What to Look for When Buying a BMW E38 7 Series

Times are moving on and what was a top of the line BMW 10 years ago is now on the same level as a 3 Series. Fortunately though, price-wise, things are completely different.
BMW E38 7 Series 1 photo
Photo: BMW
Keeping an eye out for a good used 7 Series might win you over a couple of bucks or get you inside a brilliant car for pennies. That’s what I do on daily basis. Recently, 7 Series model made before 2000 have started to go down on prices. In Europe you can get one for as low as EUR3,000 whilst in the US they tend to be a bit more expensive. Even so, for what the car is offering, it’s a bargain.

So, what should you look for when shopping for an E38 7 Series. Well, BMW made them pretty sturdy and there are only a few problems associated with this model.

First of all, you should check the rear tires. I know, it sounds a bit stupid, but their wide and tall configuration makes them pretty expensive. Furthermore, they tend to wear out really quickly so you should check them out when prospecting.

Going under the bonnet, you should know that each engine has its own ‘specific’ problems you should check out. However, one of the most common is Vanos failure. That’s the engine’s valve management system, known for failing over the years. Checking it out is pretty straightforward: listen for high pitched clinks of the engine whilst running. Such a noise could indicate that the cylinders and valves aren’t working correspondingly.

Another issue might be the oil pump. The problem with this one is that it’s hard to get to it, having to remove the whole engine in the process. That’s a lot of labour hours to be paid for.

Other than these issues, the cars are pretty well built with few ‘common’ problems being reported. The paint is known to go rust free for a long time, whilst the suspension is one of the most reliable BMW ever used, ever for a car that weighs almost 2 tones.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories