upwards of $2,500.00 a year for maintenance.

    Any comments would be appreciated. Really want the car, but don't want to spend $250.00+ a month in added maintenance as I read elsewhere in this forum to expect.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yes $2500 a year is being realistic. Some years less, some years more. Depends, too, on how much you take on yourself, whether you join bmwcca and get discounts on parts and labor, etc.
  • First, I think the price is a bit high. The miles are right, but none of the 740s are selling well right now, although I don't understand it myself. I have an 01 740il with 156K. Cannot sell it for 9900. It too is beautiful. You could very well spend 2500/year if you have a shop do all the work. The car(s) are what I call "fussy". If you plan to do some of the routine maintenance, ie, oil changes, brakes, cabin filters, bulbs, etc.yourself, you can save considerably. It's just the detailed repairs or unneccessarily complex repairs at a shop (or bad shop) that can send your repair budget overboard.
    Owning one of these has more to do with the passion of the experience than the budget analysis, but do not buy on impulse.
    Good Luck, DAC
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Miles are too high, is your obstacle. Once you crack the mythical 100K barrier, it seems to have a psychological effect that really dampens buyers' enthusiasm.
  • Correct you are! Many factors merge to make the 7 series a bit hard to sell. The mythical 100K mark, the aura of a cantankerous, fussy car, high insurance, poor gas mileage are all examples of the myths that make these and most cars hard to sell. Remember when the magical # was 50K?
    I'm sure I'll have to get the number closer to $9K to sell it anytime soon.
    Good Day y'all!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well spiff it up, get out all your service records, price it right and it'll sell. Good luck with that! :)
  • Appreciate all the feedback, and definitely has helped in my decision making. Hard choice to make but I'll pass. As much as I love this car, I'll be wary all the time when the next failure will come given the issues I've read about here and elsewhere. Thanks to all!
  • Been checking out other used vehicles (other 740s with lower mileage, Audi's and 5 series BMW's) but I'm still hung up about this 740il I test drove with the high mileage but perfectly kept interior and exterior. I've attached a link to the dealer website-if only maintenance records had been kept! But the guy who owned it must have been immaculate, and you figure someone like that kept the car running well.... &bgcol=ffffff&newonly=0&scr=1

    Do you think the dealer might let me take it to a BMW mechanic to have it checked out? Unfortunately I don't know any mechanics to take with me. Any suggestions on how I go about having this car checked out? If it were a BMW dealership I might feel more comfortable purchasing it, but from a Lexus dealer? I don't know....
  • I too, was looking at a 740, The bmw repair shop told me to remember when looking at one of these, this is an 80,000.00 car. If you had to replace all the parts on it, that's what it would cost you. Check the phone book and find a independent bmw shop and tell the dealership you want to have it gone over. If they want to sell the car, they will do this. The price of parts never goes down, just the price of the car.
    Look around, these cars are cheap right now. :)
  • The 01 is the ultimate 7 series and worth searching for, but I'd suggest that this dealer's price is a little on the high side. A few weeks ago a local dealer, (who deals in BMW's in a big way), had a 740il with similar mileage at $11K. Didn't have the Sport Package but very tidy, and was gone before I could get there. Keep up your search, or try beating lexusgwinnet down a bit.
    For service and repairs I use a small independent mechanic who specializes in Bimmers. You might look for someone like that to look over a possible purchase. Otherwise, don't laugh, try looking on Craigslist - there are sometimes ads from guys familiar with BMW's, who will do a basic check and read the computer for error codes etc. Not a guaranteed health check but better than nothing, and you get what you pay for etc etc.
    Good luck in your search - it's a great car and worth spending time looking for the right one. At the prices we're talking about, you get a lot of the car for the money.
  • Found a BMW specialist (through who can do a thorough inspection with their own diagnostic equipment, check everything in detail, and the dealer will allow me to take the car for a few hours to get it inspected. It will cost me $190.00 but it'll be worth it for peace of mind if I go forward. Plus I get to test drive it for 25 miles there and back to the shop and get a good feel for the car, its handling, and anything that might be wrong that I can tell the BMW specialist about when I get there. Thanks for the input to all!
  • Hello Papsephus -

    I have an 03' 745Li and am experiencing the same transmission "bump". The car has been to the dealer twice now and they can't seem to permanently fix the problem. One dealer had mentioned possibly replacing the entire transmission?? My warranty expires in about 30 days (Sept 30 2009) so I want to make sure this is taken care of and I'm not stuck with a faulty product.

    I was wondering what happened with yours? Did the dealer fix your problem? If so, how?

    Thanks in advance for your time.
  • blnewtoblnewto Posts: 146
    Lots of wind noise coming from our 02 745 Li Sunroof. I know this is common, but it also has a slight bit of water coming through during auto car washes. Is replacing the seal something I can do myself or best left to the dealer, and if so, what would it cost?? Thanks for any help here :)
  • i am about to buy a used BMW 745li with 65000 miles on it. When test driving the vehicle it drives great. Under the speedometer it tells me that service is due in 4400 miles or 6 weeks and on the i drive it says i need a new micro filter. Now i was wondering do i have to take the car to a authorized dealer to do the maintenance or can i just do it my self and is there a way to reset the light. Please let me know asap because i am about to buy the car tomorrow. It is not under warranty what are my options how much will the dealer charge me> p
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well I think there are two microfilters, and the dealer would probably charge you about $60 each plus .8 of an hour to replace I'd figure $225 or so for that, and yes, you could probably do that yourself.

    As for the 70,000 mile service, you'd best call the dealer and REMEMBER, not everything they list will be MANDATORY---like "fuel injection cleaning", and "check exhaust system" (whatever that means).

    If you found a good independent BMW shop, they'd know what you need at 70K. This doesn't sound like a major service interval anyway.

    Keep in mind however, that without warranty you are buying a car that will have high maintenance costs. So figure $150 a month on average to keep everything ship-shape.
  • what kind of maintanence=150 a month for what?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Just tune up, oil service, belts, hoses, wiper blades, cabin filters tires, brakes---that's $150 a month averaged out over a few years, doing everything required, and having it done by someone else. . That $150 a month does not include actual major repairs of broken parts. Depends on how much you drive a year as well.

    For instance, you don't "turn" brake rotors on that car. When the rotors show wear, grooves or warpage, you throw them away. 4-wheel complete brake job on that car is not cheap, probably $1200 easy. 4 tires of OEM quality will cost you $1000, if you have tire pressure monitoring system, figure $1200.
  • blnewtoblnewto Posts: 146
    If you haven't bought it yet I'd say don't do it. These are great cars when everything is working, but even the smallest problem will cost a small fortune without a warranty. These cars are technical marvals but they also always seem to have one thing or another going bad in them. Only buy BMWs if they have a factory warranty, dump them once the warranty is over and you'll be a much happier person. I found out the hard (and very expensive) way.
  • After years of dirty looks and countless dreams, I have finally decided to hunt for a 7 series BMW. Unfortunately, my better half, to make the whole experience less rewarding and more difficult, have only allocated 20K for the purchase. I am painfully aware how "small change " it represents when it comes to this particular make and model, but since changing wife option is a lot more costly ("cheaper to keep her" never sounded more apt), I will have to stick to the budget this time.
    This kind of $$$ will only allow me to fish for 2002 models only (not too fond of pre 02 ones) and I am fine with that. Regrettably, that year is considered not the most sought after and has a rather low opinion among those who care. However, it seems that the reality might not be as bleak as it had been painted. Here is why I think 2002 is actually a good year for 7s.
    1. Extra long BMW warranty - unlike later years 2002 have been provided an extended factory warranty by BMW to appease and retain those who bought them in the first year production.
    2. The car looks is not that much different from the latter years and it should age well.
    3. One can find well taken care of examples for 20K +/- making it a great buy.

    One example of a well taken care of vehicle:

    Consequently, I am in a search for one. any advice, opinions, views are more than welcome.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think the strategy for this type of car is to buy the newest one you can afford with the fewest miles.

    Ideally, for $20K you should be able to find a 2003 model under 80,000 miles. You can bargain hard on these cars, as they suffer pretty harsh depreciation. Remember, in 5 years that $20,000 car is going to be worth $6000, so shoot for the newest year you can stretch that $20K towards.

    Miles are very important here. Keep the miles down at all costs, is my two cents.
  • blnewtoblnewto Posts: 146
    That 20k budget only gets you into the car, and once you get one the fun is just beginning. The passenger seat belt tensioner & sensor runs 1700, front end arms & bushings another 1500, brakes about 800, water pumps 800, and the transmissions are quite prone to trouble in those, if it goes bad another 6-8k. The v8 motor is bulletproof and is outstanding, but seems like everything else starts going south at 100k. All the various luxury motors that control the trunk, seats, etc tend to start having problems at about 100k miles and these can set you back thousands as well. Trust me, NEVER buy a 7 series Beamer that's out of warranty. I'd much rather have a reliable Camry than a reliablity-plagued beamer w/ no warranty as a safety net. The 3 & 5 series are much more reliable, I'd put the 20k into one of those and feel much better at night :)
  • This is going to be my extra car. My primary car is Honda Accord which has been flawless so far. I do around 250 miles a week in that car. BMW will be my extra vehicle for the weekend and will not get driven more than 25 miles per week. This is why even though it is not the most reliable machine I am contemplating purchasing one.
    As for that slide from 20K to 6K in 5years. I could not live with 80K to 20K slide for this machine which is not a small change. 14K in comparison is chump change.
  • Since it seems that warranty is the way to go, what would you guys recommend as far as 2002/03 with 70 to 85K go?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I presume you mean an extended aftermarket warranty (really that's an insurance policy), not CPO. BMW won't certify a car over 60,000 miles.

    In the case of an aftermarket "warranty" (insurance) policy, my rule of thumb is that two things MUST be done:

    1. shop around on price

    2. Read the policy line by line, every stinkin' word of it, and especially the EXCLUSIONS---especially when comparing one plan to another.

    Some of these policies are so sneaky that they reveal the exclusions only by mentioning what is IN-cluded...and you are supposed to infer from that what is not!
  • blnewtoblnewto Posts: 146
    I've yet to see an aftermarket warranty that will truly cover the big ticket items without having to seek legal means first. Most aftermarket warranties have such exclusions as "damage due to overheating" and such, good luck proving otherwise when a trans or motor breaks. I forgot to mention in my previous post about control modules going bad, very common in these cars and that also can break your bank. Sorry to be so negative but I'm just trying to save you from a very costly future. Since it's just a city car and you're not taking it on long trips that could leave you stranded then it's not so critical, but keeping these things running & roadworthy can really take some coin :(
  • Took my car to the shop for different issue, mechanic called and asked me if my car had problems with the reverse. I told him no. He told me that when he went to back it out of the shop, the car went into reverse fine, then backed up about four or five feet then bound up, as if the brakes were on. Never did this to me. He said I needed to find out what was wrong with the transmission before he would do any more work on the car. I drove it home. Drove fine forward. Did the same thing in reverse in my driveway, went into reverse fine, backed up four or five feet and then bound up and felt like brakes are on. History: Replaced the EH gearbox switches three weeks ago because car wouldn't shift into higher gears, no codes or dash signals but would shift and drive manually perfectly. Had valve box opened up by mechanic who said it was super clean. Thought the problem was electronic. Then changed his mind. Wanted to replace tranny. A different mechanic thought we should change the switches before condeming the tranny first because the switches fail often. So had switches replaced. After replacing switches the car shifted perfectly for three weeks. Now what's up with this? Mechanic thought brake problem but car rolls in neutral. Need a new tranny? Sure don't want to replace transmission and then find it's something else. Anyone else have experience like this? Not sure what to do or who to take it to now. Well maintained, much loved vehicle. Portland, Maine area. Any ideas on what is wrong with this car will be appreciated. Thank you very much.
  • I know this is kind of late. If you need an epoxy that is nearly bulletproof. I have used Marintex. Can be found at the better boat shops or marine supply houses. I have used this to repair exterior water leaks on blocks, pumpkin (axle) housings on trucks, etc. GREAT stuff! worth the price. I wouldn't think twice of using it on a filler neck.
    Good Luck!
  • Wow, I wish my wife didn't want a "nice" car for her 40th birthday.
    After having the transmission services about 8 or 9 months ago, the surging went away. Shifted perfectly. Recently it started a "bump" when you slow from around 40 mph. Shifts identically on the way up. I am guessing from 4th to 3rd and visa versa. Etek mentions a bad o ring on the 4th or 5th clutchpack? Any suggestions?
    Also, The oil change interval light is always on . Cannot get it to reset. Friend with latest Snapon tool couldn't reset it. Any suggestions?
    Also, replaced brake pads front and rear, Check brake linings dash indicator still on. Tried resetting - key in #1 pos for 30 sec. nothing. Any suggestions?
    Sorry for the list of issues. For such a pretty car, I wouldn't mind if it got totalled tomorrow. (without wife and kids in it of course)
    Thanks for any help in advance.
  • blnewtoblnewto Posts: 146
    Sorry for the list of issues. For such a pretty car, I wouldn't mind if it got totalled tomorrow. (without wife and kids in it of course)
    I know, seems like there's only a couple ways to deal w/ these vehicles. Buy it new and take the depreciation hit, but at least it has a full warranty. Buy a CPO and take a much less depreciation hit but only have a couple "safe" warranty years. But in both cases the cars must be dumped before the warranty expires. These cars are not meant to be kept after the warranty is up unless you've got a very high level of disposable income (and don't mind being left stranded in the middle of nowhere :( )
  • Ok, sorry, brain dead move. The car is an 01' 740il with 155K. Yeah, I know, many of you reading this are groaning too.
    Any help with the possiblities of a direction on the transmission would be helpfull.
    How in the hell do you get the oil change interval reset? nothing I have tried has worked.
    Do I need to replace the sensors for the brake linings to get the light to go off?
  • You need to go on roadfly- there is alot of information in the archives and you may ask questions of the people there and they'll help you. Don't apologize for your BMW, they are the finest driving machines on the road. Maintain them correctly and they will give you many years of enjoyment.
  • blnewtoblnewto Posts: 146
    Don't apologize for your BMW, they are the finest driving machines on the road. Maintain them correctly and they will give you many years of enjoyment
    Maintain them correctly and they still have a rather disturbing problem of leaving you stranded. Sure they are great driving machines when everything is working as it should, just seems when they hit 100k it's pretty rare that everything still works.
  • Thanks DA. In the end, the epoxy I used actually held fairly well. Occasionally I would get some bubbling and a small leak at the edge of the epoxy, but I was concerned it would fail at some point by cracking more and breaking the epoxy seal (in the middle of nowhere), so I bit the bullet and replaced the radiator.

    The good news is that the radiator is only $200 for this car, plus about 1.5 hours installation at my local independent shop. So it's one of the more reasonable repairs for this car.
  • So my boyfriend bought a used 740i back in March with (i believe) 150000 miles on it. Recently (ill say) October his transmission went out. We was lucky enough to have his brother-in-law give us one with less miles on it, i cant remember how many miles though.

    Any way, So the car is driving perfect but its starting to do the same things before the last transmission went out. Its kinda like the car doesn't know what gear to go in. And lets say he push the gas somewhat fast, it goes but in the middle of it doing that it has like a pause then starts to go again.

    He thinks it might be the Computer for the car because i believe a mechanic told him so, but We are not trying to spend a whole bunch of money on a new transmission if its just the computer. Do any of y'all might know what it could be?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well first off someone has to read the trouble codes that might be stored in the transmission control module or the car's main computer. You can't be working in the dark, you won't get far on these cars.

    Once we have some code #s, we might be able to point you somewhere that would prove fruitful.
  • hi i have a 1998 bmw 740il that i bought not running, now it is running but it has a rough idle and upon further investigation i found that it is sucking air in through the dipstick. I am at a loss here please some one help
  • beetobeeto Posts: 2
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Crankcase vent valve I would suspect. Should be located on the intake manifold
  • beetobeeto Posts: 2
  • hi i have the same problem with my radio it works when it wants ,i turn off the car ans sometimes i turn it back on and it works sometimes it doesnt what could it be 98 740i thanks
  • hi i was wondering if anyone can help me i just purchased a 740i 98, and the radio seems to be working, well when it wants sometimes ti works then when i turn the car off . and get back in to drive it the radio doesnt work i can hear the speakers but no radio? also does anyone no what wd means on the radio channel 1 to 7
  • x5fan10x5fan10 Posts: 19
    I just bought a 2007 750li, with 47k miles on it-CPO.
    The dealer was after me to add a maintainance package.
    I told him to give me 2 days to think.
    Any suggestion? Is it worth it?
    He told me if i plan to keep the car for 3+ years then it'll pay it off. He told me that the brakes will cost 1500 and the oil changes another 500.00
    Is it worth buying it? he is quoting me 2747.00

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    edited April 2010
    Yeah I would. I mean, that's a lot of money but in relation to the cost of the car and the cost of repairs, not so bad. He's shooting straight---brakes do cost that much on that car.
  • x5fan10x5fan10 Posts: 19
    Thanks a lot!
    i think i'll go for it.
    I am so nervous since i have read about the maintainence and other issues with the 750. My warranty runs out in 2 months and then i have the useless CPO warranty which is bull [non-permissible content removed]. I hate myself for not checking this forum before i bought the car.
    The dealer said the CPO will NOT cover only a very few things, but when i checked out it says it wont cover the nav, radio, phone etc. WOW! rip-off. Well i guess i just have to deal with it as things come.
    But thanks a lot
    I may also look for a extended factory warranty- any thoughts?
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    edited April 2010
    Now that the 7 Series is offerred in AWD, I'd like to get one. Afterall, while not a current Bimmer owner, I've have had a two 5 Series and even a stick shift 7 Series in the past. I think that a 7 Series would offer more fun than an S550 and be less "heavy" a statement when pulling up to a customer's location. But here is the rub.

    Every knows that Bimmer still can't get the 7 Series right. Tech problems abound. Resale is horrible. The only way to really "buy" one is to lease it and turn it back in before the warranty runs out. Unfortunately, from my persective leasing is a bad deal and I'm a buyer not a renter.

    Mercedes? The S550 has a much better reputation for build quality and a lack of glitches. Resale is significantly higher. But IMHO it taks a very special person to drive an S550. Someone who wants, for better or worse, to make a statement to the world.

    I'm puzzled why Bimmer after all these years can't get their flagship 7 Series closer to the norm. The high end luxo car market is already segmented and I don't think that the category of "fun, expensive, but unreliable" is sustainable. Certainly, "boring for less money and reliable" is doing well for Lexus, "prestiege and reliable" is doing well for MB, and "style with reliability for Lexus money" is going to do well for the new big Jag. Where does this leave the 7 Series??
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