Other 750iL owners
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We have a 2001 BMW 750iL. So far it has been perfect. No problems whatsoever. There was a minor glitch with the door lock system when the it was new. They loaned me a 530 (which I thought was a very nice car) and had the car fixed in two days. They had to wait on the part. I will let you know if we have any problems. So far, no problems in the first year. You can use my name.
Tom M. (2001 750iL) <email address on file>
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA - Tuesday, July 23, 2002 at 22:03

Axel's reply: I thought I had heard that one of the perks of owning a new 750iL was a 750iL replacement in the event of a repair- apparently, that's not true, if you were given a 530. I would certainly hope that your 750iL would be problem-free in the first year!

The BMW 750iL is like a woman in so many respects, she loves attention, she never tells you exactly what's bothering her (she makes you guess instead), she is always willing to spend your money, but when you give her what she needs, she can make you a VERY happy man. This car is an elite car for an elite few; it isn't anybody that can own a car like this. It is a car for the car enthusiast, financially, it's like owning a Lamborghini if you are not a car guy who loves to work on his own car. Labor is intensive and parts aren't cheap. I am a car fanatic, I love driving, I love cleaning, and I love wrenching. I have a 1989 750iL, I work on it (for fun, not because I have to) every weekend, these cars need to be paid attention to, their not always easy to figure out, and the investment you make has to be more than financial. Take some time to learn how some of its systems work, the Bentley manual is awesome. Taking this car to a mechanic other than one who either loves this car or is a perfectionist would be like expecting another man to put up with your wife while you enjoy the benefits. It sounds great, but rarely works out in real life. These are truly wonderful cars if you have the love, time, and patience. However, if you are expecting to pay someone else to invest those things in this car, then you better have deep pockets. Remember this is an exotic car just like a Bentley, Roll Royce, Mercedes S, Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Maserati, It's just not as simple as a ford or Chevy, so don't expect it to be. If you want a low maintenance cost "luxury car" buy a Cadillac or Lincoln, but don't expect a BMW to perform like a BMW on the maintenance budget, schedule, or quality of those cars. It's a package deal, if you want the maintenance cost, schedule, quality of personnel of a Lincoln or Cadillac you should have bought one, not a BMW. A BMW drives better than those cars, thus requires different amount of maintenance.There is no other car that drives like a 750iL. I have a 1989 Mercedes 560 SEL as well, and although it drives beautifully and rides soooo smooth, and it'll snap your neck coming away from a stop sign. However, if I want to go drive some winding roads and not feel the body roll, I take the 750, There just aren't many sedans that handle like this, and the V12 is a rush. The Acura vigor (although a V6 also handles wonderfully), the Audi A8 again a great comfortable ride and lots of pep, but if you want Autobahn performance get an S8. Lincoln and Cadillac's float down the road, make you feel like your in a boat, no raw power either. Granted what you sacrifice may be worth it to you to save maintenance costs, none of these will quite compare to the 750iL. Stop and think, you ever wonder why you never hear of any problems in 850i, even though it has the same drive train systems the 750 does, I think it was the class of clientele who purchased them, and their expectations, they were touted a super car, not a low maintenance sports car, therefore the people who bought them, knew the maintenance expectations and had no problem fulfilling them, they were prepared for it, maybe its not the car, but BMW's marketing that's flawed, they've got the wrong type of people buying the car. Well, I've said my piece feel free to respond to me. [28 minutes later, this was added] Sorry to bother you again, but I read a response of yours, and had to follow up on it, you stated in one of your responses.: "Many of you appear to be mechanics, performing maintenance yourself on your cars. I didn't realize that was a prerequisite to owning a 750iL. I, however, did not purchase a 750iL so I would have to crawl underneath it every time something goes wrong. Had I bought it with that in mind, as it turns out, I would have been living under my car." I can guarantee you that when you buy any car of this caliber this is what it takes. Someone to maintain it who knows what their doing, I would hope that if you realize that whoever you are having maintain it does not know what they are doing you would find someone else. May I remind you that a vehicle, no matter what brand, is a machine. If you understand it and know what you are doing then repairing a machine is not difficult, you find the offending part and repair or replace it, and you perform prescribed maintenance where necessary to prevent a part from failing. You don't have to do the work, but certainly be willing to place blame where its due, if it worked once, then it will work again, except something is preventing it. Find a mechanic who knows what he's doing to find that something and fix it. Just because we do our work ourselves doesn't mean everyone has to, it just means we couldn't find anyone else who either knew how to do it as well, or was inexpensive enough. Get real, maybe this car isn't right for you, but don't go saying it's a bad car, I have seen plenty of them that have been well maintained and are providing years of service. EVERYTHING is replaceable or repairable, and things DO wear out. Accept the car for what it is, and make comparisons on a different scale. No its not as reliable or inexpensive as a Honda, but then again its not as fun either, there are tradeoffs everywhere, maybe someday someone will come out with a maintenance free car that performs like a Ferrari and rides like a Mercedes for guys like you. Just a college kid in North Texas,
Aaron (1989 750iL) <email address on file>
Texas USA - Thursday, June 13, 2002 at 15:46

Axel's reply: I agree with your characterization of the 750iL, but I thought I was buying a car, not a hobby, and I'm not alone, which is kind of the point of this website- discovering and sharing information. If the car did not have some redeeming qualities, despite the maintenance, I wouldn't still be driving it after five years. However, I speak for the many people who expected performance and some degree of reliability, not a perpetual weekend "wrenching" project. For those willing AND capable of maintaining their own 750iL, not only will better care probably be achieved, but at a fraction of the cost. But I'm not one of those people. You're right, it's flawed marketing- BMW shouldn't have been selling the 750iL under the "Ultimate Driving Machine" slogan, unless it included a clause about the potentially horrific maintenance. I can't comment on the 850i, as I know nothing about it, although perhaps we're not hearing anything about it because it didn't follow the same curve as the 750iL. For you, perhaps a good match. For others, without the skill or desire to constantly tinker with their car, a very bad match indeed. I understand perfectly that things will wear out, but three radiators in 20,000 miles? Come on, what is that? I anticipated higher maintenance needs than the average car, but not breakdowns at a ridiculous pace. My 750iL has been in the shop more than every other car I have ever owned, combined. And I have to disagree- the car has things that are apparently unrepairable, perplexing even the most experienced BMW technicians. While I could probably authorize $1000 of time to attempt to figure things out, and then maybe figure it out, that seems unreasonable to me, not to mention getting a $10,000+ repair estimate. By the way, I've never said the 750iL is a "bad car," just that I am very dissatisfied with the maintenance requirements; you may be remembering what other people here have had to say about it.

What the hell do you guys know about cars. And espeicially a BMW 750iL. i own three of them in my family and the only cost that i have put into it is for my regular maintanence and not a single penny more. i havent even had to change my brakes from the 91' 750iL i own and then i have a 96 and recently just purchased a 01 so i dont know what the hell you guys are doing with your cars but its definetly something wrong and retarded.
Jay (1991, 1996, and 2001 750iL cars) <email address on file>
USA - Tuesday, June 11, 2002 at 10:00

Axel's reply: You have three 750iL cars? Interesting. Hopefully, I know more about mine than you do about spelling. I would venture to guess that you are not the one responsible for the cars, so you perhaps do not know what is actually involved with their maintenance. And you haven't even had to change the brakes on one of them for 11 years? Amazing.

I have a 1997 BMW 750IL and it is the nicest car I have ever owned. It never breaks down and gets me from point A to B like a million bucks. I do the standard routine maintenance and that is it. I now have 74000 miles on it and it feels like the day I got it off of the lot. Terrific car, I would recommend BMW to everyone who asks!
Damon L. (1997 750iL) <email address on file>
USA - Monday, May 27, 2002 at 13:48

Axel's reply: You sure you don't mean it gets you from point A to B for a million bucks? Good for you, hope it keeps up.

i too have a 89 750il..2nd owner..i paid $5000.00 for this florida car with 74,000 miles on it and it is completly flawless... i have since added 3 dinan computer upgrade chips, 2-k+n cone filters, and a freeflow exhust system. just to start.. i challenge anyone to find a car like this, that can keep up with me for this price. i feel completly safe in the 5200lb tank even when i have my baby daughter in it...i am sorry for your problems but i ask you..whats your time worth?? why not just get rid of it?? spend your energy elsewhere...and no i do not work for bmw. nor am i knocking on wood as i write this...i have had this car for some time and hope to keep it for awhile------but should anyone like to give up their 750il please let me know..my family would really like to get their hands on one---donation will be accepted. please take care and happy motoring..;) ;) ;) [12 minutes later, this follow-up email] well i have read your stories and complaints and wonder how much time you have..if the car is a money pit just sell it..do you hold on to it just to complain?? i too have a 89 750il-2nd owner i have 80k on it and it is completely flawless i have 3 dinan computer chip upgrades, 2 k+n filter cones, and a completely free flow exhust, just to start. ialso paid $5000.00 and i challenge you to find a car that can keep up with me for this kind of money. i feel completly safe and secure in this car and bought it for the safety of my baby daughter. i have no worries about a car crash as i know this 5200 lb tank will protect me. i am sorry for all your troubles but fell i must defend this fine automoblie. and no i dont work for bmw. nor am i knocking on wood now..please note that i will keep a sharp eye out for any problem you have listed and be sure that i will dump this car if it is serious enough..maybe a 740il like you suggest...or what do you think of an audi a8l--(must be a "l") what do you think????i look forward to hearing from you. ps. this is one of the best websites on this nature, i have seen
happy motoring;) ;)
WF (1989 750iL) <email address on file>
Illinois USA - Saturday, May 18, 2002 at 11:27

Axel's reply: I have never doubted the safety factor of the car, except when critical operational components and warning signals are continually breaking down or malfunctioning. I keep the car because it is the car I choose to drive, and I will continue reporting the maintenance needs as long as I have it- if that means reporting bad news, then that's what you'll hear. Equally, if I had good news to report about the car, I would be sharing that too. If you read more from the Comments Index, you'll see that many people find the information I provide here to be valuable, so I will continue to offer whatever information I can about the 750iL. You even said it yourself above, "this is one of the best websites on this nature, I have seen." Thanks, but without someone like me spending a little time on a website like this, none would exist and people would be left with the corporate marketing machinery, when there's a lot more to know than a slick advertising campaign or catchy slogan.

[This follow-up July 10, 2002] axel: thank you for your response to my comment (89 750il 2nd owner) while i do agree that the 750 is quirky. thats what givs it a character like no other...it has been said that this is a BMW learning car..it taught BMW how to build a better car..i think they have done just that. while i dont deny that some people have problems with this fine car-the rest of us do not...this car's problems and YOUR WEBSITE'S persuasive force have more than likely made the newer 750's a very desireable car...thank you for all your hard work. but i will keep my 89 750 and keep altering it increasing its performance, at this point i will either push it into the 6 second 0-60 range or do nothing and get a newer one in the future. but rest assured i will never take it to a dealer for repair. this car has been out there for so long the corner mechanics are now better able to service this car than dealers...i must commend you for that suggestion, i have found one near my home [shop omitted]..Glenvie! w Illinois..that works with DINAN and if you think you are brutally honest about this car you should email [name omitted] and ask him..he will have more stories than you can imagine. this is not and advertisement...just a thank you note.. im keeping an eye out for the problems you have encountered--but have yet to find them....i will keep you posted as to the 1989 750il speed story develops. but i tell you this if my car had the problems your car does---i would donate it to the nearest high school auto shop..imagine the learning possiblities there..think about it the the computer class can have thier own websit it that same car>>>>>once again HAPPY MOTORING ;) ;)

Thanks, Axel. Keep up the good work. All of that negative press will help keep the prices down. I bought an Aspen Silver 1998 BMW 750iL with 53,000 miles a year ago for $38,000. It has the NAV computer, Xenon lights and all of the goodies, and is in mint condition. It was dealer maintained, and I pulled all the records. The only thing that was wrong with the car is the switch that operates the passenger map light. It's $385 to replace the switch assembly, so I put in a jumper wire that turns on the passenger map light whenever the driver's map light is turned on. I can live with this small amount of inconvenience. I put 15,000 miles on the car with nothing more than the price of an oil change (at the BMW dealer, so the oil computer could be re-set). At the time I bought my silver 750iL, I passed on a one-owner Beige '98 750iL with 37,000 miles because I didn't like the color. The lady that owned it only got $33,500 in trade for a new 750iL. Now, all I have to do is wait for someone to buy the new 400 hp 760Li this fall and put 50,000 miles on it so I can buy it for 30¢ on the dollar. Keep knocking the 750iL!
Daniel (1998 750iL) <email address on file>
USA -Wednesday, May 15, 2002 at 13:37

Axel's reply: You're welcome, but the 750iL seems to be writing its own story. I just provide a place for it to be shared.

Aloha, I have had a 1992 750 that I bought brand new from BMW of Honolulu, it has been the best car of my life. I have 4 Bimmers ( 74 2002 tii, 87 535is, 88 635csi) ,now and have owned only BMW since I was 18 years old. I have heard the horror stories for the 88-90 750il and now its happening to the new 745i. Mahalo,
Steve W. (1992 750iL) <email address on file>
Hawaii USA - Monday, May 13, 2002 at 16:10

Axel's reply: I have also already heard vague rumors about the 745i being problematic.

Hi there, Sorry to hear about all your problems. I on the other hand have a 96 750il, which has been pretty much flawless. It now has 116k miles and still going strong. I have people I know that have 89,90,91s with over 300k miles on them with very few problems. That being said, lets talk about my 2002 M3..what a piece of junk. Computer changes at will, rear end makes noises like it is about to fall apart, damaged door panel from the factory. Need I go on? BMW of course said originally that there was no problem, however changed it's mind after a letter from my attorney. Now the story is that the new rear end that they are putting into the car will take 6 to 10 thousand miles to break in. Fully one third of the warranty period. Great fun, don't you think? I do believe I've switched to MB. And this is after owning 11 BMW in 20 years. Great customer service from BMW? As you know, that's a pipe dream.
Michael V., CEO (1996 750iL; 2002 M3) <email address on file>
Washington USA - Thursday, May 9, 2002 at 10:03

Axel's reply: Your M3 falling apart and BMW's lackluster response is just another indication of problems with both manufacturing and with customer support. The "Ultimate?" Pipe dream indeed.

I am truly sorry to heat of your experiences with the car. I owned a 89 750 for about 4 years just recently having sold it. I do own an auto repair facility so repairs are not an issue for me. I must say though that the vehicle has truly required only routine maintenance while in my ownership. It has never ever left me stranded even on several lond hauls to Florida. All people who purchase such a car must realize that it will require more service than your average honda. I must suggest that unless the repairs are of some unusual nature, to stay away from BMW dealer service. I have found that the techs at the dealerships have the qualifications of an overeducated whopper flipper. Also the service guys see $$$$ signs as soon as you walk in. The cars do have some known issues that can be repaired at a reasonable cost. Driveshaft every 70,000 miles is considered normal. Can be purchased aftermarket at a cost of 375.00, Warning lamp mudole needs to be opened and some of the soldering on the connections works loose from vibration (very common on higher mileage). The list is quite long but distinguished. I read all of your maintenence records and I must say that out of those repairs about half are bullsh*t. Meaning there is no reason for those except to get ripped off. I'm not going to ask why you kept going back to the dealer for your repairs especially after repeted compaints abou the same issues. I just want to let you know that dealerships have the worse trackrecord in the coutry as far as service and repairs. I am sorry that your experience was so negative, but if you wish to donate the vehicle to me I'd be more then glad to take it off your hands. Good luck to you in the future. If you have any questions regarding the issues I would be more then glad to answer them for you. Thank you,
Ivan P. (1989 750iL) <email address on file>
New York USA - Monday, April 29, 2002 at 7:20

Axel's reply: I'd like to think that the technicians are more qualified than "an overeducated whopper flipper." If that's true, at least they could serve up some burgers while I wait. But I do think something appears to be wrong with the way the dealerships are operated, particularly after hearing recently that the Service Advisors' salaries can be based on the amount of business they handle, which appears to me to be a total conflict of interest.

sorry to hear about your experience... axel, i've owned two 750's now -- both e38's. a 1996 and a 1998, the latter of which i drive on a daily basis. my experience is nothing like yours. at all. i *tripped* upon your site when i was looking for a new web site to register. ...[domain omitted]. i must ask -- what's your purpose for sharing your plight? it is certainly not the experience of the majority. all manufacturers have their lemons... sounds like you got one of them. i'm on several bmw "boards" and your experience is not normal. i wish you the best, but question your motive.
Mark C. (1998 & 1996 750iL) <email address on file>
USA - Saturday, April 27, 2002 at 18:07

Axel's reply: The purpose of my sharing my experience is to that others may learn from it, and to uncover others who may have had the same experience as I have with my 750iL. This website has proven to do both- be a valuable source of information and others have come forward with similar stories to mine. I would certainly expect my experience to be in the minority, otherwise I imagine BMW wouldn't still be making cars, but the minority has a right to be heard too.

Axel, I fell for you. I have the same car as you're but I have no problem. Maybe I'm blest. The engine was a rebuilt done by my friend who owns the car repair shop, so I don't pay anything only for parts. Do you want to sell you're car? What I need are the rims. My has the full plate orig. factory one, and it's ugly. The only problem that I have right now is, my engine sounds like a diesel. I did not check what is the problem, maybe only the lifters making the noise. Listen, get an other mechanic. Tell me where do you leave, maybe I can hook you up with my friend. He owned the 750 before me. Let me know if I can help, in any way. Thank You,
Michael T. (1989 750iL) <email address on file>
USA - Friday, April 26, 2002 at 6:54

Axel's reply: Your 750iL sounds like a diesel? You sure the engine wasn't rebuilt as one? Thanks for the offer of help.

Hi, I read your page about 750, and although I agree, that very complex model 750 isn't the best to maintain after the guarantee, but lot of what you are writing is basically propaganda. You are saying that spending about 40 % of original price on 12 years old car is a lot ? So how you compare it to my friend, who bought 89 Ford Taurus, and in 3 years on $ 12 000 car collected $ 13 000 repair bills. The extended warranty he purchased was the best bed of his life ! And I still think , that compare 2 cars, when one is having more electrical, and computer components in driver seat, then other under the hood is not fair ! Now .... talking about actual cost: you bought 3 new radiators from a dealer, when Kragen is selling lifetime radiator for les ? That's stupidity ! Fact is, as I experienced, that in today's World they are definitely 2 profession, that no matter if they do the job, or completely screw it up - still get to pay full amount. Those professions are doctors, and car mechanics. Talking more about dealers: lately I needed an oil pan gasket for my 750, so bought one for $ 24.75 at dealer, but not impressed with a cork, ordered another one at aftermarket place for $ 3.73. And those gaskets are identical !!! There is no any mark on them to confirm, but I bed $ 100, that they come from the same manufacturer. Saved receipts to prove it. Could write thinks like that forever, but that's a good start.
Kris P. (1992 750iL) <email address on file>
USA - Friday, April 26, 2002 at 00:45

Axel's reply: How could anyone spend $13,000 to repair a 1989 Taurus? You want to preach to me about stupidity? You're right, however, that aftermarket parts can often save some money, but that doesn't do any good when much of the expense is labor, or when proprietary components are sometimes required.

Hello, I have the 750il and it has been a great car so far but then it finally happened...got in the car one morning and pulled out of the drive and found that I had no power...car would not accelerate and started shifting really late. I could only get up to around 50 mph. Turned around and went home. Checked for codes and found none but I knew this thing sounded like it was in a limp home state. Both throttle bodies turn...switched air floe sensors,coils, computers, checks pumps and relays...ect. The only thing that I found that was suspect was the coil on the drivers side did not arch as bright blue as the other one if at all. I even replaced all the spark plugs and that was hell to do. The old ones looked as if they were not firing very well. I refuse to take it to a mechanic only to find out it is something simple like a relay or have them stick it to me. Whatever the problem is, it is really simple but I cant find it. What does this sound like to you? Thanks. P.S. I'll be waiting for some help...I need it bad!
Baron B. (750iL) <email address on file)
Texas USA - Monday, April 15, 2002 at 19:58

Axel's reply: I don't know what the problem could be.

Good Afternoon, After viewing your site, I am amazed at how many idiots there are out there. I own two 7 series BMW ( 2000 740iL and 1998 750iL) and have been more than happy with them. You say, well that doesn't warrent me calling your site stupid. But I have found fault in is a well accepted and commonplace strategy by dealers/mechnics to give you the illusion of problems that never really exist. If you plan on taking your car into a mechanic then you must also plan on being ripped off. BMW does its best (which I might add is superb) to provide fools like you a mechanically perfect machine, and then abuse and mechanic "care" suck all the juice from the 750. Why don't you start a site for untrustworthy mechanics because there a million more of those than "bad" 750s. I have always fallowed the mantra of "getting to the root of the problem" and in fact, by doing self-service and paying attention and using commonsense one will continue the joy of running one of the most mechanicall! y and aesthetically perfect of machines. I have never had any problems with any of my BMW's, and I have had them for over 20 years. I owe my life to a BMW ( I came in a head-on collision with a SUV at around 60 MPH) and walked out. Put yourself in one of those shitty ACURAS or LEXUS and you wouldn't live to talk about it. BMW has a reputation for performance cars that are safe. Through my ownership of all series (except the 6 series) of BMW, I am a believer in their efficacy at maintaining that reputation, the 750iL as no exception. P.S. WHY DON'T YOU PUBLISH THIS ONE?
David C. (1998 750iL, 2000 740iL) <email address on file>
USA - Friday, April 12, 2002 at 19:20

Axel's reply: Okay, I will publish this one (as I do with everything received). A car being safe does not excuse it from being mechanically reliable. While it's true that a dealership can call for unnecessary work, I have to disagree- mechanics cannot make components continually break down.

Sorry guys, I love my 89 750il. It has not given me any major problems and is a real joy to drive around town or in the country. What I do not understand is why you slam the vehicle and continue to drive one ... am I missing something. If I was upset about a car it would be out of sight and out of mind. Best,
Terry N. (1989 750iL) <email address on file>
Dallas, Texas USA - Wednesday, April 10, 2002 at 8:27

Axel's reply: Confusing, isn't it? What began as website to share information with BMW quickly turned into a place to share my own story and to find out if others had similar experiences. After learning that there are people with similar stories and that many others have found the information here to be of value, the website has continued. I couldn't continue to comment as a 750iL owner unless I continued to BE a 750iL owner. And let's not forget that I have spent quite a bit of money on the car, none of which I would get back if I tried to sell it, which is another issue since I wouldn't feel right selling it to anyone, knowing what I do about it. If I was three years old, the "out of sight, out of mind" plan might work, but my mind has developed beyond that level.

I recently lost my owner's manual and am having trouble locating a site that I can buy one from. Any ideas? Thanks!
Lori D. (1990 750iL) <email address on file>
Seattle, Washington USA - Wednesday, March 20, 2002 at 17:18

Axel's reply: [Privately, I told her where I thought she might be able to get an owner's manual].

Ouch!! Axel, I'm sorry to hear of your expensive, inconvenient and recurrent problems with both your 750 and the BMW establishment. I purchased a 1990 750iL last month and until now have had no problems. I'll certainly be on the lookout for any after reading horror stories from yourself and many others on your website. You'll be the first one to know. Hopefully, mine will be one of the chosen ones. Well, we'll see. Good luck, or at least no more bad luck,
Jason C. (1990 750iL) <email address on file>
USA - Friday, March 8, 2002 at 20:44

Axel's reply: Keep us posted.

I have owned a 1990 bmw 750il for more than 5 years now, and i have had no problems with the car. My father has a 93 750il, and he too has had no problems. i love my 750il, what other car has heated front and back rear seats? I will admit, if it didnt have the v12 , I would a buy a toyota!!! please post this e-mail onto your site!!!!!!
Matt (1990 750iL) <email address on file>
USA - Wednesday, February 27, 2002 at 21:05

Axel's reply: If only heated seats would make the other problems go away, except that one of my heated seats isn't working.

Hello Axel, Having purchased the same car make from 1991 experienced some troubles as well right at the beginning: - Driver seat electric engine exchanged - Sun rollo drive exchanged - CD changer repaired (Actually a Becker model) - Trunk open indicator switch repaired - Batterie exchanged (standard maintenance) - Purchased new rims (Original BMW) because distance ring of existing rims caused troubles The experience which you made are horrible and from my point of view unexplainable in the emnaing that I can not understand why BMW did not repair free of charge. However, a V12 was never a cheap car and high maintanance costs are inevidable. I had bad experience with BMW service stations in general because they charge extremely high prices but they don't do their job well. This causes additional problems due to wrong maintenance by not fixig the real troubles. They like as well instead of a deeper analyse just to exchange parts. I therefore decided to search an independet mechanic who is capable to do a sober job. Prices are high as well but worth the good work. Two examples: The driver seat was repaired by my mechanic for 800$ BMW's original and only idea was to install a new seat it for 2200$. For the CD-Changer which was malfunctioning BMW service station said they have to install a new box in the trunk (1000$). I did noc allow this and sent it myself to BECKER factory where it was repaired for 200$. Took a long time as well but this is not a real BMW problem. The new batterie was offered by BMW for 400$ without replacement costs. So I went direct to BOSCH which is the supplier for the original batterie in Germany and had it REPLACED for less then 200$ Besides that the car operates nice and smooth and I made about 30'000 miles within the last 12 months without further troubles. I will keep the car and see what wil go in the future. Regards
Reto (1991 750iL) <email address on file>
Switzerland - Thursday, February 21, 2002 at 6:34

Axel's reply: No question if you shop the work around, you can get better deals, as I have on occasion.

Hello, I am sorry to hear of your terrible experiences. I currently have a1992 750il BMW, a 1991 535i, and 1995 530i, all of which have been excellent cars. The 750 in particular has only been in the shop a few times for the few recalls and a power steering / self leveling suspension leak caused by the moron at the dealer who added the incorrect fluid to the system, thus destroying the o-rings and causing a lot of leakage. The only other service required in the 750's 120,000 mile life has been oil + filter changes (Mobil 1), brake pads, rotors, 1 radiator, front strut inserts, 2 broken headlights (rock chips) and a replaced lamp control module. Oh, and two power rear window shades, both of which were replaced under warranty. Other than these seemingly normal items, it's been and continues to be one of the most incredible luxury sedans I have ever had. I have even made some of the Dinan engine and transmission upgrades, which really give the car even more power.... really amazing at 100+ MPH. I was planning to order a new one in the next year and hand this one down to my youngest son, who has the 535i (another bullet-proof, truly great car). Now that I have seen the horrendous new 7 series, I suspect I'll shop for a certified 2000 or hold on to this one. sorry to hear of the disaster your car has been. Just curious, but did you buy your 750iL new or used? Even with service records, you never know what the previous owner(s) have done to the car. A bad previous owner doesn't mean that BMW made a terrible car. Better luck with other BMWs.
Jeremy T. (1992 750iL) <email address on file>
Mississippi USA - Tuesday, February 19, 2002 at 12:45

Axel's reply: I bought the car used.

Hi, I too recently purchased a used 750 IL for $5,000.00 with 131k miles,with a salvaged title (repaired damage to the front end) and although I have put about 1,500.00 in to it since August of 2001, my personal opinion of this car and maintenance is this: If you own one, only fix what is necessary to drive the car with 12 cylinders, do not continue to fix the car, let it die. When I took such an attitude, My car has never run better. Not to take anything away from your bad experiences, I just treat the car like it's a toyota and drive the crap out of it, and will let it die, and if I'm only out $6,500.00, then I made out...
Martin S. (1988 750iL) <email address on file>
Santa Barbara, California USA - Thursday, February 14, 2002 at 10:10

Axel's reply: If I let my car "die" it could become unsafe to drive. I try to affect repairs that will at least keep it a safe car to drive.

This follow-up from Martin on July 10, 2002: Axel, I recently read your reply to my posting and I just want you to know that what I said about "let it die" did not mean that you, or anyone else should drive the car in an unsafely manner, or drive the car when you need new brakes, but don't want to spend the money replacing the brakes. I think it's funny that you would continuously try to defeat anyone who is giving sound advice on how to treat a piece of crap, how not to spend your life savings, and to not spend all your time in bulletin board rooms complaining about something you have control over.. Sell the dam car and stop your whining. Take it as a lesson learned, kind of like investing in the stock market and watching your stock fall, and having the audacity to blame it on the company that is selling the stock. Anyway, it pains me to see so many of you go through child birth with your 750il, but I recently replaced my own brakes and they do not squeak at all now ( Raybestos) had the rotors turned, took me approx. 1 hour, for $74.00 US.... There is a bulletin board room that I have received a lot of very useful info so that I do not spend too much time or money on my 750il [site omitted- it is the practice of my750.com to not reference other sites].. I just want to help, and not find myself in the same irritated shape as most of you... Again, rather than continue to complain, sell your piece of crap, let them know it's a piece of crap ( so you can live with yourself) and buy yourself a boring little Honda.. or you could always buy American if you like replacing everything after 100k... (88 750il happy owner)

Axel's reply to follow-up: I don't try to "defeat" anyone, but I do have opinion to offer, based on my own experiences. Obviously, if I didn't think there was a serious problem with the 750iL, this site wouldn't exist. If $27,000 (the amount I've spent on repairs so far) was my "life savings" you can rest assured I would not have spent it repairing a car, nor would I have bought a 750iL in the first place (actually in the second place, because I owned one before my current one). You may not be aware, but stockholders sue management every day of the year. Interesting how one would assume that I would possibly step away from the smooth power of a 12 cylinder spacious luxury sedan, to a Honda. I appreciate the suggestion, but a replacement would have to be somewhere on the other end of the spectrum, although I have been considering downsizing if it would mean some degree of reliability. Also, you seem to be stuck on my story- there are lots of others here; I'm just one of them.

Hello Axel! I just recently bought a '89 750iAL from a friend of mine who has had it three years and about 45 thousand miles. I couldn't say it hasn't had problems, but nothing fatal: drive train vibration (changed), water pump leak (changed), both by the PO. At the moment there's only one major fault and one smaller: gasoline heater (webasto) works only few minutes and then shuts down; right rear brake jams sometimes. I changed high- and low beams myself, Hella's from local parts supplier about $370. Low beams were finished, you couldn't see anything with them in the dark. In my opinion that's really low for a car that's driven more than 200 000 miles and on salted roads at winter time. I'll fix whatever I can myself (with a lot of help from net and Bentley's manual) to keep cost down and use the dealer only if nothing else helps. I don't doubt it would cost more than the car if I had to have averything repaired by the local dealer, but if I had to, I wouldn't by a car which is more than 10 years old and full of electronics.
Tuomas H. (1989 750iAL) <email address on file>
Finland - Saturday, January 26, 2002 at 16:16

Axel's reply: I wouldn't buy a car like this more than 10 years old either. When I bought mine, it was about six years old.

Hi I just bought a 93 750il with 109k for 11k. Do you know if this year suffered the same problems as yours? My $$$$$$ is limited, maybe I should flip this car (it's mint) and look at a 740il. What do you think? Ps I bought a warranty (very limited - tranny, engine, water pump) for $787 that lasts for 5 yrs or 100k miles, and it's transferable, from [an online company].
Pat (1993 750iL) <email address on file>
USA - Monday, January 14, 2002 at 19:39

Axel's reply: Difficult to say, as there are many 750iL cars that appear to operate without any trouble. You could always wait and see, but when something does go wrong, you might be on the hook for $5000 in repairs, although maybe your warranty would kick in. The 740iL would probably be a much more reliable choice.

After reading your list of repairs, I have a question. Did you ever get the tail lights to work properly again, and if so, what was the repair that finally worked. I've got a 1988 model that I dearly love, but the tail lights are malfunctioning. Fortunately, I'm not at the mercy of the BMW dealers/service, as one of my best friends loves BMW's and has a magic touch with them, and my boyfriend is also very capable of taking care of it for me, having quite a bit of experience with his Porsches, BMW's, VW's, and even building a few domestic cars to perform. We have plans to remove the governor from the BMW and "chip" it - after all, you can't have too much power or speed. They really aren't all bad, sometimes cars are only as good as the mechanics you have available. BMW really should stand by the service departments at their dealerships, th! ough, and should require that the dealer make good on the necessary repairs. It sounds like you've had a hellish time with a car that you should have been able to derive nothing but pleasure from. Sorry, and thanks for any information on the tail light problem
Renee (1988 750iL) <email address on file>
USA - Saturday, January 12, 2002 at 15:12

Axel's reply: I did get the tail lights working again, after many tries, but they seem to be malfunctioning again in a different way.

Our BMW's. Hi fellow victims! I live in Limassol, Cyprus. My dad has three BMW's all of them are in the 7-series. We have a 730i (2000), 740il(2001) and a 750il protection (2001). My mother has an s-class from Mercedes and it much more reliable than the 750il protection! Despite it cost about £40,000 less! I must, however, admit that the 730 doesnt go wrong as much as the 750il protection! It is probably th most expensive car to keep on the road!!!!
Clifford S. (2001 750iL Protection; 2001 740iL; 2000 730i) <email address on file)
Cyprus - Saturday, January 12, 2002 at 12:53

Axel's reply: From what I've heard, I would agree that an S class Mercedes is much more reliable.

gday mate sorry to hear of your nightmare i recently purchased 88' 750il $aud 16000, 300000km($us8000,200000miles) so far i have spent $aud5000 on repairs but am happy to do so as its a fair dinkum bloody rippa. i did do reaserch b4 i bought the car from internet, dealers, mechanics and all i got was bad news. repairs done include:new radator $650 reco transmission $2100 front discs$300 fix steering play$600 retrim drivers seat $420 air con remove dash replaced condensor$500 service oil plugs filters $500. mind you bmw service or bm specialist would have cost 3 times as much! as they charge $150 per hour my sugestion to you is to try an experienced mechanic $50 per hour as i did, after all the mechanics are the same for all cars. i found your site interesting and informative (joachims reply). i would like to find out how to obtain service manual. market value for this car in australia is what iv insuired it for $aud38000-($43000 in good order with low miles). wreckers are also a good source for parts but mainly trim, mechanically new parts or fully reco for reliability. a future buyer i recomend they know a good mechanic and that the car is well worth its money once on road.
Alex (1988 750iL) <email address on file>
Melbourne, Australia - Friday, December 28, 2001 at 14:31

Axel's reply: [Privately, I referred him where to get a service manual].

Wow...you're scaring me.... My dad had a 750iL (also a 1989) and he has had "some" problems but nothing to the extent you mention. To make a long story short...he has offered it me (for a VERY reasonable price)as a "gift" yesterday for Christmas. After reading your site...I don't know if I want it anymore. I expect there will be some expenses to be incurred in the years to come but he had all 12 plugs refurbished, etc... I'd like to know though...of all the 1989 750s built...how many owners have had the level of disatisfaction you've had? I understand you are upset...but whether a BMW, Cadillac, or even a Rolls...one cannot expect a warranty to last forever. I think you just had the misfortune of getting one built on a Monday!!!!!!!!! Cheers, Dr. Paul:)
Paul P. <email address on file>
Canada - Wednesday, December 26, 2001 at 18:52

Axel's reply: Even when the car was under warranty, it had more than its share of problems. This website is not about things being covered by a warranty, but what things keep cropping up and need attention. That "gift" may be much more expensive than you anticipate.

This follow-up from Dr. Paul on July 10, 2002: Hi Axel...I can't remember how long ago I contacted you but its been a few months. Since then, the damn thing has been becoming a "money pit". My power steering went on the fritz! I took it to my trusted BMW specialist and he put this in and put that in and $1300 later...the car's steering mechanism is exactly 0 percent better. Now, having done yet another "diagnostic"...the dealership claims I need yet another $5000 in parts (excluding labor of course). When does the money pit stop thirsting for useless parts and the like....

Axel's reply to follow-up: Surprise, surprise, surprise! When does it stop?- mine still hasn't, after more than 100 repairs since 1990. I tried to tell you.

This further follow-up from Dr. Paul on July 13, 2002: Ya...ya did warn me!!!!!!! Hi again Axel, I thoroughly read your site and I'm now convinced that this 750 "gift" I got from dad at Christmas really wasn't a gift at all but more of an albatross. Dad got smart and went Japanese at Christmas...he bought a 2002 Toyota Avalon. Now...I have to decide whether to drop another 5 or 6 grand until the next crisis (knowing my luck would be in a month)) or should I just drive it without power steering assistance (which is easy enough for me as I weigh 300 lbs and bench press much more than that). The BMW dealership (called Canbec here in Montreal) added this extra $5000 estimate upon doing the 2nd diagnostic for one simple reason....THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT so its easier to just replace the whole damn power steering mechanism. How can these so called BMW "experts" from the dealership not know what's wrong? I suspect they are stringing me along to milk me for whatever they can! One BMW mechanic tried "scaring" me last week by telling me that the play in my rear suspension has become extremely hard (as the power steering and rear suspension share the same oil) and that I'll break something by driving it without fixing the problem! I'd rather break something else and then at least know that I BROKE IT as opposed to just more ambiguous lip service from the dealership. I do have a question for you Axel...in my profession...if someone comes to me with a broken arm and I perform a "diagnosis" and then I recommend casting the leg...I have performed a mis-diagnosis and thus the patient has reason to be upset with me (if not sue me for malpractice). I feel that the initial $1300 I bought from the dealership (based on their recommendations via their diagnostic assessment) is similar in the analogy I just mentioned. Their tests did nothing...their recommended parts (which got installed) did not improve the car's performance at all. I, not being in the business (and you having surely dealt with the "powers that be" at BMW), do you think I would stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting some form of "compensation"? It's not so much the money as the principle that they said it would be fixed with those parts and it did not! Either way, I will contact BMW Canada and give them a piece of my mind on the matter! Cheers, Dr. Paul:-)

Axel's reply to Dr. Paul's July 13, 2002 follow-up: I have no doubt that I too have paid for "repairs" that were a misdiagnosis, but I think there is little recourse, although I haven't given up finding a way towards restitution.

I wanted a nice big car with lots of class, and one that would grab attention, I made an impulse buy into what appeared to be a good deal for me- a 1991 750iL for $9,200. Carfax didn't warn me, and the car came with all service records. 15 times to the dealer for repairs. 15 visits over 9 years? I can manage the cost, I thought. I was wrong. This gem, an utterly beautiful and pristine 750iL with 82,000 miles when I purchased, has failed. A major engine failure occurred under hard acceleration to 85 mph, on a freeway onramp- according to the BMW technicians, the camshaft suffered a catastrophic failure- the engine died with a bang that was incredibly loud (compare to gunshot amplified through speakers at a concert and you'd be in the ballpark of what the sound was like) and the car rolled to a stop... leaving a cloud of thick blue smoke behind. They wanted 12,000 dollars to replace the engine. My ultimate decision was to junk the car. I since got a rather good paying job at a dot com, and purchased, used, a 1996 BMW 740i. That car, in the three months I've had it, has been an utterly wonderful machine, never once giving me a problem. I admit, 3 months is a little soon to pass verdict on a vehicle, but the engine is superior to that of the 750, the performance is far better, and I am much happier overall, as this car just reeks of build quality, exclusivity, and performance. It appears the BMW engineers here have truly created the ultimate driving machine... BMW's 'legendary' passion for perfection certainly shows in this vehicle. Axel, I understand that in good conscience you can't sell your car, but you might want to consider an eBay auction on it, and labeling it for sale as a parts car. You could at least get 5,000 for it, and inform the individuals that it will drive, but does need repairs. You owe it to yourself to rid yourself of that cottage cheese. You wanted milk, you deserve milk, even if BMW won't give it to you.
Kate  (former 1991 750iL owner)  <email address on file>
USA - November 8, 2001 at 18:35

Axel's reply:  Brings new meaning to the term "Big Bang Theory."   I feel for you, as I too have had some 750iL freeway breakdowns, having to limp off like a wounded lion.  None with quite the drama of your deafening $12,000 catastrophic camshaft failure, but there's still time; maybe I should start wearing ear plugs in anticipation.  Regarding what to do with it- the car looks practically brand new and has more value than just components, so I wouldn't sell it as a parts bargain.   And somehow, it has become worth more to me as an automotive case study, with the hope that I can share my ongoing experiences and prevent others from taking the same fall.   I know I had wanted milk and should have gotten it, but for the moment I'm just going to have a little yogurt, which, despite the sourness, is supposed to be good for you.

Nice coming across your page. I read all your comments and letters to you. Just bought a 1993 750iL and would like to get hold of shop service manuals. So far I have all the previous service records & I have had it serviced once since purchased. As a mechanic I would particularly like to read the engine overhaul manuals. I want to see what makes this 12 cylinder baby tick so well. I understand there are some of these engines with ceramic pistons? Have you heard of a "Level 3 maintenance"? Have you contacted the DINAN people? Your comments are appreciated. Thanks so much for your help.
Charlie J.  (1993 750iL)  <email address on file>
USA - Monday, November 5, 2001 at 15:35

Axel's reply:  I know nothing about ceramic pistons, don't know what a Level 3 is, and haven't contacted the DINAN people, however, I do hope the abundant other commentary has been of some help.  [Privately, I told him where to get a service manual and where to find a DIY (do it yourself) message board].

Hi my name is Eddie and I bought a 750IL in 1998 w/134k for $9k, what a deal, I spent nearly $2500 the first 5 months, realizing it's almost more than a car payment/month. After the 5th month I sold it for 7K as is,that's a loss of almost 5k w/tax and registration. Well if you calculate that's about 1K per month depreciation in value. The person that bought it from me says it is the best car he's ever had,I saw it last week, it had nearly 250,000 miles, I said wow have you had any major problems with the car, he replied nothing other oil changes and brakes. My final thought either the car didn't like me, I gave it to him fixed [after changing everything] or simply he's not telling the truth. Now I bought a 2001 M3 cabriolet and that is the best thing BMW has created. So to all 750 owners, BMW makes some fine cars but they make a few bad models too just like any other manufacturer. Thanks and good luck to everyone.
Eddie  (former 750iL owner)  <email address on file>
Friday, November 2, 2001 at 4:39

Axel's reply:  I couldn't say either if the guy you sold your 750 to was fully disclosing the repairs he may have made.  Earlier on, I can tell you that pride made me reluctant to admit any of the work I had been doing on my car.  After getting beaten over the head too many times, however, I decided I should talk about it and share what I have been going through.

I am writing this letter to inform the public that not all 750's are problem prone. I bought two brand new 1991 750iL's and owned one for 4 years and the other for 3 years. I also had a 91 850 which I owned for 2 years. Never once did I have a problem with the cars build quality. The reason for my purchase of the two was one for myself and one for my wife. I would not buy another 7-series unless it had the V-12. This do to the fact that the application of power is much more smoother then the -8 and the fact that everyone has the V-8 makes it unattractive. However, on my black 750 I was one of a very few who had a car re-painted by BMW due to a very small paint pattern which is very hard to notice unless u have an exceptionally well look at the area. This of coarse was performed at no cost to me and the car once again looked brand new as it did even with the minor paint flaw. This car I had approx. 30,000 miles in the 4 years I had it and the white one I had approx. 15,000 miles on it in 3 years. I would never purchase a high-end car such as a 750 with out a warranty due to the fact of just seeing how much a routine service costs. I hope this shows at least one person highly enjoyed their 750 experience.  Thank You For Your Time,
Erik P.  (Two 1991 750iL cars)  <email address on file
USA - Thursday, October 25, 2001 at 15:04

Axel's reply:  I too have enjoyed my 750iL experience, when the car is working.  Your two 750iL cars had rather low mileage (15k & 30k), I imagine before a point when any of the more serious or frequent breakdowns might occur, although it's good to see some examples of the 750iL holding up in the early stages.  Just curious, however, if you had such positive experiences with your 750iL cars and your 850, why haven't you bought another BMW in the last 10 years?

Dear Axel: I came across your website merely by chance. I read some very humorous stories of people who owned or currently own a BMW 750. I must admit that I laughed until I cried. Then I just cried. The reason being is that I just purchased a 1990 BMW 750iL for what I originally thought was a steal. From reading some of the stories on your web site, it seems as if I was robbed.  I wish you luck and pray to a higher power that I do not have the same type of problems that you have experienced. I feel that this might be too late as I recently changed the oil. It took 7 quarts of oil that barely registered on the dip stick. Maybe some of the oil is stored in the transmission for later use. I will ask one of those wonderful BMW techs.  In parting I would like to comment on the first posting I read on your web site from a BMW tech. To quote, "You have one of the crappiest cars ever made in terms of reliance..."  Now that is a quote that will help me to sleep at nights.
Wayne K.  (1990 750iL)  <email address on file>
USA - Friday, October 5, 2001 at 13:28

Axel's reply:  Didn't mean to give you nightmares, just to provide better awareness of what might happen.  If you're lucky, and I hope you are, your 750 will stay in check, with only routine maintenance.  If not, you're in trouble!

Greetings from South Africa !  Hi there, Well, it is with surprise that I read about the bad experiences - mine seems in stark contrast to yours. I have had my 750iL for six months, and apart from regular services and the odd little niggle here and there, I have had nothing but absolute pleasure from this awesome car. My problem ? I had it stolen three days ago ! The cops recovered it and it is trashed ! My question now is whether I should buy the wreck from the insurance company... Of course you guys will say no ? I must be honest, there has been times when the huge service costs made me wonder if it is worth it, but for the performance (mine had about 235KW, running its limiter of 250km/h in third gear), the comfort, the handling (greatly improved by 235/45/17 tires) made it all so very worth it !  I will be interested to hear what you have to say, but for me - I believe this was/is one awesome motorvehicle, and as long as one has it services by QUALIFIED people, it can only give pleasure, none more than blowing everything except the M3 and M5 away !
Eugene V.  (750iL)  <email address on file>
South Africa - Friday, October 5, 2001 at 8:07

Axel's reply:  Six months may not be enough time to evaluate the repair needs of the 750iL- even my car has gone six months without any repairs necessary.  I would say it would be better to stay away from a wrecked 750iL, as even one in "good" condition can be tricky to maintain.  If you love the car, take the insurance money and buy another one, but over the longer term be prepared for high maintenance needs.

Axel, I'm sorry to hear about the repair nightmare that you have had with your car. I know that you've heard it before, and do not want to hear it again, but you are getting reamed by your dealership's service department, big time. I have a 1989 750il, which I bought in 1997 with 68,000 miles on it. It now has 174,681 miles on it. It has NEVER been into a BMW dealership service department. In four years, the following repairs have been done:  --Sunroof motor replaced. My mechanic got one from a salvage yard. Total cost, including labor: $65.87.  --Brake shoes and pads replaced. (No, I didn't let them turn the rotors, or any other unnecessary things to jack up the cost.) Total cost, $166.44.  --Muffler. BMW wanted $387 for this item. I had a custom exhaust shop here in Dallas make one work for $108.25. Passed emission inspection with flying colors. Quiet as a mouse.  --Windshield replaced. BMW wanted $618 for this part. It took a few weeks, but I found one at a salvage yard for $150. Had a glass repair technician replace it for me. He charged me $50.  --Air conditioner blows warm at times. I'm in Dallas, where it's over 90 degrees from May to October. There are leaks in the system. $1800 estimate to repair, with no guarantee. I went to Auto Zone ( a discount auto parts store) and bought a recharge kit for $29.95. the guy at the counter showed me how to use it for free. A can of refrigerant is $5.99 plus tax. I add a can about once every 3 or 4 weeks. Takes 45 seconds. As easy as adding air to your tires. At 6 bucks a month, it'll take 25 years before I spend $1800.  --Power seat switch, and driver's side mirror switch and motor. Again, salvage yard. Parts are easy to find, since '88-'92, and in some cases up to '94 parts are compatible. $92 for switches and motor, $85 for installation.   --Windshield wiper motor. BMW shop quoted-get this- $700! Had it done for $114.62. Yes, a used motor. Works like a champ.  --Radiator, and hoses. $144, installed.   You may have something against used parts, but I ask why? They are OEM BMW parts. The car's not new, why do the parts need to be? I am not a mechanic.  I do NOT do this work myself. I simply looked in the yellow pages for German car specialists, then took the car in for an oil change. Talked to the guys.  Checked out the shop. Found the shop I was comfortable with on the 3rd try.  Not bad. The guy is a Mercedes specialist, but has been able to fix anything I've asked him to. He waits until he's ready to fix it before he has me bring it in. It's been left overnight at the shop ONCE. The car looks and handles like new. I drive it from Dallas to Chicago every coupla months.
Dave P.  (1989 750iL)  <email address on file>
Dallas, Texas USA - Friday, September 14, 2001 at 4:15

Axel's reply:  You have certainly mastered the road to economically maintaining your car, which I have learned the hard way usually means trying to steer clear of the dealer, if possible, although the dilemma is being unable to find an independent mechanic capable of working on a 750iL- I still haven't found one.  But is that right?  Should the dealerships be feared by BMW owners?  I think not.   A dealership ought to be a safe haven where BMW owners can trust their car will be repaired correctly and not get ripped off.  From the many, many comments I have received from BMW owners, the dealerships are just the opposite.  I have taken note, however, of some of your fix-it tricks, and may apply some to my car, particularly the A/C refilling, although that isn't exactly environmentally correct, but, then again, neither is a 12 cylinder power plant.  Keep in mind too that you may have one of those "lucky" 750iL cars which holds up better than most.

I purchased a 1990 750iL from the original owner with a clean service record and history.  Other than changing the oil, I haven't done anything but add gas. FYI - the key is finding one with a good history, and the rest will result in the ultimate driving machine. I can't say enough about how nice this car is.
Brian O.  (1990 750iL)  <email address on file>
Sunday, July 29, 2001 at 21:35

Axel's reply:  You sure you haven't been driving this car on Fantasy Island?  Just oil and gas?  Okay, if you say so.  Seriously though, you're absolutely right- an original owner car with a shiny service history is so important with the 750iL, otherwise, you might get a car like my 750, which, by the way, just went in the shop for about the 106th time, but who's counting... oh wait, I am (and about 12,000 other people).  I would be interested to know how long you have owned the car, which could be a factor with your car's spotless maintenance record.

Brian follows up with this:  Thanks for posting my response. I truly believe that my car is an exception to being problem free, although it does need shocks/struts. I was disappointed to find that costs about $3k. I guess you have to pay to play. Best of luck with your 750.
Wednesday, August 1, 2001 at 21:07

I have a 1988 750iL, it too has had it's problems, but overall I still love my car. I just recently put 2001 M5 wheels on it and it looks great. I am sorry to hear about all you guys problems with your 750's. I can relate, I have had the car about a year and have already put about $4,000 in repairs. Take care everyone,
Dave P.  (1988 750iL)  <email address on file>
Thursday, July 26, 2001 at 11:31

Axel's reply:  Ah yes, the classic love/hate 750iL relationship.   After you have had your car another year, and have spent another $4,000, the balance might change a little.

My 1988 750 il is the best automobile I have ever owned.  The car has never had any major problems...I had the a/c converted to R-134a (cost $633.76) and replaced front shocks myself (cost $180.00 after market), and I have replaced the radiator once $360. I bought the car in December 1994 with 89,000 miles on it, I am sorry that you have hade so many problems, that makes BMW's sound bad but thats all I have ever owned besides my one mistake a 1986 Ferrari 328 my GOD the servicing is high on those(be a multi-million dollar person to own one of those or drive it 2000 miles a year then you will be OK) Oh, and stay away from the BMW dealer those guy don't know jack...factory trained....yeah ok....my buddy used to work for a BMW dealer trust me.
Enzeneli  (1988 750iL)  <email address on file>
Texas USA - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 20:45

Axel's reply:  I have never disagreed with anyone that the 750iL is a great car to drive, otherwise I would not have owned two 750iL cars in the last 5 years, nor would I continue to drive the one I currently own.  My quarrel is with the maintenance requirements.  I wish I had shared your maintenance record with the 750iL- I seemed to have the opposite happen to mine.  All you've spent on maintenance since 1994 is $1173?  I find that hard to believe!

Thank you for giving me the chance to give you my input on the BMW 750IL I don't think this is such a bad car. I'm sorry for everyone's misfortune. I own a 1988 750IL I've had two problems one the fuel pump (you know they have two) went out.  And two the windshield was broke twice other than that it's been wonderful. I bought this car wholesale and have been driving it on a regular basis it runs great. I also have one advantage the guy that works for me is German and he knows these cars inside and out and I believe that is a big difference from the Americans that are "trained in repairing these cars." Please don't give up on BMW's. feel free to E-mail me with questions about any BMW I will do my best to make you believe that they are great cars!!!!
Joachim S.  (1988 750iL)  <email address on file>
Las Vegas, Nevada USA - Sunday, July 15, 2001 at 2:07

Axel's reply:  I know that not every single 750iL has an awful repair profile like mine or the many others who have come forward with their own stories, but I'm highlighting the ones that do because I'm trying to make others (both owners and prospective owners) more aware of what could happen.  I am still in search of a good local mechanic- I posted on a local BMW "club" board, but didn't get back a single recommendation, which either means there isn't a single recommended mechanic, or not one person was willing to share with me their knowledge.  I'm also wondering how your front windshield broke twice- did it spontaneously burst, like my back window did?

Joachim later adds:  Hi Axel.  As a proud german i must admit that your horror stories really mad my neckhair stand up!  maybe you want to hear another part of the story!  Granted the 88/89 750 iL was a Car that had his problems. But a stickerprice off $80,000 tells me that i must have some money for expenses- and drive a Car for about 2 years before trading it in.  after that come the hometrained "Mechanics" that are the end of any sofisticated car .  And your so called Mastermechanics in your bmw dealerships are not much better.  If the computer can't tell them what exactly is wrong and what exactly to do to fix it -you out off luck !  They don't get paid to think !!!  i have seen in my 10 years in the US BMW's that where so screwed up by "  i can do it cheaper mechanics" that my heart started hurting. starting at relay's that wehre bridged over a/c systems charged with pure buthane to splitfire sparkplug's for " more performance".  There are things you can do to make parts a little cheaper. ....instead of spending up to $ 500 for plugwires go to autozone and by 2 set's of wires for a 735 -- same thing -- and i got them for $63 a set ! Don't spend $ 360 for a power window motor @ the dealer . there are two thing's that go wrong A- the switch B- the plastic gear ring . A= 95% take it out and clean with electronic cleaner B= take panel of, remove motor(all bolted) remove rear plastic panel on motor(hard) grind metal pin off,exchange with ring from any other bmw Power window motor (junkyardprice$15). a little creative brasing or jb weld and done!!  Have your ac compressor rebuilt and have the system flushed.  flush the system every 2 years and replace freon ( freeze 12 $6.99 a can)  DO NOT USE SPLITFIRE PLUGS !!!! or good bye valves !!  for slightly leaking power stearing or transmission-- Trans-ex by K&W Cooling - a fanclutch loses ca 200 rpm per 5000 miles -replace it - "burp" the system. flush the system once a year. replace fuelfilters every 2 years, run on 92 octane !!! Go to a library ask for Mitchell computer program(repairmanuals) Print out what ever you can (750il wieringdiagramms=37pages) learn a little and then ask your future mechanic some questions! if he starts to babble send him packing !! Never ever have an idiot play with your electronic systems !!! one wrong touch from a testlight and it's over ! more the next time !!  wy did you by a car that was 50 times in the shop with the privious owner ???
Las Vegas, Nevada USA - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 20:46

Axel's reply:  Thanks for the suggestions and I'll keep them in mind if any of the components you mentioned need work.  I thought the previous owner was just being over-cautious bringing the car in 50 times, and didn't think I would be doing the exact same thing.

I just bought a 1989 BMW 750IL.  I bought this car for $5500 because nobody wanted this car.. this car is beautiful, I've always wanted a 750IL well recently I've noticed that the parking lights on the right side work on and off and I do have a small oil leak in the engine block which I'm fixing very soon.  I'm going to fix up this car and get it working perfectly, this car handles better then my M5 with smoother acceleration. I would like any tips on what to fix early so I don't have any problems later down the road.   Thanks
Scott  (1989 750iL)  <email address on file>
USA - Saturday, June 23, 2001 at 20:15

Axel's reply:  I hope that the few repairs are all that is necessary.   I don't really know what to do for preventative maintenance, except to bring it in to a good mechanic for check-ups, however, that obviously didn't work for my car!

Scott follows up less than a month later:  The car is beautiful and rides like you wouldn't believe BUT let me give you a list of all the problems this car has.  1) The car leaks oil on the left side of the motor if oil level is full.  2) The right brake light doesn't work half the time (many police stops) - I decided to hotwire a wire over from the left brake light to the right thinking it would fix the problem, it did but all of a sudden both brakes stopped working, (I think my car is possessed).  3) The day I bought this car the EML light came on as I was leaving the car lot so I stopped at a gas station to put oil in it and after that it hasn't done it since.  4) The DAMN window washer bottle has some type of leak so the damn computer keeps telling me to fill it.   5) The drivers headrest is stuck.  6) The starter sounds like a chain saw so I don't know if it needs to be replaced. 7) The radio said CODE on the stereo so I called up bmw and asked them if they could give me the code, well it took them awhile to convince them cuz I didn't have time to drive 50 miles, so I finally got it, I entered the code and the radio looked like someone pushed really hard on the LCD screen cuz it was all garbled, I called them back and they said the radio was no good and I needed a new one.  8) Car runs rough at idle and backfires a lil inside the motor, I haven't had bmw look at it or adjust anything because I know once I do, I will be a bmw slave.  The only good thing is, I bought this car for 5500 bucks out the door, I think I can part the car out and make more money that way.  I'm looking for a 1988 to 1993 M3 with no OIL LEAKS and working brake lights.
USA - Sunday, July 22, 2001 at 5:22

Axel's reply:  I've never had any complaints about the way the 750iL looks or drives, just the maintenance- you seem to be discovering the same.

I have a 1991 Bmw 750il I bought about a year ago the only problem I have had so far is that no one even the BMW dealer has the correct replacment A/c compressor for the car.My compressor  is a Japanese model (NipponDenso) with a speed sensor on the bottom of the case and all the other models do not even the dealer models..  Did BMW fly these in directly from Japan when they built this car at the factory.
Michael G.  (1991 750iL)  <email address on file>
Richmond, Texas USA - Thursday, June 21, 2001 at 17:58

Axel's reply:  I'm trying to find out more information about compressors, because my 750 needs one too.  When I know something, I'll email you.

My 1988 750IL is great and i love it.  I have owned my 1988 750IL for two years now and have had minor problems with it that would be expected from a used car. My first repair was refilling the A/C, which i knew about before i purchased it. Also, a braket in the rear broke (i can not recall the exact name of the problem) and it would make a large 'bang' when i would put it into gear. It cost $600 to fix including new brake pads. The only other problems i have had with the car are extremely minor ones like, the dash computer will sometimes not turn on right away, or the dash computer will sometimes read in german. I have had no problems with the radio system, but it was already changed when i bought the car. I read your repair and i noticed that oyur trunk would not saty open. I also have this problem and was curious how much it was to fix and if it is worth it. The trunk will stay open when it is hot outside, but not when it is cold. Aside from these problems i have had no others. I love my 1988 750IL, i get many compliments on it, it is very quick and it looks great! I will definitly buy another BMW after my experience with this one and my previous ones. I also own a 1984 633CSI and a 1982 320.  These cars are completely reliable and fun to drive. It is hard for me to believe that the BMW's that you bought had so many problems.  Thank You,
Shaun L.  (1988 750iL)  <email address on file>
Toronto, Canada - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 13:51

Axel's reply:  I don't hesitate to say, even after my experience, that the 750iL is a great car, however, and this is a big HOWEVER- when it's working!  If your 750 is holding up, which from your description is questionable, then I'm glad for you, although it sounds like you already have the beginnings of things going really wrong.   Come back in a year and tell us how it's been going.  Your dash computer malfunction I don't think is all that minor, and will cost about $1000 to fix. My trunk not staying open was fixed by having the trunk shocks replaced, included in repair #84 on my Repairs page.  The parts are under $100 and takes less than 30 minutes.  For me, definitely worth it.

axel, I am in the UK, I have recently purchased a 1988 750iL german import, purchased it before i found your website. Little things have been going wrong with it, Petrol Leaks, drivers and passanger seats broke.  Just the little things started to go, so i put in my local BMW dealers.  After 3 days went to view the car, seats still broke, front grill smashed (not before it went in).  i took my car back out before they made a bigger mess.  then my transmission knackered up (no gears)  I was wondering as the BMW dealers wont and the car shops havent (got service manuals), do you know were i can get them from as i darent put my car in a garage, i'd rather attempt the work myself.
Stuart B.  (1988 750iL)  <email address on file>
United Kingdom - Saturday, June 9 , 2001 at 16:27

Axel's reply:  Wish you had been able to find my site sooner!  [In a private message, I told Stuart where he could buy the manual and where he could get help when doing the repairs himself].

Hi to all, My name is Mikel and I'm from Spain. I got very impresed when reading your page. I canīt belive that a car like that can give so many problems. Iīm sorry to hear about them.  I'm a truly Bmw addict. I have droven Bmws since 1978 and have owned a lot of them. My current Bmws are the new Bmw M3, a '95 535i and a '78 Bmw Alpina B7 Turbo.   I had a '89 Bmw 750i (I was the first owner)and all I can say about that car is that it was fantastic. No problems at all. I sold it with 300.000km [186,000 miles], it was very reliable. The current owner says the same!!  Perhaps the sources of your problems are; A) that you bought a car that was clocked.( it is very easy to manipulate the DME on that car) B) Your mechanics are stupid (Donīt think so). Have you think about taking the car to another mechanics?  I canīt belive that they canīt solve ALL you problems.  If you are having so many problems, you should think on selling the car. If buying a used one, never trust the dealerīs words. Good luck. With best regards, Mikel.
Mikel  (former 1989 750iL owner)
San Sebastián, Spain - Saturday, May 05, 2001 at 17:19:48

Axel's reply:  I doubt very much the mileage was manipulated, based on the detailed records of the car.

Axel, I commend your tenacity and conviction to address the repairs on your 750il. Sad but true, these early 750ils are intoxicatingly wonderful cars, expensive to own, but basically disposable unless you want to continue with the repairs. We purchased a 1988 750il back in 1998 for $12,500. The car is Delphin grey w/black interior and was very well cared for by the previous owners, they owned a german auto repair shop. We wanted a luxury cruiser and the big BMWs seemed like a bargain for the V12 and the excellent appointments. The car had less than 89K miles at the time of purchase and now has 125K. Initially, I did not do my homework and later found out that the '88 model was the first year, and had many problems. This past year I put the majority of 30K+ miles commuting to Santa Monica from San Juan Capistrano over 130 miles round trip, and the car drove beautifully for the entire year. Here is a list of my major repairs in chronological order 1) Water pump replaced 2) replaced high pressure hydraulic lines 3) A/C started acting up, vent door sticks and blows hot air, my fix has been to always leave the A/C on, therefore the vent door doesn't have to move, it has worked well ever since 4) the rear shocks are going and will have to be replaced, I'm not jumping on this repair until I decide that I want to go the distance with the car, Irvine BMW quoted me $1500 for this repair 5) The radiator has a small leak and it will have to be replaced soon, Irvine BMW quoted me $700.  I have had excellent success with Irvine BMW, they are technically a "stealer", but I have found them to be ethical and a good organization, albeit a little more expensive.   I change the oil religiously, and try to head off little repairs which could turn into big repairs.  I have been lucky with my '88 750il, the engine and transmission have been excellent, and it is true that the V12 is a marvelous and silky smooth engine with sultry smooth power. Of course, the repairs are normally twice as much due to dual everything. These cars are expensive to own and operate, I've thoroughly enjoyed the prestige, ride and performance of the 750il. I am at a crossroads now, whether to sink another $2500 for the rear shocks. The self-leveling system has always leaked a little, and I will not be surprised if they come back and say the whole self-leveling system will have to be replaced for $4200 or more. If the engine or transmission experience problems then I would probably just park it or sell it fast. It is unfortunate that you have experienced such an inordinate rash of problems with your 750il car. I would recommend selling your car if it continues to give you trouble.  I can't bash BMW too much, I have owned a '71 2800 CS Baikal blue/white leather, 3 spd auto, since '86 and it has been my little race car and I love it. Talk about expensive cars to maintain, I dropped a brand new 3.0 litre long block in and new transmission back in '90 and added dual down draft Webers, and a modiifed exhaust, it punches and handles beautifully. I also replaced the white leather in '90. The lines and design are classic and I will never sell it. The Baikal paint needs to be restored and the leather has since cracked. It is due for another restore (i.e. $15K) to bring it back to restored condition.  My wife also has a '85 318i that still drives great. We are a (3) BMW family, they are expensive cars to maintain, but they are enjoyable to drive.  I'm going to size up my future repairs, and if my '88 750il is going to cost me over $10,000 to continue driving, then I'll sell it and look for a well maintained 850i. There are plenty of nice cars out there, and you just have to decide what image, style and performance you are looking for, BMW has a certain class and face it that's why we own them.  Don't sink too much more money into your current 750il. Good luck!
Hal L.  (1988 750iL)  <email address on file>
San Juan Capistrano, California USA - Friday, May 04, 2001 at 22:54:58

Axel's reply:  I have been at those "crossroads" many times before, having to decide if I would put in another few thousand dollars into the car.   Inevitably, given the choice between having to go out and buy another car, or pay for the repair at hand, I would just pay for the repairs.  After a while, however, those really added up!

[This follow-up from Hal on July 3, 2002] I have to admit I thought you were whining and needed a piece of cheese...but I too have reached the crossroads. I Finally got my A/C working for a hefty $2300, and within two weeks I had another incident, lost a DK motor on the 7-12 bank of cylinders, a bad fuel pump and they still don't know why it has reduced power. I told myself ounce the engine started to go then it was the end. I'll spend another $1500 by the end of next week. I'll seriously think about dumping it for $6500 if I can even get that. It was great while it lasted.

Sorry to hear about your bad experience.  Judging from the pictures, your car looks stunning.  Although my dad's 1990 750iL has only required regularly scheduled maintenance since he bought it in January of '92, we are both very much aware of other 750s that have not fared as well.  I have spoken with a few former 750 owners that will never, EVER, consider another BMW again.  On the other hand, I understand that the newer 7s ('95 and up) are vastly improved.  I'd prefer to own a '97 or '98 740i (or iL) over an E32 750iL any day.
Ed M.  (1990 750iL)  <email address on file>
Boca Raton, Florida USA - Thursday, May 03, 2001 at 15:38:30

Axel's reply:  I would expect the newer versions to be improved, but I am discouraged by Oliver's story.

I love my 1997 BMW 750il. I talked to many Master BMW mechanics and they agree the older body style is a pile of crap. So if your gonna buy a 750 get a newer body style. You can check out the maintence reports on carpoint.com and it will tell you the same. Also I own an 2000 M5, a 1999 M3 also and I'll tell you owning a car without a warranty is insane. I don't really care if my 750 goes to the shop because they always give me a new 2001 model to demo and hammer on.
Big Dan  (1997 750iL)
Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 00:53:21

Axel's reply:  I too have talked with BMW Master mechanics, service advisors, and even sales people, who have all said the same thing- that the early 750iL cars are known to be extremely problematic.  Unfortunately, I had these conversations after buying my car and after I had put in quite a bit of money into it.  And we won't tell anyone that you hammer on their new demo cars.

I have a 90 750il that had been a leased car by a large LA financial co. Lease was up, they got a new one and I got the old one. It had 68K miles on it then. It hsd 118K on it now. I have driven coast to coast several times with it and to this day have had no problems with it. Normal maint. is done , oil, filter, plugs, brakes etc. Nothing major so far,and it is just as tight as the day it was new. I would not trade my 7 for anything else. I also heed your warning and will take it to heart when the time comes to replace it with another 7 series. After living in Europe for nine years, I have never found another better Marque. Do what I do, talk to it in german, learn a few cuss words.
Paule  (1990 750iL)  <email address on file>
San Diego, Calilfornia USA - Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 12:32:54

Axel's reply:  That's what I have been doing wrong- I don't speak German.   Schaise!

Are you entirely sure,you expect a car manufacturer to pay for repairs to a car that is 5 years old when you bought it .What did the previous owners treat it like? They could have thrashed the life out of it which would lead to these sort of problems,you should really think about getting a life,oh and I do drive a 1990 BMW 750 and it is perfect in every way but then I bought it brand new.........cheapskate
Lostpaul  (1990 750iL)  <email address on file>
Brighton, United Kingdom - Friday, March 16, 2001 at 20:21:47

Axel's reply:  I am not looking for BMW to merely "pay for repairs," but to step up to their responsibility as a member of the car manufacturing community and acknowledge that this 750iL has problems, which they so far have denied.  The excessive repair needs have been consistent both during and prior to my ownership.  The previous owner is the CEO and founder of an architectural firm, who cared for the car meticulously, and he brought the car in for service about 50 times too!  Some problems I'm experiencing clearly have nothing to do with prior ownership, particularly the repetitive repairs I have had to do.   For example, the car has had three radiators while I've owned it, costing about $1000 each.  What kind of car needs three radiators, after being driven 20,000 miles?  My having a life is precisely the point- I need a car I can rely on, so that I don't have to devote an inordinate amount of time to repairing my car.  My having to bring it in and pick it up about 80 times has been rather inconvenient.  I'm sure there are many 750iL cars that are relatively problem-free, but mine is not one of them and I personally am aware of others, and that's what interests me, not all the ones that are working just fine.  The 750iL, BMW's "flagship" as they call it, is supposed to be the pinnacle of engineering excellence.  The "Ultimate Driving Machine."  Not this one.  On top of all the trouble, spending $50,000 on a car and having it worth absolutely nothing four years later does not make me happy.  And, by the way, paying $23,000 in repairs would hardly qualify me as being a "cheapskate."

man you have the best ultimate car that money can buy ..i have also 750il 2 of them one to my father and one to me . it is really the best car i hve ever drove and i only go to the bmw dealer just to change the oil nothing else..and yoy know once you drive a bmw you cant drive anything else for sure . you said yourself you drive bmw for the past 20 years i am glade to tell its an excellent choice .dont yopu man hate bmw for one experince you had 20 years of happence with bmw dont you judge from that experince good luck .
kdajani  (Two 750iL cars)  <email address on file>
amman, jordan - Thursday, March 15, 2001 at 00:10:42

Axel's reply:  Yes, the 750iL is indeed an excellent car, when it's working.  Only trouble is, this one cannot stay working, no matter how much money has been put into it.  And I wouldn't call my owning this car "one experience."  I've had to deal with it since 1996, and have had to repair it, on the average, once a month.  And I don't "hate BMW," but am asking them to adequately acknowledge my difficulties with this car.  So far, their response has been my vehicle "has no known problems."  What do they call the car going in the shop about 100 times?

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