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7 Series - E65 / E66 (2002 - 2008)
Discussion of BMW's 4th generation E65/E66 7 Series flagship. The E65 generated much controversy, due to its radical styling and iDrive user difficulties. Nonetheless, the E65 broke records to become the best-selling 7-series iteration ever, especially after its 2005 facelift.

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Old 01-18-2006, 07:13 AM
klm187 klm187 is offline
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Question Would you keep your E65/E66 once the maint/warranty expires (really long)

Please pardon this query if you have read it on on other E65/E66 forums. It's an earnest attempt to get true cost of ownership estimates from owners such as yourselves.

I have been considering the purchase of a 2003 760Li that is on a Lexus dealer’s lot. I have read many of the posts on this and other forums regarding issues of reliability and have chosen to overlook some of them. I have the vehicle service history.
I have to say that it is worse than my Audi A8’s when I bought it. I am still undaunted by this information and am in pursuit of this vehicle. Call me crazy or foolhardy, I feel that this vehicle represents something special. I envy you folks that have 745, 750, and 760’s.

I have been a BMW M Coupe owner since 2000 and I love still love it. It is a different animal though. This all started over my Christmas vacation. My closest friend that I have known from childhood bought a 2006 750Li. Once the planets aligned and our schedules were coincident, he invited me over to his house for Christmas. In addition to the family get together, he wanted to show me the 750Li. He asked me to drive it. I was so pleased with its’ performance and useful features.

Granted, iDrive in his 2006 seems to be easier to use tan iDrive in the 2003 that I am considering. First of all, you current owners of E65 and E66 have a very well kept secret! The car is absolutely wonderful to drive. It’s so nimble for such a large vehicle. The technology blows me away. Prior to this “test drive”, I was “hung-up” by the Bangle styling. Over the last few years I have to say the design has grown on me, just as BMW is about to go in a different direction for the 7-series. OK, I guess I’m slow to warm up to new ideas. My fiancé told me to test drive the new 7-series years ago.

Anyway, now I have been bitten by the bug but I think I am in store for a big case of heartache. The car is just outside of eligibility for the full maintenance extension with approximately 50408 miles on the odometer. The car is fairly quiet and seems in good order. It’s not perfect mind you, and that is reflected in its’ retail price. There are quite a few dings on the passenger side and some on the driver’s side. Additionally, the lower portion of the rear bumper cover has some blemishes that will require resurfacing. I have spoken with the dealer about these and they will be removed. The brakes felt as though they needed replacement, but I am not sure, as the car may have been sitting on the dealer’s lot for some time. The service engine soon message came up when I started the car a couple of days ago when it was approximately 7 degrees Fahrenheit. The car stumbled and I could feel that at least one cylinder was not firing. This situation resolved itself with 20 seconds and the idle smoothed out. I had driven the car two days prior, and it did not exhibit this behavior, although the check engine light was on then. I have seen that as a result of as little things as having the gas cap off while the engine is running, so this indicator did not influence me too negatively. Additionally, I have seen this type of behavior when a car is moved from spot to spot without thoroughly warming up.

As a side note, but related to this issue in a very funny way was when my friend, his children, and I left the movie theater in his 750Li. His wife exchanged vehicles with him. She gave him the 750Li to show to me and she took the X5 that he was driving during the day. The 750Li started sputtering as we left a stop light. The car did this at successive stoplights. He asked me “If I thought the car was doing this because it was very cold out?” I said no “BMW’s generally don’t do that at 1K miles on the odometer, maybe some domestic vehicles exhibit that behavior though.” I realize I should not have had such a condescending view regarding domestic vehicles, but that’s another subject all together. He then asked, “ What do you think the problem could be with the car?” I said to him “The car is out of gas!” It took me 5 minutes to figure this out and I had never been in an E66 before. I thought that was hilarious since the car’s warning systems did everything they could to let him know he was out of fuel. We laughed about it as we went to the filling station. I don’t know what other kind of warning system they need to install. Perhaps some sort mechanical stick to provide an occasional “dope slap” for those that choose to not heed the warnings presented. ;-)

Alright, so I figured it was best that I speak with the BMW dealer that I have a rapport. A couple of weeks ago I was there looking at an E39 M5 and an E60 545i. Those are both superb vehicles, but I my fiancé hates the E39 for some unknown reason. I felt the 545i was lacking some of the features I wanted from my next vehicle.

The 760Li that I am considering has all the bells and whistles with the exception of the rear LCD entertainment system. One fundamental seemingly mandatory item is the inclusion of the maintenance extension. I have been told by the presenting dealer that the former owner traded this vehicle and a X5 4.6is in on two new Lexus vehicles. I don’t know if this is true, but the CARFAX seems to bear credence to this explanation, as the vehicle did not come from auction or another dealer. I don’t know why the dealer did not send the car to their BMW dealership. I guess there seems to be little point to present the car as a CPO car if the warranty still has approximately 50K miles to go prior to expiration.

I have spoken with the service manager at the BMW service center that takes care of my M Coupe. The manager says I may wish to pass on this unit since it appears to have been a “daily driver” and had a harder life than the other unit he’s seem for service. He says maintenance costs are a key issue with this vehicle. He says without the maintenance plan a brake service could cost up to 2,000 dollars. I generally do brakes myself, even on the A8 and my 928S4. I find working on cars to be somewhat therapeutic and a hobby for me. Although the level of complexity in the new 7 may just drive me to my wits end.

It concerns me how much the materials to effect repairs will cost. I also called the body shop which I routinely do business. I have known the owner for the last 15 years and greatly value his opinion, especially since he does the bodywork for the very same BMW dealer I deal with. He said to stay away from the vehicle since parts for the 760Li are so different from the 750Li. The conversation started off by me asking him about reliability of the new 7 series. He started off saying they were very reliable especially when looking at the prior iteration, the E38. I stated “Good, this will be the first 12 cylinder I have ever owned.” He went nuts. He said to stay away from it since it is very costly to maintain. He said I could wind up paying $4500 for tune up! Does this car have a timing belt or timing chain. I suppose I should fire up my BMW ETK disk to find out the particulars. He also said to stay away from the Audi A8 too, then he remembered I had one. Yeah, maintenance costs on that one have been high too.

My intent is to keep the Audi and give it to my fiancé for her use. In turn I will use the 760Li as a daily driver. My questions for the E65/E66 forum are: Would you keep you car when the scheduled maintenance runs out? Would you keep your car once the warranty runs out? I only intend to keep the 760Li until the warranty is up. The 760 Li will be replacing my 1995 Infiniti Q45t that I’ve owned for the last 10 years. I’ve put 182,000 miles on it with no major maladies. Just annoying things like control arm replacements, a power steering computer, a mass airflow sensor, and “turbine sensors” in the transmission that were leaking but still functional. I have a lower expectation of reliability on the 760Li since it is infinitely more complex than the Q45t. The Audi approaches that level of complexity too, and it has spent its’ share of time and my money at the dealer, the latest repair being last week for the replacement of an seat occupancy sensor for the airbags on the front passenger side to the tune of $1,000. I picked up an extended warranty which covered that cost, but not the $600 in maintenance done at the same time. The extended warranty just ended when the car turned 100K miles coincidentally this week.

Does anyone in this forum love their car so much they would endure these costs out of pocket? Does anyone here do his or her own maintenance since you are outside the 50K miles maintenance window? What was the suggested retail for extending the maintenance plan the on the car? I am afraid my slowness to react to the Internet advertisement for this car may have caused it to incur the additional miles as, it was originally listed as having 49,200 miles. At this point, I would have been able to extend the maintenance plan. I was under the impression the warranty on these cars was up at 50K miles like other BMW’s therefore I dismissed the car as a candidate.***61516; How much would you expect a car without this plan or the miles left so you could extend the plan yourself to be discounted? The dealer told me since I have shown so much interest in the car, they have decided to replace the brakes and tires. I doubt if these repairs consist of replacing rotors. It’s probably just pads, but I’ll verify before passing on the car.

I called BMW customer service to verify that the 100K mile warranty was truly there. They confirmed it was in force. I called again tonight to see if there was anything I could do to get the car sunder the maintenance plan since the car is only out by approximately 409 miles. They said this is one area they steadfastly do not waiver. It looks as though I need to defer chasing my dream. I was blown away by the interior and amenities of the 760Li. This is not to say the 745 and 750 are chopped liver, but the inlayed wood and alcantara headliner take the car to a whole different level in my opinion. I really didn’t notice that much of a difference between the 750Li and the 760Li since I did not drive them back to back.

Prior to purchasing the car, I will have the vehicle inspected by the local BMW dealership for pre-purchase conditions and render an assessment of the vehicle’s state. Any assistance regarding this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. I apologize for the very long post.
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Old 01-18-2006, 07:26 AM
NTB NTB is offline
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Nope, will be traded in or sold outright before the warranty expires.

Love the car, just would not paid to have it serviced once a month.
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Old 01-18-2006, 07:18 PM
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Boxboss Boxboss is offline
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No doubt, will sell before warranty expires.
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Old 01-30-2006, 07:38 AM
Eder Eder is offline
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Thumbs up To buy or not to buy

I honestly have to say that I'm a proud owner of a 2003 760 Li and I find it very hard to get rid of it even with all the gliches it always have. See pictures!!!!
You should look into the memo that was sent to all '03 760 Li owner that Bmw extended the full warranty to 7 years 100,000. miles. I don't know it it became transferable but I know I'm covered for almost 5 more years and 75k more miles. Where are you buying it from? If you have any more questions, you can e-mail me at eder@bellsouth.net.
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Old 01-30-2006, 01:10 PM
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I plan on selling it a year before the warranty runs out, after that it will become a maintanenece nightmare, I hope not though.

P.S. Nice car Eder
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Old 02-02-2006, 04:23 PM
BayAreaBMWFan BayAreaBMWFan is offline
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There is some leeway when it comes to the maintenance plan extension. The local area representative can over ride the 50K mile rule. They are very particular about the extended warranty (owner's choice) when it comes to the 50K rule. For Extended Maintenance, they really have nothing to lose here.

On a different note, you need to figure out what exactly the maintenance includes for it to cost $3-4K! If it just regular brakes and inspection services then you it should not cost you that much. BMW sells the extended maintenance for $1200 so doing it yourself/independent dealer should not cost much more than that.
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Old 02-03-2006, 09:37 PM
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bimmer7 bimmer7 is offline
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Originally Posted by BmW745On19's
I plan on selling it a year before the warranty runs out, after that it will become a maintanenece nightmare, I hope not though.

P.S. Nice car Eder
ditto. . .or perhaps get another '03 E66 with decent mileage since.. here in canada all '02-03' E65/66's have factory warranty and full maintenace covered for 6 years / 100K miles ( or 160K KM's) I currently have a long way to go with almost more then half of my balance of warranty left, which will expire in May 2008... so no worries yet....

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Old 02-04-2006, 05:38 PM
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2006_750Li_ED 2006_750Li_ED is offline
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The 760Li is a beautiful car and there is no way not to like it, however it does require a lot of maintnance and I would not even dream of owning one without a warranty. you can always buy and extended warranty from a comapny like Warrentech, however it is worth checking into the factory warranty extension that goes with all the 2003 cars as a result of too many law suits and lemons. so if I were you : no warranty - no car!
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Old 02-04-2006, 09:07 PM
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Sure. I think I will. I will drive my car until it totally dies. Hopefully it will take quite sometime before this happens . A guy I used to work with drove his 7-series for 12 years (had over 200k miles on it) with no problems.

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Old 10-26-2013, 01:53 PM
glesther10 glesther10 is offline
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Re: Would you keep your E65/E66 once the maint/warranty expires (really long)

Buying this car or keeping this car without warranty protection is like using your home computer without a firewall or virus protection.....because THIS car is certain to become infected....with SOMETHING!

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Old 10-26-2013, 11:28 PM
hugo_za hugo_za is offline
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Would you keep your E65/E66 once the maint/warranty expires (really long)

For what it's worth, I bought an E64 (shares some hardware with the E65, notably the dynamic drive) just as it went out of maintenance plan. I have an extended warranty and service plan both of which are aftermarket.

Yes, they have a bad rep with software and so forth, but they also translate into incredible value for money.

If you are even just the slightest bit handy with a wrench there is a world of DIY which you could do. Buy a diagnostic cable and you will save yourself costly diagnostic trips to the dealers/indies. In the States you guys have a wealth of options when it comes to oem and aftermarket parts.

The E65 7-er is not a classic, nor will it ever be considered one, but it is a luxo-barge of note with solid performance and "out there" styling...even 10 years after its debut.

Maintenance wise you are still looking at less $$$ than a Merc S-Class or A8.

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