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A few more things and some comments... (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ 7-series (E32) Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by mike on October 12, 2001 at 00:12:12:

In Reply to: Re: 89-92 735il. Any common prblms I should look posted by Herschel L. 1988 735i on October 11, 2001 at 16:18:50:

The first thing that I would say is that if you can handle some mechanical work, these cars are not at all expensive to own. If you depend on a dealer, you may go broke before everything is done.

The mopst important thing is to look for a complete maintenence history. If the car has been neglected, it will be expensive.

The front suspension bushings last about 100,000 miles, so if they are older than that, you will need them. Also the transmission rear mounts will fail between 100-150,000, but they are cheap and not too difficult to replace, once you have dropped the exhaust and driveshaft!

Brakes are fairly easy, but you should plan on replacing the rotors about every 50,000 miles because they are prone to warp.

And any problems with the air conditioning will be expensive.

If there are weird electrical things going on with the dash, you can spend a lot of time tracking these (the 88-90 cars are known for this).

On the other hand, once the car is sorted, I think it is definitely the best car you can buy for the money, period. Nothing else compares.

And if you do it yourself, minor stuff like the tilting seats, etc can easily be taken care for just a little money and time.

Search this board and most of the common problems and answers are already there..


Well Brent, where should I begin.
Repair Cost Scale:
(*)=not bad
(**)=expensive (***)=very expensive
SUSPENSION: In looking for either of these cars, make sure the steering wheel does not shimmy or shake while driving. These cars are very heavy, and the front suspension does not last long at all, and is costly to have replaced.(**)
UNDER THE HOOD: Some cars have injectors that leak, leaving cars smelling like fuel and sometimes causing cars to have problems starting due to slight flooding of the cylinders.(**) The heater core(***) is also another costly fix that commonly needs to be replaced. So, if you smell the remnants of coolant when you turn on the heater, or if when you turn on the climate control system and warm air comes out even though you have it set for cool air, the car is probably going to need one soon. Also check with the current owner and make sure that s/he has replaced the radiator cap under recall or purchased an updated one.(*) The old ones do not release pressure in the event that the car overheats and can cause damage to the cooling system.
INTERIOR: Another common problem on these cars is failure of power seats.(***) Although they do not completely fail, in most cases they lose the ability to move up and down. Usually only one side(drivers side) will go up or down, leaving the seat looking somewhat crooked, so be sure and test the seats for full functionality.
BRAKING: The brake booster tends to fail at approx. 170K so if you buy a low mileage car you need not worry, but, if you are looking at a high mileage car, expect to replace the booster in the near future.(***)
DRIVETRAIN: The motors on these cars are extremely durable and "engine" problems are rare. But, the automatic transmission is another story. If you are buying a pre-1992 car then you should be careful. A TSB(Technical Service Bulletin)was released in the early nineties in regards to transmission failures in these cars during emissions tests. If the engine is revved at a fairly high rpm while the car is in park or neutral, the transmission can fail.(***) So some of the earlier cars may be due for transmission work. Symptoms of a soon to fail tranmission are a quick and unexpected upshift to second gear when taking off from a stand still; excessive leaking when driven harder than normal or a high-pitched whining noise coming from the trans. The drive shaft also tends to fail at about 150k so be aware of this if you are purchasing a high mileage car.(**)
I hope this information helps. Also, fixes to a lot of these problems can be found on this site so if you can't find a perfect car, the guys on this site will help you make it perfect.
Good luck,

Considering the purchase of a 735Il, and I want to make sure I get a decent car. What things should I consider during this purchase, and what common issues have you, the experts, found over the years? Transmission or engine troubles?

Thanks for your help.

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