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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 08-04-2010, 03:09 PM
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bten bten is offline
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Location: Missouri City, TX
 
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Mein Auto: '08 Z4 3.0si
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Just had to rant a bit.

I am going to Zfest this year from Houston to California.

Since deciding to go, I hit a deer, and had to get $1500.00 worth of body work done (replaced a headlight and a small dent in the fender). Fortunately this was mostly covered by insurance

While it was in the shop, it has 62K miles on it, and due an oil change (7500 miles), so I have them change the transmission fluid, differential fluid and bleed the brakes. That cost another $1k, but I felt it was worth it to maintain the car.

When I drove off from this Indy that did the work, the alternator acted up about 2 miles into the trip home...another $900.00...

About a week ago I pulled the handle to open the door, and it did not work. Got it to the dealer for this one, and looked like it would be less than $200.00 to repair. I didn't feel too bad about that one.

While it was in, they checked the car over (I told them I needed the handle fixed before my trip). They found that my expansion tank was leaking...(6 years old, 60K miles...about right). another $400.00

Sometimes I wonder if it is all worth it!
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2010, 03:40 PM
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WINDonSKIN WINDonSKIN is offline
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Sorry to hear about your repairs. On the brighter side it would have been very bad to have your car over heat or the expansion tank rupture in the middle of a desert. Hope your repairs are done for a while and you can enjoy the ride.
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2010, 08:29 PM
lstratos lstratos is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 Z4
Whats an expansion tank? sorry first time hearing the term... gonna check google
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2010, 09:08 PM
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bten bten is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lstratos View Post
Whats an expansion tank? sorry first time hearing the term... gonna check google
It is the plastic tank next to the radiator that the coolant cap screws into.
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2010, 09:46 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bten View Post
It is the plastic tank next to the radiator that the coolant cap screws into.
As your antifreeze gets hot, it expands. This expansion of fluid has to go somewhere so it flows into the expansion tank. When everything cools, it gets pulled back in to the radiator.
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  #6  
Old 08-05-2010, 05:57 AM
STIHLBOLTS STIHLBOLTS is offline
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You won't get too many people giving you a argument about the expense of our car.
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2010, 06:23 AM
chickdr chickdr is online now
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On the bright side- you will probably be able to go a good while without a major repair with as much as you have done.
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2010, 04:27 PM
sirE86 sirE86 is offline
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Location: Alabama
 
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Mein Auto: E86
Quote:
Originally Posted by bten View Post
Just had to rant a bit.

I am going to Zfest this year from Houston to California.

Since deciding to go, I hit a deer, and had to get $1500.00 worth of body work done (replaced a headlight and a small dent in the fender). Fortunately this was mostly covered by insurance

While it was in the shop, it has 62K miles on it, and due an oil change (7500 miles), so I have them change the transmission fluid, differential fluid and bleed the brakes. That cost another $1k, but I felt it was worth it to maintain the car.

When I drove off from this Indy that did the work, the alternator acted up about 2 miles into the trip home...another $900.00...

About a week ago I pulled the handle to open the door, and it did not work. Got it to the dealer for this one, and looked like it would be less than $200.00 to repair. I didn't feel too bad about that one.

While it was in, they checked the car over (I told them I needed the handle fixed before my trip). They found that my expansion tank was leaking...(6 years old, 60K miles...about right). another $400.00

Sometimes I wonder if it is all worth it!
Are these prices typical? Seems like incredible cost for labor. e.g. coolant reservoir is $75 @ Ticher.
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  #9  
Old 08-05-2010, 04:42 PM
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bten bten is offline
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Location: Missouri City, TX
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Mein Auto: '08 Z4 3.0si
What I find is that the labor charges are high for the E85 because it is so tight in there. A lot has to be done to get to the parts. I paid about that for the part with my BMWCCA discount. The issue was the labor. It was done at a dealership.

Labor to teste the coolant system and replace the tank was $275.
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2010, 04:47 PM
sirE86 sirE86 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bten View Post
What I find is that the labor charges are high for the E85 because it is so tight in there. A lot has to be done to get to the parts. I paid about that for the part with my BMWCCA discount. The issue was the labor. It was done at a dealership.

Labor to teste the coolant system and replace the tank was $275.
Ok, that would make sense. Thanks for the info.
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  #11  
Old 08-05-2010, 05:05 PM
Bmwcat Bmwcat is offline
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Bummer!! My 98 Zed3 needed new rear shocks..thats it. Very dependable!
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  #12  
Old 08-07-2010, 02:18 PM
H65pilot H65pilot is offline
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Location: st. petersburg
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 3.0i
Seriously concerned about the nickel and diming myself. I have a Z4 06 w/ 42K,....just out of warranty. What is next? ideas....?
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  #13  
Old 08-07-2010, 09:16 PM
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imz4n imz4n is offline
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Location: OC, CA.
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 692
Mein Auto: 06 3.0 si Z4R
On my 04/04 build 3.0 steptronic with 153k on the dial. I replaced all the above, except the altnerator, add starter, Throttle body, DISA valve, battery, and did the Vanos also. Was it worth it, sure. After taking car of the car, I totaled it due to hitting debris on the freeway. In 5 weeks i purchased a 2006 3.0si with steptronic. I am more than ready to do those repairs again. IMHO. BTW looking forward to meeting you at ZFEST.
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  #14  
Old 08-09-2010, 02:49 PM
STIHLBOLTS STIHLBOLTS is offline
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Location: Georiga
 
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Posts: 1,021
Mein Auto: 2008 Z4MR
Mine is not completely paid for and the wife won't let me do any "up grades" until then. But my wish list includes new wheels, aerodynamic kit, paint job, seats re-upholstered, front struts, finish out my clear lens in the front and add LED's. I am budgeting $10,000 for all of that because I plan on keeping the car.

Unless BMW comes up with a Rag top verson on a 2012 edtion, then I might have to rethink that idea.
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  #15  
Old 08-09-2010, 03:53 PM
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bten bten is offline
Luv'in Texas
Location: Missouri City, TX
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 956
Mein Auto: '08 Z4 3.0si
I try to plan about $1000 a year for upgrades/maintenance. Unfortunatly, after I spent my $1000, I had to replace an alternator, fix a door knob, and replace the expansion tank.

I plan on replacing the struts and shocks next year. I am not afraid to replace shocks, if I get brave, I will try to do the struts myself.
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  #16  
Old 08-10-2010, 10:00 AM
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Palantirion Palantirion is offline
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Location: Southern CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 M5-S2, 2002 540iT-S2
You wouldn't complain about Z4 maintenance costs if you owned an 540iT ...and it's still worth it, sigh
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  #17  
Old 08-13-2010, 01:56 PM
craig01b craig01b is offline
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Location: Guelph Ontario
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 z4
Oh my, either you have a car on warranty, which you may still be paying for....or, you have repair bills on a car you enjoy, which is paid for, and out of warranty. Cars don't run on love, it's parts and maintenance...none of it is free. My wife works for Toyota...we have a BMW, vw, and an infinity in the driveway....we like a car with soul, and that is NOT free as they age. Buy a toyota if you want low mtce costs. But, every car will demand attention as they age, much like us.....I would rather keep on driving my vdub than drive a corolla.

C
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  #18  
Old 08-13-2010, 03:59 PM
ssahand2010 ssahand2010 is offline
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Location: Lompoc, CA
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bten View Post
Just had to rant a bit.

I am going to Zfest this year from Houston to California.

Since deciding to go, I hit a deer, and had to get $1500.00 worth of body work done (replaced a headlight and a small dent in the fender). Fortunately this was mostly covered by insurance

While it was in the shop, it has 62K miles on it, and due an oil change (7500 miles), so I have them change the transmission fluid, differential fluid and bleed the brakes. That cost another $1k, but I felt it was worth it to maintain the car.

When I drove off from this Indy that did the work, the alternator acted up about 2 miles into the trip home...another $900.00...

About a week ago I pulled the handle to open the door, and it did not work. Got it to the dealer for this one, and looked like it would be less than $200.00 to repair. I didn't feel too bad about that one.

While it was in, they checked the car over (I told them I needed the handle fixed before my trip). They found that my expansion tank was leaking...(6 years old, 60K miles...about right). another $400.00

Sometimes I wonder if it is all worth it!
Hi,

I am the second owner of my car but it was in great condition when I got.
Next thing you know after driving it for a week:
break pads, break sensors (300)
rear tires ($485/tire)
front tires
expansion tank
a little clicking noise in the dashboard behind the wheel (still havent had this one fixed)
and now its not even starting and it didnt even have any problems or no lights lit up when i turned it off last time. So now I have to pay for a starter or something thats not working.

soon I have to do the second inspection, oil service, and a lot of other crap.

I agree, sometimes I ask if its all worth it.
Great ride, fun, looks great, too.
Its all good and well while the warranty lasts after that its a headache.
this car is my baby and it makes me so sad thats its not working now
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  #19  
Old 08-14-2010, 03:30 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 661
Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssahand2010 View Post
Hi,

I am the second owner of my car but it was in great condition when I got.
Next thing you know after driving it for a week:
break pads, break sensors (300)
rear tires ($485/tire)
front tires
expansion tank
a little clicking noise in the dashboard behind the wheel (still havent had this one fixed)
and now its not even starting and it didnt even have any problems or no lights lit up when i turned it off last time. So now I have to pay for a starter or something thats not working.

soon I have to do the second inspection, oil service, and a lot of other crap.

I agree, sometimes I ask if its all worth it.
Great ride, fun, looks great, too.
Its all good and well while the warranty lasts after that its a headache.
this car is my baby and it makes me so sad thats its not working now
Not to be kicking you while you are down, but a car that needs pads, 4 new tires, and a expansion tank is not in great condition. But you knew about those problems going in, right? Anyone can check tires. And you either did a pre-purchase inspection or decided to take the risk.

Inspection II and oil service are normal maintenance.

Sorry, I don't think the problem here is with the car. My advice - try to learn some lessons, let go of this negative energy, do all the needed maintenance, and enjoy a wonderful car.

ADDITION:
Oh, I forgot "now its not even starting and it didnt even have any problems or no lights lit up when i turned it off last time" is exactly the way my last battery failed - a very common failure mode. Batteries fail. You just need a nice long drive.

Last edited by dougmcintyre; 08-14-2010 at 06:24 AM.
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  #20  
Old 08-14-2010, 09:22 AM
Skyhawk Skyhawk is offline
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Location: Houston
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 325i, M-roadster
BMW has never known to be a cheap vehicle to maintening..The parts are always pricey unless you know where to shop and get all the discount you can get. Also the labor is outrages..That is why the DIY section is very popular. Try to do a lots of reading and learn a lot from the DIY bunch..maybe start by a do it yourself..Then you can save a lots of money on a lots of DIY projects.. Then you can really enjoy the car as it is intended..FUN DRIVING MACHINE..

Whatever you need just do a search..I am sure someone else has that same problems before and there is a fix for it somehow, somewhere..O.K.
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  #21  
Old 08-15-2010, 05:06 PM
STIHLBOLTS STIHLBOLTS is offline
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Mein Auto: 2008 Z4MR
And if your not a big DIY Guy find a good reputable independent shop. There are many folks out there that specialize in BMW's that don't charge dealer prices.
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  #22  
Old 08-16-2010, 04:43 PM
Z3Papa Z3Papa is offline
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Location: Bloomington
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 Z3 3.0
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssahand2010 View Post
Hi,

I am the second owner of my car but it was in great condition when I got.
Next thing you know after driving it for a week:
break pads, break sensors (300)
rear tires ($485/tire)
front tires
expansion tank
a little clicking noise in the dashboard behind the wheel (still havent had this one fixed)
and now its not even starting and it didnt even have any problems or no lights lit up when i turned it off last time. So now I have to pay for a starter or something thats not working.

soon I have to do the second inspection, oil service, and a lot of other crap.

I agree, sometimes I ask if its all worth it.
Great ride, fun, looks great, too.
Its all good and well while the warranty lasts after that its a headache.
this car is my baby and it makes me so sad thats its not working now
You need to make friends with a local group who can walk you through some of the basics:

brake pads ($150 -- you don't need to replace sensors if you haven't gotten into them)
rear tires (you need to shop -- I've bought sets of 4 245's for less than $700 a set)
starter (I bet it's not the starter but really the battery)
oil change ($75)

All cars need to be serviced in the manner you are talking about. All cars wear brake pads, tires, and need oil changes.
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  #23  
Old 08-16-2010, 04:59 PM
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The HACK The HACK is offline
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Location: People's Republic of United States
 
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Mein Auto: '06 MZ4C, '09 WRX Wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by bten View Post
What I find is that the labor charges are high for the E85 because it is so tight in there. A lot has to be done to get to the parts. I paid about that for the part with my BMWCCA discount. The issue was the labor. It was done at a dealership.

Labor to teste the coolant system and replace the tank was $275.


The E85/E86 has the LONGEST engine bay of ANY BMW I've ever seen. There's so much space in there it's not even funny. I can change belts without removing any of the related fan shroud (there isn't one). There's so much space on either side of the engine it makes the E46 look like a Japanese econobox stuffed with a front wheel drive V6. I cleaned up my engine bay this weekend and even with the "massive" S54 it is by far the roomiest engine bay I have ever seen. Looks like they can easily put a V-12 in there with room to spare. A lot of room.
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  #24  
Old 08-16-2010, 06:04 PM
craig01b craig01b is offline
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Location: Guelph Ontario
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 62
Mein Auto: 2003 z4
I have to agree, the z4 engine bay is huge.....275 to test coolant... You have a premium car, and, the people who own these cars are willing to pay premium prices for service.... If you have NO do it yourself ability, and cannot afford the premium price, I wonder why you bought the car in the first place. Discounted parts are available, as well as the info to do the job if you have some basic skills. Either you have a car on warranty, or you pay for repairs. Or, park the car and do not drive it. Buy a corolla, and enjoy the souless ride...most of what you describe is routine mtce....find a good shop that will deal with your needs, and stay away from the delerships, or get rid of the car
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  #25  
Old 08-18-2010, 04:44 PM
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bten bten is offline
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Location: Missouri City, TX
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 956
Mein Auto: '08 Z4 3.0si
Quote:
Originally Posted by craig01b View Post
I have to agree, the z4 engine bay is huge.....275 to test coolant... You have a premium car, and, the people who own these cars are willing to pay premium prices for service.... If you have NO do it yourself ability, and cannot afford the premium price, I wonder why you bought the car in the first place. Discounted parts are available, as well as the info to do the job if you have some basic skills. Either you have a car on warranty, or you pay for repairs. Or, park the car and do not drive it. Buy a corolla, and enjoy the souless ride...most of what you describe is routine mtce....find a good shop that will deal with your needs, and stay away from the delerships, or get rid of the car
I beg to differ, $275 for testing the system and replacing the tank is about right at dealership rates. I was kinda stuck when it was in for something else, and a check revealed the leaking tank. I paid for the repairs, I can afford it, I just wanted to rant a bit. What I drive and whether or not I keep the car, is MY business!

I have heard that the engine has to be raised 2" to change out the water pump. Has anyone changed one on a '03-'05 yet, I would like to know, as I think this and the thermostat would be the next things I would like to change.
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2008 Space Gray Z4 3.0 si, Saddle Leather interior (to haul A$$)
2011 Nissan Frontier King Cab (to haul crap)
2010 Lexus RX350 (to haul people)
2009 Club Car Precedent (to putter around the beach)

Last edited by bten; 08-18-2010 at 04:47 PM. Reason: poor spelling
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