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E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:04 PM
MacDuff MacDuff is offline
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Location: LA, Ca
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Mein Auto: SAAB
Maintenance advice

Thanks in advance for your advice!

My 23 year old son has just bought a 2005 3.0 manual sports package Z4 with 66k. He is in the Coast Guard in South Florida (yes, I'm very proud of him!). I made sure that he had a PPI, and it checked out just fine except it needs brakes.

My questions are:

1) What oil should he be using? I've always used Redline in my turbos. Any opinions about which oil and viscosity works best in this lovely straight 6?

2) My friend, 335i owner, found a maintenance schedule that was far more intensive than the one the factory touts. He's lost it and can't find it. I was always curious as to how a cooling system could morph from a 30k flush to a lifetime fill when they went to free maintenance. What is the REAL schedule that he should be following?

3) The PPI shop said he needs rotors as well as pads. I'm not a believer in changing rotors every time as it's a waste of money. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks very much! Yes, I'm a long term SAABist! Thanks to our beloved GM, I may be coming over to your side of the fence soon!
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:26 PM
3PointO 3PointO is offline
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Location: BC, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Mein Auto: Z4 3.0
Congrats on the purchase and welcome, nice set of wheels he got himself.
I just did the oil change in mine and used Valvoline Synpower full sunthetic 5W30
AFAIK some pad / rotor combos are designed to wear each other out at the same rate as opposed to the pad being the sacrificial, not sure if that's the case in our cars and it may depend on what's installed on your son's car. Check the rotors for an edge lip indicating it's worn down, or excessive grooving (needs machining) or being too thin, indicating they may have been machined to the extent of their useful life.

Last edited by 3PointO; 11-06-2012 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:10 PM
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SD ///M4 SD ///M4 is offline
(prev. SD335is & SDZ4MR)
Location: San Diego, CA
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,476
Mein Auto: 2016 M4 Coupe | 2006 Z4MR
2. The maintenance schedule that your friend is probably referring to is Mike Miller's "Old School Maintenance Schedule". Mike is the Technical Editor for Roundel magazine, the official mostly-monthly publication of the BMW Car Club of America (BMW CCA). He also writes for Bimmer magazine. If you send him an e-mail, and his e-mail is found in either of these two magazines, he will send you the latest revision of the OSMS.

1. Mike also recommends Red Line oil for BMW engines. I don't know the specific weight required for the particular engine in your son's car. I would call the dealer, give them the VIN of the car so there is no mistake on the model designation and ask which weight and viscosity oil should be used.

3. BMWs generally require replacement of the rotors when the pads are replaced due to being worn out. BMW does not recommend resurfacing of the rotors. In this case it's not a waste of money, it is usually required because of the BMW design. The only real way to tell is to use a micrometer and measure the thickness.

Normally I would recommend finding out whether Bentley publishes a service manual for your son's specific model but I'm pretty sure that they have never published one for the Z4.
- Tom
His: 2016 M4 Coupe | Sakhir Orange Metallic | Black Full Merino Leather | CF Trim | M DCT | Adaptive M Suspension | 19" Black Alloy Wheels | ZEC | ZLP | ZDB | MPE | ED 5/13/16
Hers: 2011 335is Couipe | Le Mans Blue Metallic | Black Dakota Leather | Dark Glacier Aluminum | 6MT | ED 5/12/11
Also His: 2006 Z4 Roadster (E85) | Interlagos Blue Metallic | Black Extended Nappa Leather | Carbon Leather Trim | Purchased 7/19/12

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Old 11-07-2012, 05:46 AM
chickdr chickdr is offline
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The owners manual will give you the correct weight of oil. I would use full synthetic but brand is personal preference. As for the brakes. I would guess the pads may have been changed once by now as the car has 66K. The rotors are likely toast. A micrometer will tell you for sure. Have him look on EBay for a complete set of rotors/ceramic pads. It will save him a bunch. I also recommend a brake fluid flush at the same time. I agree with your coolant question. Have them flush the system and repeat every 2 yrs.

Last edited by chickdr; 11-07-2012 at 05:47 AM.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:21 PM
Psygnosis Psygnosis is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 Z4 3.0i Sport
BMW recommended oil list

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Old 11-08-2012, 06:04 PM
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ebruder ebruder is offline
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Mein Auto: '07 Z4MC, Porsche 928S4
The advice to follow Mike Miller's Old Time Maintenance schedule is perfect.

Just e-mail him at AUSPUF2002@aol.com and request the info, and he will e-mail it back almost immediately.

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