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Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 12-13-2010, 02:31 AM

    Fan clutch failure ==> exploding fan

    Yeah, what you just experienced is not exactly new. The clutch freezes, the fan over-RPMs, and "bang"!.
    My little trip down this lane was dramatic - morning rush hour, entering the packed San Deigo freeway at near full throttle, then ~~~ "B A N G " !!! ~~~ and the hood lifted up from the explosion. Unfortunately, a piece of the exploded fan nestled under the wide-open throttle, so the car was trapped in full accelleration with cares all around on every side. Luckly, an exit ramp was near and i got off without crashing into anyone --- but then had the thrill of trying to halt a full throttle car as the end of the exit ramp loomed. Filed an NHTSA report, and maybe that is why BMWNA was so cooperatibe and customer oriented --- fixed everything with no out of pocket to me, not even sub. tranbsportation. Actually, pretty impressive response.

    I doubt this is a fault you can inspect away". The fan clutch is fine, then it freezes. How are you going to predict that?

    I have to admit that, like you, my experience with this 7-series has been very expensive. Getting so that it would be easier to list what has NOT been replaced than what is still working. My last 7-series (6-cyl) ran for 320,000 miles before the head was even off. Sold it at 345,000 ... absolutely pristine, near-show condition. Sometimes regret that .... The E38 seems to have a lot of corners cut in the design.
  • 05-13-2010, 06:52 AM

    This is rare, but it makes forum headlines

    The forums do not have a conclusive opinion on the cause. If you want to be totally safe, replace your water pump, fan clutch, and fan.
  • 05-13-2010, 05:19 AM
    P.Patrick 88M6/'00740iA

    News to me. How can I avoid this happening to me??

    I drive the hell out of my car. Not reckless, but the way it was meant to be driven. This would be the last thing I need...

  • 05-08-2010, 11:31 PM


    Indeed, the fan failure issue has taken to BMW NA before. However, not more than a denial. There has been a failure among BMW enthusiasts by not taken the fan issue to the proper authorities as individuals and as group, too. However, BMW NA has responded well on pixel issue vs the fan failure, radiator, ZF transmission, water pump and many other issue, which could have been resolved as recall items. Please let us know your talks with BMW NA.

    Here is suggestion to review BMW recalls for Series 7

    Possilbe 7 Series recalls

    "Keep Right, Pass Left. It's the Law."

  • 05-03-2010, 11:29 PM

    Re: Yes, this is the known danger of buying an old

    I think you are expecting a lot from your 15 year old car. Stuff wears out. Some cars have more problems than others. I'm glad you had good luck with your 6 series, but all of the 80's vintage BMW's are not cheap to own. I have an e28 M5 that came with a thick folder of repair receipts totaling $32,000.00.
  • 04-23-2010, 02:55 AM


    Did you hear back from BMWNA?

  • 04-23-2010, 02:22 AM

    Re: Tough deal - you did what you could...

    Did you ever hear back from BMWNA?
  • 10-18-2004, 12:21 AM
    Steve Smith

    I will be contacting "NA" tomorrow!!!

    I'll try and get ahold of them tomorrow and let you
    all know how I make out. The more I think about it
    the more frustrated I am (at BMW NA). Lucky I wasn't
    looking in and around the engine compartment like I
    have been recently (A LOT), coulda been seriously

    I'm very fortunate my work pays for a bus pass for
    its employees. I'm a newlywed guy paying off all
    kinds of student debt, and will be riding the bus
    for the forseeable future.

    For the curious, my e24 is in my brothers hands, and
    the plan was I would sell my e38 and get him a car,
    then the e24 would be mine once more. so much for


    -Steve Smith
  • 10-16-2004, 10:50 PM

    Happened to me, The warning is lots of wind from

    the area. About $1000.00 in damages, and luckly I wasn't looking under the hood when it came apart. Could have been decapitated! Serious safety issue.

  • 10-15-2004, 10:14 PM

    I feel your pain (all too well) my brother...

    I'm in for over $5,000-in repairs & maintenance over the past 2-years/15,000-miles of ownership. All repairs were engine related sans a new $1,000-Drive-Shaft. These BMW V8s leak (Oil, Coolant, P/S Fluid & W/W Fluid) like a sive and are no where near as reliable as there bullit-proof straight 6 cousins. I can't imagine the problems that owners of pre-owned E65s and now E60s will have once those cars are out-of-warranty, add i-drive and active (electro-mechanical) steering failures to the list of problems and very, very few people would be able to afford to keep these V8 cars on the road. Before I purchased my pre-owned out-of-warranty 7, friends and mechanics warned me the it will cost $2K>$3K a year just to keep running and "boy" after 2-years they were unfortunately right on the money. THIS IS THE LAST CAR THAT I WILL EVER OWN OUT-OF-WARRANTY. I spent over $5K in school and have learned my lesson. Now selling it won't be easy since the word is well out that E38s are a money pit.

  • 10-15-2004, 09:12 PM

    Re: Upon further inspection -- FAN CLUTCH

    Get your insurance company to pay for it if you have comprehensive coverage with a low deductible. This happened to me on my old 93 325i, and I argued that it was a sudden catastrophic occurence that caused damage to other parts. They covered my $3200 in damages less my $250 deductible and my premium was not affected.
  • 10-15-2004, 08:59 PM
    Steve Smith

    failurs == failures

  • 10-15-2004, 08:58 PM
    Steve Smith

    Re: Yes, this is the known danger of buying an old

    Sorry Jeffrey,
    I DON'T agree. If you read my post you'd know that I have
    an '88 e24 that has not required ANY major maintenance in
    the 7 years that I've owned it. In fact I've probably
    spent $200 on belts, oil filters, and various fluids, but
    probably not including oil.

    But nevertheless, this is NOT the known danger of buying
    a used car with (ooo gasp!) 70k miles (which isn't even
    true, my car had 107k when I bought it). My e24 was bought
    at about 115k and is now knocking on the door of 200k miles.

    I think these mid-90's and 2000-vintage BMW's are NOT the
    BMW's we all knew and loved back in the day. And if you
    want me to go on a Bangle-bashing rampage, I'll tell you
    what I think about the look of our once-beloved marque not
    to mention reliability of those cars!!!

    Jeffrey, used cars aren't a bad investment. Spending money
    on used cars isn't unexpected, but paying nearly 50% of the
    cars purchase price a YEAR later in repairing major system
    failurs IS a big deal and not by any means NORMAL.

    -Steve Smith
  • 10-15-2004, 06:20 PM

    Yes, this is the known danger of buying an old

    70k car. Really, $3500 isn't that bad for for a 9 year old car with 132k miles on it. Many cars, even a relatively inexpensive one could cost you that much in repairs with that many miles and age. Also, time is just as hard on a car as miles. The plastics and rubbers begin to dry out and become brittle over time. I'm not saying that BMW could not do a better job on making sure that the parts last for a reasonable amount of time on a 70k car. But at 132k, some things are going to reach the end of there useful life and begin failing.
  • 10-15-2004, 05:44 PM
    Steve Smith

    WOW -- You still own the car?

    Wow -- that's incredible. I tell ya, I can't wait to sell
    this thing.

    -Steve Smith
  • 10-15-2004, 04:51 PM

    I have a 98 with 77K and within only couple of wks

    the radiator, waterpump, thermostat/gaskets, and transmission($3800) all had to be replaced. Had to tow it twice!
  • 10-15-2004, 04:29 PM
    Steve Smith

    Upon further inspection -- FAN CLUTCH

    seems to be the culprit. I just pulled it off the car.
    It really looks to me like fan clutch froze and the fan
    blade exploded by overspinning

    I just priced parts out at Crevier:

    11-53-1-741-408 WATER HOSE 1 17.40 16.31
    11-53-1-741-409 WATER HOSE 1 24.20 22.69
    11-52-7-502-804 FAN CLUTCH 1 108.00 108.00
    17-10-1-440-252 FAN SHROUD 1 60.60 56.81
    13-71-1-432-409 RUBBER BOOT 1 41.40 38.81
    17-11-1-702-969 RADIATOR 1 155.20 155.20
    11-52-1-712-110 FAN / 11 BLADE 1 52.60 49.31

    total is $447.13 + shipping

    This doesn't include the body work/hood replacement painting
    which is likely to be about $500 when it's all said and done.

    Unfortunately (for BMW NA), this design fault is also widely
    documented! Given this latest information, I'd really
    appreciate similar experiences and how they've gotten BMW NA
    to step up to the plate.


    -Steve Smith
  • 10-15-2004, 01:12 PM

    Re: Tough deal - you did what you could...

    I think there is some kind of car karma or luck. I had an e12 and put, literally 400K on it [bought it with 160]. replaced a couple thermo's and radiator, the exaust, and...thats about it except for the normal brake pads, etc. Then I got a 93 740iL w/new engine and replaced the drive shaft, the rest was also bomber [including it saving my family when we got sandwiched between two trucks], then a 97iL with 70K when I bought it, which is even more amazing. Had to replace the alternator , but big deal....I have several friends who can't seem to keep BMW's and have them run without huge problems [brakes, tranny's,fan blades, etc].
    One thing I do--if the tranny does strange things when I do something with the go pedal, I don't do that something anymore....
  • 10-15-2004, 01:00 PM

    Tough deal - you did what you could...

  • 10-15-2004, 12:42 PM
    Steve Smith

    Yes a '95 e38 -- 132,000 miles

    Yes I definitely put some due diligence in it.
    I confirmed the engine had been replaced and had
    quite a bit of documentation from the previous
    owner. I'm a big Internet-driven DIY weekend
    warrior mechanic so I definitely checked out all
    the information on this particular forum and
    asked all the questions I could.

    Either way put another mark up for an E24/E28
    that is a lot more bulletproof than a mid-90's

    I'm REAL upset.
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