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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:34 PM
Belgirb Belgirb is offline
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Location: Eugene, Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW Z3 2.5
Z3 Pre-purchase advice

They say that wisdom is gained by making mistakes - learn from mine.

I've seen and read many of the posts here from people considering buying a Z3 or Z4, asking what to look for.

I bought a very nice Z3 in another state, had a pre-purchase inspection done and felt I knew what I was getting into. The car had a brand new top. The owner never drove the car in the rain, and always kept it garaged. Like an idiot, I assumed the top would not leak.

Well, I do drive the car in the rain, don't have a garage, and live in Western Oregon. (Hey, I can hear you saying "What an idiot!") The top leaks badly; not the fabric, but at the mounting to the car. Water rushes in from 2 different spots, seeks to destroy all electronics, and ends up draining into the trunk. A good night's rain results in 4" of standing water around the battery (which is nicely recessed in the trunk) and saturated carpets. An immediate purchase of a good car cover was in order, but that doesn't help much when you're driving.

So, my advice: Whether the car has a new top or not, I would not buy another convertible without running a garden hose over the car for 5 minutes and then checking the interior of the cabin and trunk.

BTW: My local BMW dealer won't even give me a quote for repairing the leak as they will NOT work on non-factory tops.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:58 PM
KBH22102 KBH22102 is offline
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Location: Mclean, VA
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8, 2002 M Coupe
Thanks for heads up, but this is a common and fixable problem. The rubber seals at the top atrophy over time. Search under "gummi-pfledge" for a great product to swell the rubber and restore water sealing properties
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:31 PM
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wildag wildag is offline
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Mein Auto: '06 Z4 M Roadster
See the other "Z3 Pre-Purchase Advice" thread for more info...


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