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Re: My new (used) 740i -- Did I just buy a money p (archive)

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Posted by John on March 05, 2000 at 20:25:31:

In Reply to: My new (used) 740i -- Did I just buy a money pit? posted by Jim on March 05, 2000 at 18:15:04:

Money Pit - Yes, if you let the dealer do all the service and you have a nervous tick everytime the message center alarms.

It sounds like the seats are getting to you. They are certainly different from the SC300 but then again it is a different car. I, too transitioned from a rocket on rails to the four door and found it difficult. Save your pennies and go for the 540i sport if you can't hack it but need four doors.

I have found that keeping on top of the maintenance is very important. The car is so complex (do you realize it takes three micro switches to turn on the vanity lights above the visor!!)that the work task list can get out of hand quickly and be quite demoralizing. Also, attack entire systems when a maintenance item presents itself. A favorite ploy of the service people is to tell you, for example, your left lower control arm is warn. What they didn't tell you was about 5,000 miles later the right one will go as well as the track rods. In other words, do the whole front suspension at once. (Just an example)

As far as your complaints:
Headrest - These are usually benign. Can you hear the servo motor attempt to operate? Does it operate on the memory mode?

A/C - Assume this is just the servo motors flipping flappers for the side to side and up and down air distribution.

CD changer - the wiring harness is under the mat in the trunk and $400 to $700 will fix that problem

Cupholder - Teutonic logic prevailed here 'till 1996 or 97. They indignantly maintained that they were providing vehicles for drivers, not overfed, underworked American aristocrats. They finally relented!!

Front Brakes - This is one of those items you attack in total because as sure as the sun sets in the west the rears will go in less than 15K miles. Do them all with rotors. There are aftermarket brands that report better service. It is important that you do them all at once to get maximum wear.

Well, I hope I haven't gotten you to move the "For Sale" sign from the lexus to the 7'er. It really is a great car and will be for a very long time.

John 88 735iL (226K)
79 320i (250K)
95 Disco

: I just bought my first BMW, a 1994 740i with 71,000 miles. My old car, a 1992 Lexus SC300 is sitting in the garage until I decide whether or not to get rid of it. These cars are kind of like Yin and Yang to each other. The Lexus (IMO) offers far superior ergonomics, audio, and general creature comfort -- the BMW offers vastly suprior performance and two much needed extra doors.

: Anyway, I bought this 740i for $16,800 from a guy that took excellent care of the car. He had all of the suggested maintenance, including replacement of the 'short block' at 29k. Comparatively, the Lexus is a pretty straightforward car. There aren't as many things that can go wrong. I'm beginning to wonder whether I just bought a Chrysler quality car with a terrific engine and great ride. Here are some things I'm having a tough time with...

: * The electronic headrest adjuster doesn't work.
: * The seats stink and move slightly during hard turns.
: * The A/C makes the occasional (very) soft grunting sound.
: * There's no CD changer (how can a $50,000 car not have a CD changer?)
: * There's no cup holder!
: * The plastic cup-holder contraption I bought from BMW doesn't work -- coffee on the pants already!
: * The car needs front brakes and roters after only 30,000 since the last replacement at BMW -- seems odd.

: Anyway... I do love this car. While it's certainly not nearly as comfortable as the Lexus (the seats are awful) it is great fun to drive. I'm just worried that even a well cared for 1994 740i is a money pit. Anyone want to make me feel better about this anxiety? Or should I just deal with it?

: This is a great board by the way!

: Jim
: St. Louis, MO

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