BMW 7-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    You know I'm not in the "in crowd" on this information, but I'm guessing 2007, since Lexus isn't changing for 2006, so....I wish they'd ditch iDrive in the 7 series, I think it's killing the car.
  • james40james40 Member Posts: 1
    I am thinking about purchasing a used 1999 740i. Can you guys tell me what things I need to look out for on the vehicle before I make the purchase. From reading these forums it seems they have bushing problems but I wanted to see if their is anything else the group would recommend I have checked out before I buy.

  • prob1293prob1293 Member Posts: 4
    James - I just bought a 1999 740iL (58K mis) myself off of eBay. The car did need some work right off the flat bed, but it was definitely operable. Have a mechanic put it up on a lift. Check all fluids, brakes, rotors, sensors, ball joints, etc. Check tires for abnormal wear. Look at the engine from underneath at things (hoses and radiators) for signs of leakage (the engine should be fairly clean - nothing drippy or goopey should be present). Check the radiator, too, the overflow tank and the fan shroud, etc. In your test drive accelerate hard and brake hard - the pick up should be firm and smooth (and damn quick) - and if you brake hard enough you want to hear the ABS click in. Make sure the moon roof opens/closes/tilts easily, the windows all operate with one-touch and that they back up if you put your hand in the way. Make sure the windshield wipers work (turn them on to "fast" - if any of the bolts are loose the wipers will just fly off the windshield - better now than in your first rain storm driving home. Make sure all the lamps/lights work. Get in the seat and make sure you can adjust it in all directions and save the settings to memory). And finally (if it sounds like I'm talking from experience here - I am) make sure you have a spare that's well-inflated and useable. Also, make sure that all the tools and the jack are in their proper location. First week out - I ran over something and got a flat. Fortunately, some (but not all) of the necessary tools were there (that little flashlight in glove box was real blessing!!). Make sure all the little ashtrays and storage pockets open. Make sure the A/C blows cold. Make sure the CD changer in the trunk works and if you're lucky to have found one, make sure the NAV system works. The first aid kit in the back seat probably won't be there, though.

    As for the Phone - I'd love to know if anyone can tell me how to use it...can I somehow connect just any old cell phone to this system??? I have this beautiful car and this painfully obvious blank spot where there should be a phone in the center arm rest!!! PLEASE HELP!!

  • 1stbmw41stbmw4 Member Posts: 1
    Just bought a 2001 750il. I have a need for a three point seatbelt in the middle rear. Does anyone know of a solution? Not sure if there might be a technical bulletin, aftermarket retrofit, etc for this problem. My need is for a child's booster seat.
  • binbmanbinbman Member Posts: 1
    Hi Newbi,
    I do have the repair manual for your car, let me know what do you need and I'll see what I can do for you.
    Take car and happy ride!
  • jbuchananjbuchanan Member Posts: 27
    You can try to reset the computor by removing both battery cables and touch them togather,but be careful not to touch battery,this will drain all residual power and most of the time this will reset all memories

    [email protected]
  • jbuchananjbuchanan Member Posts: 27
    Before you waste your time going to the dealer,try this very easy and simple.
    Take 2 inch masking tape and tape off the front of the sunroof then drive the car if no change in noise tape of one side at a time till noise is gone that way you know where the problem is before you go in and they can't hit you up for extra labor time

    jbuchanan @ [email protected]
  • jbuchananjbuchanan Member Posts: 27
    First of all how can you tell I'm a first time user? If they are after market rims they might not be centered on the hub.I spent days trying to find that same vibration

  • jbuchananjbuchanan Member Posts: 27
    do you feel the vibration in your feet if so you could have 2 problems ,the vib. in your feet sounds like it's a drive train problem,motor mounts go bad all the time.the steering wheel vib.could be a little play in each front end part the combined play adds up.I always recommend alternating from 89 to 96,but if you add an injector cleaner every second tankfull I wouldn't worry about it

  • jbuchananjbuchanan Member Posts: 27
    Make sure all brake lights are silver tip some shops won't spend the extra dollar for the correct bulbs.Copper bulbs have to much resistance and will cause the check light to come on

  • berlinberlin Member Posts: 1
    Hello there
    I am also in Europe(germany) and am planning to buy exactly the 1995 model 730i. Would like to talk to you a little bit and get some feedback from your car experience with this model. Can you share some of your experience with this particular model and year?. appreciate this.
    Thank you
  • dukebballfandukebballfan Member Posts: 2
    Love my car and despite all the hoopla over the i-drive think it is terrific. I acquired the car in June and am ready to make my 3rd trip back to the dealer. First problem occurred the day I picked my car up from the dealer and it stalled at low speeds 3 times the first day. Next 2 issues have been -- I often get transmission failsafe error messages when I start the car and proceed to drive. I can usually clear this problem by restarting the car (a pain but ok). On 2 occasions it has gotten stuck in transmission failsafe mode and can only drive in 3rd and 5th gear. The shop reprogrammed and thought they fix the problem a month ago and it happened to me again last night. I tried restarting several times and didn't fix the problem. It did work this morning but now I have a service engine soon message. Also, read an earlier message -- I also have engine rattle and perceived lack of power at certain times -- I am also having that checked out. Love the car and am holding my breath that these problems can be resolved -- otherwise my wife is going to tell me that I should have bought the S-Class car that she liked better! Any others encounter the transmission failsafe problem???
  • barlexbarlex Member Posts: 2
    Purchased a 95 740il with 45k miles 4 years ago. Now have 105k miles. As an agressive driver, I enjoy this Bimmer in all respects except in 2 areas.
    1. The engine does not respond quickly enough in critical times such as crossing a busy street. It's flat. Same on standing start. Manually downshifting does not appear to improve the situation much if at all. Some have recommended replacement of the mass air meter (?).
    2. The actual speed of the car is less than what appears on the speedometer by about 10%. If speedometer shows, say 60 mph, I'm actually traveling 54 mph. What is this doing to the odometer? Some say it is a factory offset to tire size and does not affect the odometer. They also say that this condition should reduce the number of speeding tickets I would otherwise receive!
  • jbuchananjbuchanan Member Posts: 27
    Make sure your catalyst are not coming apart,you can tell by tapping on them WHEN cold,have had to replace many cats. on 5's and 7's,they will restrick the exhaust flow even if they are partalily clogged up.Also check the valve cover gaskets they will leak oil down into the spark plug tubes and cause the plugs not to fire correctly.If these seem ok try an injector cleaner with a full tank of premium gas.These are easy to check yourself instead of taking 2 weeks to get an apointment at your local dealer.

  • barlexbarlex Member Posts: 2
    Thank you for your quick response. Both cats are less than 1 year old (that's another story). I'll check the valve covers. How often can injector cleaner be used? I was told that too much may indeed damage the cats.
  • bmw745bmw745 Member Posts: 1
    i have this car and when i stop the car and switch off
    there is lettel vibration or moving

    the procedure:

    1- after parking a change the gear to "N"
    2- i push the side break
    3- i change the gear to "P"
    4- i press " stop engine" button
    5- i take off the remote

    after one second the car is moving lettel bit??

    is it normal???????

    please help me:)
  • jbuchananjbuchanan Member Posts: 27
    Sorry,I've been real busy,Yes to much of a cheezy injector cleaner will,Buy a good cleaner and once a year is sufficient,but also need to clean the throttle body.It will get a build up and give the computer a false reading,the throttle plate will not close all the way and the computer wiil not see the idle values and think you are driving down the road.I like to use JB cleaner (JUSTICE BROTHERS) I think you can purchace the cleaner at Advance Auto or Auto-Zone.The correct procedure in flushing injectors is to first clean the thottle plate then perform the air intake flush this cleans the plenum and the intake and exhaust valves and the top of the pistons the install some cleaner in the fuel tank,The I like to drive down the highway about 60-70 mph for about 15-20 miles.There are a couple of other ways to flush injectors this how I flush the fuel system.p.s. it is a good idea to replace the spark plugs after the injection flush.Let me know how it goes
  • mmihailovmmihailov Member Posts: 6
    I just bought a 2000 BMW 740i and the driver side rear window regulator is broken. I can hear the motor working and something moving inside the door, but the window itself is not moving. I found a new regulator with the motor for $245.
    Does anyone know where I can purchase a regulator without the motor? I noticed that online stores sell regulators without the motor for 540i but not for 740i. Any idea why?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Does the dealer sell it without the mtotor? Call 'em up and ask, and if they say no, ask them why. The parts man will know I think. Might be riveted in there or something. BMW loves to do that kind of thing.
  • mmihailovmmihailov Member Posts: 6
    That is very likely - that they riveted it. Thank you.
  • broke2broke2 Member Posts: 1
    The fuel injectors on my four cylinder have 280K miles (not the motor) so I thought I would put in some injector cleaner. By the time I ran though that tank of gas with the cleaner in it, my motor is now smoking bad ! I see the smoke when I take off from the stop light, but it may be while driving too, I don't know.
    Is this just a coincidence or did that cleaner do something BAD.

  • beammeupbeammeup Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a 745Li purchased a few months ago. I am curious as to what the oil and maintenance frequency is, as the manual is not clear to me...Thanks
  • divekingdiveking Member Posts: 3
    Looking for an answer. I have a 2003 BMW 745Li. It has 10,000 miles. Upon starting the vehicle as usual I have to tap the IDrive knob or joy stick twice as some call it to get the IDrive to allow you to open the screens. The other day this did not work and without this device I have no navigation or radio or any of the other components it controls. Is this a common occurance? I read in another forum that this can become a nightmare. At this time I have an appointment with my local dealer for this repair. They gave me an appointment 2 weeks away.Which I find strange but am being patient. After this I will be demanding immediate service for a device that controls all these functions for this vehicle. As I now have BMW's NA phone number. Any help or advice would be appreaciated. Thank You
  • divekingdiveking Member Posts: 3
    If you have a warranty for full coverage then the dealer that services your 745 knows by the computer when the oil or any other service needs to be performed. It also comes up in your dash. It will say how many miles till you need something serviced.
  • davieboy1davieboy1 Member Posts: 14
    I have had a 2003 745i for 14 months. The car was in the shop twice before I bought it, once for regular service and another for an electrical problem. In the last 14 months I have had this car in the shop 5-6 times for a left sided buzzing noise on 2 occasions, routine maintanence followed by the car light on the nav on one occassion, windshield wipers jumping, the air conditioning turning on when off, buttons peeling, etc. I have never had a problem under the hood. Now the trunk will not open. Does anyone think 6-7 visits over 14 months is abnormal.
    Are others having the same problems. I for one am tires of frequent visits to the dealer. Love to drive the car but I do not think this car is really worth all the trouble. I may be selling it soon even with the loss I will have to take
  • jbuchananjbuchanan Member Posts: 27
    Why did you install injector cleaner???

  • divekingdiveking Member Posts: 3
    Hello: I have a 2003 745Li w/ the 4.4 engine. The vehicle was stored for about a year and a half. It was started a few times during this period. When I purchased the car, it started ok ran a little rough, but accelerated ok. I drove the car to my home about 60 miles, I did notice some vibration from the left front on braking but this went away after I stood on the brakes quite hard from 80 mph. I have since put 2 tanks of 93 octane fuel with the second fill up I added a product called Berryman or Berrymen fuel system cleaner. I have not noticed an adverse operating condition. The dealer I go to serviced the car and they performed service I did not even tell them about which was a real pleasure. The reason it went into service was for peace of mind with the new purchase mainly. It did have a noise like a light banging sound which the dealer said was 2 bushings in the front suspension which they did replace as with other routine maint. But the IDrive computer is working intermittintly which will be serviced on the 10th of October. We shall see.
  • rebel920rebel920 Member Posts: 1
    Recentley purchased a phone for my 740IL and I can't get activation because cingular says that it is no longer activating TDMA because of blue tooth technology. It's a shame to have a hands free phone and can't get activation.Is there some wa to possibly get the phone activated.
  • bmwnabmwna Member Posts: 32
    I'm with BMW of North America, LLC. I've passed this message on to a BMW NA Customer Relations Representative who will be in touch with you soon.

    BMW NA Customer Relations
  • whale2whale2 Member Posts: 1
    My 1998 bmw 740i has 150k miles, recently the check engine light has come on won't go off...mechanic say that diagnotic check show nothing going with the engine yet I have noticed there is some vibration in the engine even after its has been running for a while with a noise coming from the left side underneath the driver door. Please assit me with this matter, Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    First off, go to another mechanic. The light is on for a reason.
  • pdaviespdavies Member Posts: 1
    Dear All,

    I am a little puzzled... my BMW 740i's central locking has stopped working. If it were for all things this might make more sense. However, the locks still work on the front two doors but not the rear doors or the boot. Also the back interior light has ceased working. Any ideas anyone, I would be very grateful.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Have you checked all your fuses?
  • cobra99cobra99 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1997 BMW 740IL that has 150K on it. It is a nice looking car but since I bought it I have had to fix so many things it makes me wonder just how good these cars are. 1st the headliner fell down. $400 bucks and several trip to fix it it is repaired. Belt tensioner had to be replaced along with the belts. Cam sensor went bad. o2 sensor on one side went out, then the catylatic converter had to be replaced on the drivers side. Replaced the cup holder, wow what a crappy design (2hrs labor) glad I didn't have to pay BMW to fix that.
    Here is my current problem!!!!!!
    Now the radio won't work. The CD player works great but when you switch on the radio it lights up and the ST shows but no sound. I disconnected the phone (can't get it working anyway according to Verizon) but it still will not play. Can someone tell me if the amplifier or some other component is bad........oh the check engine light is on yet again.
  • lpdavislpdavis Member Posts: 2
    My 1993 740 (210K miles) will occasionally refuse to start. Was told that was probably a "computer" problem. Had car serviced and computer re-programmed and it work fine for several months. Problem returned. Took to another repair shop. The mechanic swapped a computer from another BMW and my car started OK. Switched the computer back and my car still did OK. A friend advised that the computer was likely losing memory (due to whatever) and that if the car was not run for an extended period of time that it would (may) need to be re-programmed. The magic part was that the car would "re-program itself" IF you could just get it started. So, the advice was to spray a little starter fluid in the air intake and start the engine. It worked! The problem would re-occur and a little spray would do the job. The frequency increased. One occasion, the car's engine stopped running while driving - was able to safely get off road. Tried the starter fluid and after several attempts the car started and I took car to a mechanic. He replaced a starter relay and declared the problem fixed - difficult to tell when the problem is sporadic. The problem returned and a little starter fluid turned into multiple attempts to start with eventual success. The last time this happened, I had tried for 5 minutes of spray and crank. Finally gave up, called for a ride and decided to try it one more time - started right up and did fine. I have about lost my sense of adventure and would like to find a solution so that I am not always in danger of being stranded due to an unreliable car. Can you help or suggest a possible solution.
  • drive745drive745 Member Posts: 5
    I am looking at buying a used '02 745li. I currently own a '99 LS400. I have heard BMW build quality is not very good. I was just wondering what problems occur most with this car?
  • sltoolssltools Member Posts: 7
    Hello All, I have an interesting End of Lease Situation on which I need some input. I Originally Leased a 2002 745Li on a 4 year lease. After two years BMW bought the car back and gave me a 2004 do to all the troubles I experienced with the 2002. I am now at the end of the original lease.

    The original residual value on the lease appears to be the same as the 2002 car. That is, they have quoted me a residual value of $44,998. The fair market value on the 2004 that I am actually driving is more like $60,000.

    Does anyone have any experience with what might happen if I try to buy the car at $44K and re-sell? I am negotiating a new lease for the 650 Convertible. It sure would be nice if I could pocket the difference and put it toward the new car???

    Any input would be appreciated
  • sltoolssltools Member Posts: 7
    drive745, I leased a 2002 745Li and drove it 2 years. It was in the shop more than I had it. They ended up buying it bake and giving me a 2004. Most of the problems were computer related. If they have solved those problems it might be ok. I also had some wheel and alignment problems that they finally resolved.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I don't think your market value number is too realistic but if they let you get away with this, there is probably some profit in the car for you...but if you pay sales tax when you buy the car (I'm not sure about this), your profit when you resell, after all the smoke clears, might be more like $5K or a little less. Depends on mileage and the car's condition.
  • sltoolssltools Member Posts: 7
    Shiftright, I received the buy out details from BMW....$45,000.00. Sales tax would be about $2600.00. I have researched resale values on Edmunds and other places. The car is in excellant condition with under 25K miles. The lowest re-sale figure I have seen is $62,995 with a high of $69,995.

    The reason the residual is so low is that they set this up originally as a 2002 model then traded me out to a 2004 without changing the lease. I just can't see how I can lose on this???

    Your insight would be valuable and thanks.

  • drive745drive745 Member Posts: 5
    thanks for the info. Were those problems covered under warranty, or did they make you come out of pocket?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I don't think your numbers are right. I just priced it out on Edmunds and get $52,000 as private party retail for a 24,000 mile car. You can't go by asking prices or dealer asking prices for a certified vehicle. I mean, I hope you make good money on the car but those numbers you posted sound very high to me. This is not a "quick sell" kind of car and it's a heavy depreciator, especially as 2006 rolls around.

    But it still seems worth doing if you don't mind tying up that much money. This isn't a great time of year to sell either, so....

    Anyway, go recheck the numbers on Edmunds and let's see why we are coming up differently.
  • bdr127bdr127 Member Posts: 950
    KBB shows $57k for the car in "Good" condition on a private party sale. Trade-in is $51k, and Retail is $66k (this number is way off). Current auction listings have them going for about $53k. FWIW, Mr_Shiftright, I get about $53k for Edmunds private party in "Clean" condition ($57k retail, $61k Certified).

    Now you know why it's so tough for a dealer to appraise a car and put a number on it.... Look at the differences in numbers!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Okay so looks like he'd clear about $5K on a quick sale....he's obviously not going to want to sit on this car forever to sell it if he's looking to flip it. These cars don't hold value super well so the longer you wait the less you make. Sounds like it would sell fast enough at $53K then if those are the auction numbers. Guess it depends too on the car's geography how well it would sell.
  • edj2edj2 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 740iL with about 49,000 miles on it. The water pump just failed, which also ended up shredding the fan belt, cracking the radiator and probably breaking a hose which drained the coolant. Of course the car is now 5-months out of warranty. Needless to say a $1,500 bill for a part that (in my opinion) should typically last 50-100% longer than it did has me wondering if others have had this problem. Fro mwhat I see on this site there are some issues with early water pump failure on the 740.

    Has anyone had any luck with BMW USA covering an "early" failure such as this out of warranty?
  • mortgageguy1mortgageguy1 Member Posts: 1
    Well I finally made the decision to buy a 2006 750 Li and within 2 months of owning it the car stalled in the middle of me driving it twice, causing me to have to pull over, put the car in park, and re-start it. Be aware that the egineers at BMW are aware of this problem, which has something to do with the ignition system. The system had to be completely replaced, and the car re-programmed. I"m assuming if enough issues comes up, there will be a recall. If this happens, take it in immediately, it was a very dangerous situation.
  • brawnydawgbrawnydawg Member Posts: 4
    Have the opportunity to urchase a 97 w/ 130,000 miles. Brand new engine and just about evething under he hood was replaced. Digital reouts have missing lights on the radio part but, odometer part is OK. Needs fog light. Interior is 95% clean. Third owner. owner wants $10,500. Drives great?? Nice car, would just be a toy. Would drive only about 5000 miles per year? What do you think!?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    trouble. He replaced everything and now it's your turn. This car doesn't sound like it's had a good history if you think about it. Personally I'd look for one owner, very short history of problems and lower mileage.

    Also it's way overpriced for mileage and condition.

    Buy a nice one for $10K-12K and be happier.
  • sltoolssltools Member Posts: 7
    Mr_Shiftright and Others, The BMW dealer has offered me $52,750 for the car. They will apply the difference between the $45K residual and $52,750 to a paydown on the Adjusted Cap or give me cash. Sounds like a good deal to me. Any problems that you can see???

  • johnbob1johnbob1 Member Posts: 4
    I have new tires, recently balance and aligned 740i sport package car with 84k miles. I've owned it for 3 years, bought with 39k mi. No vib problems until about 5k miles ago. Driving me crazy with a steering wheel vibration. Between 50-60 mph the vibration occurs, vibration sometimes goes away after driving...sometimes within a few miles, sometimes it takes 20 mi to subside, but usually dissipates. When the car sits for a few hours or over the weekend seems to exacerbate the situation. I haven't had the suspension parts assessed for bushings, etc. Any similar problems out there? I had a 95 740i previously and had no such problems.
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