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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 12-05-2010, 08:12 AM
LordHumungus LordHumungus is offline
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Location: norman
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Mein Auto: 2000 z3 2.3
Some advice for a potential Z3 owner?

Hello all! I'm new here & I'm thinking of getting my wife a 2000 z3. I'm not too familiar with the car but we really like it. Here's some info on it: It has 112k miles on it & seems to be in pretty good shape. We love the color (black pearl) & it has black leather interior with wood trim. It's missing a couple of little pieces like the glove box handle which is in the glove box but not attached & a piece of trim that goes around the interior door handle on the drivers side. The steering wheel squeaks a bit when turning & I can hear a little hear/feel a little knock when I turn the wheel while I'm sitting still. Would that be the ball joints? The front pass tire shows more wear than the others too. I had a mechanic friend scan it & I took pics of the results since he wasn't real familiar with them either. I can post them if anyone is interested. He wasn't sure about the ball joints since we weren't able to put it on a lift yet. It says 2.3 on the car but I guess it's a 2.5 liter? Either way it's got plenty of get up & go & it's a blast to drive! I would prefer a manual tranny but it's gonna be her car so... The back window has a new 8" crack in it & the trim around it is coming off a little in places so I need to replace that for sure if we get it. I ran a carfax on it and found nothing wrong & it looks like it's been taken care of with regular scheduled maintenance. We got them down to $6500 so far & I think that sounds pretty fair but I'm just hoping there's no hidden problems since I heard these are expensive to fix. Are there any suggestions on what I should look for & should I just take it to an authorized BMW mechanic before I buy? Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2010, 11:34 AM
KenTenn KenTenn is offline
KenTenn
Location: Nashville, TN
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 286
Mein Auto: '06 M Roadster
I would make sure that all the service has been done - ask to see the records. If you can't verify that, I wouldn't buy it. The key to these cars is maintenance. Once you verify that all the service has been done, I would find a GOOD independant shop to do a "pre-purchase" inspection. It will cost you a little (I'm guessing $100-200), but that is nothing compared to what it can cost you if significant repairs are needed. I can't remember all of the potential fail points, but I do know you need to have them check rear shock mounts, water pump, radiator, radiator neck, shocks, etc. Do a search here and see what other issues people have had. Also, don't trust carfax. Have your shop look for collison damage when they do the inspection. These are great cars, but you have to do regular and preventative maintenance or they will cost you a fortune. I'm on my third Z (one 2.3L Z3 & two Z4s) and I absolutely love them. Good luck.

Also, just found this good advice from Jim Millet:
"You won't find any recommended change interval for dampers and bushings on the Service Maintenance Checklist.
OE dampers are good for about 60K miles, Rear shock mounts are shot after about 50K miles, flex disc (guibo) needs replacement at about 80K miles, serpentine drive belts are gone at 70K miles, front control arm bushings are done at about 90K miles as are the rear trailing arm bushings and the rear subframe bushings. Water pump, T-stat/housing, hoses, and radiator are good for around 80K miles.
If you don't have the service records on the car then I'd take it to a good independent BMW shop and get a thorough inspection."
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Last edited by KenTenn; 12-05-2010 at 11:47 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2010, 12:04 PM
LordHumungus LordHumungus is offline
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Location: norman
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 2000 z3 2.3
Thanks for the info! All I have currently of any maintenance history is the CarFax unfortunately. They've just had the car a little under 2 yrs & did regular oil changes but I think that might be it. I'm going to look into finding a local independent shop to do a pre-purchase inspection
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2010, 02:00 PM
KenTenn KenTenn is offline
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Location: Nashville, TN
 
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Posts: 286
Mein Auto: '06 M Roadster
Your local BMW dealer can pull a report showing all service done at BMW dealers.
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'06 Z4M Roadster
'03 Z4 3.0L Roadster (Sold)
'00 Z3 2.3L Roadster (Sold)
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2010, 06:27 PM
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imz4n imz4n is offline
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Location: OC, CA.
 
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2010, 06:32 PM
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wildag wildag is offline
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Location: Reston, VA
 
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Mein Auto: '06 Z4 M Roadster
Here's the Z3 pre-purchase advice thread

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...urchase+advice
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2010, 07:56 PM
LordHumungus LordHumungus is offline
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Location: norman
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 z3 2.3
Thanks, I had a professional pre-purchase inspection done today & the guy said it was good to go. It has the "usual" wear & tear for 112k miles & I can post details tomorrow when I pick it up & get the printout. He said there's a little whining sound coming from the rear but & flush should do the trick & some oil leaking from the valve cover. It had been hit from the rear at some point he said since the bumper struts showed signs of impact & the bumper had either been replaced or repainted. That's all I really remember right now & I got to get to bed but if anyone is interested I can post the details tomorrow. Thanks for the help!
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  #8  
Old 12-12-2010, 03:13 PM
LordHumungus LordHumungus is offline
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Location: norman
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Mein Auto: 2000 z3 2.3
Well, I guess we're gonna get the Z3 & for $5,800 I'll need to do a little work on it like a new back window & driver side window regulator (or maybe just oil it) but all in all I think it will be a good car. We're gonna have some preventative maintenance done on it such as fluid flushes & a sway bar link is broken on the drivers side. The shop gave me an itemized list of things it's going to need in order of priority. If I have them do everything it's just shy of $3k! If I can turn a wrench is it okay for me to do some of the work or is it best to leave it to the pros for official maintenance records?
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  #9  
Old 12-20-2010, 09:24 PM
LordHumungus LordHumungus is offline
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Location: norman
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 2000 z3 2.3
Well we finally got it! Here's a quick iphone pic in the dark I'm sure I'll be posting some stupid questions soon & not even checking the faqs
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