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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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  #1  
Old 08-12-2012, 01:31 PM
dogleggeddog dogleggeddog is offline
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Are there any notable draw backs to a 7 series ownership?

Hi All,
I currently own a 95' 318ti, which has been a great little car, but I would like something a little more highway friendly. My commute is about 120 miles per day (all interstate), so a little more comfort would be nice. Other than fuel economy (curious what these cars get by the way), are there any significant draw backs to owning a 7 series? Thanks for any thoughts.
Regards,
Lee
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2012, 03:08 PM
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SARAFIL SARAFIL is offline
I know a thing or two...
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Mein Auto: '11 BMW 335xi
Allocate lots of $$ for maintenance if you are going to put that many miles on it.
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  #3  
Old 08-13-2012, 02:55 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
 
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
My E38 is only driven maybe 4000miles/year. Usually long runs - holidays etc. Returns 12-14 ltrs/100 urban and 9-10 ltrs/100 highway. I love every moment driving it. It gets double the standard oil changes but only recomended full services. No problems with it so far..
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  #4  
Old 08-13-2012, 08:50 AM
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joyism5 joyism5 is offline
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Mein Auto: '99 740IL, K75RT
My friend's E38 was used for commuting around 100 miles daily, interstate mostly plus long trips on weekends. I serviced that car, and in 2 years, he put on it around 55K miles. Only things he serviced were brake pads, filters & spark plugs. After this period the car was due for front shocks & control arms. That's it. If you commute on interstate, you should not need a lots of money for maintenance. But this depends on your buy...
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  #5  
Old 08-14-2012, 10:23 AM
ou18 ou18 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 740 IL
I would agree with Joy...
I bought a 97 740 IL about 2 years ago and absolutely love it. My driving is mostly highway miles. And I have had some repairs to do. But this car has been the easiest car to work on that I have ever owned. It is a pure joy and I will continue to repair the problems as they arise. And contrary to some peoples posts (not so much here) the parts for these cars are not terribly expensive if you spend the time to search them out. Do your research, and read up on common problems with these cars. By doing some research before your purchase you will know what to look for when you go test drive one..

Good luck, these cars are amazing and still stylish to look at, even 15 years later in my case...
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  #6  
Old 08-14-2012, 05:26 PM
dogleggeddog dogleggeddog is offline
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Thanks to everyone. My 318 has been a joy to own as well, but at 80 mph it seems to be working a little too hard to for its own good. The idea of having a little more power and comfort seems like a worthy trade off for less fuel efficiency. I am able to work on my own car, so general maintenance should not be a problem.
Thanks again,
Lee
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  #7  
Old 09-07-2012, 10:12 PM
JasonSC540ia JasonSC540ia is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 740i
Iv put over 10K miles on my new to me 99 740i, and yes...there are some drawbacks. 27MPG at 85mph hwy, and a big smile on my face....thats all I can think of.
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  #8  
Old 09-07-2012, 10:18 PM
dogleggeddog dogleggeddog is offline
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Thanks for the reply Jason. The fuel economy is really not that bad. It will cost me about $30 more per week to drive a 7 series as compared to my 318. I don't smoke or drink, so I think lets just right off the difference as a healthy vice.
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  #9  
Old 09-07-2012, 10:33 PM
JasonSC540ia JasonSC540ia is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 740i
Tank size on 7's are about 21 gals. I get 400+ miles on a tank city and almost 600 hwy. I only fill up every 2 weeks. It cost me about $70-$80 to fill up with super here in NM. If you get a 740 sport the final drive ratio is different (3.15:1 opposed to 2.93:1). You will trade off mpg for better acceleration.


*edit: PS...chicks dig smokers

Last edited by JasonSC540ia; 09-07-2012 at 10:40 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-07-2012, 10:55 PM
dogleggeddog dogleggeddog is offline
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Quickness is really not what I am after. I want something that is going to be comfortable at 90 mph on the open road. My 318 is sporty around town, but at 85 mph it is turning around 4,200 rpm and feeling light. It would be great if these cars were available with standard transmission, but given that most of my driving will be highway, I guess it does not matter.
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  #11  
Old 09-07-2012, 11:26 PM
JasonSC540ia JasonSC540ia is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 740i
Revs in my 740i at 85mph are 2500.
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  #12  
Old 09-08-2012, 07:39 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
 
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
You will love cruising your 7. It's like being home as soon as you leave the office..
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  #13  
Old 09-17-2012, 11:39 AM
GVC GVC is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 740iL
I'm on board

Hi all, been reading the forum and can't get over the wealth of information here. Just purchased my first BMW over the weekend, a 740iL. Great condition for being 15 years old. 135k on the odometer. Few things I knew about going into the purchase - missing pixels on MID, center bumper trim rear (slightly scuffed), passenger door trim molding-bottom (which I might say is priced extremely high) and a sagging headliner over rear seat. My wife's only complaint is the cup holders aren't big enough for her Route 44 drink from Sonic! Looking forward to interacting with everyone.
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  #14  
Old 10-04-2012, 09:30 PM
BimmerBro BimmerBro is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 Bmw 740i
Congrats on the new purchase! I bought mine E38 a year ago with 89k miles. Mine too has the missing pixels and I wish the cupholders were a little bigger. Love the smooth ride these big luxury cars have. Regular maintenance is definitely the key to keeping the overall costs to own low.
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  #15  
Old 09-22-2012, 09:08 AM
noodlesandsam noodlesandsam is offline
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Location: Irvington NY
 
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Mein Auto: 00 750iL, 99 540iT, 05 MC
Great car. It is more complex, and expensive than a 3 series. If you are a good DIY guy, you should be ok.
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  #16  
Old 09-23-2012, 11:24 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
 
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
Run it on the highest octane fuel you can get. My E38 (and all my other BM's) get 98oct and they love it. Economy drops with regular fuels (about 20%).
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E21 318i; E30 318i; E32 735iL; E34 535i; E38 730iL; E53 4.4i
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  #17  
Old 09-23-2012, 03:47 PM
Strahan Strahan is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 740i Sport
I hope you have better results than I, lol. Bought my E38 two years ago and since then I've spent $11,719.13 in maintenance and fuel is running me ~$500ish per month.

I've no idea why my fuel economy has tanked.. I'm getting average 17 mpg. All tires properly aired, air filter clean. *shrug* I drive 100 miles/weekday to work and about 100 on the weekend total. I'd say I do 80% highway driving. I do tend to be a bit skinny-pedal happy though, lol.
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  #18  
Old 10-02-2012, 10:12 PM
JasonSC540ia JasonSC540ia is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 740i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strahan View Post
I hope you have better results than I, lol. Bought my E38 two years ago and since then I've spent $11,719.13 in maintenance and fuel is running me ~$500ish per month.

I've no idea why my fuel economy has tanked.. I'm getting average 17 mpg. All tires properly aired, air filter clean. *shrug* I drive 100 miles/weekday to work and about 100 on the weekend total. I'd say I do 80% highway driving. I do tend to be a bit skinny-pedal happy though, lol.
Sounds like your having some issue. I just changed my upper and lower arms with new bushings and balljoints, and added a performance dry air filter. I now get 21.7 city. Last night driving home from work (8 miles), once I got on the hwy I reset MPG, cruse control set to 65mph, I was getting 28.3MPG! No...its not down hill all the way home. Iv seen as high as 33MPG going to work at same speed.
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  #19  
Old 09-23-2012, 04:03 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
 
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
Acording to an on-line calculator I found I get about 20miles/US gallon (mixed use). I am pretty light on the skinny pedal though. I keep an eye on the 'econ' needle - but that's just me. I still love the car, even if they do cost a king's ransom out here.
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Good - Fast - Cheap: Pick any two.
Current:
E23 735i; E32 735iL (X 2 - 1 Alpine White and 1 Glacier Blue); E34 535i; E38 735iL; R50 Cooper; R55 Cooper Clubman.
Previous:
E21 318i; E30 318i; E32 735iL; E34 535i; E38 730iL; E53 4.4i
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  #20  
Old 09-28-2012, 08:38 AM
Cangelo629 Cangelo629 is offline
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Location: Columbia Station, OH
 
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Mein Auto: E38 2001 740iL
Can get costly on the maintience but for Highway driving cannot beat the car. If you get in the groove your milage will be much better then you thought....Just bought a new set if tires MX4 newer version wil have to find a excues to get up on the speedway and see how she does with the new rubber. Carmen 01 740iL newly installed lighte head rest.
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  #21  
Old 09-30-2012, 10:02 AM
DaVinciAutoSpa DaVinciAutoSpa is offline
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Location: Folsom
 
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Mein Auto: Escalade
Where do I start.....yes, you'll most definetly need maintenance dollars set aside. Then there's the joy of your radio making the loudest most irritating crackles/pops ever heard by man. Unbelievable. I still can't believe that a car that was around $80k new would have the issues it does. I realize it's not made to last forever, but come on. I expected more. My 3 series was more reliable.
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  #22  
Old 09-30-2012, 08:12 PM
setconstr setconstr is online now
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  #23  
Old 10-03-2012, 03:26 PM
mayhem mayhem is offline
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Jason, just a bit o curiosity on my part...do you know if that MPG readout is actually accurate? Have you verified it by doing the math? Thats great economy...my wife's 2008 Nissan Rogue barely gets that kind of economy and thats with a 2.5l 4 cylinder and a CVT.

I've had several cars with trip computers and real time MPG readouts...they all varied wildly...my 2002 Nissan Altima was the worst...it usually ready about 4mpg too high. 2002 Audi A4 was the most accurate, never o by more than a tenth.
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  #24  
Old 10-03-2012, 06:34 PM
JasonSC540ia JasonSC540ia is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 740i
Mayham

No I have not. I dont actully believe im getting 28+mpg. I believe it is close. I do know I can go 400-425 miles city driving before my light comes on. Also, when I drive out to Cali to visit the folks, I can leave my house at Alamogordo NM (middle of NM), set cruse at 80-85mph, and go all the way to the west side of Phoenix and the light is still not on (about 600miles). I fill up anyway at that point because of that big strach between there and Blythe CA. Doing some quick math 600miles devided by 21gals is 28.5mpg. My 740i runs great. No problems at all (94K+ miles). Its been very well taken care of by PO and myself. I do all my own maintence and fix things right away. My static compression is strong, like a brandnew motor. Iv been focusing a lot latly on ride quality and improving mpg. When this set of tires are done, Ill be looking at a set of low rolling resistant tires. Believe it or not, my 99 740 is faster 0-80mph then my 99 supercharged 540.

Last edited by JasonSC540ia; 10-08-2012 at 01:12 AM.
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  #25  
Old 10-07-2012, 04:19 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
 
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
+1 on regular servicing. I'm in trouble on the E34 forum for suggesting double oil changes but don't reset the SI. Like I told them your car; your engine. I know how I treat mine and can only pass that info to you. Service your 7 and it will love you back and not let you down.
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Good - Fast - Cheap: Pick any two.
Current:
E23 735i; E32 735iL (X 2 - 1 Alpine White and 1 Glacier Blue); E34 535i; E38 735iL; R50 Cooper; R55 Cooper Clubman.
Previous:
E21 318i; E30 318i; E32 735iL; E34 535i; E38 730iL; E53 4.4i
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