2000 BMW 7 Series 735i Sport 3.5 litre V8 petrol
A bit unusual, and fantastic to drive
Rear upper control arm ball joints had play. Complete arm is required (expensive). Replaced with good used ones.
Rear lower wishbone ball joint has play. Trying to track down the special tool to replace it.
Rear spring is broken. On the todo list.
DSC Precharge pump failed - replaced with good used item.
I bought this car recently. Even though it's a ten year old car, it's more-or-less spotless and is the rare M-Sport model (big wheels, stiffer suspension, everything black). It had one or two "usual" faults when I got it, and I have been working through these.
I think these are great cars and are fantastic value for money. The V8 engine is incredible. It's very comfortable, has lots of toys and just eats up the miles effortlessly.
On the flip side, it isn't a Ford Fiesta. It's a big heavy car with a big engine, lots of electronics, huge tyres etc. etc. There's no way it's ever going to be cheap to run, so I would strongly advise you to stay away unless you have some free disposable income. Check out parts prices even for a routine service - 7.5 litres of (the right) fully synthetic oil isn't cheap for a start.
Regarding repairs, it isn't any worse than many other BMWs. It's actually a very similar car to the contemporary 5 series with many common parts. There are lots of specialist garages, breakers and parts suppliers. It just needs a bit of imagination. There are also lots of poor quality copy parts around, which are to be avoided (if it's too cheap etc.). BMW rely heavily on their diagnostic system - DIY code readers are available, and most decent garages have the right gear these days.
I look forward to getting into my 735 every day. It's probably the nicest car I have owned (and that actually includes some newer and much more expensive BMWs).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th October, 2010
A follow up to my original comments. I eventually got all the work noted completed but there were some "surprises".
The sports springs are all but unobtainable so I had to replace all four with an Eibach sport kit. The suspension work was relatively straightforward but the only way to get the rear shocks/dampers off was with an angle-grinder and a blowtorch (destroying them). So new rear shocks as well. Many suspension parts are adjustable so it had to go for a proper 4-wheel alignment at a specialist.
The moral is, if buying one of these check carefully for suspension wear. BTW - you'll need to jack the wheels off the ground to check.