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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 10-03-2013, 08:46 PM
laypoof laypoof is offline
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Location: Kansas City Mo
 
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Mein Auto: Z3
Opinions Needed on my newly bought Bmw Z3 2000

hello fellow BMW community, i am new here and just got my first 2000 BMW Z3 2.3 Stick shift and i just want to know a couple of things.

so the car i found on craigslist, he wanted 5k and has 150,103 miles on it.
he got a new paint job on it, new seats, and tail lights.
Now the engine light was on when i bought it but he told me it was just a air leak of some sort and its not a big issue, well i want to find out if it is. it also had a prior salvage title due to light hail damage done to the car (but it has been fixed). i did a vin number check on carfax and it seems to be clear. the A/C works. It shifts beautifully, and i am going to get a general inspection on it as well.

do you think i got ripped off? or is it a good deal considering its mileage. i heard that these cars can last 200,000k+ with proper maintenance and care.

all the help would be great, thanks!
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2013, 04:36 AM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
It sounds like a fair deal to me, especially with a re-paint and new seats. That's worth several thousand USD for that. The salvage title adds risk, but if you know exactly what was done, you could be fine.
If the seller did not address the Check Engine Light, I'm suspicious that it's expensive, but about the most expensive thing it could be is the catalytic converter, and that's only a few hundred USD. The most common reason for deferred CEL repairs on these cars is the Secondary Air Pump, which is nearly as expensive as a catalytic converter. Just get the codes read and start from there.
The cooling system is the biggest concern for these cars at this age. It can fail catastrophically at any time and quickly destroy the engine. You need to replace the radiator, thermostat, water pump, hoses, and reservoir soon.
If these engines aren't overheated, they last a very long time.

Last edited by Blacklane; 10-04-2013 at 09:04 AM.
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2013, 07:36 AM
laypoof laypoof is offline
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Location: Kansas City Mo
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklane View Post
It sounds like a fair deal to me, especially with a re-paint and new seats. That's worth several thousand USD for that. The salvage title adds risk, but if you know exactly what was done, you could be fine.
If the seller did not address the Check Engine Light, I'm suspicious that it's expensive, but about the most expensive thing it could be is the catalytic converter, and that's only a few hundred USD. The most common reason for deferred CEL repairs on these cars is the Secondary Air Pump, which is nearly as expensive as a catalytic converter. Just get the codes read and start from there.
The cooling system is the biggest concern for these cars at this age. It can fail catastrophically at any time and quickly destroy the engine. You need to replace the radiator, thermostat, water pump, hoses, and reservoir soon.
wow, yet he said it was only a air leak, he told me it was the easiest thing to fix on a car. the guy is a mechanic. and how much would the radiator, thermostat, water pump , hoses, and reservoir cost me? and which are most important if i choose to only fix a couple of things due to my limited budget. i really hope that people can help me to maintain this BMW as long as possible as this will be my primary car. some one told me that the pump would only cost around 150$, if this is true then i am truly shocked at how cheap the parts are because to replace my timing belt and water pump on my old 1994 Honda civic cost me 600$!!!
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2013, 08:33 AM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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With cars this old, there is much to learn. Near the top of the forum page, on the right, is button labeled "Search This Forum." You can use that to find all sorts of info on the cooling system and much more. The exact parts list varies a bit across the models and years.

OEM parts are not too expensive if you buy them from one of the various on-line vendors. (Again use the search button for "OEM Parts"). If you're not doing the work yourself, you will want to find a good independent mechanic who has experience with BMWs. For the cooling system, you may want to upgrade to an aluminum radiator, and/or a Stewart pump. You may want to add a VANOS seal replacement. You certainly want to replace everything plastic: radiator, reservoir, water pump, hoses, thermostat housing, fan, and pulley. All of these have been known to explode. I think you're in the $600-$800 US range.

I have no way of knowing if the seller was honest in saying the CEL light is on for "just an air leak," but if it is so easy to fix, and he's a mechanic, why didn't he fix it before offering the car for sale. Most buyers offer much less on a car with a CEL light on since it is certain that there is something wrong but the buyer doesn't know how much it will cost to correct. It's pretty easy to find out, though; many auto parts stores read the codes for free.

Last edited by Blacklane; 10-04-2013 at 09:13 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2013, 10:34 AM
AB1945 AB1945 is offline
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Just take lit down to Autozone and have them check the codes for the engine light - it's free.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2013, 05:04 PM
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IgotBMW IgotBMW is online now
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Mein Auto: 1996 Z3 1.9L M44
Opinions Needed on my newly bought Bmw Z3 2000

You paid mostly labor for the 94 honda timing belt and wp. Parts for those cars are also fairly cheap.




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  #7  
Old 10-10-2013, 02:45 AM
RhoXS RhoXS is offline
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Over the past three years I ended up replacing almost all the hose and seals in the engine compartment. My Z3 is a 2002 and I have owned it since it was new. After ten years or so all the organics just ended up deteriorating and causing fluid leaks out and air leaks in. Many of the issues resulted Codes and a service engine light. I think I have now worked through everything. The car just sat in my garage for six weeks while we were away without a drop on the floor when we returned. After 145,000 you can eat off the engine but it is only this way by keeping up with it. Probably spent almost $3,000 over the past through years keeping up with this necessary age related maintenance. Suspect you will find the same issues in the Z3 you are looking at.
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2013, 02:59 AM
mr. slate mr. slate is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 2.8
I bought my 97 Z3 2.8 a few years ago. It had 123K miles on the odometer. I had done my homework on this model before buying and had a pretty good idea of what I wanted and what to expect. Replaced the radiator (original had a ding in it), fan (broken blade), fan shroud (cracked), all hoses, water pump (upgraded to a Stewart), thermostat, and thermostat cover (upgraded to aluminum from plastic). All that sounds like a lot (well below $1K) but my thought has always been to make the car mechanically sounds before working on the appearance. The cooling system is now rock solid. Per RhoXS' comments overheating these engines is catastrophic. I have since had it tuned and added performance enhancements. I have really enjoyed it over the years. Don't be too nervous about the car. Take the issues one at a time. You can't beat the fun factor of driving a convertible Z with a manual transmission through a twisty road with the top down. Thrilling!
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