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Old 11-11-2012, 06:12 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
BMW CCA 1405
Location: Louisville, KY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,083
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3 1.9 5MT
Originally Posted by JimCameron View Post
I have identified a 1999 Z3 2.3 auto trans as a potential addition... 29,000 miles, garage kept, seasonally driven, one owner, drives great, traded in on a new luxury sedan by the owner. Now in the hands of a high end luxury dealership.
Asking price under 14K.... had the "loose" seat issue on both seats. The dealer called the BMW dealer and was told; $2000 to fix. I know I can have it fixed for about $500. Now they are down to under $12000 for the car. I offered $9000... If you had a 1999 Z3 that drives great, dropped in your lap without any service records, what preventive maintenance would you do immediately to properly freshen a beautiful Z that just hasn't been used much? Also if you could ball park what the dealer might charge...
I just had a near identical experience. A 1997 Z3 1.9 traded into a luxe multi-dealer complex. It had 32,000 miles and a clean CarFax. The first owner leased it in Mobile AL for the usual 3 years, and the second owner bought it when he was 80 years old. I tracked ownership on Internet. The car has no signs of age at all. Dealer was firm on $11,000. No maintenance records.

I did buy the car. And used this forum. My seats were not loose, but those are easily owner-fixed with parts mentioned here for about $30. I ordered a new rear window which I will zipper in. If the clutch had been stiff, I would have gotten the $20 pedal bushing kit.

I had the BMW dealer in the complex price and change the engine oil, coolant and brake fluid. Very high but I agreed. The dealer also wanted about $150 each to change the clutch, trans and diff fluids, which I declined.

In this forum I learned that Royal Purple SyncroMax and Red Line Synth 75W90 GL-5 Gear Oil were good. I had my independent shop change those clutch, trans and diff fluids, for about $50 labor each with me providing the trans and diff fluids.

If it had been summer, and if I had bought the ramps and jackstands to get this very low car up off the ground, I could have done most of this. And saved a lot of money.

What you need to do:
Get a CarFax. A good dealer and one that has confidence in the car will give you one. The dealer for the first Z3 I looked at gave me a CarFax substitute wannabe, so I paid for my own CarFax which showed a serious accident ten years ago.
Change the oil and filter to zero out the onboard display, BMW says 15W-40 synthetic, hard to find unless theirs, could use 10W-40 Mobil 1.
Change the coolant, BMW's is not expensive, but bleeding air might be tricky.
Change the brake fluid, not so easy by oneself. My wife swore off of this 30 years ago.
Change the trans fluid, but I don't know what's best for auto trans.
If a convertible with any rear window problems, replace it before leaks get water into the car. Pristine old garage queens that are left out in the rain on used car lots can suddenly have wet floors, seats, and trunks.
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