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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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Old 06-18-2011, 02:16 AM
planetech planetech is offline
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Location: seattle,wa
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: prius
newbie need advice

Hello All, Im in the very first phase of trying to find me a good used z3. My first research is the msn auto section. According to msn, a 2000 model z3 has the lowest rating. So I have been staying away from that model. Im looking at spending up to $12,000.00. With this prize range, is there z3 out there that is still reliable? I found a few z3's here in my local area thru that are selling for $10,000 to $12,000 but they have high milleage like 150k.
Also what are the things I need to look for when buying a used z3? Does the 4cylinder model has the same engine reliable than the six cylinder?
I have never owned any high end vehicles. This will be my first.

Thank you,
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Old 06-18-2011, 02:37 AM
KBH22102 KBH22102 is online now
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Location: Mclean, VA
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 633
Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8, 2002 M Coupe
Welcome to the forum. Good info on looking at Z3's here
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Old 06-18-2011, 02:52 AM
planetech planetech is offline
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Location: seattle,wa
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: prius
Thanks Kb.... WoW! thats a lot of of inspections to do. Im so glad I found this site first. Lots of good info. But now it made me think twice buying a used z3.
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:48 AM
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Steamer Steamer is offline
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Location: Clovis, Ca
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 213
Mein Auto: 2011 550i, 00 M Roadster
Z3 are fun and I believe you will find that any 2 door sport from any other manufacturer will have a list of things to look for, just here, you have some very smart people who are willing to point out the known problems. They are all fixable and the enjoyment of driving one is hard to beat.
Do you do your own repairs or have them done? If you do your own, this will be a great project. (go for the 6 cylinder)
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:14 AM
planetech planetech is offline
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Location: seattle,wa
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: prius
Browsing thru autotrader today, and found several z3 for sale within my prize range $10-$15k. I noticed most of them are softtop. Its not an ideal car for me because I dont have a garage to park it and living here in washington state means wet weather for about 9months out of the year. But our weather wont discourage me from buying a z3. I already have a plan to spend an additional $2k for its hardtop conversion. I have searched in this forum regarding hardtop issues but found nothing so far. Hopefully water leakage wont be an issue for a hardtop on z3's...
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:16 AM
mr. slate mr. slate is offline
Location: SoCal
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 116
Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8
I recently bought a 97 z3 2.8. Prior to buying it I was regularly on Autotrader,, e-Bay, Craigslist, etc. It became a bit of a hobby to search for it. I did not start out with the Z3 as a target. I started with a budget. I did not want to spend more that $10K on the car. So that gave me some options. I definitely wanted a convertible. I could by an older Vette. The prices of these cars were pretty low. Through research and personal experience I found performance to be less that spectacular and the gas mileage a negative factor. Mercedes SL were next. Great cars but more of a tourer than a true sports car and expensive to fix. I looked at older Datsun roadsters but thought the cost to restore and the difficulty in finding parts my be an issue. Miatas? Actually they receive good press. They are easy to wrench on and have good support for the DIY community. I just didn't like the way they looked. I currently have a 2002 530i and am extremely happy with it. So that brought me to the Z3. The price was right in my wheel house. You can get an older Z3 between $4K and $15K depending on what your after. Ms obviously cost more and 4 bangers less. I read that the 4 cyl was under powered so I stayed with the 6. I am completely satisfied with it. It was not in perfect shape but it was well maintained. Mileage can be deceiving. These motors go on and on if they are maintained properly. And there is a great community of support right here at Bimmerfest. Best of luck with your search.

Currently own:
2001 530i slate green
1997 Z3 atlanta blue

Formerly owned:
1983 Jeep CJ7
1986 Porsche 911
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