7 series owners (but not the 750iL)
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Hello, Amazing stories about the 750. Very sad about the costs you have had to undertake. I cannot add anything to all the posts, and am amazed that one needs to be a mechanic to feel good about owning one. This is absurd of course. We cannot be expected to be mechanics in order to own any car. I too have someone else replace light bulbs and everything else that goes wrong. I even take my cars to corner lube stores to get the oil changed! BMW has obviously made a bad car for that year at least. I am not a BMW expert, but love the cars. I bought an1998 740IL for about $34,000 about 6 months ago. Because this car is so fabulous, I have been on eBay looking for 750s, and then found your site trying to get more information about them. I have a V12 XJ12 94, which has given me minimal problems and is quite nice. I really would like to get the last year this car came out which is 96. They are great buys if you would like to switch into another marques V12. I was wondering if the 750 had better years than others? Good luck with trying to get restitution. This is a tough world. What would you do differently now? Best,
John H. (1998 740iL) <email address on file>
Orlando, Florida USA - Sunday, July 14, 2002 at 16:30

Axel's reply: What I would have done differently, knowing what I know now, is I never would have bought this 750.


Thanks for the interesting WEb site. I read with interest your problems with the brake light circuit warning. You say after many visits it was finally traced to a faulty module. Would you please explain to me what module was the problem and how the problem was finally found and solved? Thank you. [53 minutes later, this follow-up email] I read with mounting horror your and your readers' stories about the BMW 750. What a nightmare. I have owned a 1989 735i for two years that seems to be ok. I enjoy the luxery and the idea of driving a $60,000 car. I paid $8,000 for it with 80,000 miles. I have trouble with the power seats, and some trouble with non-essential electrical gadgets that I repair when I feel like it. Overall I have been very satisfied. Previously I owned a 1990 BMW 525i. That was a very nice car. Cheaper, lighter, more economical, simpler, but still very luxurious. I would say a 525 is 90% of the luxury of a 735 with only 50% of the cost. From what you say I agree that the 750 must be a poor car, but I must also say that when you buy a 12 cylinder automobile that sells new for ?$100,000+ you must expect to pay regular premium maintenance. That kind of machine falls under the category of "make an astoundingly complex machine simply to show that it can be done." No one *needs* 12 cylinders, so that kind of car becomes a toy.....and as a toy you should only apply if you are prepared for the cost of entry. Anyway...thanks for the warning.
Larry B. (1989 735i) <email address on file>
USA - Monday, April 22, 2002 at 4:24

Axel's reply: Problem only temporarily solved, as it has returned with a vengeance. I now get warnings for my brake lights, fog lights, and headlights, all appear to be erroneous. And almost every time I start and turn off the car, I get a warning that something is wrong, but it won't say what, just to "check system." So, whatever was fixed, is no longer.


How much do you want for it?
Steve C. (1988 735i) <email address on file>
Wichita, Kansas USA - Tuesday, April 16, 2002 at 14:55

Axel's reply: A lot more than it's worth, and considerably more than you're willing to spend.

[Steve follows up July 10, 2002] You are such a whiner. If you really have a problem car (which I believe to be possible), why the hell did you pour good money after bad?

[Axel's reply to Steve's July 10, 2002 follow up] I'm "such a whiner?" I posted my story more than a year ago, which has hardly changed. You must be thinking of the dozens of people who have told their own story, and more keep coming in. I guess we're all whiners then. Try owning a 750iL and you'd probably understand better. The good money after bad was a little at a time over five years- I didn't suddenly plunk down $27,000 for repairs. With each new problem, the choice was spend a few hundred or more, or get another car. Since I wanted to continue driving the 750, I made the repairs time after time, but it has added up to a small fortune. Regardless, no car should need so much work, which is why the website exists- to share information about the car so that others might know what can happen (and has happened) many, many times with the 750iL. In comparison, I don't think I've heard a single story about the 735i. And, coincidentally, I just received an email that contained the comment, "It is interesting to note that the only really reliable car from the 88-94 era was the 735i (not even the iL because of the LAD, ride leveling rear suspension)." So, consider yourself lucky!

[Steve follows up again July 12, 2002] Axel, I realize my tone sounds combative, and yours doesn't, so let me try something different. I consider the 7 series like a Latin love. High-strung, lively, and potentially high-maintenance if you don't pay attention. The 735 is that way and the 750 even more that way. However, there is nothing that peels the grin off my face like opening the sun roof and racing up the canyon to my house on the way home from work in a car like this. My 735 is an early production model with its share of electrical gremlins. Later years were more refined and reliable. The AC is weak, the LKM is frustrating to resolder, etc. But I had had enough of boring Japanese and 'murican iron. Oh sure, the Japanese cars were reliable, they were just no fun. I can appreciate that you have had a rough time and I'm sure it has been frustrating. I haven't looked at your entire web site, but have you considered turning 750 owners in the direction of internet help sources? It doesn't have to be as bad as all that. So I take back my "whiner" comment. I hate having problems too. I encourage you to take your misfortune and help others who already own 750's get them fixed for less money than you spent. Destroying their resale value by discouraging others from buying them probably doesn't help anyone (except maybe the DIY'er who is happy to get a bargain).

[Axel's reply to Steve's July 12, 2002 follow up] Steve, if I tried to grapple combatively with everyone writing in, I would have had a stroke by now. I'm just discussing a car and sharing information. Granted, I do choose what excerpts to feature, but the full stories are available. If what comes out brings down the car's resale value, it is just a byproduct of the truth. And whenever someone asks, and sometimes when they just appear to need help, I refer them privately to the appropriate site, but it's my practice not to provide links to them on this website, so I can't be accused of any form of commercialism. I do like your analogy, but if my 750 were a Latin[a] love, I'd be under the bed repairing her, instead of in bed... driving. (I'm glad to find there is more substance to your thoughts than your original seven word subject-only email).


Axel: I came upon your site (my750.com) today while browsing through [a BMW website], and felt I should share a story with you. My sister had a 7 Series BMW also. While not a 750, it was an '88 735i, her story was much the same as yours, we lost track of the number of times it was in the shop for any number of malfunctions. Many of the problems were drivetrain related, many were electrical. The car was a total lemon, it was a crying shame because it was so beautiful. I am a BMW driver, although I stick to the 3 Series, I currently have a '97 328is which I absolutely love. Although, the fit and finish is not as high a quality as the '94 nor the '85 I have previously owned (both were 325's). So sorry to hear about your problems with your car, and not at all surprised by BMW's response. My dealings with BMW dealerships have always been nothing less than a nightmare. What is wrong with BMW? By the way, my sister now drives a '96 325ic which she loves and has been as reliable as a BMW SHOULD be.
Adolfo F. (1988 735i) <email address on file>
Los Altos, California USA - Thursday, April 11, 2002 at 11:22

Axel's reply: Exactly what I'm trying to find out- what is wrong with BMW?


hello, i have a 1993 740 il. i have had my problems with this car also. first, the engine did not idle smoothly when i first got the car. i might add that the car was two years old when i purchased it. it had been well maintained by a corporation. the engine idled poorly because the computer was squirting a rush of fuel right before cranking and thereby washing down the walls of the cylinders. this caused the cylinders to wear because there was no film of oil to coat the walls. well, the bmw people immediately agreed to and did replace the entire engine with a new one. that was great. however, now the engine leaks oil, the radiator leaks, one of the motor mounts is cracked, the upper thrust rod bushings are torn loose, and i am told that a vibrating sound and feel at 45 mph is actually a drive shaft that is out of balance. and the car has less than 100,000 miles on it. all of this repair work along with other incidentals will cost in excess of $4000. have you ever heard of a case where a drive shaft was defective? i have tried to check on any kind of warranty on the drive train of cars for up to 100,ooo miles. i like the car and will probably keep it. but i need to know about this drive shaft going bad. any answers?
FK (1993 740iL) <email address on file>
USA - Monday, March 11, 2002 at 21:07

Axel's reply: Well, the drive shaft on my car seems to have continuous intermittent trouble, making rattling noises that appear to be incurable, after several unsuccessful tries to diagnose and repair it.


Hi, To bad you people overthere have had so much bad luck with your cars. I`ve been driving 7 series for quite a while and have my share of problems with them(as with any car I guess) Most of them were allready pretty old...usually over 10 years old. I`ve not owned a 750il but I have had a 750i....basiclly the same car I`ld say. I bought the car when it was 11 years old....it had run about 310.000 kilometers....about 190.000 miles I think, so it had seen quite some use. When I bought it the only problem was the normal lights not coming on...wich was easilly fixex with an extra wire from the dimm lights. I`ld been told the A/C was not working....well it didn`t get very cold anyway,but we don`t have alot of super hot days and the car did have a sunroof so I wasn`t to bothered with it. After 2 and a half months the car wouldn`t start and in the garage they found out that the starter engine was busted....that costed me about 400 dollars. It ran perfectly for about 3 months after that repair....although it did smoke quite heavilly from the beginning but that was not to strange cause of the high milage.... I managed to get it up to 275 km on the gage once in Germany...and the car remained perfectly balanced..like it was running on tracks. After that I had a problem with the fuel pumps causing the car to shake....engine running unbalenced cause one half was getting less fuel then the other. It also had worn out rear shocks....total repair would be around 3000 dollars...abit to much for me as the car had only cost about 3000 dollars. So I sould it for 2000 but all in all I`ld say it wasn`t to bad. Maybe I was lucky? I had no electrical or mechanical problems with powersteering ventilation or oil or coolage leaks as I`ve read about here. No major repairs were recorded in the maintenece history except ...fuelpump!! That seems to be a major problem for 750`s.... I guess that our luck is that we are close to Germany so parts are very cheap ...I mean on scrapyards and so. I`m owning a 1984 735i now wich runs fine but I`m still on the look for a 750il... Wish you all good luck with your cars. Greets,
Piet-Hein (1984 735i) <email address on file>
Monday, December 24, 2001 at 9:26

Axel's reply: I'm unfamiliar with the 750i, so I can't really comment on it.


Axel, I have owned two BMW 740iL's, a '97 model and the current one, a 2001 model. I have had no bad experiences with either - except things I caused by my own carelessness. I was considering "up-grading" to a 2002 750iL. Your website has given me pause. I only discovered it when BMW of North America's website would not pull up any "7" model except the new 745i for the past few days. I see from reading most of the commentaries sent to you that there seems to be no mention of 750's being problematic after 1992. Are the newer 750iL's trustworthy? Thanks,
Frank S. (2001 & 1997 740iL) <email address on file>
Texas USA - Wednesday, December 19, 2001 at 10:48

Axel's reply: The newer ones do seem to return fewer commentary, which may be because far fewer of them were made.


Enjoyed your 750 website... Are the 740's that significantly different than the 750's? I have had a 740iL for a little less than three years and have suffered through numerous fluid (oil, transmission fluid, coolant) leaks. This is between 48K to 65K miles which is not even a lot of miles. Fortunately, most of the problems have happened when I had some kind of warranty on the car. Now the warranty period is over and I am facing my biggest bill - $1800 to replace the radiator and water pump! Do you think it's worth doing? Or should I just trade-in the car for another? When I have expressed my displeasure with the quality of the car, the service people have pretty much told me that it IS a high-maintenance car - end of story!
Avinash G. <email address on file>
Monday, December 3, 2001 at 12:41

Axel's reply: From what I've heard and read here, yes. Don't be fooled into thinking that your $1800 bill is the last big one.


Now this I haven't even dreamt of happening... A man talking about BMW as if it was a pile of junk, a Mercedes. I was tempted to think at first that you work for the mother f^%%#^^) from mercedes, and I nearly sent you a "bug" to ruin your page.   But believe me, BMW is just like a woman... treat her with respect, and she rewards you fully; My 750i is from 1987, just when they started making them, and I was warned that these kind of cars may have glitches of all sorts. That's why, maby, I was a little more caring with her, when I bought it this year. But I remember her since I was 7, as I bought it from my uncle. I can tell you: the only times when it's been in a service it was only for oil changes and stuff like that. I hope that this gives you a little to think about what to do with it, and I promise you she won't let you down. Yours trully,
Matts  (1987 750i)  <email address on file>
Wednesday, November 7, 2001 at 9:34

Axel's reply:  My "woman" has rewarded my patience, care, and extensive efforts by being unreliable, expensive, moody, just occasional periods of tranquility, but mostly a major pain in the neck, making me wish I was with another woman.   I know she's not good for me and I will leave her, although it will take some time.


Hey Axel, Do you know where the fuel filter is on a 96 740 iL.?
Greg S.  <email address on file>
USA - Wednesday, September 26, 2001 at 16:28

Axel's reply:  There's a fuel filter?  Just kidding, but I don't know where it is.  (Privately, I referred him to a forum that could be of help).


I am in horror listening to your stories of your 750il. I just bought a 1997 740il for $21,500, seemed cheap- deja vu huh. Anyway I am planning on definitely getting the 2 year warranty for $2471 and I pray that my car doesn't screw me over all the time like yours has. Do you have any opinion of 740il's or are you so soured of BMW's that you think they all suck now?! Again, I am so sorry to hear of your experience and you really might think about getting legal representation and maybe pool current 750il's owners; through this website and file a class action lawsuit against BMW.  Sincerely,
Torin K.  (1997 740iL)  <email address on file>
Friday, September 21, 2001 at 24:58

Axel's reply:  I think you will have much better luck with your 740iL than I have had with my 750iL; the negative feedback on the 740iL has been far less.  I have considered a class action suit, and it still is a possibility.


BMW750i (mod97) Sucks! I once had one it was very much similar to a "monday car", then I bought a 850i it was almost the same hell, not to mention the price of spare parts!  Then I bought a MB500E with a V8 engine, I have till the not have any problems, and I have had it for 1 year now. Only changing breaks and Olie... In the future I'll only buy Benz! Ohh Lord won't you buy a MERCEDES BENZ... a real runner 0-100 pr. km per hour in just  6,1 seconds! and from 0- 200 per hour in just 17 seconds!   Cheer up...!  Yours Sincerely
Alexander M.  <email address on file>
Denmark - Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 3:26

Axel's reply:  I'm not familiar with the 750i- although I assume it is a 12 cylinder.  I have heard only good things about Mercedes, although up until relatively recently my preference has always been BMW.


Hi Axel- Found your site purely by mistake and appreciate what you are doing- I think a site like yours is always necessary when corporation's treat the individual purchasing their product "poorly"-It would seem to me that a vehicle that comes with the status of BMW and the individual who is willing to go to the expense of owning a BMW should be treated with MORE than respect- I have a friend who's mother purchased the 750 for her as a Christmas gift-Brand new-the first thing that went in the car was the motherboard-after that the next year was a nightmare-It became so bad that at some point the car would only go in reverse-She traded it in on a new Mercedes-said she would never own another BMW again-When I bought mine she was still so angry about it she tried to talk me out of it- I have a couple of questions with regard to my BMW now because-well-Now I'm paranoid that my car is suddenly going to die on me somewhere in the boonies- My car has been a good car-never driven in winter and for a fifteen year old car is in impeccable condition inside and out-but I will admit that -without fail-every time I have taken it in for work it has averaged $1,000. plus for repairs-Mostly problems due to window and seat buttons-radio-nothing ever very serious-Actually it has been a beautiful automobile-So what does any one know about the 735i?-Any thing that I need to watch for or worry about-Appreciate a response-Keep up the good work-Nice just to see so many countries even if it is because of a common problem-I would have to sue them if it were me-I am also curious as to what anyone might know about the Z car-Seems if I want honesty this is the only site I've found I might trust the information to be honest- Thanks- Good luck to you all-
A.L.  (1985 735i)  <email address on file>
Thursday, July 26, 2001 at 8:36

Axel's reply:  Other than finding yourself a good mechanic for regular check-ups, I don't know what else to recommend you do for preventative maintenance.   Regarding the honesty of this website- this site is devoted to providing all contributions about the 750iL, good or bad, so we can all share in our experiences, which has also led to commentary about other models, which I have included as well.


Hi, are you getting paid by daimler-crysler or some other company for spreading your anger about THIS particular car on the internet? I am sure, that your stories are not made up, but still, the BMW 7 series from 1986-1993 (E32) is, and not for no reason, considered to be the most reliable and solid limousine ever. I myself have a BMW 7 from 1988 and just drove more than 3000km down to France without the slightest fear of a break-down. I never had a single problem with this car and I know a lot of people, who don't either! Many friends of mine have been repairing BMWs for years, and they all tell me the same thing: Compared to other cars, you have very few problems with a BMW E32, and besides, the engines almost NEVER collapse! I just wanted to let you hear the other side, and hope, that your thinking about my favourite car will become a little less one-sided. I can understand your anger about this car, but trust me, if you had bought a different car, it could have been the same story. Bye,
Bjoern  (1988 7-series)  <email address on file>
Hannover, Germany - Tuesday, July 17, 2001 at 8:52

Axel's reply:  Spreading my anger?  I'm just sharing information after having a five year bad experience with my 750iL, and think my website is fairly factual.  Currently, I'm not getting paid by anyone, nor do I receive any type of compensation for any part of the website.  To the contrary, my website is costing ME money, not to mention my time.  I take it you do not drive a 750iL, which I believe has a completely different reliability factor, compared with any other 7 series.


My 2001 BMW 740iL is by far the most astouding machine that I have ever known. It is beautiful, elegant and oh so SMOOOOOTH... However, I agree that it costs an insane amount of money to maintain. My advice is dump it once it is out of warranty.
Philip  (2001 740iL)
Corpus Christi, Texas USA - Friday, April 13, 2001 at 20:52:12

Axel's reply:  The 750iL is even smoother and more powerful, and new costs about $30,000 more than the 740iL.  But an engine being smooth and powerful can only go so far- an engine that stays working sounds more appealing.  How would you know "it costs an insane amount of money to maintain" your 740iL when it's currently under full warranty- and does that mean it's already been in the shop a lot as a brand new car?   With my 750, even during some of the warranty period, the previous owner brought it in regularly, about 50 times and ended up paying about $10,000, but the inconvenience of having to bring a car in so much is NOT compensated by a warranty.  Warranty or not, my experience is that the 750iL rapidly deteriorates and soon gets to the point where the repair needs exceed the car's value, almost like they are throw-away cars within about 10 years, which might be fine for some cars, but for a car that in 1989 cost $80,000 new and has already had over $32,000 in repair and maintenance costs, not to mention the $10,000 of work it needs, that's a rather embarrassing depreciation profile.

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