BMW 7-Series Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • aciampiaciampi Member Posts: 66
    I have just purchased a used 01 740 and was wondering if someone could help me in respect with the door locks. I remember in my 2000 740 when I turned off the ignition the doors would automatically unlock yet with my 01 this does not happen. Is there a way for it to be programmed? Or is this just something BMW discontinued? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • taichi2taichi2 Member Posts: 2
    I need to have a new engine put in for my 01 740i due to a cracked radiator and the car is still under extended warranty. The problem I'm having is that the dealership that I took my car to has informed me that I have to pay for it since I drove the car for an extended period while it was overheating and that was not the case. The cost for the new engine parts and labor is around 16k.

    I was on my way home from a 2 hour trip down south when the warning light "CHECK COOLANT LEVEL," came on. the temperature gauge moved close to the red zone on the temperature indicator and then moved back down. I stopped the car and waited for the engine to cool down to check the coolant. About two hours later, a road ranger came and asked if I needed any help. He poured some coolant in, but the coolant just went straight down the pavement because the radiator was cracked unbeknownst to me. I had the car towed in. The service writer did inform me that there was possible engine damage and the mechanics would have to run a few tests to make sure. 2 days later, I came to pick up the car and drove to work. Everything seemed fine. 2 days later, i had to take a long trip down south. When I turned the car on, it vibrated a little bit and the "SERVICE ENGINE SOON" and "CHECK COOLANT LEVEL" went on. I took the car back to the dealership. The mechanics took the car and replaced the coolant sensor, electric fan and a few other components. The service advisor informed me that the lights may come on again but he told me not to worry. He told me I just needed to come back for the spark plug which caused some misfires in the engine which in turn caused the "SERVICE ENGINE SOON" to come on. He assured me that it was not dangerous to drive at all. I took the car on that long trip. When I got back and as soon as I pulled into my drive way, the lights came on and when I opened the hood there was some hissing sound like something boiling in the engine. I had the car towed in again, but this time I asked if I could take it to another location (same dealership though). I was getting frustrated and wanted a second opinion from a more competent and knowledgeable mechanic They were okay with that. That same day, one of the mechanics called me and informed me that the head gasket was blown and there possible engine damage and they would have to take the engine apart to make sure. A few days later, one of the mechanics called me and informed me that the damage to the engine was just too severe to fix it. The heads and the block are warped. There's no other option but to replace the engine. The mechanic said that he had never seen the block got warped before. My questions are: Is it possible for the engine to sustain that much damage from the initial exposure to the heat? Has anyone else encountered this problem before? Based on my research, I shouldn't have driven the car when it got the blown head gasket. I did write a letter to BMWNA explaining my side of the story, but the representative that I contacted just brushed me off. I asked if I could speak to the regional rep directly, first she said she didn't have the number. Later on, she simply informed me that, "We can't share that information with you. You can speak to the service manager." That was not very pleasant from my end. I hope that I could get some inputs from here. Thanks in advance!

    Taichi2
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    If the radiator cracked and caused the overheating, I think you have a plausible argument to be presented to the dealer by an attorney. Perhaps you can reach a compromise with BMW.

    Yes, once an engine overheats all kinds of mayhem can occur, quickly. While you may have helped to cause the damage, you also may not have---- a cracked radiator empties coolant pretty fast. Also, who's to say if it was the chicken or the egg that came first? Perhaps a defective head gasket or warped head caused the engine to superheat the coolant and burst the radiator? I have no idea.

    You need to fight for this one if you feel the decision is not just. $16K ain't pocket change. Get an attorney. Maybe a settlement can be reached.
  • bucksbucks Member Posts: 3
    I own a 2001 330ci with similar wheel and steering problems. At 30 to 40 mph, when I let go of the steering wheel, it begins to moves back and fourth quickly (shimmy). When I accelerate past 40 mph, it stops. I just put knew tires on the car without an alignment. Took the car to BMW and they advised me the rear wheels were out of balance. They balance the wheels and told me the problem was fixed. That was a month ago . . . It sounds like my front wheels need to be balance or a four-wheel alignment is needed. Hopefully, it is not the suspension? Any suggestions?

    Thanks
    Buckeye Fan
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well if you can accelerate past the vibration this is a classic tip-off for a wheel balance problem or an out of round tire. BMWs are also notorious for needed control arm bushing up front so you could check that, but I don't think that would cause quite the problem you are having. But if you have over 60K miles you should check them.
  • taichi2taichi2 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks Mr. Shiftright! I did try to see if I could reach a compromise with BMW, but there was no use. "Blame it on the owner" is their motto it seem. I guess I have to go ahead and contact an attorney to get this situation resolved. Thanks again for your input.

    Taichi
  • stumped2stumped2 Member Posts: 4
    Thank you for this information. After several trips to dealership, I was wondering if this would ever get diagnosed correctly. Dealership wanted to replace, among other things, the "thrust arm bushing." An independent place said the bushings look fine. May I ask an approximate cost to replace both ball joints? Was an "alignment" also needed?
  • bucksbucks Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the feedback. BMW checked the alignment and no problems. I will have the tire company look at all tires for defects.

    Thanks
  • kp2kp2 Member Posts: 2
    When I open my trunk with the remote or from inside the car, the lock does a few extra revolutions and ends up stopping in the worng position. So I am unable to shut the trunk until I've pressed the remote button a few extra times, so the locking mechanism ends up in the correct position. Has anyone had this problem and know how I can fix it? I don't want to take it to the dealership and spend hundreds of dollars on a seemingly minor problem. Thanks!
  • svnseriescocosvnseriescoco Member Posts: 1
    HELP!!!! I have a 1998 740iL with 112,00miles runs great bought it certified with 75,000 2 1/2 yrs ago.. I keep up with all maintanence......but check this out ...I stopped and got gas at this place ..drove about 3 city blocks cut the parked , cut the car off ...got back in about 10 mins later started the car up and it was running rough and shaking like a 67 Chevelle...and the engine light was on....the car has lost no power but it has a whistling sound like a flute from the hood....this car is NOT running hot and has NOT lost power when I accelorate all shaking and sounds go away....I was wondering if anyone has ever heard of or experienced anything like this before>>> I am taking it to the dealer next week .....PLEASE RESPOND ASAP WITH ANY THOUGHTS OR SUGGESTIONS >>MANY THANKS!!!! Svnseriescoco
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Weird, but sounds like you have a large vacuum leak somewhere, like a hose popped off or something....certainly the symptoms are exactly like a large vacuum leak might exhibit.
  • lobdelllobdell Member Posts: 9
    Are you satisfied with Warranty Direct? I have compared prices and Warranty Direct seems to be one of the best around as far as price. I just want to make sure that when you need them they will be there! The guy that does the work on my car has not heard of them.

    Thanks
  • joyrider147joyrider147 Member Posts: 69
    There is a rumble by the right front tire, like a vibration, but it's only sound, no
    vibration. Also, there is another rumbling sound just under the front seats and an
    actual rumble near the backseat on the right side, but it is mild and it lags power
    when gas is pressed.

    During acceleration, it seems the left side picks up the power and there is no
    sound from the left, but by the right rear tire, it feels like the differential isn't
    producing enough power to the right side since I have to cut the wheel left to
    maintain driving straight. Is this just an axle or do I need a new differential? Or
    should I change out the driveshaft (since it sounds like its coming from just
    underneath the driver's seat)? It was in an accident, but it wasn't a major one and
    the car is structurally fine.

    I found on the left side 2 plastic, large diameter hoses and 1 on the right side,
    under the front bumper which are cut. Does anyone know where these hoses go
    to and what do they do? I also found what looks to be a small pump and part of
    the hoses connected to it in my trunk and don't know what that is. Is it the wiper
    motor for the headlight/ foglights? When I activate the windshield wipers, there is littlewater that sprays out of the hood sprayers, none out of the headlight or foglight wipers and there's alot of water that comes out from under the hood.
    When I activate the turn signals, is the side reflectors on the front fender and rear quarter panel supposed to blink or is this too old a model for it to have side blinkers? How do I fix this? Why didn't my diagnostic computer tell me about this?

    Also, does anyone know how to remove the rear window shade and brake light
    indicator from the back window? I have been trying to fix the window shade and
    replace the red glass on the indicator, but it doesn't seem that I have access to
    remove those panels.

    And lastly, where is the switch to activate the driver or passenger side vanity mirror
    lights? I have been trying to activate them, but I can't find the switches. As for the driver seat memory control, how do I program my memory selections in? Every time I try, they just go into some other selection. Any service information you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
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  • jackiebjackieb Member Posts: 4
    Mr. Shiftright,
    Are you aware of major problems concerning bushings (leaks) and rear main
    seal (leaks)? I just purchased this vehicle, a CPO with only 45k but am somewhat
    disappointed with these leaks. Otherwise, I like the power, comfort, responsiveness, safety features, and looks. My 528i ('97) had 105,000k when
    traded in on this 740il and I feel secure with the warranty. So, two trips to the
    dealer in 30 days is not good. Are leaks a major concern with this vehicle?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Not to my knowledge...the front end bushings yes, they wear on most BMWs and your radiator will probably crack on the upper hose connection, but never heard of a particular leak problem on a BMW. On new Porsches, yes, but didn't hear anything about BMWs in that regard.
  • jackiebjackieb Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info. The radiator was replaced at 44k before I purchased the
    vehicle. The cooling fan and steering center link were also replaced before my
    purchase. What are some other potential problems down the road on this car?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Probably your only other potential issues will be electrical glitches....the driveline is pretty bulletproof and you've already addressed the most obvious (to me anyway) weak points.
  • 90bmw735iller90bmw735iller Member Posts: 1
    I know about the vanity mirrors. When the car is on the lights will turn on when the vanity mirror panel is slid open. I believe we have the same car so it should work that way. Maybe the bulbs or wiring connections? I'm not sure, I don't know anything about cars really, but my car does lag when you press the gas like when merging onto the freeway.
  • 745crazy745crazy Member Posts: 1
    First of all I must say that I completely love the way this car looks and drives. I am looking to buy a 02 745Li in the near future. Have been reading on this discussion board about problems with the car. Also have been surprised with some peoples experiences with BMWNA customer service ( post # 258 ) . My concern is that I am in my residency and currently own a 03 4runner which has been to the dealer a total of 6 times ( oil change and service ). I simply don't have the time to take a car repeatedly to the dealer for repairs.
    -How reliable is the '02 745Li ?
    -What are the most common problems with this car?
    -Which ones put the car out of commission for a few days and how often do they occur?
    -If you had your money back would you buy it again?

    Thanks for your input in advance.
  • keeskees Member Posts: 3
    02 745 A/C problem. I have had my car in the shop 6-7 times for the A/C. every time i turn it on it smells liek a cat ha spissed in my car. The smell is horrible and they kep flushinh it and changing filters, but it never helps. It is in the shop now again and I told I do not want it back if you did what you did in the past. Has anybody had this problem? Resolved ? I am very sick of this and must say this car is the worst I have ever had. It would eb OK, if BMW would act on it. I have aclled BMW USA no call back. Besides this, I also have issues with cd player get stuck, window does not go up, navigation system, seat memory does not work, trunk would not close, engibe failure twice..

    HELP ???
  • keeskees Member Posts: 3
    Don't buy it. It is a disaster..
  • keeskees Member Posts: 3
    I noticed yyour messsage on the board. Since I cannot get any reply fro BVMW USA by phone, I am addressing you. I have an issue with the A/C. It just stinks very bad when turned on. the mechnics admitt that this is a problem with the car and they have flushed and chnage filters 6 times. It doe snot help. The car is in the shop now and I told them to keep the car until they fix it. No more filter chnages, I need something done for real. Do you have a solution for this? It has been very frustarting!!! And why doe snobody at BMW USA call me back . Twice !
  • smodersmoder Member Posts: 13
    I purchased a used 2002 745 in March 04 with 19K miles. I had read many of the reports regarding quality issues and realize BMW's are not Toyotas(I have owned both before). Since March 04, the following problems have occurred. 1. Airbag Failure light(no found issues) 2. Passenger Window Broken 3. AC Never worked right 4. Navigation System-didn't work(slow) 5. Bells going off when the car is parked and key removed 6. Hum in Speaker 7. Air Seats not blowing properly 8.Radio not showing presets. The car looked and drove great. Couldn't stand all the problems..traded it in on a Lexus at 38K miles 11 months later. Lexus, 5000K miles no problems. I will keep my 1999 Z3, but will never buy another BMW. I heard the factory is offering a 100K warranty for 02 and 03 owners. It would be great If BMW would have sent that information to me(they didn't). Very Sad.
  • 95730i95730i Member Posts: 2
    I'm currently stationed overseas in Europe and just purchased a 1995 730i. The car is truly awesome but the owners manual is in German; is there anyway to get the owners manual in English via PDF file or purchasing one so I can truly understand all the features and capabilities of this great machine?

    Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I'd try eBay or have a friend in the USA buy one at a BMW dealer and send it to you. Keep in mind though there is no 730i in America, only a 530i. So you might have to try a dealer in the UK.
  • walksatcomwalksatcom Member Posts: 1
    I just got a 1993 740il used and for the most part it has been great. I put a few things into it before I took ownership and the dealer was a friend of the family so he also did a few things that ordinarily would not have happened. The car is in mint condition inside and out especially for this many years old. It truly was a pampered car who ever had it. Ok, now the problem....Of late, every time I step on the brake the 1 Brake Light comes on with a bell sound. I check the bulb and the brake light is fine. After the car is turned off the 1 Brake Light sounds and continues to display. I guess at some point it goes off because it is not on when I get back in the car. As soon as I step on the brake I get the warning again. Why is this happening!!! The bulb is fine. I was trying to avoid a trip to the dealer because all of the early gifts from the dealership are through. Is this a prelude to electrical problems I have heard so much about with BMW's? Any advice I would greatly appreciate it.
  • hlindonhlindon Member Posts: 1
    94' 740i with 140K. Always maitiamned and the transmission has developed a strong surge / firm shift when shifting into the 5th gear.

    Fluid has been verfied . Looking for thoughts to follw-up that may assist. BMW want to replace....

    Service company indicates it somewhat normal. Everyone has different thoughts.

    Any suggestions,
  • hotskydiverhotskydiver Member Posts: 2
    Do i need to change the Rotors if i change the Brake Pads.The car computer says check the brake linings.Pls Suggest.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Depends on their condition. If they are worn down or grooved, you follow BMWs recommendations. They may require that you replace rotors and not turn them, I'm not sure on this particular model. Rotors aren't all that cheap for this car so I wouldn't just chuck 'em like you would with a Honda. Also you have a big fast heavy car and you don't want to cut corners.

    So to summarize:

    1. Does BMW authorize turning rotors at al for your model?

    2. Are your rotor surfaces in pristine condition or are they grooved or smooth but worn too thin?
  • hotskydiverhotskydiver Member Posts: 2
    Thx for the Info
  • 95730i95730i Member Posts: 2
    will i find everything I need in a US printed 7 series owners manual for a 730i. I understand that the 730i is not available in the US but will the manual cover the specifics? if not what would not be covered?

    thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well what I meant was you won't find a US printed manual for a 730. You might find a UK printed one however.

    I'd have to do some research, as I'm not sure how a 730i differs, having never seen one.
  • rog1111rog1111 Member Posts: 1
    Hi all

    I returned to my UK 1997 740i today to find that I couldn't open the central locking with the remote. No problem, I thought, it's probably the battery in the key fob, so I will just open the door manually. However, no dice, the key doesn't open the drivers door, the lock just turns, although the boot will open. There seems to be power in the engine battery, but I'm still locked out ! Does anyone perhaps have anything to suggest ?

    Thanks in advance
    rog1111
  • nsbeemernsbeemer Member Posts: 1
    anyone have experience parking a 745 li out in the snow all winter, i am up in boston, ma and do not have a garage? any suggestions/things i should be on the lookout for?

    thx
  • norms75norms75 Member Posts: 6
    I have a 90 750il that has a transmission problem. When driving, it seems that it takes quiet sometime for the car to go into gear. I had the oil change and transmission fluid checked four months ago and was told the the transmission fluid was full. I haven't noticed it leaking. Is this a major expense and is it worth it? Please advise.
  • bimmer750bimmer750 Member Posts: 3
    Hi everyone,
    First of all I want to say that this is one of the most informative bmw web-forums I have ever across with oddles of experiences and anectodes shared by various bmw vehicle owners. I just want to say keep up the good work :)

    I am a proud owner of a 750iL 98, with about 37K miles, yes I know thats ultra low but I drive it really less, its practically brand new. Never driven in winter, maybe I'll break that record this year who knows ;)

    Anyways I live here in Toronto and its been really hot lately these past couple of days... and whenever I go for refueling....its a mission in a half to fill up the gas-tank. :( ....I mean as soon as I put the noozle in the pump clicks in the first 2 seconds! :mad: I gently pull it out so only the top portion of the nozzle is submerged in the fuel tank ....again :cry: same thing the pump clicks....and it keeps doing it through out .....its sooooooooo embarassing driving a 7 series benchmark and this sort of thing happening everytime I go fill up on gas. I get all service done from the dealer the service rep said its normal and that you should pull the nozzle out gently and pump in that way....but hey thats what I've been doing.....as mentioned earlier....

    I dont know what to do.....they said everything is normal....the mechanic voluntarily agreed to come with me and show me at the gas station how to do it...but I havent gotten the chance to meet up with him yet...however I want to know is there any cure for this?
    is this normal?
    am I in a very hefty expense?
    Can I use one of those fuel additives and put it in next time I fill-up to get rid of the air pockets?

    Sorry about the long post....please I need someone's opinion and advice as to what I should do... I mean I love the car its in immaculate condition and still has the new car leather smell in it....even after 7 years! and I hope there is a practical easy solution to this problem

    Kind Regards
    Thanks
  • jp7jp7 Member Posts: 2
    Hi, First time user,
    I have a question: My 1994 740IL, has a vibration when I reach the speeds of 52 - 55 mph, it is in the front. I replaced the original rims with rims from a 5 series that were alloy, same vibration, then I replaced the rims with chrome 17" mags. It didn't vibrate as much, but still there is vibration at the posted mph I mentioned. Any thoughts guys?
  • bimmer750bimmer750 Member Posts: 3
    Hi there f1buick,
    I have been there in your boat with my Lexus GS300. First-off whats the mileage on the car? Are you the first owner of the car, do you have service records on the car?
    Have your brakes been recently serviced?
    Are your tires new?
    Do they run true, i.e. do they have flat spots?
    Did you get the front control arm bushings checked? There is a possibility they have worn out considering its an 11 year old car.
    Are rims ok, you mentioned you only changed the front end rims....maybe the back rims are bent which is causing the vibration.
    Did you use roadforce for wheel balancing?
    Alignment could be out which could cause irregular wear patterns on tires and eventually cause them to vibrate.
    Many factors could lead up to the vibration you are talking about at the speed mentioned....please be more specific as to where exactly is the vibration felt from.
    Hope this helps
    Kind Regards
    :)
  • mellis1mellis1 Member Posts: 12
    Mr Shiftright, is there a BMW web site that shows illustrated pictures of replacing various components, on 7 series that is free for the use. Sometimes it helps to see a picture when they are explaining a repair or replacement, e.g. brakes

    Thanks in advance, if there is such a place.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Gee I haven't seen such a place per se but I'm sure everything is out there if you have the patience to look. There are often sites that do this but most are subscription I believe. (like www.alldata.com)

    You know, if you are going to DIY, there is nothing like a paper workshop manual right there in front of you. Even if you aren't doing the repair, you can look things up and even take the manual to the dealer to show him what you are talking about.
  • jp7jp7 Member Posts: 2
    Hi, thanks for the advice. Hmm let me see if I can describe this best: I did have front brakes replaced, also, the front control arms were replaced, as well as bushings, as recently as 2 months. The car has 197,000 miles, I'm the second owner, tires and rims as just 1 year old, Bridgestone tires are on it. All 4 tires/wheel have been together since bought. runs great and drives great, except for the problem I described. Again, I appreciate you thoughts.

    Thanks.
  • jdunnejdunne Member Posts: 1
    Having two problems with our 1995 740IL BMW. We've had the car for about 21 months and ran into these problems last summer also. Wanted to know if anyone else had the same experience and if they had any luck correcting the situations.

    Problem 1: air conditioning stops working--only blows warm air when the car is idling--otherwise ac works fine.

    Problem 2: Digital Sound Processing Display goes out when temperature outside is 85 or above. When car cools off the Digital Sound Processing Display returns.

    Many thanks.
  • clivepatrickclivepatrick Member Posts: 1
    For the last few days the front passenger door on my 740i will not unlock with either central locking/key or from inside with the handle. Tried checking all fuses etc.with no joy, anyone have any idea how to solve the problem?
    Hope you can help as the wife is a getting a bit miffed having to climb in through the window all the time!!!
  • bimmer750bimmer750 Member Posts: 3
    I thinks its time to take it to a BMW dealership and get it checked out! See what they have to say and then go on from there...might be a ECU lock programming glitch or something
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Can you put your ear to the door and hear anything working in that door? What I'm driving at is whether you have a malfunctioning lock motor that isn't even working or if the motor is working but the mechanical connection to the lock itself is busted.
  • hoot48hoot48 Member Posts: 1
    Hi...Newbi here:

    1. Can anyone tell me if there is any harm in burning 89-octane in a '95 7-series? My BMW mechanic says that's what he burns in his. He said "That's why they have knock sensors. The computer detects any knock due to octane and makes the appropriate adjustments to timing, etc. Can 89 really have a noticable effect on fuel injectors?

    2. Does anyone know of a place to purchase a repair manual for this car? I have seen them for 3- & 5-series...and for earlier 7-series (like Haynes, e.g.).

    3. I am the 2nd owner of this car. Bought it at 63,000 miles. It was pristine. Only problem was that I've had a shimmy since day one. The BMW shop that sold it too me went over the front end (and I have since had several other mechanics do so) and couldn't find anything they could attribute this to. He insisted that it was the tires. So I bought a new set of Dunlop A2 Sports...same problem. He then said "Oh, you HAVE to run Michelins on this car". So I next bought a set of MXV4s. Seemed fine for a short while, then back to shimmy (can feel it in floor board and very prominent in steering wheel). I've replace the rotors and brake pads. Any thoughts?

    Many Thanks
  • ryclan4ryclan4 Member Posts: 1
    I have 1997 BMW740il. When I drive for a few miles it gets very hot under the left side of the hood.

    Just wanted to know if anyone ha the same problem.

    All responses are welcome.

    Thanks
  • anthonypanthonyp Member Posts: 1,860
    I have been thinking af getting a bmw 7 after this last cycle change..I was wondering when the all new 7 would be introduced? The Lexus I have has the last four yrs is still a year away from the big change, and I also am tired of the same old same old, although it has been an easy car to own....I got my wife a new bmw 530xi station wagon and she loves it...I have been messing around with the i drive and find it complicated at first, but I think it will get easier with more familiarity...That has really been a big negative for even thinking of the bmw, so now I am thinking...Thanks Tony
  • jackiebjackieb Member Posts: 4
    Newbi,
    I have the same vibration problem and have the same tires as you do on my
    2001 740il. Having talked to BMW techs and gone to the website tirerack.com,
    I believe that Michelin Pilots are the best tires for the 7 series. When my MXV wear down, I will replace them with Pilots. Also, are your bushings leaking? That
    may be a factor in the shimmy. Air pressure. I run 33 psi in the front and 35 in
    the rears. Alignment. Costly and be sure that BMW techs use the weights in the
    care for the proper alignment. Good luck.
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