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BMW 7-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    I'm not sure that "getting the flagship model right" is strictly BMWs problem, and as far resale value is concerned, all the high end models suffer extreme depreciation. So I don't think you're going to be able to avoid all these issues by jumping from one company's flagship to another's. Lexus makes a pretty slick car--if you're jumpy over reliability and resale, that's the way to go then. Sounds like your best shot. The 7 Series is, IMO, all about the driving experience. So, are you going to marry the librarian or the ballerina?

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  • cartalk8cartalk8 Posts: 6
    Hey x5fan10. Care to share what you paid for the '07 750 Li? Looking at one now with a little less mileage. Thanks in advance!
  • x5fan10x5fan10 Posts: 19
    i paid 41k for a CPO.
    I think depending on how long the car has been on the lots i think one can push the price even lower! it was advertised for 48k
    good luck.
    let me know if i can be of anymore help
  • slammy420slammy420 Posts: 4
    I have a 2000 BMW 740i. Alot of smoke comes out of the muffler when i start the car but no smoke when its running. Just when it starts. But when i restart after 5 to 10 mins or an hr the smoke doesnt come out. Im planning to sell this one and get a 2000 BMW convertible. How can i stop it? Is there any Fluids i can use to Stop it?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Might be a defective oil separator, which is an elaborate German idea of a PCV valve. It's about a 3.5 hour job if that's the culprit. Only other thing I can think of is bad valve stem seals or worn valve guides (high miles engine?) and that would cost more to fix than the separator.

    No, sorry there is no fluid, additive, pill, device or chemical that stops oil burning.

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  • msnlnmsnln Posts: 2
    edited July 2007
    I had same problem in 2007 when my warranty ran out on my 2002 745i, not so much for maintenance but for extended warranty. My concern was major problems like engine or transmission having problems and causing repair bills in thousands but since you probably have CPO extended warranty, you will not have to worry about that for some time.

    As for $2747 for maintenance package, it seems bit excessive. BMW 7 series needs oil change every 15K miles and brakes should last at least 35K miles. So, basically you are looking at spending $500 per year and $1500 every two years, if driven at least 15K miles/year. So for two years, your maintenance cost comes to $2500 at your dealer quote for two oil changes and brake repair. Besides, every time I had taken my car in for maintenance service, I had dealer always tells me I need extra "repairs" that usually come to more than $1K that are not covered under the warranty.

    However, you do not need to go to the dealership for these services. you need to find a reputable mechanic who will do these services. I recently had rear brakes installed for $120 -- $50 for the pads, $20 for the sensors and $50 labor. Had I replaced rotors it would have been extra $130 for price of rotor but I returned the rotors because old rotors looked sparkling new and mechanic told me rotor replacement was not needed. I would change brakes on other cars myself but it's sometimes pain to take off rear wheels on these cars so I did not want to bother.

    As for oil change, there is local shop that will do oil change on my car for $90. if I bring in the oil and filter, labor charge is $30. Go to and buy BMW oem filters and Mobil 1 oil. BMW holds 8.5 quarts of oil and I don't want to have to deal with disposal of 2+ gal jugs of oil.

    So, my cost for your maintenance is $300 (or $430 with rotors). Where do I find these guys, you ask? I ask around friends, neighbors and search the web. I then go talk to the mechanics to see if they really know what they are talking about. When I talk to them, I tell them I can do these myself but do not want to be inconvenienced and they will not screw around with you. You'd be surprised how many incompetent mechanics but that is another story. BTW, I do all maintenance on my other cars - Toyota Highlander and Honda Accord. So basically, if you want peace of mind but don't mind getting ripped off, then go for the dealership service but in the long run, you would be so much better off finding a mechanic you can trust.
  • msnlnmsnln Posts: 2
    Microfilters is fancy name for a cabin filter and it is two minute replacement job. The part itself costs around $30.

    This link shows how it's done and reset the computer:
  • slammy420slammy420 Posts: 4
    I have talked with a machanic and they said it might be the head gasket. It might cost from 750 to 1200 to fix it. But my concern is that whether the head gasket actually causes this problem? What is PCV valve? What should i do? The car runs excellent but this smoke is drivin me nuts,
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Well I wouldn't let them do that until they tested positively for a head gasket.

    If the smoke is BLUE, then they are on the wrong track---if it's white, like steam, then they might be right.

    The PCV is Positive Crankcase Ventilation, a kind of sucking device that removes fumes from your engine and reburns them. If it's plugged, your engine builds up a lot of crankcase pressure and could force oil past rings or valve stem seals.

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  • slammy420slammy420 Posts: 4
    Yes it is BLUE/WHITE AND THICK. Stays in the AIR!!!! and it has a sweet smell. No SMOG like smell. I Dont know how to explain that. How do you Fix the PCV?
    By the way my check coolant signal is always coming on. I just filled it up a month ago and again it came up. I was reading about the head gasket and it was saying that if the Coolant is low, the head gasket gets ruined. So i was wondering whether it started from there. Do you know any Extended warranty company which is actually a really good one and not a scam? Thank you for helping me out.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Well they can easily test for a bad head gasket or a clogged PCV. There doesn't have to be any guess work here. Not sure, but I think your car is too old for extended warranties. I haven't had much experience with them, other than that these are not warranties of course, they are insurance policies, with lots of exclusions possible. They are betting your car doesn't break and you are betting it does. They decide the size of the bet, and you know they've done their homework.

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  • blnewtoblnewto Posts: 146
    Just about every aftermarket warranty has a giant list of exclusions and the almighty "warranty doesn't cover parts that fail due to overheating". Good luck trying to prove your transmission or motor wasn't overheating when it failed.
    Even if by chance you can prove it they have ways to wait you out and more lawyers than you :(
  • bmwandmebmwandme Posts: 1
    slips into 3rd gear right after car starts moving and stay on 3rd gear all the time. gear letter display on dashboard disappears. dashboard gives message" transmission program"
  • mss9mss9 Posts: 1
    I have a 07 750LI - the mfrs warranty expires in November 2010; any suggestions on companies that offer extended warranty up to 100k miles current mileage is 29k
  • My 2009 750 has 13,800 miles. To date, I've added 5 quarts of oil. At my last service, the dealer said BMW spec is that the car could use up to a quart every 1,500 miles. I've never added oil to a car between service.

    I've also noticed that my car sometimes has difficulty starting. It either takes a while or just times out and stops. Is anyone else having these issues?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Well if this were a Hyundai I might say "let's see how it goes" but on a car of this price category, I find it unacceptable. Have the dealer check for a defective oil separator (fancy German PCV valve). Also play a little game of role reversal on him. Tell him that you are the dealer, and that he has just bought a $70000 car that uses 5 quarts of oil in 13,000 miles. Then tell him it's perfectly okay and ask him how he feels about that answer.

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  • Great idea; unfortunately, it's $95,000.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Even MORE irritating. Hopefully, the oil separator is the culprit here.

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  • c5boic5boi Posts: 4
    You definitely want to have the codes checked. The rough running symptom could be anything from bad gas to a fouled plug (possible leaking valve cover gaskets -they leak into the plug wells This occurs between 60k and 100k, depending on how hot the car runs and climate), or as simple as a MAF sensor going bad. Before doing any major work, have a good independent shop clean the MAF sensor wire..takes about 10 minutes. If the symptoms (and check engine light )go away and then return, replace this (150.00 from for genuine Bosch part that the dealer wants 375.00 for) . A bad MAF sensor can throw out erroneous codes that indicate overly lean mixture from leaking intake manifold gaskets. As far as the Power steering, it is controlled through the "servotronic" unit, that regulates the amount of assist pressure relative to speed (faster, less assist and slower, more assist). The speed sensor is related to the ABS control module (General Module). When this isnt working it will throw a code from to the OBD unit. A good possibilty is that if you had an ignition hiccup as noted above, the General Module could have cut off power to the Sevrotronic Solenoid. When this part goes bad. gets clogged with filings etc, it will fail to engage fully at lower speeds or at all. Most 740's will experience this at above 100k miles. REPLACE THIS FIRST BEFORE DOING ANY STEERING BOX OR PUMP REPAIRS; its 125.00 from and about 1 hr to install.
  • c5boic5boi Posts: 4
    Bavarian Auto Recycling...on the web
  • c5boic5boi Posts: 4
    see for instructions on the reset sequence...a battery disconnect is also worth a try and will not hurt anything
  • c5boic5boi Posts: 4
    Its your FRONT CONTROL ARM BUSHINGS..all of the E38's develop this...the vibrations diminish as the tire warm up, but it will only get worse. You can get an entire front end kit from FCP Groton for about 270.00 you will be happy after getting the repair done....about 700.00 labor at an independent mechanic.
  • sysadb420sysadb420 Posts: 12
    I've got a 98 740i. I've developed a power drain from something lately, where if I let it sit a week without starting/driving I have to charge the battery. The battery is fine, it fully charges, and is 8 months old. I've taken to avoid locking it to save power, and that seemed to work for awhile (or at least I got 2-3 weeks before the battery lost too much power to start). But now the interval has shortened to a week as I mentioned. I'm pretty confidant it's not the trunk light as that goes off automatically after a period of time when the trunk is open.

    What I noticed the other day is that the transmission selector diode on the console stays lit when the car is in park and turned off. I'm thinking that shouldn't be the case. Any ideas or does this ring a bell?
  • toy4hertoy4her Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 535 i that did exactly the same thing -- It was the alternator. The battery kept dying, I would recharge it, finally bought a new one since the service center said I had a bad cell -- that worked for about 3 weeks -- then the same thing started happening again -- It was not until the car died completely, overheated because the fan motor would not work that we discovered the alternator was bad. Replaced that and its been working great ever since.

    We also thought about the trunk light, the alarm system, and did notice the transmission selector light stayed on when the car was parked and turned off -- The transmission selector light stopped doing that once the alternator was look at the alternator
  • Ask for 19,500 68K miles, clean title, excellent condition. How has 2005 model been holding up? Thank you for input.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    People seem to love 'em, although the automotive press had beaten up on them for styling and for overly complicated and confusing interior controls. I have read that the power brake booster can be problematic and, of course, as with any German car, play with every electrical knob and switch at least 2-3X before you buy it. A pre-purchase inspection would also be a good idea, since most maintenance and replacement items on this car are not if say it needed brakes all 'round, or 4 new tires, that's a bit of cash.

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  • Recently tried to replace left front upper control arm and ran into trouble with alignment of long screw into bushing when re-installing. When tightening the screw it would not line up with the second hole. It would keep moving the bushing housing and the screw would not go through. Is there an order in which you replace the arm? I tried to use a wedge to adust but didn't work. Any suggestions how to get it lined up? Does the steering wheel need to be positioned just right? Could I limp down to the mechanic and have them do it. (3 miles slow speed)?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Hard to say what's going on here without being there. No way you can drive it...flatbed it if you have to. The repair manual I have doesn't specify any particular tricks but you know BMW---there may be a special tool that holds things just right.

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  • why would my Active Roll Stabilization light be coming on and off sometimes?
    My drivers side Restraint System Fault light just came on what would be the problem?
    Also my left low beam malfunction light came on and my husband bought new light and still doesnt work?
  • I've recently purchased a 2001 740i with only 32K miles on it. I now have 34K. Car looks and rides like a dream. One odd thing happened a few days ago, I started it after being parked for 20mins, to have a burning smell, white smoke to come in through the vents, (smelled to me like burning plastic or electronics) looked out at the hood and saw smoke coming from out the grill. I left it running popped the hood to see a small amount of smoke coming from the passenger side of the engine compartment. Engine didn't idle funny, gauges never change, and no warning indicators alluded to any problems. Took a day to get the smell completely out the car. It never done it again. I've put another 300 miles on it since with no issue. I took the cover off the entire fuse compartment, everything looks fine. Has anyone ever experience this? Can someone speculate to this occurrence?
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