Last post on Sep 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM
You are in the BMW 7-Series
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BMW 7 Series
#1086 of 1317 BMW maintenance from a Non-dealer?
Mar 30, 2005 (10:18 pm)
I have read posts here that seem to indicate that it's almost impossible to get service done on a BMW w/o going to the dealer. Is that true? I have a 1998 740i (awesome car, 2nd 740i) w/58,000 miles and the warranty just ran out (BMW certified). I would rather take it to a local foreign car repair shop, for they are much cheaper re: maint. Also, how likely is it to talk to a BMW tech and ask him to work on your car off of the BMW site (strait cash to him/her). Do tech's have anything that prevent them from "moonlighting"? My dealer has an outstanding tech I would like to ask the ? to in a "hushed" tone:). Any input would be greatly appreciated. Also, I have only been getting 13MPG in city driving. I don't "baby" it in that the car is meant to be "driven". What are other 740 series owners getting in city driving? One last ? .. what grade of gas are you guys putting in your 740 series (1995 and newer). I always use premium. Am I wasting $$ there?
Thanks in advance!
#1087 of 1317 Re: [Mr_Shiftright] Expenses
Apr 01, 2005 (4:39 pm)
From my experience having owned a 1995 740i and my current car, a 1999 740i the "average" maintanance charges are no where near 300.00 per month. I have done the "math" and my average for both cars is 48.90 a month. I don't know where you get the high maint. #'s from.
#1089 of 1317 Re: [Mr_Shiftright] Expenses [mevande]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Apr 05, 2005 (5:16 pm)
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, OR...you 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.
#1090 of 1317 Re: 2006 First Drive [pat]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Apr 05, 2005 (5:17 pm)
I think I want one.
#1091 of 1317 Re: 2006 First Drive [Mr_Shiftright]
Apr 05, 2005 (5:38 pm)
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.
Apr 06, 2005 (8:47 am)
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.
#1093 of 1317 '95 740il w/ 37k miles Trouble?
Apr 06, 2005 (5:52 pm)
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?
#1094 of 1317 Re: [Mr_Shiftright] Expenses [mevande] [Mr_Shiftright]
Apr 07, 2005 (5:24 pm)
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.
#1095 of 1317 Re: '95 740il w/ 37k miles Trouble? [pete15]
Apr 07, 2005 (7:09 pm)
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.