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my first Z3

Discussion in 'E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)' started by weysask, Mar 22, 2008.

    weysask guest

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    Hi all I am new here just today. I just bought my self a 99 Z3 2.8 . Only had it a week and love it.
    I am taking it in for a service job the end of the month but was wondering if there are any real problem areas or certain things to keep an eye out for that has been a problem over the years . This is my first BMW and don't know alot about them other than I like this one.
    It has 120 k with a auto trans. in it , but seem to run and ride well . the top is in good shape and everything works in side other than the 6pack CD player in the trunk.

    elitesoldier7 guest

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    CD Player

    Im not sure about 99 model but my 01 had some problems with the cd changer and the couple i bought it from replaced just before i bought it so you might just keep and eye out for something with the cd player

    kostverloren guest

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    Things to look out for.

    Sagging Glove Box.
    Rocking Seats.
    Water Pump Replacement @ 40-60k miles.
    Sub Frame seperation.
    Worn out window sliders.
    Radiator neck(plastic) prone to stress failure.
    Soft Paint(environmentally friendly) will chip very easily.
    Soft windshield glass will pit easily.
    Heater Control Unit will break if forced.

    Just to name a few things. Otherwise this is a greaaaat car. If you like to DIY it's a blast if not it's $$$$$.

    All the things I have mentioned have solutions.Check out these forums,

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum///index.php
    http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/index.php?
    http://bimmer.roadfly.com/bmw/forums/z3/

    Good Luck

    Doc Holliday guest

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    Bowden cables (heat control) suck. Worst invention ever. I had this problem on my Z but luckily I was able to fix it.

    Figure on water pumps and thermostats every 60k max, a new radiator at 90k, and good luck with the slush box. Over 100k and they can be problematical, although I've got 175k on the original box on my 1994 E34. My Z has a 5 speed.

    BMWs are addictive. It's not always a cheap addiction, but when things are right, it's fantastic.

    barbrawson guest

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    at about 59k mile..my .water pump/fan/shroud etc went..fan blade broke off and hit the shroud..luckily it did not hit the radiator....cost me 710.00 to replace all.
    so..Z3 roadster is not a cheap car to maintain...that did not include the tow

    Doc Holliday guest

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    Well, I said 60k max on the water pump. If you replace that at about 55k, it's much cheaper and it's an easy DIY.

    You're lucky it was just the water pump and fan. If you overheat it, it's much, much worse.
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    RetAF95

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    Me Too

    I just bought my first Z3 as well, and plan to take delivery in a week. I have to fly from MO to NC to get joined up with it, but I'm REALLY looking forward to it. We already have an E39 in the stable, so I am familiar with BMW Quality. That's the #1 reason I wanted to get another one.

    My Z is a 2002, with just under 35k on the odometer. Titanium, comes with the hard-top, Manual gearbox. From the pics I have seen, it looks like she's been babied for quite some time. It should be a BLAST. Right out of the gate, I get to drive it about 900 miles to get back, so I can be in the office again on Monday. Should be alot of fun. ;)
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    granthr

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    Congrats on the new Z!!! Do you have your Oct Roundel? Great article in there on a road trip from NC to CA. Be sure take some of those fantastic NC/Tenn back roads on your way home!! Just watch out for the men in blue! :D

    GR
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    RetAF95

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    I've been thru that area with my motorcycle in the past, so am familiar with some of them. Thanks for the idea, though.

    No, I do not have the October Roundel. Just re-joined CCA, so something should be coming soon.
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    granthr

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    Unfortunately the Oct issue in not online yet and I don't have it with me here at work. Welcome back to the club. The article talked about the blue ridge parkway and some others. But sounds like you know the area. From what I have heard, all the two lanes in western NC are great! So enjoy your trip, should be a blast! Hopefully you will see some fall colors too!

    GR

    George Kages guest

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    How's the car running? I just bought a 2001 2.5 with 120,000 on it. Seems to be in great shape, but I traded in a 2002 Honda CRV 4wd on the eve of winter here in Chicago and I hope I haven't made a mistake. I just got divorced, and thought I'd treat myself to a real car!

    BMWtoyz guest

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    I have had two Z3's, a 97 2.8 and my current 98 M. I have had very few problems the 97 had a cruise control cable recall, and I had issues with the rear window seams. Of all the "common problems" frequently mentioned I have not seen any of them with my two Z's. Happy motoring!

    George Kages guest

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    Thanks! I'm thrilled with this car so far. From all the forums I've read through (too many to count) the problems seem minor and limited to a small group of issues, like the rear window and water pump. I'm glad to see nothing of major concern. One of the things which really sticks out is the enthusiasm which everyone has for the Z3. I don't think this will be a purchase I'll regret!
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    lcjhnsn

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    Welcome Gentlemen

    Despite the fact that I should have done more homework regarding potential problems before buying the Roadster...

    because I learned about most of those problems from first hand experience after I bought it...

    I absolutely adore this car!

    Although the Z4 is a great car, it just does not appeal to me like te Z3 and I really don't like the ongoing trend of successive models getting bigger, heavier and more complicated.

    I intend to keep this car for a VERY LONG time.

    P.S., I would definitely not look forward to a Chicago winter with a Z as your only means of transportation. I did 2 New England winters with an M3 as a daily driver and there was an ever present risk of getting stuck, even with snow tires. Good Luck

    George Kages guest

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    Thanks for the reply. I read on a canadian Z3 owner's club blog that the DSC helps in winter driving- Otherwise, I guess some walking in the snow is a small price to pay for the warm weather enjoyment!
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    RetAF95

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    My First One

    I picked up my '02 Roadster, 3.0, with 34k miles on it, on November 1st. So far, I absolutely LOVE IT. I was amazed at how comfortable it is on the open road. I drove a little over 600 miles the first day, working on getting it home from North Carolina, back to Missouri where I live. Felt like I could have easily driven farther that day.

    I had to consult the local dealer to obtain the security code for the radio - card had been lost somewhere along the way. Had to replace a bulb on the heater control panel. Boy, what that fun!! My hands are quite large. I could get then through the opening for the radio after removing it, but to get then twisted around to remove the old bulb was NOT easy! I had figured it would be at most a 30 minute job. Ended up taking me nearly and hour and a half. Patience pays, though, and now I have a fully illuminated heater control section.

    Got my lift installed today, so I could remove the hard-top. This evening, with temps in the low 50s, was then the first opportunity I had to drive it with the top down. Now THAT WAS FUN! I'll probably put the HT back on for winter, once I get a pad for the plastic window, but now I know what it's like to drive topless, as it were.

    In the last 13 days, I think there have been only two days during which I have left the Z parked. Got some rain promised for tomorrow, so will probably take the SUV, and let the Z stay clean and warm.

    I am fast becoming of the opinion that my Z will be a part of my lifestyle for a long time to come! Even my Grandkids will enjoy it!

    George Kages guest

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    I have read hundreds of comments in review pages, letters and blogs, and every one, without exception, goes on about how wonderful this car is, even with it's occasional faults. What is most notable are the owners who have high mileage Z3s, and who still rave about their cars. My only regret is that I didn't buy this car earlier in the year, so that I could enjoy more top-down driving!

    LuckyK guest

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    Questions

    Just bought my first z3 (1998 roadster 2.8). Radio code is missing. Is it worth going into the dealer to get the codes or better to just buy a new radio?

    Are the owner's manuals helpful? (I have other manuals but not the owner's.)

    Thanks,

    LuckyK
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    pseto

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    IMO the OEM radio/speakers are terrible, so I'd go aftermarket. as far as the owner's manual, you'll find more info on the internet than the manual; although the Bentley manual is worth every penny
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    CRKrieger

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    The dealer SHOULD give you the code at no charge if you take the car & registration in with you to prove you are the legitimate owner.

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