Most Common Issues with the BMW E38


BMW has made a bunch of awesome cars over the years. We can start throwing everything and anything from the E30 M3 to more modern versions at you to prove that point, but you already get the point. As far as 7-series go, we and many others, feel that one model tops the charts – the E38. BMW E38 problems are often used by its most vocal critics to elevate other 7-series cars. However, compared to other 7-series that came after it, those problems are usually not that bad. Today we’ll list 7 most common ones and show you how you can fix them fairly easily.

An Offer you Can’t Refuse

There’s something to older BMWs that makes them incredibly attractive in the sea of modern blandness. They were just made differently. The E38 has withstood the test of time design-wise quite well. The car not only looks good but the type of comfort that’s no longer available.

Best of all, these cars can be had for cheap now. A luxury sedan that used to cost over $70,000 when it was new can these days be yours for a symbolic price of around $5,000. However, that’s just the price of entry to this wild ride.

Despite BMW’s best efforts, nothing lasts forever. The same applies to the E38. As formidable as they are, these cars are starting to show signs of wear. If you know BMW, you know that any serious repairs can quickly add up to a lot.

Because of that, we’ve put together the 7 most common issues you might run into with these cars and how to fix them. If nothing else, this list should give you a good idea of whether an E38 is something you’d want to get into right now.

Auto Trans Filter Kit
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ABS Failure

Since we’re just starting off the list, we might also cover the more serious issues first. ABS unit failure a common thing on these cars as they get older. It’s a problem that plagues all trims and versions built past 1987.

The failure is generally associated with the BOSCH control rig attached to the ABS/DSC unit. To fix this, you’ll need to get a new assembly or a good used one. While you’re at it, you might as well break down the ABS module and overhaul it using a repair kit.

ABS / Stability Control Hydraulic Unit Repair Kit
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Notorious Steering Wobble

By order of magnitude, the next issue is the notorious steering and suspension wobble that gradually appears over time. You’ll first notice it when you hit the brakes, but the longer the issue persists, the more obvious it will get.

What causes the wobble is the wear and tear of all suspension/steering components. We’re talking about all kinds of bushings, control arms, drag links, etc. Fortunately, there’s decent aftermarket support for these parts, which allows you to take care of the problem fairly easily, given that you address it on time.

We offer a great kit that includes control arm components while you can check idler arms while you’re down there as well.

Transmission Fluid Flush

BMW was one of many brands that started marketing lifetime transmission fluids in their cars. The same applied to E38s. Naturally, there’s no such thing as a lifetime fluid since every lubricant loses its properties over time.

If you get your hands on an E38, make sure to do a full flush that includes new transmission fluid as well as a new filter. We offer a complete kit, H2522XKIT, that covers the seals and filters. Use D4 ATF fluid for the flush, and you should be good to go.

Top 10 BMW E38 Problems And Solutions

Mass Air Flow Sensor

Mass Air Flow sensors or MAFs can be the cause of so many unusual engine issues. Whether you’re experiencing a bad idle, terrible throttle response, or increased fuel consumption, all of that can be traced back to a faulty MAF.

What causes this is either a dirty sensor or a faulty one. If it’s just dirty, you can get a can of MAF cleaner spray and give it a good bath. That’s usually enough to get the job done. Now, if the sensor is dead, you’ll need a replacement.

Not all sensors are the same across the E38 range of engines. Most of them use part number 13621433567, while the V12 version runs the 13621736224 sensors. We offer both Genuine like the one shown in the link and BOSCH OEM part.

Auto Trans Filter Kit
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The Power Steering Filter

Replacing the filter in your power steering system is one thing that many overlook when it comes to maintenance.

The tricky thing about this filter is the fact that it’s an integral part of the reservoir, meaning that they need to be changed together. Since BMW had used several versions of this assembly in different engines, make sure to check which one fits your car.

Mass Air Flow Sensor
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Heater Control Valves

Older BMWs are notoriously plagued with heater control valve issues. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if it’s a base model 3-series or a stacked 7-series – the problem persists.

Once the heater control valve goes, you might experience intermittent heating inside the passenger cabin or a complete lack thereof. The only fix is to replace the affected parts.

Mass Air Flow Sensor
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Cooling System Failure

Crappy cooling system components seem to be at the core of BMW’s DNA. You’d think it’s just an issue with older Beemers, but you’ve got the same problems on the E46 as well as E90 and later models.

As far as E38s goes, it’s packed with plastic hoses and another plastic component that crack and become brittle over time. That’s no bueno for a car that’s had nearly 40 years of exploitation. You’re most likely looking at a new set of hoses, new radiator, and a new expansion tank to stay on the safe side.

Heater Bypass Valve
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Lift Blocks

Among the last things we’ll throw on this list are lift or jack blocks. Despite being such an insignificant component in the grand scheme of things, the lack of lift blocks can cause issues during these vehicles’ maintenance. For one, they protect the chassis from being damaged or scratched up.

Additionally, the lack of jack blocks can cause this incredible annoying sound when the car gets up to speed. As you speed up, the air gets sucked into the holes where the centre stud of the block goes, causing the vehicle to whistle. Getting new blocks part number 51717001650 is a small price to pay for fixing this annoying issue.

Use Quality Parts Only

If there’s one thing you can do, or more accurately, one philosophy you can adopt that will make your life easier as an E38 owner is to use quality parts. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches that way. Here at eEuroparts.com, we offer one of the largest catalogs of genuine, OEM, and aftermarket parts for BMW vehicles, including the E38.

To find the parts you’re looking for, head over to our online store, input your car’s details into our navigation tool, and you’ll get a list of products that match. You can also use our VIN tool and get more accurate results that way.

Feel free to get in touch with our customer support service if you’ve got questions regarding specific products in our offer. Our staff is standing by to offer assistance.

65 thoughts on “Most Common Issues with the BMW E38
  1. Travis Ewoldt

    I have a very annoying squeak on my 98 BMW 740i when I hit bumps in the road you can hear it and you can also hear a rattling that sounds like it’s coming directly from the wheels. This car has only 30,000 original miles and was garaged all its life. Don’t know what could really be worn out but it was dry and try to bring some lubricant I checked all of the plate covers underneath and couldn’t really find anything loose that I thought could be causing it my mechanic that works on BMW’s had a hard time pinpointing it also

    • Adam Goral

      Hi Travis, mileage can be deceiving, as even though the car isn’t driving, it still continues existing. This means all the rubber bushings will continue to dry out, all of the suspension springs will continue to hold the entire weight of the car up, the shocks will still be under pressure etc… My guess would be to check the sway bar bushings and strut mounts as these are prime culprits for annoying suspension squeaks. If the rattle is a plasticy chatter, inspect the shocks by pushing down on the car on each corner to see if it bounces at all. If so, a shock might have leaked some pressure over time and is causing a racket due to vibration. It’s also not uncommon for cars that sit to take on passengers from the animal kingdom, which may deposit nuts and other things in weird places, causing problems as well.

    • Adam Goral

      Hi Alex, this is caused by old brake rotors that have warped. When was the last time you had a brake job? To be sure to fully eliminate the shake, you should consider a complete front and rear brake change, which we have both on our website for a great price. https://www.eeuroparts.com/Parts/48347/Disc-Brake-Kit-Front-324mm-100K10044/ is the front kit and https://www.eeuroparts.com/Parts/48348/Disc-Brake-Kit-Rear-324mm-100K10045/ is the rear. The kits come with the brake pad wear sensors as well.

      Remember, it is crucial to correctly bed in the brakes, otherwise your shake may come back. Be easy and smooth for the first 5 or 6 drives, don’t jab or slam on the brakes if possible. When coming to a stop, try not to hold on to the brakes too hard. If you don’t follow these steps, it is possible for the pads to deposit material unevenly onto the rotors when first braking in, and this will cause a shake as well.

      • Bob Barton

        Interesting thought about deposits left on the rotors from hard stops. Why wouldn’t the same thing happen at any time, regardless of the age of the brake pads and rotors?

        • Adam Goral

          When you bed in brakes, a thin layer of brake pad material is always left on the surface. Called the transfer layer, it’s the result of a molecular change of the pad surface as it heats for the first time after popping out of the manufacturing die. This layer creates a very specific kind of friction, known as adherent friction (pad material to pad material) which is a little different than abrasive friction (pad to rotor). With a smooth an established transfer layer of brake pad material on the rotor surface, rotor wear is substantially decreased and the pad and rotor relationship will be much smoother.

          Often times warped rotors are the result of an improper bed-in that left an uneven transfer layer. It might have felt fine at first, but as miles are added, the high and low spots turn into hot and cool spots. With the metal crystalline structure actually altered by this, so is the friction of the pad, and the end result is a vibration as your pad rolls over areas of grip-slip-grip-slip-grip-slip. A PROPERLY bedded in set of brakes will allow you to take your pads to the metal without any vibrations.

          Pad material is left on the rotor throughout the pad life, but with a properly established transfer layer, the likelyhood of this added material being uneven is far less, it’s the pad-to-bare metal transfer that’s the critical moment. Make sense?

  2. Sometimes when I slow down my steering becomes very stiff then when I speed up it go back to normal also make loud noise when turning sometimes I just changed my power steering pump and resivor about 2 months ago fluid level is good. What could this be. My cars is a1995 740i BMW

    • Adam Goral

      Hey Tyler, did you go through any type of bleeding procedure when you replaced the pump and filled the reservoir? It sounds like the power steering pump is not working, and I would guess that since it is new, you have air in the system. Much like your brakes, if there are air bubbles trapped, the air compresses and the fluid does not transfer. What brand power steering pump did you buy?

      • Sergio

        I have a 2000 740il. The gauges start to move erratically and the transfail system kicks in leaving me on third gear. Battery and alternator good. Could it be the belt tension or maybe the computer? Sergio from Texas.

        • Adam Goral

          Are there any saved diagnostic codes? This car would benefit getting plugged in by a licensed BMW tech for diagnosis. You’re shooting in the dark here and I think you may be pretty far off with belt tension causing electronic and transmission issues.

    • Liz

      My 1998 740i when I’m next to a wall or any structure, I here a nose I can describe it , like when as a kid you put a playing card in the spokes it’s a click, click when I speed up so dose the sound? Any ideas?

      • Adam Goral

        First put the car on jack stands and check all of the trim both on the body of the car and on the bottom. If there’s something loose and flapping, it can look fine standing still. Sometimes axles can make clicking sounds when the CV joints are going bad. With the car on jack stands rotate the wheels with the car out of gear. Listen for the click. Grab the axles and push them in and out, the main CV joint should not have any play in it. One side is designed to slide. Once you verify that there isn’t something stuck in the wheel like a sensor wire then your CV axles are a likely culprit.

  3. Gilbert

    I have 2 problems with my 1995 e38. one is the SES light is always on. I cleaned the maf and it went of for a day then started to come back on. second and more troubling, when i got the car i didn’t noticed the the passenger side wheel was setback about an inch. So when the car started shaking i bought a whole new suspension, which then no one could align. finally i got a very good BMW dealer to get it close to specs. car doesnt shake, but as a result of the setback I’m going thru idler arms like crazy. doesnt show history of accident. i bought a new sub-frame, but before i go thru this, is there anything you can tell me that might save me the trouble.

    • Adam Goral

      Hi Gilbert, that does sound very troubling indeed. Your pondering about previous accidents could be correct. Even if it wasn’t reported (and it sounds like they just sort of left it that way), that car very well could have taken a hard curb hit at some point. Subframe bushings should be looked at and inspected, and if those are OK then the inspector will have to follow up to the mounts to make sure something else isn’t bent. Hopefully you can get away with a subframe replacement, and you can do bushings while you’re at it and have a new feeling car soon!

  4. Peter Darbin

    HI
    Any ideas I have a1995 E38 730il Heater control valve failed.Removed to fit kit so I blocked off the hoses so car usable but now it sounds like it is closed down the right bank .Repaired valve & refitted but still the same. Bled system ,temp gauge not showing normal running temp.
    Any idea Thanks peter

  5. Mike Kaufman

    I have a 1997 V8 740iL that will start after I disconnect the battery between starts. If I don’t disconnect. The battery it won’t restart after I shut the engine off. Otherwise full power when it’s running. Any ideas?

    • Adam Goral

      Does the car crank, or does it appear completely dead when you try to restart it? In this situation the first thing I would do is check and make sure the battery terminals are super clean and aren’t able to short anywhere, and the battery is in good working condition. Even a slightly low voltage tends to mess with the electronic systems in fine German luxury cars. Second thing I would check is the starter relay, maybe depowering and repowering the system wakes it up somehow if its sticky. Ultimately I think this unfortunately might have to do with an anti-theft related device or computer that needs to be cleared out by removing power. Do you have any check engine codes? Have you tried multiple keys?

  6. Anthony

    Hi i remove the splash guard under my 2000 740il on the passenger side in the front started to get weird nose like moaning noise coming from in cab but cant hear it outside the car when being driven any clue to what it could be its very annoying

  7. Richard Pisarski

    I have a 1997 740il that will not link the OBD2 connector to the vehicle I checked the fuses in the engine compartment and trunk double check fuse 27 and replaced the cap under the hood what else can I check the might help me out. Thanks

    • Adam Goral

      Is it specific with a single OBD reader or do different ones fail to connect? It looks like you are on the right track with the datalink connector cap, as that can prevent the OBD interface from initiating. Look at the plug and make sure no pins are bent or broken. If everything looks fine, then you have an electronic issue and should probably go to a dealer or a skilled independent with the special datalink (DLC) tool.

  8. Joe Wathen

    I have a 2000 740il that the key does open the drivers door but the button on the key does nothing
    if i push the button on the console and lock the doors then get out of the drivers door. and you can tell I have no idea what to do I have checked the fuses and have not found one blown
    Can you give any help…

    • Adam Goral

      Does the remote key transmitter work at all? If not, I suspect the battery to be dead. First try this procedure, borrowed from bimmerforums.com.

      Unlock the E38 manually using the key in the key hole on the door.

      1. Open the door, get into the E38 and close the door.
      2. Put the key in the ignition.
      3. Within 5 seconds, turn the key to position 1 and then return it back to position 0.
      4. Remove key from the ignition.
      5. Press and hold down button “2” as shown in the picture above. While holding button 2 down, press button “1” three times. This must be completed within 10 seconds.
      6. Now release button “2”.
      7. The central locking system will activate and release the locking mechanism in the E38 to indicate that the initialization procedure has been completed. If you receive no response, the procedure must be repeated.
      8. Repeat procedure from Step 6 within thirty seconds for all other key remotes you have for this BMW.

      If this doesn’t work, your key battery may be worn out. It is a rechargable battery that is charged by the ignition and integrated into key, and like all batteries will go bad over time. Unfortunately the battery is not officially serviceable (although you can break the key open and give it a shot), here’s the one that fits your car https://www.eeuroparts.com/Parts/74889/Ignition-Key-Coded-66126933728/

        • Adam Goral

          Correct, one is not available from BMW and it is specifically not a serviceable item. The only way to replace the battery is to hunt a serviceable one down online, and break your key apart to get at it. You can get a brand new key through us, contact customer service about it and they will get back to you on the details and what information they need from you to get a brand new key for your 2000 BMW 740il. Thanks Joe.

  9. David

    Good morning,

    I have a 2001 e38 2.8i which is giving a strange rattling noise from the top front of the engine bay when warm, but only in drive or reverse. I have only been able to observe this at idle, or parking, so far. The radiator gave out a few days ago, and was replaced, but the engine didn’t overheat as it was having its MOT at the time. I don’t think the noise is coming from within the engine itself. It sounds more like one of the ancillaries. Temperature gauge is normal. No warning lights showing. Vehicle drives as normal.

    Any suggestions ?

      • David

        Good morning,

        Thank you for your advice. All of my follow up research on your tip, and the other symptoms on display, agrees with your diagnosis. Ironically, just as it became clear what the noise was and where it was coming from, it has stopped, for now. I have no doubt it will still need repairing as cars don’t fix themselves.

        • Adam Goral

          Be very careful, if the valve breaks off it can get sucked into your engine which can cause severe damage. Hopefully the noise stopping doesn’t signal that the valve has broken apart (and thus no more rattly valve).

    • Adam Goral

      You got a few people in the office drooling over it now, thanks a lot. While this really would be the ultimate driving machine, you are right about the possibility for cryptic-yet-crazy-expensive problems with a car like this. This car cost nearly 100k less than 20 years ago, and it is still full of parts that make up a 100k car, only they are old now. With that said, this would be a brilliant car to pick up for a few years and sell on, just to experience what this car felt like to drive back in BMW’s prime.

  10. Denise C Bergman

    Hello,
    I have purchased a used 2001 740i that occassionally loses power and shut downs without warning. It typically happens when I am coasting through a turn but today it happened when I came to a stop, lightly accelerated to make the turn, and then it died. Since I lose power steering and need to come to a complete stop to put into Park and re-start this is a significant safety concern. There are no indication lights prior to these Events occurring. Any ideas would be extremely welcome thank you.

    • Adam Goral

      This sounds to me like a fuel pressure problem, either the fuel pump is on the way out, or the filter is gummed up. Fuel pumps are very common failures on all cars with some years and mileage under their belts. We have an OEM quality Made In Germany VDO pump for a great price right now, I recommend replacing it if it’s never been done. We usually don’t ever suggest throwing parts at issues, but in the case of a fuel pump, I’d consider it preventative maintenance even if it doesn’t fix your problem. However, I am fairly certain it will. Replace the filter at the same time, which fortunately for this model includes the fuel pressure regulator built in!

      You can rent a fuel pressure tester, which looks like a tire gauge that goes onto a schraeder valve coming off the fuel rail. The reading should be around 50psi since the car uses a 3.5bar regulator. Here’s a basic video on how to do this test.

  11. Joe

    Hi… I have a 2001 E38 with 135k miles that has been stuttering in low acceleration (between 20-30 mph and especially if I am driving uphill) and occasionally I hear a grinding sound as well (again more so when going up hill). Once I accelerate past 40 mph the car is fine. BMW dealership told me a few years ago that the transmission in lower gear has an issue and it over-compensates as I get to around 50 mph when the stuttering stops. Cost for a rebuilt tranny ($6,500). Went to an independent shop here in the NYC area and he did a transmission service and also cleaned out the transmission plug which he said sometime can cause that stutter. Worked for a few days and now back to the stutter. Cost of a rebuilt tranny ($3,000) – a lot less than the dealership. He advised me not to do anything because the transmission is shifting fine and there are no failure messages in the dashboard. So I can keep driving it but the stuttering is concerning and very annoying. Please let me know if anyone has come across this. Thanks in advance.

    • Adam Goral

      Do you know how in depth his service was? IE how many quarts were added and what fluid did he use (The ZF 5HP24 trans needs to be LT 71141 specification) ) , was the trans filter changed etc. Did he plug in a BMW specific diagnostic computer to observe the operation of the transmission? Occasionally these transmissions have issues with something called an Drum clutch wearing out, specifically the A-Drum (there are multiple) but your mileage is fairly low. Here’s an interesting discussion on that: https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?2343817-E38-Transmission-Problem . When was the last time the transmission had been serviced before this last one? Another potential fault, as with all automatic transmissions, are the seals in the valve body starting to leak. If that’s the case you can replace just the valve body, but you must find out what the issue is soon before you compromise the transmission by driving it around while it malfunctions.

      It’s common for people to buy a used transmission in a junkyard and do a very basic rebuilt as there are several wear parts that can be replaced fairly easily with the trans out of the car (such as the A-Drum clutch). Then they swap it in, requiring the least amount of downtime. Hope this helps

  12. Marius

    Can someone please give advice as my Bmw e38 750i does not accelerate at all. I have replaced the air flow meters (both), plugs, plug wires, clean the throttle bodies, replacced the fuel pump, check all relays and fuses. Car start easy however refs remain on 900 rpm. Please if someone can give advice as I took the vehicle to Bmw dealer and they charge me a arm and a both legs.

  13. john wolferth

    Hello,
    Asking about a 2001 e38 740il, there is a humming noise, and vibration when felt at the underside, from the drivers side fuel tank’ I have replaced the fuel pump, and the filter. The car runs fine just disconcerting, and the noise can get loud enough to hear while driving. Any ideas on the cause?

    ’01 e38, 01 e39, ’97 e36 vert, ’91 318is

    • Adam Goral

      If I were you, I would lift the car and inspect the wheel bearing on the offending side, as well as the driveshaft and cv axle for any kind of play or gritty feeling or sound.

  14. iHEY MAN I JUST GOT A NICE 2000 740I AND AM HAVING DME EWS ISSUES; I DISCONNECTED THE BATTERY WITHOUT PUTTING A TRICKLE CHARGER OR WHATEVER ON IT SO I UNDERSTAND THAT WAS MY MISTAKE I DIDNT KNOW. ANYWAY TOWED IT TO A SHOP AND THEY ALIGNED THE THING AND GREAT. 2 DAYS LATER IT DID IT AGAIN AND I WASNT DOING ANYTHING JUST STOPPED INTO ADVANCE AUTO TO GRAB SOME ARMOR ALL AND IT DID THE SAME SHIT WHEN I WENT TO START IT.

    I HAVE READ THRU A BUNCH OF POSTS ABOUT IT AND SOMEWHERE U MENTIONED THE ALIGNMENT PROCEDURE AS A LINK AND I AM INTERESTED IN READING IT BECAUSE AS OF NOW UNTIL I DIAL IN THE GROUND SHORT OR WHATEVER I NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO ALIGN IT MYSELF. I PLAN TO FORMAT MY LAPTOP AS A DUAL BOOT WITH WIN XP AND HAVE THE BMW SSS 3.1 Progman V32 SOFTWARE NOW I NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHAT CABLE I NEED AS I HEAR SOME SAY ROUND AND OTHERS 20 AND 16 PIN. WILL THIS WORK:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-USB-OBD-DIAGNOSTIC-CABLE-INTERFACE-INPA-K-DCAN-INPA-SSS-Progman-1998-2008/282398191107?epid=2265614388&hash=item41c03e6e03:g:8N0AAOSwsW9Y0zFb

    I HAVE BMW SSS 3.1 Progman V32 SOFTWARE AND CAN I USE THE PLUG ABOVE TO ALIGN?

    ANY INFO WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED……PLEASE. I AM LOOKING FOR THE EASIEST METHOD! HELP!

  15. Bart

    I have a 2000 740i Sport….love the car, but having trans issues. The car shifts fine, usually when cold, BUT then will start to delay shift points. Shifting out of first at 3200 rpm and 2nd at 4000rpm…HELP! Thanks

    • Adam Goral

      Step one would be to flush the transmission, making sure that the valve body valves are free and not sticky. Second would be to reset the transmission computer from a BMW dealer and have it relearn the shift points. Third would be to replace the valve body if those don’t work, since delayed shifts are almost always valve body related.

  16. Scott Carter

    I have a 2001 740i sport. About 120k miles
    I love this car, but as most here know, the love is not always returned.
    The most prominent issue I’m now dealing with is a rough idle when cold. problem has worsen a bit, and has now thrown a code. Say’s cylinder #1 short to ground ? Coil pack?
    I’ve looked around for vacuum leaks. things appear to be good there.

  17. David Martinez

    Hi, I have a 2001 BMW 750IL and the steering wheel shutters when turning left or right in a complete stop but goes away as you increase speed. The power steering pump has been replaced along with the lower ball joints but didnt fix the issue. Any ideas what could be the issue?

    • Adam Goral

      It sounds like you have an issue with either the steering box itself (which can wear out, the design doesn’t seem to be as robust as a standard rack and pinion) or the linkages that connect it to the wheels. Changing the power steering pump was a good and logical first step. If you need a price on a new or rebuilt steering box, just send an email to customerservice@eeuroparts.com with your VIN and we will see what we can do for you, including getting a kit together.

  18. R Johnson

    Hello I have 98 740i , I get gear searching at low speeds and low rmp’s , tran fluid and filter was changed and told tran looks great for age and miles, 190,000. Any ideas , it bounces from 2,3 , 1,2 really annoying , I heard maybe the cats? Or is it time for a tran swap? I want this fixed as I love this car!!!

  19. Lawrence

    I have a 1990 735i BMW & I notice when I had Jiffy Lube to change the oil my suspension leveling & power steering fluid warning light comes on.
    Can you please tell me what is causing these warnings?

  20. Marshall Schwartz

    I have a 1995 BMW 740i. It has only 53,000 miles and has sat with a cover on most of the past 5-8 years. I started driving it and noticed a major problem. When it has not been driven and you start and go it is very easy to shift between park and any gear but after driving 5 miles or less it becomes very difficult to shift gears and recently, I drove it about 50 miles and when I arrived at my destination I could not shift out of drive at all and thus could not even remove the key!. After it sat over night, I could shift normally. What is causing this problem?
    Thanks for your help!

    • Dean Bergeron

      Hi Marshall, A 95 740I with 53K…. nice! So there are lots of documented cases of the opposite issue with cold shift issues but they are more of the transmission internal issue, not the the shifter. Your car has a shift cable and the only things that would obstruct the shift lever movement is the lock-out solenoid sticking or an internal issue that is keeping the lever that the cable moves from rotating the shift shaft. I don’t think that your fluid has reached the service life in mileage but its 24 years old and the car has seen a lot of storage time. Depending on the climate that pose its own set of issues. Check to make sure the fluid is clean and does not smell burnt. Even low mileage cars can have fluid issues. Are you getting any fault codes on the dash display above the column? Take a look at that fluid and report back with a color and odor report.

      • Marshall Schwartz

        Dean, Thanks very much for the quick response. The fluid looked good and did not smell like it was burnt.
        Also, I have not had any error codes. What is interesting is that this clearly only occurs when it has been driven even for as little as 5 miles. Once you stop and go to put it in park, you can not move the shifter at all! If you wait several hours (depending on how far you drove 3-7 hours) it is fine. I took the car to a local BMW dealer yesterday which is 5 miles from my house in a Philadelphia suburb and it happened there. The car had to sit for several hours before they could shift it and put it into the shop. Yesterday afternoon after they took the transmission pan off and did some tests (I do not know what they did because I was not there) and was told that the valve body needs to be replaced!! Really bad news if true because a new one is only available from Germany (non in the US) and costs $3100!! You raise the issue of a solenoid. Is it possible to test if one of them is defective. I believe that there are several of them connected to the valve body. Will be interested in your further thoughts and again, Many thanks.
        Marshall

  21. Stuy

    Hi I have a friend with a v12 750 it losses power steering fluid he has been told that it’s the SLS pipe which is leaking and it’s in the chassis is this possible and do you supply the pipes?

  22. jp

    Hi i have a 2001 735i. I am getting door open sign when i drive off but when i come to a stop it goes away. All doors open and close well as do the locks. Also the key fob opens and closes all doors as normal. So i opened each door to see if the interior light comes on and I have located the drivers door as the culprit. Also the master switch window auto button doesn’t work, i have to hold the button down.

    Any ideas what could be the issue? Does the actuator have a sensor?

  23. paneristinj

    Hi Folks!

    Just picked up a ’01 740i Sport with 84k miles. I’m having an issue where the A/C blows cold up front when I select VENTS only. The REAR vents, FEET vents, and WINDSHIELD vents blow hot air when I select AUTO or their respective settings. Any ideas on how to fix this?

    Thanks in advance!

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