BMW F01 is the generation of the 7 series that launched in 2008 and was available till 2015. Refreshed with an all-new design, lightweight chassis, newer powertrains, and improved interiors, F01 was considered a major upgrade over its preceding generation.
F01 debuted with both the diesel and gasoline engines and was the first 7 series with a hybrid powertrain. It also had a suite of safety and driver assistance technology that made it a strong contender in the luxury segment. Let’s have a look at the BMW F01 generation in detail, including its reliability, engines, common problems, maintenance, and everything.
Is BMW F01 Reliable?
BMW F01 is a very reliable car, though it has some inherent mechanical and electrical issues, those are not fatal. F01 comes with a range of reliable powertrains, drivetrain, suspension, and transmission systems. If maintained properly according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, BMW F01 can be your reliable daily luxury transport for years.
F01 was a completely new generation with an all-new platform, interior, enhanced, and smart powertrains. Over the years, it proved to be a very reliable car despite its complex engineering and technology.
If you’re looking to purchase a BMW F01, be wary of some of its known issues and pick a car wisely.
Also read: Is BMW G30 Reliable? (+Common Issues)
What are the Most Common Problems with the BMW F01?
BMW F01 has proven to be a dependable car, but it also suffers from various problems that appear after years of usage and poor maintenance. These common problems include engine oil leakage, VANOS problems, airbag issues, problematic electronics, and transmission problems.
These problems occur only after 150,000 miles, particularly due to negligence in care of the vehicle.
1- Engine Oil Leakage
F01 has this problem of oil leakage, mainly due to worn-out seals and head gasket issues. Usually, the engines with bigger displacement suffer from this problem and cause reduced engine oil level, poor performance, and engine knocking. This problem occurs due to neglect and appears usually after 125,000 miles.
2- VANOS Problems
The VANO system was a new valve timing technology developed by BMW, but it suffered from failures over time. Particularly a faulty VANOS seal or valve, causing reduced output and affecting fuel efficiency. It occurs after 150,000 miles and can be easily avoided by getting the engine serviced on time.
3- Airbag Issues
Due to faulty airbag sensors and a latch, the airbag fails to deploy in case of an accident. This problem was common in early models and required the replacement of the whole airbag assembly. This can occur any time sensor gives up, usually around 100,000 miles.
4- Problematic Electronics
Some of the electronic parts on a BMW F01 can become problematic, such as the infotainment system, rear power windows, and digital odometer. This is not such a serious problem and occurs usually after 150,000 miles, but is a costly fix, as the faulty parts can only be replaced that are expensive to source.
5- Transmission Problems
Some of the automatic transmissions in BMW F01 are known to be problematic. The most reported issues are transmission fluid leakage, jerky shifting, loss of power (gears failing to engage), and overheating. Most of the time it requires replacement of the whole assembly to be fixed, while sometimes it is only a leaking, worn-out seal.
Cost of Fixing the Common Problems with the BMW F01
|1||Engine oil leakage||$500-700|
|3||Airbag issues||$800- 1,600|
Which BMW F01 Years are the Best and Worst?
Although F01 has a good reputation for having reliable engines and dependable performance over the years, some models were not so durable and suffered from reliability issues.
Best BMW F01 Model Years
Worst BMW F01 Model Years
Which BMW F01 Engines are the Most and Least Reliable?
BMW F01 is available in different powertrains including diesel, hybrid, and gasoline. Some engines are turbocharged, while others are naturally aspirated. A few of the engines suffer from manufacturing faults, while others are quite solid. The good ones are N57 and N52, while the ones with issues are N63 and N55.
Most Reliable BMW F01 Engines
This turbo-diesel engine is known to be rock-solid in reliability as well as performance. There are no reported fatal issues with this powertrain and is one of the most sold engines in this generation.
The powerful 3.0l inline 6-cylinder is a very robust engine that performs well over the years. It is also a preferred option among the buyers and lasts a lifetime without any major issues.
Least Reliable BMW F01 Engines
It is a performance engine tuned for motorsports and is offered in AlpinaB7 models specifically. It is known to suffer from various mechanical problems over the years, such as blown turbochargers and head gaskets.
This is also a problematic engine in F01 7 series and is known to have issues like Double-VANOS seal problems, timing belt issues, and rattling front mounts.
Also read: Is BMW E60 Reliable? (Read Before You Buy)
Is BMW F01 Safe?
BMW F01 is a complete car in terms of safety. Loaded with tons of active and passive safety features, augmented by smart driver assistance technology. Like other BMW vehicles, it also pioneers the latest safety equipment and active collision mitigation for enhanced safety of the occupants.
The safety features & equipment on a BMW F01 include;
- ABS with EBD and brake assist.
- Vehicle stability control, with active rear wheel steering.
- Radar cruise control with speed follow.
- Emergency braking with pedestrian detection system.
- Blind spot monitoring and night vision system.
- Lane departure warning and lane keep assist.
NHTSA Safety Rating: 5 Star
How Much Does BMW F01 Cost to Maintain?
These are some of the maintenance costs of the BMW F01 7 series;
- Oil change: $250
- Filters (air, oil, and fuel): $350
- Brake fluids: $250
- Cost of a tire: $350
- Gear oil: $300
- Labor charges: $400-700
Yearly maintenance cost: average $2,000
Yearly Fuel Cost: average $2,500
Insurance Cost: $1,650
What is a Good Mileage for the BMW F01?
150,000 miles should be considered a good figure in terms of mileage for the BMW F01. If you’re looking to buy a used BMW F01, a well-maintained car with less than 150,000 miles would be an ideal pick. BMW F01 is a highly reliable car with robust engines, transmissions, and overall performance. So, if maintenance history is intact, there had been only 1 or 2 owners throughout, and no major accidents, a BMW F01 with 150,000-mileage can be a great luxury daily driver.
Also read: 5 Best BMWs with Over 300 HP (with Costs)
What Parts Should You Replace and After How Many Miles?
To keep the BMW F01 in pristine condition and firing perfectly on all cylinders, some parts and lubricants require replacement at regular intervals. These include engine oil and filter, spark plugs, timing belt, brake pads, and a few others.
|2||Air, oil, and fuel filter||7,000 miles (20,000 for fuel filter)|
|3||Brake pads||20,000 miles|
|5||Spark plugs and battery||65,000 miles|
|6||Timing belt||70,000 miles|
Are BMW F01 Parts Widely Available?
BMW F01 is a flagship luxury sedan that was manufactured and offered in a limited number, unlike the other models in the BMW lineup. But sourcing parts for F01 should not be a problem as it was produced and sold in almost all the major markets where BMW operates, and the company even offers online sourcing if your local dealer’s stock runs out.
BMW has a wide network of dealers in the whole world and offers sales, services, and spare parts. So, arranging OEM parts for F01 should not be a problem, but they are not as common as 3 series or 5 series parts.
How to Buy a Reliable BMW F01?
Here’s how you can buy a reliable BMW F01 in the used market;
- Hire a third-party inspection team thorough inspection of the car and an unbiased report on its condition.
- Ask for the maintenance record, ownership history, and the CARFAX report, to have a look at the car’s past.
- It is also advisable to look around in your neighborhood or buy from someone you know.
- Find a car with lower mileage and a body free of rust and corrosion.
- Make sure all the faulty parts have been replaced/repaired. Also, check if the paint is in original condition.
- Take a test drive and get an opinion from an automotive expert before confirming the deal. Ensure that the engine, suspension, transmission, and electronics are all working fine.
- The best option could be to explore the BMW’s certified-preowned vehicles department for a reliable purchase.
BMW F01 – Pros & Cons
- It is a flagship luxury sedan that offers premium driving and ownership experience.
- Packed with up-scale safety and tech features to ensure the passengers’ safety.
- Highly reliable engines and transmission, with hybrid available as an option.
- A very comfortable car to drive and has executive features you find only on British bespoke vehicles.
- Spacious trunk and ample storage space for utility & convenience.
- It is an expensive car to purchase and run, even as a used car.
- Costly to maintain and repair, especially the labor charges are exuberantly high.
- Spare parts are very expensive and difficult to source in some regions.
- Insurance is also quite expensive.
- Loses its market value drastically over the years.