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BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Who said $300 a month? I was estimating $125 or so.

    If you are spending $48 a month on repairs & maintenance you aren't doing it all, I can tell you that, aren't driving very much. You can't run a Honda Civic on $48 a month and do everything the car requires. That's $575 a year or .05 cents per mile, which is way below any car in the world. Great for you but I'm wondering what you're doing with this car aside from possibly cutting corners or driving maybe only 5,000 miles a year? Not a criticism but it is astonishing that you are so far below the average cost per mile for all makes and models.

    Are you including repairs AND maintenance? Tires, brakes, etc?

    Have you taken out the warranty years when you spent little or nothing. I was advising people who bought used 740s out of warranty. So that might also skew the numbers.

    I think anyone counting on spending $48 a month to keep a used 740 running is bound to be disappointed. You are way over on the extreme end of the bell curve of statistical probability.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think I want one.
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Heh, me too. Let me know when you get Edmunds to buy us one for the purposes of, um, research, yeah, that's the ticket, and then we can compare notes.

  • sysadbsysadb Member Posts: 83
    I also have a 98 740i. Your question about who to service the car comes down to confidence in whomever you choose. For me, it depends on what needs to be done to the car . For simple repairs or service like an oil change or brake work then I might trust someone else; for more complex work such as engine or electronic repair I might choose the dealer. Everyone wants to save money by avoiding the BMW dealer, but if someone else screws up something the money "saved" might prove to be a mirage.

    Your question about using a dealer mechanic "on the side" may not be workable, because the mechanic *probably* has an agreement with the dealer prohibiting him from doing this (especially with existing customers). It could get him fired. It doesn't hurt to ask, though.

    I get about 16 mpg with mine knocking around town, and have gotten over 24 mpg on trips. It sounds like you may have a tuning isue. Premium fuel is not required - the owners manual recommends 89 octane, which is mid-grade fuel at most places. That's what I use. My car just turned 50k miles.

  • pete15pete15 Member Posts: 5
    My father passed away recently and my mother has asked me if I want his 1995 740il that only has 37,000 miles on it. It was a Florida car that spent many of its summers in a parking garage in Naples, Fl. (salty sea air)

    Of course I love the car but am I getting into a money trap situation? From what I've read here the car will run darn near forever but might cost me a fortune in repairs along the way. I am happy with the cars we have now but it's tough to say no.

    I know the upside on this car, but what should I expect? Has ten years sitting around in the hot Florida salt air doomed this car to a lot of service in the years ahead?
  • mevandemevande Member Posts: 190
    Not driving allot is correct (7000 miles). I fly to business meetings. I change my own oil/filter (takes me 25 mins). Where can one find the cost per mile of any given model (you refer to it in your post). I have a friend who has a 1995 Honda Accord w/ 167,000 miles and he has paid a little over 23.50 per month per for maintenance for the life of the car. I bet his #;s are skewed for he has not been to a Honda dealer for repairs for a long time. He found a great mechanic (used to work for Honda) who charges a reasonable $$ for repairs.

    Mike V
  • mevandemevande Member Posts: 190
    Sorry to hear re: your father passing away. I would have the car looked over by a local mechanic who specializes in German cars (there are several down there). I had a 1995 740i and it was an awesome car. It prob. saved my life for I was hit head on by a DUI and I walked away. The car was totaled. You should also check and see if the short block in the engine has been replaced. It was a recall that BMW has in every 740i and they replaced my short block for N/C. It has something to do with the gasoline formulations here in the stated vs Europe. I have a 1999 740i and the car is a blast to drive. The was one "odd" thing that made no sense on the 1995's (minor) in that when using the steering wheel control to change radio stations it would not go to the programmed ones, just hit the next station it could find. The corrected both the short block issue as well as the radio control issue w/ the 1996 model year. If you decide not to keep the car. Let me know and I would like to make an offer on it:).

    Has the car been sitting around for long periods of time? On 2nd thought since the non-BMW mechanic likely does not have access to BMW computers for checking the car, have the dealer give you an estimate and then take that to the other mecahanic. BMW will charge you for the evaluation(100.00) it would be well worth it for you would know what would be needed service wise. The cars can run forever. I ran into a guy when I was getting new tires for my car, He has the same model year, same color and same equipment. He has 160,000 miles on his and other than a water pump and new radiator the car was problem free. Best of luck to you.
  • mevandemevande Member Posts: 190
    Car looks great! re: ""With the 2006 BMW 7 Series, the company has toned down the car's styling and shifted the emphasis back to performance."". I have always been a critic of the 2002-2005 styling. With the 2006, the styling looks evolutionary vs revolutionary from the 2001 BMW 7 series.
  • 92735i92735i Member Posts: 25
    100K miles is not really high mileage. It amazes me the american car buying culture of discarding. If we were all talking about GM, Ford, etc, which have "engineered obsolecensce" then yes, discard at 50K miles. But German cars are designed for travel throughout Europe (generally). The driving habits, economy, gas prices, roads, culture, currency exchange, manufacturing strategy, are all diametrically opposed to here in the US.

    The question is not "how many miles does this car have? " The question should be "how many miles does this car have left?"

    If you consider the options of purchasing (I've made all the mistakes) a new BMW, pre-owned at around $30k, or a "high mileage" German car with around 100k or even 150k miles, do the math.

    A E32 can be purchased for around $5-$8k with 100k-150k miles. This car should have at minimum another 50k-100k of relatively low maintenance driving compared to a $800/mo payment for 60mos = $48k for a $30k used car purchase + any risk of unexpected maintenance.

    And, unless you own a business, you shouldn't be in a new 745i lease (like I was) paying $1000/mo - 36 mos, and be facing a $48k buyout. Imagine the maintenance costs of that baby at 100k miles!

    Do yourself a favor. Rethink the mileage thing completely. Then make a purdent purchase decision and spend the rest of your money on a condo in Florida :)

    Check out this website:

    Made a lot of sense to me.

    Good luck
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Of course his numbers are skewed. You can't maintain a bicycle for $23 a month. Maintenance means EVERYTHING the car uses, this includes tires, brakes, wiper blades, seat repairs, and also means NO DEFERRED repairs. His numbers are impossible in fact. Just tires for 167K miles would add up to $23month in ten years unless he's buying them in junk yards and duct-taping over the bald spots.

    If one drop out items or "let things go" because they aren't important, that's fine but one is skewing the average numbers. Maintenance means the car stays 100% tip-top. A car wash is maintenance.
  • 92735i92735i Member Posts: 25
    Great question.

    I have the 18in sport rims with ContiSportContacts on my 740iL, live in Chicago. These tires are rated Ultra High Performance- summer, not good for winters here.

    You have two choices - based on how much you drive.
    1) purchase snow tires for the winter
    2) check out - The best rated tire for our car that is all season
    is the Michelin Pilot A/S.

    Check out the website.
  • tiny1tiny1 Member Posts: 26
    While looking for a 740IL, I ran into a 2000 750IL with 70K miles for $28K. Looks to be in outstanding condition. Questions: Have there been issues with the 12 cylinder engines? Are these cars less reliable than the 740's? Are the out of warranty maintenance costs significantly higher? What kind of gas mileage can I expect? I don't really need the 12, but I really like the car, and the price seems ok. If the only difference between the 740 and 750 is slightly increased maint cost and a few MPG, I might go for it.... Anything I should know about these cars? Edmunds gives it top honors, consumer discussions tend to be favorable. Thanks in advance for the help. By the way, it really fits my 6'6" frame well !!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I know a couple of people quite well who own 750s and they have all had a lot of trouble...mostly electrical demons. I would say post-warranty costs for major problems could be frightening, given some of the bills I've seen. I think a 740 is a much safer bet even though the 750 is indeed a wonderful car. If you aren't a millionaire, don't do it would be my advice.
  • tiny1tiny1 Member Posts: 26
    Thank-you Mr Shiftright. I felt a little pinch in my stomach, but wanted to check it out here to confirm. Is there much of a reliability difference (or other consideration) between 1999-2001 740s that I should be aware of? Realizing that this is a BMW site, how do you think the 740 stacks up to the A8L? Heard some war stories on out of warranty maintenance, but I really like the size of these large Euro cars.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    One reason I don't like the Audi A8...well, actually I DO like the car very much, but that aluminum frame gives me the willies. Not every shop is going to be able to repair that car if it gets hit, and shipping it off somewhere isn't going to be cheap.

    My view of the 740 is about the same as for all BMWs---basically a very sound, reliable, well-engineered car that will nickel and dime you forever as the miles accrue.

    So my approach to the 740 is to buy low miles and stay away from those 100K miles Plus cars with the attractive price tags.

    Will a 740 be as reliable as a Lexus? No. Will it be awful? Not at all.

    I think if you scan all the reliability studies that this is about what you'll come to understand with 740s.

    Would I buy a used one? Probably I'd go for the 5 series but that's more about size and feel rather than any worries about reliability.

    I'm someone who loves to drive. I don't care what CR says about a car's "defects per 100 vehicles". I buy a car because it is fun to drive, lovely to look at, and very well made. And a 7 series is all those things.
  • bmwbuyer08bmwbuyer08 Member Posts: 2
    Hi, I am looking into buying the 98 model 100K, at $14K or 2000 model, 135K at $16K. I was informed that these car gives on average 22Mpg. I wanted to know from you'll if this is worth the deal and the gas mileage is correct. Also, what should i be expecting in terms of maintenance. I was informed that it is not that expensive. My friends tell me to get a lexus Es300 instead.

    Any advise in details will be greatly appreciated.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Miles are too high. Don't do it. These cars are heavily discounted for a REASON. Can you guess what it is? (hint: sellers are having a hard time selling them with those kind of miles on them. Lower mileage 7s are being snapped up).

    Shop for lower miles and if you can get an extended warranty, would be my advice. I think 7 Series BMWs over 100K are kind of scary if you aren't the original owner and haven't been in control of the car's maintenance since new.

    Look at it this way: Suppose I came up to you and said: "Gee, my car's engine just blew up"

    And you'd probably say "oh, too bad. How many miles on it?"

    If I said "10,000" you'd say----wow, what a lemon...but if I said "150,000" you'd probably say...."well, you got some good use out of it".

    So at 135K you are just a year away from ......what? Who knows?
  • bmwbuyer08bmwbuyer08 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the advise. What do you suggest then I should get? I currently have a expedition at 100K, one owner and is a gas guzzler. I want to get another car, probably sedan and do not want to spend more than $16K. Initially people say that BMW will last for upto 250K miles and will give ame a 22 -24 miles per gallon. I was also thinking about Es300 or 400, also with a high milleage of abou 80-100K mile. your advise will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks a million.
  • tim13tim13 Member Posts: 1
    On the way to taking my wife to the hospital, my 10 month old 2004 745Li broke down for the 13th time. The regional BMW manager said no, to giving the car back, does anyone have further suggestions.
  • xkssxkss Member Posts: 722
    Have you looked at getting a different car?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    That's crazy. Talk to a Lemon Law attorney. You'll get murdered on a trade in, you might as well spend the money for legal advice. Maybe, if you qualify, you can force a buy-back, or at least put pressure on them to swap you into a new car with minimal damage to your bank account.
  • draqdraq Member Posts: 18
    my advice to you is first to tell us what dealership did that to you so we can avoid them, then write to BBB and tell them the story and they will blacklist the dealer. They contact AACP and they will advice you regarding your rights. I will also contact a lawyer and see if you can take them to court. I will also contact the county office and complain, this might effect their licensing. You need to do this all at once so you can make a big impact. I will also email everyone in BMWUSA. Mention names of those who did not offer to help you. Also, keep taking the car back for everything, In fact make appointments in advance like every week this way you will coast them lots of money and time. Try this it worked for others
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    No, please, no dealerships names are to be posted here for the purpose of giving someone "a bad name". I'll have to delete such posts, sorry.

    Personally, I'd take a wee bit more sober approach if you are seeking legal redress. E-mailing everyone makes you look like a crackpot IMHO and I don't think it helps your case. Address your complaints and documentation to the parties who will be *directly* involved in your case. Contacting a lawyer may be a good idea at this point. BBB is supported solely by business money and may be helpful but they have no legislative arm and no power. They are mediators at best. So don't contact BBB if you are going to sue.

    But I agree in general, that you need to become very proactive at this point. Time is not on your side here.
  • lobdelllobdell Member Posts: 9
    I have a 2001 740il with the Sports Package and Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Tires. BMW recommends tire pressures of about 30 and 37 on the front and rear. If I run 37 on the rear, the center of the tires wear out very fast. I am experimenting with 32 and 28 front and rear. The handling seems to be OK. Does anyone have thoughts on this?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I wouldn't drop the rear pressure to 28 if that's what you're saying. Especially not on a RWD car as this will put you into oversteer and also cause wear at the edges of your tires on both sides of the tire.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Member Posts: 351
    My after-market tire guys here in Atlanta recommend 32/34 on my 2003 530 SP. Have new Pirelli P-Zero Nero's and I find performance spot-on. I don't have the staggered wheel sizes of the 540, as not much concern for power-induced oversteer. Don't reduce the rears to 28!
  • mikey94025mikey94025 Member Posts: 8
    You sound very concerned with gas mileage and reliability and want to keep the cost down on a high-mileage used car. Between the BMW and the Lexus, you should get the Lexus.
  • bimmer4bimmer4 Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased my 2003 745 and its has been the best $49,000 i had ever spent!!! It has massage seats, not heated seats but, air seats, the on board computer is amazing, The best part is the engine the v8 is nice, but it really reminds me of my v8 540, the interior on my 7 to me is nicer than any ride that bmw makes besides the 760il. ;)
  • sbcnsbcn Member Posts: 1
    Am considering a private party acquisition of '01 740il with sport pkg.
    Is sport pkg. on 740 a good thing and just precisely what is the effect, visually and performance wise, on the driver and the car?
    Would appreciate input.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well it's a good thing if you like the ride. I'd love it but you might not. Try some rough roads and take a good long test drive before you jump on it. I found the 745 ride too harsh even for me.

    I like what we call the "GT concept". This means a high performance road car but with a slightly softer suspension for comfort. Very decent but not extreme handling capabilities.

    Visually I don't think you'd notice much, but I personally am not fond of 18" wheels. They increase braking distance slightly and the tires show edge wear earlier.

    Performance wise you'll have perhaps a more firm shift in the transmission and I'd bet worse fuel economy than a standard 740, because they change the axle ratio on the sports package I THINK....

    You'll also have the firmer ride as I mentioned.

    So take a good long test ride---remember once you buy this car, if you don't like the ride or how it shifts, you aren't going to be able to do anything about it.
  • bmwnabmwna Member Posts: 32
    I’m with BMW of North America, LLC. I’m so sorry your service experience was not what you expected. We are here to work with you and your BMW center, and we’d like the opportunity to discuss your concerns. Please give us a call at (800) 831-1117, and mention Reference #200513100524 so that we can help you more efficiently.

    BMW NA Customer Relations
  • askabry1askabry1 Member Posts: 7
    Tough choice. From what I've seen, eBay shows 2000 740iL's with 65-80K miles at around $17-$21 pretty regularly, and some have gone as low as $16K. Personally I wouldn't spend the kind of green you're talking about on a car already seven years old and over 100K miles.

    I know the 2000 7 series to have a better track record overall than the 98's in terms of maintenance, and my next care will be either a 00 or an 01.

    Insofar as gas ... 22 might be pushing it a bit unless you drive a lot of freeway miles. But ... that said, there's no comparing a 7 series beemer to an ES300. Your friends are talking about an upgraded Camry and one of the best luxury cars in the world. If mileage and maintenance are your bywords, go Japanese. If you want to make a statement about what you drive ...
  • lobdelllobdell Member Posts: 9
    We have a 2001 7 series with the sports package. The car is driven very carefully by my wife, and I get to drive it sometimes if I am good. We do not drive it anywhere near its limits. You can enable and disable the sports package with a button. I really do not notice any difference with or without the sports package. I really like the looks of the car with the 18 inch wheels and all that rubber on the ground. I get about 24 mpg on the highway at 80 mph. I have Michelin pilot sports A/S tires on the car. As you probably know, the tires on the front and rear are different sizes so rotation between the front and back is not possible. I know that BMW does not recommend tire rotation anyway. Tire mileage is not very good with these tires. You an get maybe 25k to 30k miles on the front and 20k miles on the rear if you are very careful. If you follow BMW's recommendation of 37 psi in the rear, you will get about 15k miles on the rears if you are lucky. In general, I am happy with the car but we are only using about 20% of its capabilities. I would love to drive it at 150 mph but I am not prepared to answer the questions from the local police and my insurance company. I am also concerned about future maintenance problems. It is a very safe care that I feel comfortable driving at 80 mph in traffic.
  • tiny1tiny1 Member Posts: 26
    OK. I just found a 2000 740iL that I like and would like to get your thoughts. It has 55.5K miles, cold weather package and special "highline" color package and new tires. The price is $25.8K, in very good condidtion (couple of small scratches in door), but I think the dealer (non BMW) will go lower (I'm targeting $23)...They will also include a 3/36 "bumper to bumper" warranty backed by Nissan for $3.5K (sounds very expensive, I'd like to get it for 2-3K)!! What do you think about this deal so far?
  • checkerdrivercheckerdriver Member Posts: 1
    It's True! After months of research I determined the 1995 7 series to be the best automotive bargain to be had ...Bar None. I recently purchased one with 105k, pritine would not be a stretch...for $8,000.00. Happy Happy Joy Joy!
  • tiny1tiny1 Member Posts: 26
    I'm 6'6" and would like just a tad bit more seat travel backwards on the drivers seat. I heard that 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 since I'm looking at a 2000 740 iL...Thanks...
  • bks1bks1 Member Posts: 3

    Does anyone know of a way to have Sat radio added to a 2003 745Li? I would prefer one that is intergrated like the new models. I called my dealer and he said BMW doesn't have a retro kit for my car. I find that hard to believe but that is what I was told. It can be XM or Sirrus.

  • 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.
  • sayaltitudesayaltitude Member Posts: 1
    I just checked into this yesterday for my 2002 745i. The kids at the radio specialty shop AND the parts and service guys at the local BMW dealership all say it CAN'T be done by integrating XM or Sirius into the I-Drive display unit.

    I was very surprised, though, when one of the installers let me try one of those XM hand-held units (kind of resembles an I-POD) with an FM modulator built in. It worked really well over the BMW's FM radio. Even though the radio unit is in the BMW's trunk, I got perfect reception, and this particular unit allowed you to choose from about 5 or 6 FM stations to escape interference. I had assumed the interior FM modulator wouldn't work in a 7-series, but since it worked so well, I think I'll go that route, just hiding power and antenna wires the best I can.

    Good luck. Please post here if you figure out a way to send XM to I-Drive in a pre-2004 7-series
  • 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!
  • lobdelllobdell Member Posts: 9
    Has anyone had experience with Warranty Direct for an extended warranty for a 2001 740il?
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  • rayden1rayden1 Member Posts: 4
    I had warranty direct too, and had issues with them. They were very picky about paying for certain components. I had suspension issues with my 2001 740IL and they did not cover any of the rear suspension components.
    Then the second time BMW misdiagnosed the problem, and it ended up at another BMW dealer and again my warranty did not pick up the tab, when it should have been covered.
    I personally think in my case I paid 2700 for nothing!
  • rayden1rayden1 Member Posts: 4
    I'm running 32 and 32 also on my 2001 740IL and have no issues really.
  • rayden1rayden1 Member Posts: 4
    I'm about to buy a 2002 745i with 12k miles on it. Any feedback on the car? I know it had some serious software issues but BMW extended the warranty to 100K and with the latest 17.1 software release alot of the issues have been resolved. Anyone else got any thoughts?
  • lobdelllobdell Member Posts: 9
    What brand tires are you using? How is the tire wear? Do you like them? I am running Michelin Pilot Sport A/Ss. The rear tires wear very badly in the center for any tire pressure above 30 psi. At the recommended 37 psi, I probably could not get more than about 10k miles. Pilot Sport A/Ss handle and stop very well, but the wear is considerable. Any thoughts?
  • rayden1rayden1 Member Posts: 4
    Yes the Michelin's wear faster. I ran through a set earlier.
    Now I've got The continental contisport contacts, and have had a little better luck. Not to great in wet weather.
    In the winter I'll throw the stock 16's with michelin mxv4 pilots on em.
  • smerlosmerlo Member Posts: 2
    My 1995 740IL chech engine light comes on intermittenty. Took it to he shop and the told me tha both Lambda sensors and their electronic box had to be changed. I agreed to the repair and after I took the car back the Check Engine light came back on again. After two more visit to the shop as the problem was not fixed I asked for the original parts to be put back.
    The problem continues, the engine runs great. Any suggestions on what the problem might be?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Could be a gazillion things...aren't they reading the codes and interpreting them correctly? Sounds like they don't know what they are doing at the shop. Some mechanics have yet to understand that the code only identifies the SYSTEM or CIRCUIT giving the problem. A code for a sensor might mean that the sensor is getting a signal, not that it is itself bad. I think this is what happened to you.
  • smerlosmerlo Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for your response. It makes sense. I will take the car to the local dealer hoping it knows what he is doing. By theway the weather temperature went down, from 35 celsius to 25 And the light does not come off anymore.
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