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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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  #1  
Old 08-06-2012, 11:59 PM
cuongvt101 cuongvt101 is offline
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Should I buy a 2001 750iL, 102K miles for $5500?

Hi all, I am new to this forum. I'm about to buy a 2001 750iL with 102K miles on it. The price is $5500. I checked KBB and with good condition, it is about $10600!

The car looks great to me. However, I might be bias since the one I'm driving now is a Nissan Altima 2001, so come to this 750iL I might see everything on the bright side. I have tested drive to highway and checked around (myself), it seems to run great. It's clean inside, every electric functions work. It's also quite clean outside. Problems I noticed so far are: (1) AutoCheck shows 2 minor accidents to the rear, but the title is still clean; (2) Sometimes it's kind of hard to turn the key to the ON position; and the key remote doesn't work. I read around that we can re-program the remote but I haven't checked. (3) The rubber around the left back door is somewhat torned down and (4) The break is a bit deep (compared to my nissan) but I guess that's not too bad.

I heard that there's major tune up, which is quite costly, required at 100K miles and I'm asking the owner if he had done that. I guess not since otherwise he would not sell it for $5500. I also read that it is very expensive to maintain this car, about $3000 a year, which is my main concern. If it is about $1000 - $1500 maintenance per year then I don't have to think about it much. For quick reference, I bought my Nissan Altima GLE 2001 3 years ago at 144K miles, and it's running like a charm. The only major thing I did to that was: change half-shaft, radiator, battery, and 4 new tires. The total cost was less than $1500 (for 3 years) exclude regular oil change.

I might not care much if some minor thing failed like sensors, as long as the car can still run safe. Is it that often and expensive we need to spend on this car ($3000/year)? I mean at $5500 this car is so attractive to me. So please give me some advices. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 08-07-2012, 09:00 AM
ou18 ou18 is offline
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Head over to the e38.org site. It has all the common problems with these cars..

IMHO, i dont find mine to be very costly. I do most of my work on my own with the help of some extremely knowledgeable people in this forum..
The cars themselves I have found pretty easy to work on....
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  #3  
Old 08-07-2012, 10:32 AM
rdorman rdorman is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 imola red 740i Sport
Do check the buyers guide previously mentioned. Have a PPI done and check the maintenence history. At 100k you need O2 sensors and plugs (get the boots as well and buy OEM). The rest of the maintenence is according to the service indicator. Common for the suspension to require a refresh at that mileage or not long after. 2-3k per year is about what I see as an average. You save a BUNCH if you can DIY as most parts for that car are not as expensive as you might think. Could be higher at an Indy and WILL be at a stealership. +1 on not that hard to work on. A code reader, a Bentley manual, good forums and some basic mechanical knowledge will be all you generally need for DIY.

Last edited by rdorman; 08-07-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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  #4  
Old 08-07-2012, 05:36 PM
cuongvt101 cuongvt101 is offline
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Thank you all. I might not have a good place to DIY but I definitely can learn and try. The guy I'm about to buy from said he did the maintenance service at 100K, will bring all the records to me, so I hope I have enough time to learn while the car is running good.

Regarding the code reader, is there any special note about which type to buy, or most code reader would work?

Oh and btw, is the key a common problem (I mean sometimes it is hard to switch to ON position. It always starts if I can get to that ON position)? I tried to search around for this problem but it's quite hard since the keywords are very common. Thanks

Last edited by cuongvt101; 08-07-2012 at 06:55 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2012, 08:34 PM
rdorman rdorman is offline
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Most of the time when I have issues turning the key to on it is the steering lock and just pull one way or the other. Aside from that, I have not heard of the problem. In case you don't know, it does not start like most cars. You turn it to the start position and release. The car will engage the starter until the car is running so no need to hold the key. I use Carsoft on my laptop which can be picked up at a good price but there are many options. A little research as there are many reasonable options. Do have a PPI so that you have less chance of suprises... money well spent.
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  #6  
Old 08-08-2012, 01:07 AM
cuongvt101 cuongvt101 is offline
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Thank you, it's great to now about starting the car.

If he shows a detailed 100K maintenance tomorrow, I guess he might not want to bring the car for inspection, since it is just 102K, but I'll try anyway.

I'll look closer to the key problems. But I hope the remote can be re-programed like someone said.
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  #7  
Old 08-08-2012, 06:19 AM
chrisn7 chrisn7 is offline
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Mein Auto: 750iL
Spend some time at the car checking everything electrical that does and doesn't work, so you can assess what you are letting yourself in for. Electrical issues may be solved with a change of battery, if that is at end of life, but could be more problematical. E38.org has on line handbooks, which will help you to understand what equipment should be presnt, and under what happens under certain conditions. Note there are two batteries in the 750-the upper is the 'systems' (read toys) battery, the lower is starting only. The object attached to the upper battery holder is the switch that controls charging between the two.
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  #8  
Old 08-08-2012, 03:40 PM
cuongvt101 cuongvt101 is offline
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Well, I'm quite overloaded these days, lots of information ... Another question, regarding O2 sensors, catalytic converter, or other issues, do we need to change at around 100K anyway (I mean even if we can't feel anything yet), or we should keep running until warning lights come on?
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  #9  
Old 08-08-2012, 05:56 PM
DriftGirl DriftGirl is offline
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you should have your car on a maintenance schedule for everything...

that means a checklist for 100k, 110k, 120k, etc etc...or just wait til stuff breaks and then fix it
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  #10  
Old 08-08-2012, 06:19 PM
cuongvt101 cuongvt101 is offline
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I prefer the latter , or go checking before a long trip! I'm a little doubt about the schedule given by the manufacture. Just learned from my Nissan.
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  #11  
Old 08-08-2012, 06:55 PM
DriftGirl DriftGirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuongvt101 View Post
I prefer the latter , .....
As do I
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Current Lineup:
BMW E31: Air suspension,19x10 / 19x11 Trafficstar
BMWE38:Air suspension,20x10 / 20x12 Forgiato
BMWE65: 22x10 / 22x11 Asanti ELT
Lexus SC400: Single turbo, 19" SRR wheels
Lexus GS300: VIP , Air Suspension,19" WORK wheels
S13 Silvia: WideBody, JDM conversion,SR20det,15" WORK wheels
Lexus LS430 UL:Air Suspension, 20"MAYA DLS

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  #12  
Old 08-09-2012, 06:21 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
Oil changes are the most important thing. Do it more often than recommended and use genuine coolant.
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  #13  
Old 08-10-2012, 09:17 PM
ghare ghare is offline
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I purchased a 2000 750iL two years ago with 93,000 miles for $10,000. Thought it was a great price, yours sounds better.
Just recently spent $1,000 on parts to correct a cooling problem. water pump, thermastat, hoses, etc. The $2,000 to $3,000 a year
sounds about right. It can be expensive to work on if you have to go to the dealer,try to find a private shop that specializes in
German cars.
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  #14  
Old 08-11-2012, 12:03 AM
cuongvt101 cuongvt101 is offline
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So that means if I buy this, I can save about $4500 (10000 - 5500), as compared to your price, to spend for maintenance ? That sounds sexy!

Well I don't know how much I can DIY, so private shop probably will be a good option to me in case.

Last edited by cuongvt101; 08-11-2012 at 12:05 AM.
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  #15  
Old 08-13-2012, 09:28 AM
ou18 ou18 is offline
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As far as the code reader. Really depends on how much you want to spend..for me I bought a cheap one that does basic reading and erasing..really all I need..but they can get pricey..you need to weigh what u want to spend vs ease of use...

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