This Used to be my Dream Car, but has become a Nightmare...
By rhs408 on
2001 BMW 7 Series 740iL 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 5A)
I see a lot of great reviews about this car, and not surprisingly, most of them were written within 5 years or so of the car being born - the others must just be those really lucky ones (laugh). I bought this car in 2008 with 120k miles on it, it now has 210k. In that time, I've spent roughly $15000 on the various repairs and upkeep of the car. I'm not a wealthy man, and in short, this car has ruined me financially. I'm going to be selling it soon for a Camry or Avalon - I just want something reliable, first and foremost, after having the unfortunate experience of dealing with the expensive repairs needed to keep this beautiful car running.
Love the engine, the interior/exterior, drives great...
...The car came with a 90 day everything covered warranty - I thought that would take care of any big $$$ bills that came about. What a fool I was. Repairs done during my 5 years of ownership include transmission replacement ($3200, got a real good deal on this believe it or not), timing chain (another $3000), power steering hoses, fuel pump, oil leakS, various belts, ignition coils ($180 a pop, have replaced 6 of them), my back two windows don't work because they cost $450 each to replace -was forced to pay the $$$ replace the one on the driver side door. Don't get this car unless you are in very good financial shape to handle the upkeep - they have come down very far in price for a reason!
I am the owner of a 1995 530i and my father ownes a 1995 740i that was imported from Japan to Canada and has 107,000km on it.
In regards to maintanence the best advice I have read regarding these older BMW's is that if you are not handy with a wrench don't buy one.
Dealers will soak you!! Ignition coils $180 a pop - you should go to your local police station and have the dealer charged.
You can buy all 8 on ebay for $130 - DELIVERED.
Replacing them is a 30 min job and requires no technical know how. All you need is a 10mm socket.
Even my local parts store tried to rip me off.
"Oh BMW parts...those are going to be expensive"...me..."No they should not be they are available everywhere and I can get that part online for...$$$"
Once they know you know what the part should cost they usually will come within $50 and will have the part the next day so be sure to check part prices on ebay prior to ordering or getting part quotes.
People complain about the maintanence costs but we need to remember that some of these cars..like mine and my fathers 1995's are approaching 20 years of age.
Belts, pulleys, idler pulleys, water pump, thermostate, fan clutch, power steering pump, window motors and regulators, coils, rubber hoses...all of these things will need to be replaced just because of age.
If you don't have the skill to replace these yourself...don;t buy this car.
If you have the skill to do these simple repairs..then spend the $1,000 for the parts...thats online price...and repalce them all to start with.
For the price these cars can be purchased you are getting a lot of care...a 1995 740i cost $67,000 new.
That is $104,000 in 2014 dollars!!!
You can get a low milage care anywhere from $5,000 to $12,000.
My 1995 530i was $44,400 new.
That is $68,500 in 2014 dollars.
I paid $4,300 and it had 129,000km....and it goes 142 miles/hour!!!
These cars are 20 years old and have features that we only started seeing in cars the last 5 years or so.
The 740i with the setting on auto air circulation monitors the air quaility and will automatically recirculate the cabin air for 12 minutes if outside pollutants are detected....I mean REALLY!
Put a set of new black wheels on a black 740i and you now have a car that looks like it just rolled off the assembly line...mean and ready to kick but.
The thrill of driving either of these cars is something you just will not find today.
The deep purr of the 4.4 liter in the 740i when you punch it...its just sexy.
I have spent many hours working on my fathers car and my car but it is worth it because we know we have quality cars that handle, ride, and fly down the road like nothing today.
You are right sir.
My car has 235,000 miles on it.
It sat in my driveway for three years, because the dealer wanted 4,000.00 for repairs on the suspension system.
One day, I decided to go on e-bay.
All those aftermarket parts and found a shop that would install the pcs for cheap.
I had all the repairs done for under 600.00.
Don't buy BMW, buy aftermarket and salvage.
Then this car becomes affordable.
Yeah, this baby will still do 100 + on the highway with no problem and still gets about 22 mpg averaging 80 mph.
Remember at 15 years the rubber and the plastics start crumbling...so know that when you buy one of these.
dont matter on those components, it is the age.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.