Last post on Feb 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM
You are in the BMW 7-Series
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BMW 7 Series, Electrical, Engine, Sedan
Sep 23, 2009 (8:04 pm)
After years of dirty looks and countless dreams, I have finally decided to hunt for a 7 series BMW. Unfortunately, my better half, to make the whole experience less rewarding and more difficult, have only allocated 20K for the purchase. I am painfully aware how "small change " it represents when it comes to this particular make and model, but since changing wife option is a lot more costly ("cheaper to keep her" never sounded more apt), I will have to stick to the budget this time.
This kind of $$$ will only allow me to fish for 2002 models only (not too fond of pre 02 ones) and I am fine with that. Regrettably, that year is considered not the most sought after and has a rather low opinion among those who care. However, it seems that the reality might not be as bleak as it had been painted. Here is why I think 2002 is actually a good year for 7s.
1. Extra long BMW warranty - unlike later years 2002 have been provided an extended factory warranty by BMW to appease and retain those who bought them in the first year production.
2. The car looks is not that much different from the latter years and it should age well.
3. One can find well taken care of examples for 20K +/- making it a great buy.
One example of a well taken care of vehicle:
Consequently, I am in a search for one. any advice, opinions, views are more than welcome.
#735 of 832 Re: 2002 7 series [saxon2nsx]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Sep 24, 2009 (6:48 am)
I think the strategy for this type of car is to buy the newest one you can afford with the fewest miles.
Ideally, for $20K you should be able to find a 2003 model under 80,000 miles. You can bargain hard on these cars, as they suffer pretty harsh depreciation. Remember, in 5 years that $20,000 car is going to be worth $6000, so shoot for the newest year you can stretch that $20K towards.
Miles are very important here. Keep the miles down at all costs, is my two cents.
#736 of 832 Re: 2002 7 series [saxon2nsx]
Sep 24, 2009 (10:47 am)
That 20k budget only gets you into the car, and once you get one the fun is just beginning. The passenger seat belt tensioner & sensor runs 1700, front end arms & bushings another 1500, brakes about 800, water pumps 800, and the transmissions are quite prone to trouble in those, if it goes bad another 6-8k. The v8 motor is bulletproof and is outstanding, but seems like everything else starts going south at 100k. All the various luxury motors that control the trunk, seats, etc tend to start having problems at about 100k miles and these can set you back thousands as well. Trust me, NEVER buy a 7 series Beamer that's out of warranty. I'd much rather have a reliable Camry than a reliablity-plagued beamer w/ no warranty as a safety net. The 3 & 5 series are much more reliable, I'd put the 20k into one of those and feel much better at night
#737 of 832 Re: 2002 7 series [Mr_Shiftright]
Sep 24, 2009 (12:17 pm)
This is going to be my extra car. My primary car is Honda Accord which has been flawless so far. I do around 250 miles a week in that car. BMW will be my extra vehicle for the weekend and will not get driven more than 25 miles per week. This is why even though it is not the most reliable machine I am contemplating purchasing one.
As for that slide from 20K to 6K in 5years. I could not live with 80K to 20K slide for this machine which is not a small change. 14K in comparison is chump change.
Sep 24, 2009 (12:20 pm)
Since it seems that warranty is the way to go, what would you guys recommend as far as 2002/03 with 70 to 85K go?
#739 of 832 Re: Warranty [saxon2nsx]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Sep 24, 2009 (12:45 pm)
I presume you mean an extended aftermarket warranty (really that's an insurance policy), not CPO. BMW won't certify a car over 60,000 miles.
In the case of an aftermarket "warranty" (insurance) policy, my rule of thumb is that two things MUST be done:
1. shop around on price
2. Read the policy line by line, every stinkin' word of it, and especially the EXCLUSIONS---especially when comparing one plan to another.
Some of these policies are so sneaky that they reveal the exclusions only by mentioning what is IN-cluded...and you are supposed to infer from that what is not!
#740 of 832 Re: Warranty [Mr_Shiftright]
Sep 24, 2009 (2:04 pm)
I've yet to see an aftermarket warranty that will truly cover the big ticket items without having to seek legal means first. Most aftermarket warranties have such exclusions as "damage due to overheating" and such, good luck proving otherwise when a trans or motor breaks. I forgot to mention in my previous post about control modules going bad, very common in these cars and that also can break your bank. Sorry to be so negative but I'm just trying to save you from a very costly future. Since it's just a city car and you're not taking it on long trips that could leave you stranded then it's not so critical, but keeping these things running & roadworthy can really take some coin
#741 of 832 90 BMW 750il, 85K, Transmission/braking problem
Sep 26, 2009 (11:06 am)
Took my car to the shop for different issue, mechanic called and asked me if my car had problems with the reverse. I told him no. He told me that when he went to back it out of the shop, the car went into reverse fine, then backed up about four or five feet then bound up, as if the brakes were on. Never did this to me. He said I needed to find out what was wrong with the transmission before he would do any more work on the car. I drove it home. Drove fine forward. Did the same thing in reverse in my driveway, went into reverse fine, backed up four or five feet and then bound up and felt like brakes are on. History: Replaced the EH gearbox switches three weeks ago because car wouldn't shift into higher gears, no codes or dash signals but would shift and drive manually perfectly. Had valve box opened up by mechanic who said it was super clean. Thought the problem was electronic. Then changed his mind. Wanted to replace tranny. A different mechanic thought we should change the switches before condeming the tranny first because the switches fail often. So had switches replaced. After replacing switches the car shifted perfectly for three weeks. Now what's up with this? Mechanic thought brake problem but car rolls in neutral. Need a new tranny? Sure don't want to replace transmission and then find it's something else. Anyone else have experience like this? Not sure what to do or who to take it to now. Well maintained, much loved vehicle. Portland, Maine area. Any ideas on what is wrong with this car will be appreciated. Thank you very much.
#742 of 832 Re: 98 Radiator Neck Leak [sysadb420]
Oct 01, 2009 (5:32 pm)
I know this is kind of late. If you need an epoxy that is nearly bulletproof. I have used Marintex. Can be found at the better boat shops or marine supply houses. I have used this to repair exterior water leaks on blocks, pumpkin (axle) housings on trucks, etc. GREAT stuff! worth the price. I wouldn't think twice of using it on a filler neck.
#743 of 832 Shifting hard, oil change interval, check brake linings
Oct 01, 2009 (6:27 pm)
Wow, I wish my wife didn't want a "nice" car for her 40th birthday.
After having the transmission services about 8 or 9 months ago, the surging went away. Shifted perfectly. Recently it started a "bump" when you slow from around 40 mph. Shifts identically on the way up. I am guessing from 4th to 3rd and visa versa. Etek mentions a bad o ring on the 4th or 5th clutchpack? Any suggestions?
Also, The oil change interval light is always on . Cannot get it to reset. Friend with latest Snapon tool couldn't reset it. Any suggestions?
Also, replaced brake pads front and rear, Check brake linings dash indicator still on. Tried resetting - key in #1 pos for 30 sec. nothing. Any suggestions?
Sorry for the list of issues. For such a pretty car, I wouldn't mind if it got totalled tomorrow. (without wife and kids in it of course)
Thanks for any help in advance.