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BMW 7-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,488
    Hmmm...marginal value. A 7 series in "average" condition with 104K might retail at $15,000, and you are going to eat up most of the difference between your buying price of $10K and the retail of $15K with those repairs so I would think you should just go buy an already clean, totally fixed up car.

    I just don't see the point in buying a car like these with these sorts of needs. You aren't going to end up paying any less in the long run .

    Obviously the previous owner got an estimate and is bailing out.

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  • joshcjoshc Posts: 2
    so you think it will run me up to 15k to repair including purchase amount? every where i look i can not find a 99 with 120k or less on the dash for 10-15k. more advice please. i really do like the 7 series model. this one is black on black....
  • lobdelllobdell Posts: 9
    Can you explain what EZ Cap is and where I can find more about it? Is it a type of extended warranty?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,488
    Well spend more if you have to, but don't buy a cripple. Why won't the seller just fix the heater core and the brakes and charge you more?

    Sure, brakes could run you $1,200-$1,800, and the heater core requires a LOT of shop time, as do the window regulators. And then you've torn the whole dashboard/console off the car---what if something gets unplugged in there?

    And if your heater core is corroded, what does that say about the radiator?

    You can absolutely find a '99 BMW 740il with under 100K in the $15K-$17K range. I found a lot of them online in a quick search at

    If you like the car, make the owner fix everything or get an estimate from BMW dealer on making the car "100%" and deduct the BMW dealer's estimates from a $15,000 price. That'll be fair then and you'll also know all about the car.

    But really I'd just go buy a clean one and pay the extra money. You're going to be paying it anyway.

    You aren't actually buying a $10,000 car. You are buying a $15,000++ car. That's the reality of the "deal".

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  • baltojoebaltojoe Posts: 1

    Just read your complaint in #170 (sunroof wind noise). I have the same problem in a
    740iL. Had my kid put his ear up to the sunroof and we're pretty sure that's where the "whistling noise" is coming from.

    This weekend I'll try to check any adjustments that can be done, talk with some sunroof installers, or maybe see what a weather strip can do.

    Did you get your problem resolved (your message is dated in Feb. 2005).


  • I have a 2000 740i and took out an after market Warranty from Warranty Direct. they are the ONLY company that after reading the small print covered items if they wore out or borke down do to "wear & tear" Thya have already paid over $1,000 in repairs.....I got a 4 year up until I hit 100,000 (car ahd 41K on it) with a $200 deductible for about 2500 which included the needed Emmisions coverage.
  • markinlamarkinla Posts: 1
    Hi Josh,

    I've got a 1998 740i with 128k miles on it. A friend 'gave' me the car a year ago. It had 124k miles when I got it. In the last year I've done almost every light bulb in the car (laugh but they're typicaly $15 or $20 each and there are a lot of them!) belts, hoses, a 'major' or II service, and had the water pump go (that was a cool unexpected grand - but I was on Wilshire in Beverly Hills near the BMW dealer when it blew to at least I didn't incurr a tow bill) and many other minor but expensive trim peices have broken, failed, etc. This car was not pampered and has been driven hard by my buddies now former spouse. He dumped her and the car in the same week. (good decisions, both!)

    The car has a rough idle, sucks premium gas like a fiend, and needed new catalytic converters in the last year @ $1800 for the pair. For me, the price was certainly right - i.e.: free. But the cost of keeping this beast on the road is a bit much. I've owned MBZ's for years and thought a BMW would be at least as good and maybe better than the newer Mercedes. I was wrong.

    Oh - one more thing... every instrument display from the radio and DSP sound system to the dash warning panel and the A/C controls has various numbers of LED's burned out. The "fix" is to replace the entire panels - even when it means a total disassembly of the dash (and that's labor at the dealer at nearly $100/hr PLUS the cost of the part(s) themselves) - which varies from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.

    When the car runs well, it's a nice luxurious auto. Heavy. Powerful. But the trim, the electronics, and the AC are all mediocre - and this was a car with a high 80's or low 90's sticker price even back in 1998 when it was new. I know this is the wrong place to say anything unkind about a BMW - but this one is a nightmare. If we drove much or needed the car to be dependable, I'd be in trouble. My advice is to save yourself a huge headache and avoid the 7 series cars all together. No one I know who has one is happy with it. It seems the engineering was a little light but the prices don't reflect anything other than Bavarian Perfection - which it fails to deliver. (Hell, it fails to even come close!)

    When your service writer at Beverly Hills BMW sends you holiday cards and calls you and introduces you to his replacement when he's going out on two weeks leave for surgery - you know you're spending far too much money and time there. My guy at BMW of Beverly Hills has done both this past year!

    BTW: I'm hardly some kid with unrealistic expectations about any car. I'm a 54 year old physician and like I said - solidly in the MBZ camp for decades (until the late 90's when they began to disappointment with their degrading quality and increasing prices.) Honestly, I'm going to dump this thing as a trade-in or send it to the auction. It's cost per mile (I put maybe 4000 miles on it last year) has been absurd. I wish someone made a car that would last, provide decent reliabilty, a little bit of panache and style, and remain serviceable for more than 100k miles. Let's see ... the last time that happened was the 1985 MBZ 300 series turbodiesels, I think. Anyone know of anything else that's still running in droves after 20 years?

    Mark in LA
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,488
    Porsches! Benz 300E wasn't bad either.

    But really, BMW 3 and 5 series have performed better overall, you're right.

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  • sadonesadone Posts: 3
    I am the sad owner of a 02 745i. The vehicle has been to the dealer 5 times to fix the A/C. Each time the dealer fills the freon and installs die. A few weeks or months later the problem occurs again.I have not spent 1 summer season with A/C since I bought the car. I am totally disgusted with BMW. I am a 4 time Lexus owner and am I sorry I switched to BMW. The car is at the dealer as I am typing this message. They still have not found the problem so it might be another fill up and die. My next call is to the EPA for leaking freon into the ozone while they know there is a leak, this is clearly an EPA matter. The problem should be fixed! not just filled up and wait for the next warm day to find out I have NO A/C. In addition each time the car comes back the radio memory stations are gone, the memory seats do not work with the keys and the door locks do not lock automatically. That is another trip back to correct these items. I spend more time at the dealer than I do in the car. Am I the only one with an A/C problem on the 7 Series or are there others? I contacted BMW of North America, LLC 3 days ago and have not heard back from the as of yet. Someone please help me. I also own a 330 ci which has serviced me fine but the 7 has made me real sour towards BMW

    John the sad one
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,488
    John this sounds like a dealer competence issue not the fault of the car exactly. Any competent AC specialist should be able to detect and track down a leak in your AC system. If you are no longer in warranty, you may wish to consult an AC specialist. Find out where the best repair shops in your area send their AC work.

    Forget the EPA, you are wasting your time complaining to them about this. Focus your energies on solutions that can help you in the short term. There is no Federal law about not being smart enough to fix a car, so you can't punish anyone for that...good thing, too, or our jails would be overflowing.

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  • matt47matt47 Posts: 2
    I have had 3 BMW's. 93 5 series, 94 7 series, and a 97 5 series. Both 5 cars were excellent with no major mechanical. The 94 7 had a lot of problems.

    I have been wanting to get back into the 7 (less mechanical problems of course than the 94 I had) and found a 2000 740IL with 55,000 miles for 21,500. I am buying it from a guy who owns a limo company and sells a handful of cars at his shop. Once I write him the check can I take it back within a few days if the car is in bad shape (I live in NC)? I plan on taking it to the local dealership and having them check it out. Is there anything I need to tell the dealer to do to give it a good bumper to bumper look so I can determine if I bought someone elses nightmare? Or can any mechanic take a look and tell me if anything will need to be repaired. I dont mind repairs down the road...I am just trying to avoid any in the next 6-12 months.

    And from your overall experience is the 2000 740 IL the right 7 to get into or should I just break down and buy my wife the 2002 X5 and stay in my 97 5?

    Thanks for any suggestions or help...and I am new to this service to.
  • sadonesadone Posts: 3
    Thanks you for your response. The vehicle is still under factory warranty and will be until 2008. BMW extended the warranty to 6 years on the 02 & 03 7 series. I just want my car. It is embarrassing to have a car like this with no A/C. Still no word from BMW of NA. LLC. They must not care either. I Should have bought another Lexus. They are more on track with customer relations. I keep you informed.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,488
    " Once I write him the check can I take it back within a few days if the car is in bad shape (I live in NC)? "

    Not without prior written agreement, no. A deal's a deal unless you can prove he defrauded you or misrepresented the car in a serious and measurable way, neither of which is all that easy to do. It's difficult to unwind a car deal. You can always check with an attorney if you want to draw up some kind of agreement about returning the car. But it sounds like a lot of work. There's an easier way.

    What you need to do is have the car thoroughly checked before you buy it, and then based on what is found, negotiate a price that will compensate you for forthcoming repairs that might have been noted on the inspection----or reject the car if there are red flags.

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  • matt47matt47 Posts: 2
    Thank you for the response. I will take your suggestion and use it.

    What is the best way to have the car checked? Are the online services good to use like carfax has a service for $99 they send a mechanic over to take a look or is there another method or service you are aware of?

    Thanks again.
  • jndoritjndorit Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 745i and while the A/C works, nothing else does. The engine failed at 6000 miles, the steering failed and had to be re-manufactured which took over 60 days, the electronics/computer has never worked - Nav system fails, premium radio speakers/stations won't work; gas sensors failed so can't tell how much gas in car etc etc. Forget about dealing with BMW USA - they have a deaf ear to any problems. I had to sue them and although they are trying to settle, they are very petty and small minded about every nickel and don't "get it" that when they sell a failed product they should have even an ounce of integrity . . . just a waste of time to talk to them. Time is better spent talking to your new lemon car lawyer . . . BTW, chief mechanics at two different BMW dealers have told me flat out that the 745 was brought to market too soon and that the car's computer system is simply not capable of handling the tasks it was designed to perform - that has been my experience - worst car I ever had.
  • joeo4joeo4 Posts: 1
    I have a 1990 750il. When running the A/C, the driver side is good but the passenger side blows hot air. The guy I bought it from just had this problem repaired. They replaced the A/C control panel. This cost him $542. It worked fine when I bought it less than 30 days ago. Any suggestions?
  • stumped2stumped2 Posts: 4
    My '98 740il makes a "knocking" sound at the front end when the car is warm and is moving. No noise when the vehicle is stopped. I posted questions here last year and was recommended to have mechanic look at control arm bushings. I've been told they look fine. Another recommendation was to look at front suspension: shocks and struts. If that is the problem, what is an approximate cost to repair? Also, 20-Amp fuse is blowing. I replace it and it blows almost immediately. This fuse controls interior lights and sunroof. Not a disaster to be without, but certainly features I'd like to have working. Mechanic did a quick look for short circuits in the interior lights, but he couldn't find anything wrong. Said it would require more time to investigate. I've got 95k miles.
  • writemanwriteman Posts: 1
    I recently had a 1991 735 iL with 98,000 miles on it.

    I loved, loved this car -- it in great shape, looked great and had a great feel to it.

    It stopped once unexpectedly on the road and the dealer said the cable connecting engine to computer got disconnected. About 3 months later, after also replacing the alternator, the car stopped on the road again while driving, this time resulting in a wreck and the car was totaled -- luckily every one was safe.

    Is this something that just happens to this model of BMW -- would it be safe to buy another one?
  • smodersmoder Posts: 13
    I feel your pain. Just traded a 02 745 with 38K miles. Purchased it used with 20K drove it a year. In that time: (1) Airbag warning failure (2) Navigation system never worked well (3) Air conditioner blew warm air on driver side (4) Right Window broke (5) Rear trunk would not open properly (6) Radio Presets not working properly (7) Transmission felt strange at idle-lurched forward (8) Air seats not working correctly (9) Chime for keys would stay on for 5 minutes some times. This was all within 11 months. Loved the look and the drive, traded it in on a Lexus GS300. Had buyers remorse until while at the dealer the right door would not close and I couldn't remove the 6 cd's from the player-never had a problem before. BMW can provide all the bumper to bumper warranties they want since If the car breaks you have to deal with the crummy service-try getting a loaner car. No regrets and really enjoy the Lexus.
  • sadonesadone Posts: 3
    Thanks for your responce. It is terrible how such a high end automobile can give us so much trouble. I spoke to a BMW rep and was told with the customer loyalty program I can be credited a big $1500 towards the purchase of a new car. Wow, I almosted jumped on it! just joking. I do not see me purchasing another BMW. I am going back to Lexus. I learn from my mistakes.and you are right, it is the worst car I ever had too. Not to mention the most expensive. Shame on you BMW, you should be embarrased.
  • 530_lover530_lover Posts: 7
    I have 2006 730i BMW car. I notced that when turn off my car that the car is moving but when i do it and i press the brakes, it doesnt move. Should i press the brakes when i turn off always?????????????????? :confuse:
  • bmwnabmwna Posts: 32
    I’m with BMW of North America, LLC. I’m so sorry to read of these problems with your air conditioning. We are here to work with you and your BMW center, and we’d like to help. Please phone us at (800) 831-1117, and mention Reference # 200513600328 so that we can help you more efficiently.

    BMW NA Customer Relations
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,488
    That sounds like a totally weird problem and maybe even a mis-diagnosis, since it happened again. Computer harnesses just don't get "disconnected"....they are plugged in there pretty tightly with clamps.

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  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    Sorry about all your problems w/ the car. I have a 1998 BMW 740i w/ 60,000 miles and the car has been perfect save for normal wear and tear items (steering pump and a few other items were covered in warranty). I met a guy at the tire dealer when I was getting some new tires. He has the Exact same car as I (color, year ect) except his has 160,000 miles and he said he was "trouble free" save normal wear and tear. His LED's were all fine, DSP sound and everything. Maybe all the hard driving the car had before is causing all of the extreme maintenance items you are having to pay. No one wants to throw money down a "rat hole" so perhaps you sell it ?
  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    Where (web site ect) did you purchase the Warranty Direct coverage and how much? I have 60K on a 1998 and wonder if the $$ is worth it.

  • bertonberton Posts: 1
    From what I understand the life of the vehicle in BMW terms is 100,000 Miles
  • tiny1tiny1 Posts: 26
    I'm looking at a 2000 740 iL and would like just a tad bit more seat travel backwards on the drivers seat. I heard it is possible to remove a clip and get an extra inch of travel??? Has anyone done this? Is there a down side to this modification that will cost me later...or is there a reason not to do it? Room is not a concern in back......Also, what do you folks think the line in the sand is in terms of cost of extended warranty? Nissan dealer offering 3/36 bumper to bumper for $3.5K (backed by Nissan). I'm guessing I could easily spend this amount in repairs over the next 3 years (car has 55k miles) I'm thinking it is worthwhile. Is there a better after-market warranty? I have all maint records from local BMW dealer, and don't see any glaring historical issues. Thanks in advance...
  • smarrancasmarranca Posts: 1
    My 2001 740i now at dealership for 4th time in 4 months..what a pain. Something, somewhere is draining the battery when car has not been driven for 10-15 days. Note: in v.cold winter this period went down to 3-5 days. The dealer has been unable to locate problem (first two times they blamed ME for problem...leaving lights on & having a sat. radio system & such). Anyway..they last have replaced the NAV. system and something to do with the elect. steering assist. All for was totally dead again this week. Yes, I have replaced the battery (125$!). Am about ready to give up....t live 70 miles from dealership and tired of the hassle. Love the car/ride & don't want to switch to _____?? but can't deal with the crap-shoot of "will it start today?". So ...anyone else have similar type problem? Thank you.
  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    What did you get this info. and what frame of reference? You shared """From what I understand the life of the vehicle in BMW terms is 100,000 Miles """???

    Please provide more info.

  • richo50richo50 Posts: 1
    I have just had a similar problem with my 1997 740iL. It turned out to be a worn ball joint at the end of the tie rod - had both replaced and no more problems! can't help with the electrical problem.
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