Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 7 Series / 8 Series > 7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-03-2012, 09:23 PM
s7000 s7000 is offline
Registered User
Location: Nashville, TN
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 39
Mein Auto: 200 528i
E38 common issues/maintenance

I purchased a 1998 E38 740i 140,000 miles 6 weeks ago w/ a clean vehicle history and in very nice shape. Nice paint, nice tires, nice interior, motor and transmission purr like a kitten...HOWEVER...

Some issues have appeared.

MAF air sensor, ignition, entire front end (centerlink, thrust arms, control arms, tie rods, etc... etc...), New battery and it needs new struts all the way around.

Those may be considered common items but here is the problem.

Currently, ABS light and DSC lights are on.
Speedometer and odometer quit working.
Brake light warning (brake light works then doesn't. Yes I've tightened the bulbs)
Fog light warning appears (fog light works then doesn't then works again)
OBDII port doesn't work.
Transmission went to fail safe mode yesterday.
Hood release cable quit working.
Power mirrors run continuously when you turn the car on.
Brake pedal whines when pressing the brakes.
Steering wheel started to whine when steering.
Hood and trunk shocks do not work (need replacement)
Kidney grill fell out.
BMW emblems are faded and horrible looking
Rear end still needs replacement.

Last edited by s7000; 03-19-2012 at 02:06 PM.
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 03-04-2012, 03:14 AM
PETER NEWMAN's Avatar
PETER NEWMAN PETER NEWMAN is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: RAINHAM KENT UK
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 271
Mein Auto: BMW 635 CSi BMW 730i E38
140'000 miles on any car will need suspension and steering parts will need replacing, Don't forget that these are very heavy cars, Peter
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-04-2012, 09:17 AM
exred92 exred92 is offline
Registered User
Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 98
Mein Auto: 2001 740i sport
Sorry to hear that you got all this problems, but it's old car that has a lot of miles on it. May be the seller , clean the car,put decent tires and hope that you'd miss rest of the sh... that needs attention.Here is what I think about your problems:
1.ABS, DSC speedometer,odometer and brake lights could be one problem either wheel speed sensor or DSC control unit which is very pricy,but you can send out to be rebuild.
2.Fog lights and would check wiring for resistance you may have a short somewhere.
3. OBD port again need to check wiring,fuses.
4. Transmission... well I would try to change fluid and trans filter and hope for the best.
5. Hood release cables, well they need to be replaced due to age and they could be rusted I would lubricate hood latches after cable replacement.
6. Power mirrors you need to check your GM she runs them, so she could have an internal fault.
7.Brake pedal whines not sure what is going on here could be brake booster could be something else.
8.Steering wheel noise could be low fluid you may have a leak, or could be power steering pump.
9.Well you know the solution there
From all of this it looks like Trans,DSC control unit and GM are the biggest $$$$, but may be you'll get lucky and all would work out.
All cars brake and may be last owner did not care for then car or did not have $$$ to fix the problems, in any rate E38 is one the BEST cars in my opinion.
Good luck with all your findings.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-04-2012, 11:11 AM
KGB7 KGB7 is offline
Crazy Russian
Location: Rockville, MD
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 49
Mein Auto: 01 740i Sport
Thats normal for your cars age and mileage.

In 2 months I spent $1.8k and im not done yet. I had the car since 2004. It only has 82K miles now.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-04-2012, 11:45 AM
s7000 s7000 is offline
Registered User
Location: Nashville, TN
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 39
Mein Auto: 200 528i
Routine maintenance like struts and brakes, etc... is normal.
I don't consider ABS, DSC, and tranny fail safe mode to be "normal" issues.
Perhaps you do as you have become accustomed to the concept that you have to spend several thousand dollars all the time to keep the car running.
140K miles is nothing these days. I've had other cars that have lasted 200K + miles with not issues other than tires, brakes and suspension or a blown light bulb.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-04-2012, 11:56 AM
wilk187's Avatar
wilk187 wilk187 is offline
2001 740il Sport, RIP
Location: Nashville
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 679
Mein Auto: 2006 750i Sport, '14 GTR
have to agree with the others a bit..140k isn't much for miles, but it is on the e38, especially one that's 15 years old...on the other hand, my 2001 had 175k miles on it and never broke down once (except for an alternator replacement). I'll be moving to nashville in the next couple of weeks if you need some help with the repairs, PM me.
__________________
Cold weather, PDC, BMW Ipod interface, Valentine1, MTecV2 Angel Eyes,
LED Lic. Plate Lamp, JL/Kicker sound, Bassknob, 21" Style 128's, 5mph autolock
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-04-2012, 11:56 AM
KGB7 KGB7 is offline
Crazy Russian
Location: Rockville, MD
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 49
Mein Auto: 01 740i Sport
For a 740 these issues are normal.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-04-2012, 09:32 PM
s7000 s7000 is offline
Registered User
Location: Nashville, TN
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 39
Mein Auto: 200 528i
KGB7, you just proved my point. "For a 740 these issues are normal. "
$1,000 + electrical issues failing shouldn't be considered "normal"
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-04-2012, 09:33 PM
s7000 s7000 is offline
Registered User
Location: Nashville, TN
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 39
Mein Auto: 200 528i
wilk187
That is a mighty fine offer you just made.
That is pretty cool of you.
I actually feel a little better about the situation.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-04-2012, 09:49 PM
KGB7 KGB7 is offline
Crazy Russian
Location: Rockville, MD
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 49
Mein Auto: 01 740i Sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by s7000 View Post
KGB7, you just proved my point. "For a 740 these issues are normal. "
$1,000 + electrical issues failing shouldn't be considered "normal"
In the last 3 month i spent close to $3k on my car and im not done yet fixing other issues. I only have 82k miles on the car.
At some point 740 becomes money pit but once you fix all the usual normal wear and tear issues the car will be good for another 5 years.

Ive had the car since 2004 and this is the first time i had to dump money in to it all at once. I do most of my own work. If i paid some one else to do the work i would have spent far more.

Check e38.org. There is a wright up about common issues with these cars.

Last edited by KGB7; 03-04-2012 at 09:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-05-2012, 04:02 AM
wattbmw wattbmw is offline
Watt
Location: Tampa, FL
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 73
Mein Auto: Black, 2000, 740i
I have had my 740i since 2006 and in the beginning had some expensive maintenance done, but since then have had no problems and I now have over 170k on it.
I love my e38.
Good luck
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-05-2012, 04:49 AM
chrisn7 chrisn7 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorks
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 520
Mein Auto: 750iL
These cars do need a lot of TLC-you need to keep on top of issues as they arise, otherwise you finish up with a vehicle like S7000. Much as I love the 7's, they really do have too many issues too often, but like others I tolerate it because when the car is on song its just the best..
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-05-2012, 09:57 AM
Turbo_525 Turbo_525 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Illinois
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 659
Mein Auto: 2002 525i 5-spd
Even if you have owned BMW's in the past, I reccommend always doing a Pre-Purchase inspection first, before you write a check out.

I hope you can clear all this up, I agree it's "normal" but unfortunetly as these cars get more and more complex, so do the issues after 8-10 years and a few miles.

They live up to the billing as "maintence intensive."
__________________
  • N/A 525i, 5-speed, 138+K
  • BMW's are not like other cars, they have issues and cost you real $$$ to sort.
  • Affording to Buy a BMW is not the same thing as affording to OWN a BMW.
  • Pre-Purchase Inspections by a qualifed BMW tech should be considered required PRIOR to purchase.
  • Service Records matter - a whole lot!
  • Plan to spend $2-3000+ in maintance & repairs the first year of ownership.
  • Plan on something unexpected to happen, more often than you are used to.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-06-2012, 05:29 AM
ou18 ou18 is offline
Playing Mechanic At Home
Location: Boca Raton FL
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 804
Send a message via AIM to ou18 Send a message via Yahoo to ou18
Mein Auto: 1997 740 IL
I have a 97 740 IL. Love this car. Even with the repairs that Ive done.. Even for a 15 year old car it still rides nice, looks nice and is stylish. Not to mention big and roomy. I bought it knowing and expecting that a car this age would have some issues. But i also did my homework before buying and read alot of posts on common issues with the cars, and then researched what the cost to do the repairs was. Found that most of the repairs even if your slightly mechanical and know how to read can be done in your own driveway or garage. Hardest part is the diagnosing. The repairs themselves although time consuming, are all relatively easy. And there is plenty of people on this site and others that have made many of the repairs idiot proof. Dont fret about the car and the issues. Its old, You dont know what the previous owner did or didnt do or what they tried to hide. Be patient with her and she will be good to you..

Ive spent over 2K in the last year fixing my dark horse, but saved probably well over that in labor, by tapping the knowledgeable people on this site for info and direction, of which ill never be able to repay them..If you cant find it on here, than it must not need fixed...Good luck with her, give her some love and she will love you right back. These cars arent crap, just need some attention...
__________________

1997 Black 740IL (w\ badass Phone in console)
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-07-2012, 08:51 AM
rdorman rdorman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Columbus Ohio
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 597
Mein Auto: 2000 imola red 740i Sport
Clearly you have never owned a Range Rover. It is 14 years old. Many of those items are wear items and needed replaced when you bought.... Clearly without having a PPI done. Most of the symptoms you are describing will probably be fixed with a $300 abs control module rebuild. Then, you can sell it!
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-07-2012, 09:44 AM
clifford850r clifford850r is offline
Registered User
Location: Meridian, MS
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 43
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 740iL
HOOD LATCH. You'll notice two rubber stoppers under the hood. If you turn them counter clockwise to put more pressure on the latch, it'll work again. That was the fix when my latch quit working. Keep in mind that you're driving a very high mileage german tank, and you should expect some issues. And preventative maintenance is simply too expensive. It breaks, and you fix it. I bought mine with 190K miles on it, but I knew I'd have to get dirty to keep it running. Of course, after tearing down and building two VW Jetta 1.8Ts, this car is simple. Just different. Everytime I find a problem, I also find a very informative DIY writeup, and finding refurbished parts has not been a problem so far.


It sounds to me like you got a bum deal on that one. I recently bout my 99 iL and have experienced very few problems.
1.My MAS did go out the day after I bought it, which basically cost the total I saved on talking down the price.
2.The mirrors sort of do whatever they want sometimes. They should turn down in reverse and back up when out of reverse, but they just sort of go cockeyed sometimes.
2.The A/C ruptured somewhere last summer (too much pressure, I imagine), but I can fix that fairly easily myself.
3.The water pump developed a leak at one of the many rubber seals.
4. A body shop (from hitting a dog) didn't heed the warning and left the engine on too long which burnt out the alternator (which is water cooled on mine) causing an overcharge that burnt out several fuses and the amplifier for the stereo.

.but, all of these things are totally fixable if you're even a little tool savvy, and quite cheaply if you search for parts online. STAY OUT OF THE DEALERSHIP!!! that's the only advice i can give.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-07-2012, 09:51 AM
clifford850r clifford850r is offline
Registered User
Location: Meridian, MS
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 43
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 740iL
If I may, I would like to add on that a lot of the problems you are mentioning where a problem when my alternator gave out. It would fry new batteries in a day, and my tranny would kick into safe mode immediately, and tons of tons of lights came on. Have you had a look at your alternator? It WILL cause multiple failures and give no indication of being bad other than the aforementioned issues.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-07-2012, 09:57 AM
rdorman rdorman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Columbus Ohio
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 597
Mein Auto: 2000 imola red 740i Sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by clifford850r View Post
If I may, I would like to add on that a lot of the problems you are mentioning where a problem when my alternator gave out. It would fry new batteries in a day, and my tranny would kick into safe mode immediately, and tons of tons of lights came on. Have you had a look at your alternator? It WILL cause multiple failures and give no indication of being bad other than the aforementioned issues.
True, these cars are very voltage sensitive. If you have ever had a power supply on a computer go... Same kind of idea.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-07-2012, 10:00 AM
clifford850r clifford850r is offline
Registered User
Location: Meridian, MS
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 43
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 740iL
If you do suspect an alternator, PM me and I'll send you the link where you can get a rebuilt one for $175 + core charge. It takes about two hours total to switch it out, and it's a nice excuse to fill it with fresh fluids. And if your water pump is suspect, I recommend doing it at the same time because you pull all the same parts out of the way for both.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-08-2012, 02:10 AM
wirewizardmike wirewizardmike is offline
Registered User
Location: hawaii
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 2001 e38
Hmmmm....

Welcome to the wonderful world of the E38!!
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-10-2012, 07:15 PM
cybercliff cybercliff is offline
Registered User
Location: usa
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 740IL
I also have a 2000 740 IL, and after the waterpump and thermostat replaced due to leaked, it now makes lots of noise and the transmission failsafe comes on.

S7000,
Did you ever fixed the "transmission failsafe" problem?
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-17-2012, 11:58 AM
s7000 s7000 is offline
Registered User
Location: Nashville, TN
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 39
Mein Auto: 200 528i
No, I have yet to fix the fail safe issue.
I reset all the check engine codes and fixed the ABS sensor issue and the transmission runs normal but the check engine light came back on with two codes.

P0743 Torque Converter
P1743 M44/M52 Break Band Electrical

I'm not sure what the deal is as of yet.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 03-17-2012, 05:55 PM
andrewhamburger andrewhamburger is offline
Registered User
Location: Oregon
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 13
Mein Auto: 328is
Actually has the best car my family has ever owned. Bought with about 80k in 03 it was a 95 but it has 300,000 miles on it and has only little problems with it....
We still have it it was my sisters first car.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-18-2012, 08:31 PM
Embezzler Embezzler is offline
Registered User
Location: Gainesville, FL
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 20
Mein Auto: 93E34 97E38 07E92 12E70
Any 14 year-old car is going to have issues. Your title to this thread is completely baseless and without merit. Unless the previous owner handed you a book of receipts for what has been done to the car, or you got a PPI, you don't know what condition the car was in when you bought it.

To make these cars as incredible as they were back in their day, BMW had to use lots of technology and engineering wizardry. Unfortunately, the more sophisticated a machine is the more maintenance it requires. That's why NASA engineers were often quoted as saying, "there's only two kinds of parts: those that have failed and those that are failing."

I've got news for you, a 14 year-old used car is rarely, if ever, going to operate at 100% capability. There will always be something wrong with it.

Remember, these cars were $75k+ when new. Consequently, they have $75k maintenance costs built into them. And big, old, luxury cars like these never get cheaper to fix as time goes on. Quite the contrary, they usually get more expensive to maintain as the years go by.

I have a feeling that if you had had the dough to buy a '98 E38 back in 1998, you'd be singing a different tune about its engineering.

If you want a car that doesn't require a lot of maintenance and is cheap to repair, buy an early '90s Honda Accord. Otherwise, don't whine and complain about maintaining your car. Repairs and maintenance are simply the cost of business to own a BMW, particularly an E38.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 03-18-2012, 09:14 PM
setconstr setconstr is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: los angeles
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 416
Mein Auto: 2001 740i sport 2006 m6
E38

Alot of those problems are commom to these cars, but I wonder what you paid for it to begin with ? ( My guess is 2 or 3Gs ) so what can you get for that kind of money certainly not a 70 thousand $ vehicle. I put $10000.00 into my car over the last couple years and the reason why is it still drives nicer then most cars. I test drove a used 650i the other day and my car drove better. Thanks to this website, e38.org I have been able to save lots of $ by doing it myself. You can by many of those parts on Ebay or CL for big savings and FIY.
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 7 Series / 8 Series > 7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms