Last post on Sep 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM
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BMW 7 Series
#760 of 1317 97 BMW 740IL 150 K Miles Maintenance Report
Dec 31, 2002 (8:20 am)
I have read many questions from folks about what to expect for reliability and maintenance on the BMW 740IL. I thought that my car might be a relative pioneer with its high mileage. Here is a summary of the problems that I have incurred since 1998 whe I purchased it at 60 K miles.
Overall, the integrety of the car at 150 K miles is fantastic. It rides, looks, and feels just as good as new. The major costs & complaints that I have had lie in "component failure"... If you spend the money and replace the failed part... the car is as good as new again. These component failures on my car are more frequent and costly than on a Lexus. I had a 93 Lexus ES300 that I ran up to 175,000 miles. I had far fewer problems with component failure on the Lexus.
Intermittent Brake Light Bulbs replaced
Water Pump Failure: 80 K Miles
Radio Display & In-Dash Digital Readout failure: 90 K Miles (Replaced radio & dash displays)
Driver Pwr Seat Adjustment Failure: 90 K Miles
New Radiator: 100 K Miles (Neck Broke)
Vacuum Plate in Engine (Blue Smoke): 110 K Miles
Catalytic Converter Right Side: 110 K Miles
(Ck Engine Light intermittent errors today)
Transmission Shifting Problems: (130 K Miles)
Note: The transmission was drained and refilled at dealer. Transmission now shifts as smooth as the day I got it!).
I had a 100 K warranty with this car..so much of the expense was taken care of by BMW. The after 100 K "unexpected" stuff has set me back about $ 4,000 over the past 24 months.
If you own or plan to buy this car, it is a great car, but just make sure that you budget about $2 K - $3 K per year for expensive maintenance and component replacements.
Note, however, that you can pick up a higher mileage BMW 740IL (late 90s) in the low 20s to mid 20s. I would much prefer to drive the 7 with 100 K miles than a brand new Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. Just make sure that you budget the maintenace and don't complain when you have to spend the extra money.
The only item that I did not get fixed by the dealer was the Catalytic Converter. (OEM)... and the new Catalytic Converter is not working well with the BMW onboard computer (lots of errors, etc.)... For the most part, spend the money and work with a dealer or highly qualified mechanic. I would tend to stick with the BMW parts as well.
I have a great relationship with my local BMW dealer service department. They tend to take care of the "small stuff" gratis. (But they tend to nail me on the big ticket items). Overall, they take care of me and keep the car running very well.
Also note, that once you take this car up above $100 K miles... you are trapped in it. The resale prices are very low relative to original purchase price and it is very difficult to rationalize replacing it with anything else (without spending $40 - $50 K more).
I hope this post helps.
Jan 22, 2003 (11:35 am)
I just purchased a cert-pre-owned 2000 740il, and learned after reading the micro-print on the door area, that it is actually a "740ial." Does anyone know what this means?
Also, does anyone know whether rear passenger air bags, incl. head curtains are standard in these cars? Mine doesn't seem to have them...
#762 of 1317 "a" stands for auto
Jan 22, 2003 (2:41 pm)
as long as ALL 7-series in US are autos ou have nothing to worry about. Rear air-bags should be optional. People with small children usually do not want them.
#763 of 1317 740ial and Radiator
Jan 23, 2003 (10:02 am)
Thanks, Sergey. I was perplexed why I couldn't find more information on a "740ial."
Re radiator, interestingly and sadly, I just got my 740 on the 16th of this month and had to put it in for servicing already because the radiator itself (not the hose) sprung a leak. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come...
#764 of 1317 745li electrical problems
Jan 23, 2003 (3:08 pm)
My 745li has been in for service a total of two weeks--it only has 5,000 miles! In one instance, it had to be towed 60 miles to the nearest dealer, leaving me stranded as the car had completely shut down. Other problems have been "chip replacements" and sound system and telephone going haywire plus the heat running full blast unable to be controlled Is anyone else experiencing these problems, or do I just have a lemon? This is my fourth BMW, but I never would have bought this car if I knew it would be like this. Am currently in a fight with BMW to replace or take back the car. Any advice?
#765 of 1317 Cup Holders
Jan 23, 2003 (6:00 pm)
I really enjoy driving my BMW. I actually look forward to my monthly 7 hour drive to New York. The cup holders are the one thing I feel need some improvement. I stumbled across this website the other day and ordered a couple of cup holders. I spent less than 5 mins. installing them and they work great. I highly recommend them.
#768 of 1317 I want to buy one but...
Feb 28, 2003 (3:43 pm)
don't need an $80k headache. after 1 month of research it appears that the 745 is a wonderful car if you're lucky enough to get a good one. gotta wonder if all the consumers posting on message boards that the car is a 10+++ aren't dealers touting its greatness to offset the problems reported by others? so my question is...do i buy one or not????? has bmw corrected all the 02 issues in the 03 models? dealerships in Illinois have a lot of used 02s with 4,5,6000 miles on them....manufacturer buy backs??????
who would turn in a car in that price range with so few miles????
#769 of 1317 I bought one and...
Mar 01, 2003 (9:28 am)
mike331, I bought a 2003 745Li in November and have only had one minor problem - the NAV disk got stuck in the player and the player had to be replaced. No, I'm not a dealer. I still would redesign the car if I had my druthers, but I will say that the car is phenomenal to drive. I've been a BMW, MB and, for 7 months, a Lexus driver. Now, you're going to have a few valets who can't figure out how to get it into gear, but you won't pass yourself to and from the office and everywhere else along the way like those who drive Lexus or MB. I heard that everyone was having issues with the 2002's, and I passed up my slot to take delivery on a 2002. I bought a LS430 instead, and I hated it. Boring doesn't even begin to describe that car. iDrive is as easy as working the mouse on your computer. A monkey can do it. I love the magazine guys who complain about it. Did those guys even finish high school? I bought, love it and have no regrets.