Last post on Sep 16, 2012 at 11:07 AM
You are in the BMW 7-Series
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BMW 7 Series
#94 of 1317 used 740il
Feb 18, 2000 (1:35 am)
I have been looking for a used 740il and have heard numerous times that there were three years either 93-95 or 94-96 where there was a recall on all V8 BMW's something to do with the engine idling rough, does anyone know more about this and how concerned I should be and if I buy a used one will BMW fix this problem free of charge (wishful thinking). I saw a beautiful 1994 model that was very reasonably priced and this is making me wary.
Feb 23, 2000 (10:16 pm)
I'm a big fan of the BMWs as highway cars and, given the configuration challenges of any sedan (high center of gravity, narrow track, high side to side weight transfer during lateral acceleration) as cars for winding rural roads. The 528 was among the three finalists we considered during the selection of a car for my wife a couple of months ago. But, like all cars, BMWs have strengths and weaknesses.
Unlike the 6 cylinder iron-block cars, you're correct to be concerned about purchasing any high-mileage (80k+) BMW with a V-configured engine and/or automatic transmission. If you research back through this thread, visit the BMWLemon site, pull up the NHTSA vehicle recall site, and discuss ownership experiences with owners who have driven their cars in circumstances similar to those you anticipate, you will note several trends:
Aluminum engine problems problems have been common among higher mileage V-configured engines due to BMW's use of a special aluminium alloy block with a type of silicon treatment applied to the interior of the cylinders rather than the use of steel liners as is the case for Ferrari, Lincoln, Mercedes, Chevrolet, Porsche, etc. This construction technique was developed by Alcoa and first marketed to General Motors for test application in the early 70's Chevrolet Vega. The advantage offered is a substantial reduction in manufacturing cost. The disadavantages are manifold, as evidenced by the abandonment of this technique by most manufacturers that tried it. Mercedes dumped this engine construction technique three years ago; General Motors long before that. The disadvantages include substantially increased rebuild costs, shorter compression retention, particularly if oil changes occur at greater frequencies that at about 3/4k miles and/or if the engine is subject to the higher thermal and mechanical stress loads associated with towing (Note the feeble tow capability of the V-8 / V-12 BMWs, in spite of their substantial torque). Internal block corrosion (when higher-than-minimal sulphur level fuel is used) has occurred with sufficient frequency that, according to a work colleague who experienced this, as well as other problems, BMW has offered extended warranty repairs to customers who scream with sufficient volumn.
Another costly drivetrain problem that lurks within the post warranty ownership experience is the automatic transmission used in the 540 and 7 series cars. Unlike the 6 cylinder cars which use an excellent and durable autobox manufactured by GM in France, the V-engined BMWs use a troublesome unit purchased from ZF. While ZF makes some terrific manual boxes, their autoboxes are fragile. Check out the NHTSA recall page for a description of BMW's recall of cars using this nasty unit. During the warranty period, the only downside to having the entire transmission replaced is inconvenience. Post-warranty, as you are considering, the cost of expensive drivetrain component replacement should be incorporated into your present value analysis.
When I advised a couple of my german colleagues that I was contemplating purchasing a smaller 4 door sedan for my wife and that the 528 was under serious consideration, they commented that the that BMWs are considered by many in Germany to be "German Fiats" because, like many of the higher-end Fiat products (Lancia, Ferrari, Alfa) they have pleasing road behavior at European highway speeds, construction short-cuts that are not apparent on the showroom floor, and a reputation for higher frequency and cost maintenance after mileage exceeds the typical warranty period. Accordingly, their advice corresponds to my own conclusions: BMWs are refined and satisfactory vehicles during the warranty period, but can pose significant post-warranty maintenance and financial challenges.
Therefore, you may wish to consider restricting your used vehicle BMW choices to cars available with warranties through the company's used car promotion program. That way you can benefit from BMWs fairly high depreciation values (not rates, but actual dollar amounts) while being able to drive the car you prefer with appropriate warranty protection.
#96 of 1317 740i Sport Just Arrived
Feb 26, 2000 (6:33 am)
I picked up my new 740i Sport Model this afternoon -- black with sand interior, most options (there are few). The car is incredible. It is fast, responsive and comfortable. The ride is not much, if any, harsher than the 740iL it replaced but it is a much more nimble car. The handling is on a par with any car that I have owned (vette's, porsches, jags, etc) and it is seriously fast for a car which weighs as much as it does.
I don't care for the command module or the GPS but there is no choice. I expect that I will get used to it after a while and probably even enjoy being able to through away the road atlas (LOL).
Interstingly, the car looks much more compact than the iL even though there is only 6" of difference in lenth. I suspect that it has something to do with the lowering of the body and the side mouldings. It really looks much more like an "M" than a large sedan.
I think that I am going to be a very happy camper. The wife's 528 arrives in two weeks; I'll pass on driving it.
#97 of 1317 How is the 7 Series A/C?
Mar 07, 2000 (3:49 am)
I live in Phoenix, where the summer climate similar to living on the face of the sun. A/C performance is critical. I have been driving Chevy Tahoes for the past 5 years and the A/C in them has been ice cold and able to quickly cool a very large cubic volume. The rear A/C with it's own evaporator/condensor is awesome.
My friend drove a 1983 BMW 5 series for years here in Phoenix and the A/C was horrible.
Anyone on this board drive a new BMW 7 series or a new Merc S class in Arizona, Texas, or Florida during the really hot summer months?
#99 of 1317 2001 Sport Package & A/C
Mar 29, 2000 (7:22 pm)
The sport package is available on 2001 model. I think that it is exactly the same as 2000 model.
As for A/C, I have a friend who claims his BMW A/C works fine in the Texas summer. He says the bigger issue is the color of the car. He used to have a black Merc that he could never cool down, but now his BMW is white. Something to think about in your purchase. My car is almost always garaged, so I don't think the color will effect my A/C performance that much.
Apr 01, 2000 (11:15 am)
If you cringe at repair costs for an explorer, I think you know the answer to the BMW question.
#101 of 1317 BMW Repair Costs?
Apr 09, 2000 (3:49 am)
Exactly HOW much would some common repairs on this car cost. My local dealership refuses to comment unless I bring them the car (impossible) and the few people I know that have German cars own ones nothing like a 7-series (528es, Audi A6, 318is, 525i, 560SEL)
Apr 09, 2000 (6:08 am)
If the dealer won't say that should be answer enough. I couldn't give you exact dollar amounts, but lets just say something major breaks, it will be probably double what you'd pay on your explorer or more. BMW's have a lot of high-tech, high-dollar engineering. I would stay away if I were you.
#103 of 1317 i was just woundering
Apr 09, 2000 (5:00 pm)
when i was little my dad had a 1986 or 87 bmw 733i it had a lot of the high tech stuff that the cars of today have like traction controll and a navigation system but when they discontinued the 733i my dad was p. o.ed and he really missed that car when we sold it my mom and my dad still are firm belivers in bmw's mom has a 1999 bmw 328i conv and dad a 200 seven series v12