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Thread: C16 RKC's 2004 BMW E65 7 series 3.0 diesel

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    Senior Member C16RKC's Avatar
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    C16 RKC's 2004 BMW E65 7 series 3.0 diesel


    Here I go again!

    I'm becoming a bit of a regular thread starter here in this 'non Jaguar' section now, thanks to a Range Rover purchase for my good lady wife, and some previous Mercedes fun. But thanks to an annoying electrical fault (battery drain) issue, that I did not want to persist with, the Mercedes went back to the selling garage and I received a full refund.



    I have to be honest, in that I did not really think this new BMW purchase through... But I am hoping it will be a fun development.... here goes with the long, boring introduction:

    The Mercedes flattened it's battery in the last week before I broke up work for Christmas, I originally treated it to a new battery and it was only on Christmas eve that I realised the car had a battery drain problem. It turned out the selling garage had already purchased a brand new battery, but the car had a more serious problem. The garage offered to have it repaired, but after bad experiences with Mercedes S-class models that drain batteries before, I decided to hand the car back, on New years eve I handed the car & keys back, and received a full refund, plus a little extra to cover my inconvenience (a great service from that garage!).

    So on Boxing day, when the garage agreed to my refund, it dawned on me that if I did not get another car rather sharpish, I would be back in Lindsey's mum's 2005 Corsa again... this motivated me to find something new. The Daimler was going to the body-shop, so I could not use that. I could use the Range Rover/baby transporter for the odd day, but Lindsey needed that, after all if nothing else she might need to take our 6-month old, Aston, to the hospital or doctors in an emergency. I could not leave Lindsey and our baby chimp without a car!

    Because of this latest experience I ruled out any more Mercedes cars; leaving me with Audi A8, Lexus LS and BMW 7 series models. I quickly ruled out Lexus models as they are either Petrol, or too expensive. I then ruled out Audi models as they are not actually very economical (even the 3.0D), despite being Aluminium, and they are also a tad characterless.



    This left the 7 series BMW. The models in my price range are from the 2002-2008 era. I have to say they get a bit bland after the 2005 facelift, so I was searching for a more characterful 2002-2004 model. They look like this if anyone is curious:

    The pre-facelift (2002-2004)



    Post facelift (2005-2008 )



    Somehow I find the older models more appealing, the interiors are pretty much the same, aside from a switch or two. I just had to try one and see what it was like.

    On the Sunday before new year, I was taking mother to the airport, so on the way to Heathrow, I innocently dropped in to look at BMW 7 series I had seen advertised in Luton. It was cheap, 3.0 diesel model, had just over 100K miles and a nice advert, I thought it might be nice private sale car? If nothing else I could see what a 7 series was like.

    I allowed myself a good one and a half hours to look at the car, but to my shock, when I turned up to pick mother up she was sitting on her sofa sipping tea and was not ready...

    "I thought you were coming at 3:30pm?!" she said.... After she had checked her Whapsapp messages, and realised I had put 13:30pm, 03:30pm, it was already too late. But she hurried as much as she could and we left with barely enough time for me to have a scout around the car. I hear you all saying "It's OK, no idiot buys a car after looking at it on the way to the airport, in the dusky afternoon?!"

    When I got to the car around half past 3, in the dusky light it actually looked rather tidy. The bodywork was polished up lovely; all except the wheels, which were very grubby, a little corroded and in need of new tyres. The interior was very untidy, bottles and rubbish everywhere. I could see the seats needed a bit of attention. Definitely a clean, possibly some leather recolouring.

    The engine started well, and tickover sounded good. All of the electrics seemed to work, except for a strange noise on the passenger front window when it went up/down. Something needing attention! The navigation had a cheap copy disk in it, and was not working.... I never tend to use OEM navigation on old cars like this, but oddly I do still like them to work, so I hoped a new genuine BMW disk might sort this. Last fault was a 'parking light bulb' error for both left and right at the front. I suspected this might be more than just bulbs, as it seemed odd it had not been corrected. I suspected some sort of bulb control module?

    I tried using the i-drive, but I had not idea what I was doing... but it seemed to be doing stuff.... owner said the i-drive knob sometimes plays up, ever since his daughter spilt an ice lolly on it. Really I should have ran an the mention of a toddler being in the car with an ice lolly....



    On the test drive, car drove well. No wobble on steering, braked in a straight line, accelerated nicely. Seemed like a straight car, needing a bit of love. Patchy service history, a few receipts... but it was cheap.

    The thing is, I should not really be allowed out to test drive cars, as I tend to pick them with my heart not my head. In the perfect world, someone else would ask me what I was after, then offer me a selection of decent ones to choose from. I had a very bad habit of always buying the first car I see. Oddly, when I pick cars for Lindsey, the opposite is true and I tend to be very critical and careful.

    I have to say, when I saw the BMW with it's quirky old fashioned looks, 80's style LCD dash clocks, and low slung style, I was smitten. The realisation the car had an electrically operated boot-lid like the latest X351's, basic massage seats (BMW refer to them as 'active' seats), as well as being hypnotised by that i-drive system, and all the funny quirks of it's column mounted gear selector... I was shaking the chaps hand and leaving a deposit.... what could go wrong?

    I left a modest £50 deposit, then we went on our way to take mother to the airport.

    I then arranged to collect the car on New years eve, in the same journey out as the trip to return the Mercedes. This seemed like a sensible way to minimise disruption!

    The journey home was very nice for the first half. Car drove lovely, and I emptied the last few empty water bottles the previous owner had left, when I re-fuelled the car. The quirky cruise control is great - you can leave several memory points so that you can jump to various cruise speeds in an instant. It's really a very high tech car. The radio is good too, it continuously scans and presents you with all the detected stations, so you can browse them all and try them at your pleasure. Very nice. The sound system is excellent, and has something called 'Logic 7' which seems to add extra depth to the music. I think the cheesy technology makes the car feel like something from the 1980's, but it is really nice to drive. It kind of reminded me of those Lagonda's with the cathode ray TV screen dashes in them. High tech from yesteryear!

    But then 60 miles from home, I applied the accelerator to go into the overtaking lane on the dual carriageway, and there seemed to be a distinct lack of power!

    I kept my foot down and the car sort of surged for a second or two, then the power died again. A bit like the turbo was not working and then kicked in for a second. Dread started to sink in to my deepest thoughts.....

    Has the turbo just blown!!!!....

    I completed the rest of the journey home. The car seems to drive very well otherwise. I made a call to our local garage, and was advised its unlikely to be a turbo, as there would be smoke pouring out of the back. I was told more likely its a split hose or pipe somewhere. I calmed myself and an keeping my fingers crossed.

    I continued to use the car for work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and it has been great. It has returned a little more MPG than the Jag did, but I might be driving it extra carefully. I might add that so my absolute surprise, the suspension is silky smooth over the bumps. I was actually expecting it to be quite harsh, perhaps similar to the Jaguar X350. So that was a nice surprise.

    Today I have left Lindsey with the Daimler, while I take the Range Rover to work; this is because the BMW is at the garage being diagnosed; and hopefully fixed. It's also having a full service (subject to it being worth it!).

    So I am now eagerly awaiting the verdict... any minute now....

    I've not had the chance to clean the car properly yet, as I have not had a spare minute to myself. But just before I headed home from work on Friday, I was the last person to leave and took this snap in an otherwise empty work car park:



    So that's my new workhorse... at least as long as I do not find out today that it needs thousands of pounds of repairs and I have bought a complete lemon....!!!

    Regards
    Chris Clark
    2001 XJ Daimler Super V8 (Car for 'best')
    2009 Mercedes CL500 V8 (Daily workhorse)
    2004 BMW 730d (Being lined up for sale)
    2007 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2.7TDi (The Wife's baby hauler)

    Previous cars: '91 Peugeot 405 1.9GRi, '93 BMW 520i, '92 XJ 4.0 Sov, '94 XJ 4.0 Sov, '00 XJ 4.0 Sov, '00 Daimler V8, '03 XJ Super V8, '94 Renault Clio(!), '99 Merc S430L V8, '08 XJ Sov Diesel LWB, '03 Merc S320CDi, '07 XJ Sov Diesel LWB

    www.autosanity.com

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    Senior Member mac_doctor's Avatar
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    Those parking spaces look a bit short: you don't work for a SMART car reseller do you?
    Chris. T.
    2000 XK8 4.0 Coupe
    2010 XJ SWB 3.0D Portfolio. With TVs. Lots of TVs.

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    Senior Member C16RKC's Avatar
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    Parking is a real pain where I work. Don't know why the lines on the spaces are so short, I'd never noticed until you just said!

    My space used to be the one next to it; on the corner, with no-one next to me, so it was easy for a big car to get in/out. But then our financial controller got a new car, and she came crawling over, and asked me very nicely if I would mind switching spaces as she struggled to get her BMW 4 series into her old space. She gets to work later than me, so the idea was I'd have plenty of room to get in first... then she'd be gone before I left at night too. I could not argue with the logic... so I agreed.

    She is leaving the company this month, so I have got to make sure I claim my old space back!
    Regards
    Chris Clark
    2001 XJ Daimler Super V8 (Car for 'best')
    2009 Mercedes CL500 V8 (Daily workhorse)
    2004 BMW 730d (Being lined up for sale)
    2007 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2.7TDi (The Wife's baby hauler)

    Previous cars: '91 Peugeot 405 1.9GRi, '93 BMW 520i, '92 XJ 4.0 Sov, '94 XJ 4.0 Sov, '00 XJ 4.0 Sov, '00 Daimler V8, '03 XJ Super V8, '94 Renault Clio(!), '99 Merc S430L V8, '08 XJ Sov Diesel LWB, '03 Merc S320CDi, '07 XJ Sov Diesel LWB

    www.autosanity.com

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    Senior Member C16RKC's Avatar
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    Oh and did you notice all the pigeon poo on the building?

    Our cars get covered!!!! Grrr... flying rats!
    Regards
    Chris Clark
    2001 XJ Daimler Super V8 (Car for 'best')
    2009 Mercedes CL500 V8 (Daily workhorse)
    2004 BMW 730d (Being lined up for sale)
    2007 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2.7TDi (The Wife's baby hauler)

    Previous cars: '91 Peugeot 405 1.9GRi, '93 BMW 520i, '92 XJ 4.0 Sov, '94 XJ 4.0 Sov, '00 XJ 4.0 Sov, '00 Daimler V8, '03 XJ Super V8, '94 Renault Clio(!), '99 Merc S430L V8, '08 XJ Sov Diesel LWB, '03 Merc S320CDi, '07 XJ Sov Diesel LWB

    www.autosanity.com

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    Senior Member C16RKC's Avatar
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    Just had a call from the garage...

    Turns out the 'loss of power' issue was down to a sticking EGR valve. So not too expensive...

    But the bad news it also needed 2 suspension bushes, some type of fan was falling apart (I think he called is a viscous fan?), disks and pads needed (I forget which front/back?).

    He's totalling it up before he does the work, and it will have to go back in next Monday for everything to be completed, but I am imagining it will not be a cheap one...

    Could have been much worse though!
    Regards
    Chris Clark
    2001 XJ Daimler Super V8 (Car for 'best')
    2009 Mercedes CL500 V8 (Daily workhorse)
    2004 BMW 730d (Being lined up for sale)
    2007 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2.7TDi (The Wife's baby hauler)

    Previous cars: '91 Peugeot 405 1.9GRi, '93 BMW 520i, '92 XJ 4.0 Sov, '94 XJ 4.0 Sov, '00 XJ 4.0 Sov, '00 Daimler V8, '03 XJ Super V8, '94 Renault Clio(!), '99 Merc S430L V8, '08 XJ Sov Diesel LWB, '03 Merc S320CDi, '07 XJ Sov Diesel LWB

    www.autosanity.com

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    Senior Member Ashanti's Avatar
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    Great to see this new thread start Chris.

    As usual with you, it's warts and all and for that you can only be commended.

    Some would gloss over either their cars problems or the fact they were perhaps a tad hasty, not you my friend, not you.

    I like the quirky looks of this car and I for one hope it serves you well this coming year.

    You are a pioneer in Luxury Bangernomics

    Keep the updates coming and let's have some more pictures, especially the interior, cleaned out or not.

    Rich
    Silentum Sicarius

    2006MY Super V8 LWB
    Midnight Black with Ivory & Black Suedecloth Headlining
    All options except Sunroof
    Longlife Exhaust & a Caldoofy - Waft 'N' Loud
    Bespoke Sheepskin Rugs
    Nextbase Duo Dashcam

    My Showroom Thread

    *****

    2008MY LR Discovery 3 HSE V6 2.7TD
    Buckingham Blue with Alpacca
    Nextbase Duo Dashcam

    *****

    You're a long time dead, Enjoy life whilst you have it!

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    Senior Member #steve's Avatar
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    Excellent story and excellent Bangernomics car.

    The BMW I had the shroud on the viscous fan cracked and I just super glued it together.
    2010 Jaguar XF 3.0 D

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    Senior Member FastEddie's Avatar
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    Looks nice Chris , I am a bit of a 7 series lover on the quiet and think you have picked a sensible engine.

    When you are ready for a proper bahn stormer , I have the perfect car for you , currently on a SORN as not overly economical.

    I'll let you look it up , it is the last of a breed and has a nice plate too - HE11 BMW
    2009 , X358 LWB , 2.7 TtcrdiV6 , Liquid Silver



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    Senior Member JimC64's Avatar
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    Ahhh yet another thread from our resident used car buyer lol

    Good to see you've got this started Chris, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she works out better than the Merc for you and gives you some easy motoring.

    A sticking EGR shouldn't be the end of the world Chris, are they talking clean it out or replace? I'd imagine replacement.....
    Might be worth thinking about cleaning the immediate areas such as the manifold and pipes etc too at some point.

    Suspension bushes at 100K is no surprise I suppose, brake discs and pas shouldn't be a major killer either and if they need doing, they need doing.
    By themselves I guess they're not too much but add them together on top of a full service perhaps and it's a bit of money

    Thinking good thoughts and sending them your way buddy
    All my best

    Jim
    My_XJ_X351_ownership_thread

    My_XJ_X358_ownership_thread

    MY2016 ( 65 ) XJ X351 3.0d Portfolio LWB, Black, London Tan leather interior, 20" Orona alloys, picnic tables and rear multimedia
    MY2009 ( 58 ) X type 2.2d Sport Premium, Heated seats, Front & Rear park assist, Sat Nav, 18" Proteus alloys, tinted rear windows, Heko wind deflectors

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    Senior Member C16RKC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashanti View Post
    Great to see this new thread start Chris.

    As usual with you, it's warts and all and for that you can only be commended.

    Some would gloss over either their cars problems or the fact they were perhaps a tad hasty, not you my friend, not you.

    I like the quirky looks of this car and I for one hope it serves you well this coming year.

    You are a pioneer in Luxury Bangernomics

    Keep the updates coming and let's have some more pictures, especially the interior, cleaned out or not.

    Rich
    I'm not embarrassed to be an idiot Rich!

    Over the years I have bought a lot of bad cars, and for some reason I tend to usually persist with them and fix them up. When I look at it sensibly I cannot find anyway to convince myself I should not have walked away from this car. But at the same time I'm quite thrilled with it!

    It's only 14 years old, but has a sort of 80's feel to it I think. It also has that old fashioned 'tank' build quality feel I like. It's sort of like piloting a large ship around the roads.

    This is completely the opposite of what I was expecting, as I have heard people say numerous times that the 7 series can be thrown about like a 3-series, and compliment its superb handling. I find it hard to believe this one moves like a 3 series; it feels so lumbering and heavy. Must be exaggeration by owners I guess?

    Will hopefully get some better pictures soon, when I get to give it a good clean!

    Quote Originally Posted by #steve View Post
    Excellent story and excellent Bangernomics car.

    The BMW I had the shroud on the viscous fan cracked and I just super glued it together.
    I'm not sure how bad the damage is, but they are just fitting me a brand new one. I don't think its overly expensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by FastEddie View Post
    Looks nice Chris , I am a bit of a 7 series lover on the quiet and think you have picked a sensible engine.

    When you are ready for a proper bahn stormer , I have the perfect car for you , currently on a SORN as not overly economical.

    I'll let you look it up , it is the last of a breed and has a nice plate too - HE11 BMW
    Wow a BMW 760... that must be some beast! I guess hybrids have taken over from that now.

    I cannot believe you have it just sitting on SORN... I am very jealous. With the Bentley too, you have quite a car collection there!

    Quote Originally Posted by JimC64 View Post
    Ahhh yet another thread from our resident used car buyer lol

    Good to see you've got this started Chris, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she works out better than the Merc for you and gives you some easy motoring.

    A sticking EGR shouldn't be the end of the world Chris, are they talking clean it out or replace? I'd imagine replacement.....
    Might be worth thinking about cleaning the immediate areas such as the manifold and pipes etc too at some point.

    Suspension bushes at 100K is no surprise I suppose, brake discs and pas shouldn't be a major killer either and if they need doing, they need doing.
    By themselves I guess they're not too much but add them together on top of a full service perhaps and it's a bit of money

    Thinking good thoughts and sending them your way buddy
    All my best

    Jim
    That made me chuckle Jim; that is exactly what I feel like Jim - a permanent used car buyer!

    The problem is, I rely on my car so I need something reliable. But on the flip side, the 12 year old boy part of me wants a luxury barge to ride around in. So I am not very practical when it comes to choosing cars. I still don't really enjoy having to ride around in a Diesel; I cannot stand the noise they make. But needs must when you do 25K miles a year.

    There is part of me that sort of guesses this car will only last a couple of years max, before I get bored of it, and move on. The shocking part is I'll sort out all the faults, probably upgrade the audio/visual system (already spotted something I like...), clean up the interior and wheels... then I'll sell it on and it will all be dead money... but everyone has their vice I suppose..?

    The Mercedes I had before the Jag was bought in a similar rush (I had not intended to keep it), but I kept it for over 2 years. I don't like modifying cars to look differently so I pretty much just restore them. In those 2 years I had the wheels refurbished, sorted out the bodywork (there was lots of rust and dents), installed a special OEM look Android head unit, re-trimmed seats where leather was damaged, and fixed all sorts of other things, replacing trim etc. The car was tip top when I sold it and if I remember right I had spent around £10K on it when I sold it on. Lindsey's comment was that I could have bought a new car for the price of the upkeep and upgrades I had done to it, she was right. I'm aware this makes me a sort of car buying/upgrading prat, and I'll have to try to control myself with this one!

    But I suppose considering all things, everyone needs a hobby, and I do enjoy it I suppose. I know other people who spend similar amounts of cash on other things, for example I know someone who spends much more than that on photography equipment every year; and its just his hobby.

    The X358 was probably one of the best cars I'd owned, because it needed little repairs and I did not spend too much on it. Despite some of its wrinkles, I think the X350/X358 was one of Jaguar's finest cars ever produced.
    Regards
    Chris Clark
    2001 XJ Daimler Super V8 (Car for 'best')
    2009 Mercedes CL500 V8 (Daily workhorse)
    2004 BMW 730d (Being lined up for sale)
    2007 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2.7TDi (The Wife's baby hauler)

    Previous cars: '91 Peugeot 405 1.9GRi, '93 BMW 520i, '92 XJ 4.0 Sov, '94 XJ 4.0 Sov, '00 XJ 4.0 Sov, '00 Daimler V8, '03 XJ Super V8, '94 Renault Clio(!), '99 Merc S430L V8, '08 XJ Sov Diesel LWB, '03 Merc S320CDi, '07 XJ Sov Diesel LWB

    www.autosanity.com

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