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E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
E85 Z4 Roadster, E86 Z4 Coupe, E85 Z4 M Roadster, and E86 Z4 M Coupe talk with our BMW gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 03-23-2014, 03:30 PM
theubaid theubaid is offline
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How long does a good z4 last?

Hi,

I'm seriously considering a Alpine White Z4 3.0si Coupe 2008 with about 40,000 miles on it.

My question is how long does the Z4 last before needing maintenance? I am looking to use it as my daily driver but I only drive about 5K miles a year.

Anyone crossed 150,000 miles on their Z4? How long does it hold up against the test of time if you are taking good care of it as opposed to a Jetta, Honda, or Camry?

Thanks!

Last edited by theubaid; 03-23-2014 at 03:49 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2014, 06:58 PM
coolvt coolvt is offline
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At 5,000 miles per year it will take you over 20 yrs. to get to your 150,000 miles :-) I doubt the engine will wear out, but you will surely be replacing things over time. Many thing "wear out" from age. Once a vehicle is over 10 yrs. you can expect to begin spening money on things like rebuilding brakes, master cylinders, bushings, tires....anything with a rubber type material. If you live in warm climate dashes can crack and the wiring under the hood dries out and cracks. Terminals will begin to slowly corode and things like fuel sending units guages begin having problems. Just go through the posts on this site wher people have probems. You see few engine related problems. It's mostly acessories and it's mostly on cars that have some age on them.
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2014, 06:59 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is online now
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Well maintained BMWs frequently go 250K-350K miles or more. The N52 engine is a newer design, but it's derived from BMWs line of in line 6 cylinders so one could expect similar longevity.
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  #4  
Old 03-23-2014, 07:00 PM
coolvt coolvt is offline
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Sorry, I missed the part where you asked how long before the car would begin needing maintenance. The fact is the car should be getting maintenace every 6,500 miles or so.
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2014, 06:38 AM
rmjames007 rmjames007 is online now
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I think the maintence is a longer interval. The car tells you. And the BMW Tech said that how matter how long it takes
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2014, 07:26 AM
coolvt coolvt is offline
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I believe the suggested maintenacne might be more than 6,500. But in the case of a car driven only 5,000 miles per year, I would suggest going through the car, checking whatever can be checked...at least once per year. I have 3 cars that are used about 5,000-6,000 miles per year (one being a recently purchased Z4). They get a check over and oil changed regardless of the low mileage.
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  #7  
Old 03-24-2014, 03:26 PM
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shipkiller shipkiller is offline
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BMW says that the maintenance should be performed every inspection 1 (15K) and inspection 2 (15K) (then it cycles back to inspection 1). This is when oil changes are performed and the car is 'inspected' looking for other issues. That is the official mantra from BMW and that gets you out to the end of the four year/50K warranty with minimum cost to BMW.

On the non-///M's (like the Si you are looking at), inspections are mileage based... on ///M's, it is fuel usage based: every 660gal used, just too keep things straight. Some knucklehead will chime in.."well I heard..."

BMW also states that if you do not put an average number of miles on the car (12K/year) or more, then the oil changes should be every year, regardless of mileage. Brake system flushes should be performed every two years (this on ANY vehicle). Coolant system flushes every two years also (again, this on ANY vehicle).

That being said, BMW's are not Honda's or Toyota's. You cannot just drive it for years on end, only doing oil changes every 7K with cheap oil. They WILL require more maintenance to keep them running properly for a very long time. I personally know of an Z4 owner who has over 275K on their Zed....

I have seen valve trains on BMW engines using the OEM 15K intervals and they look horrendous. BMW's require a good quality 'pure' synthetic motor oil (group 4 PAO or even better, group 5 Ester based oil) for long term reliable operation and internal engine cleanliness. Most BMW enthusiasts perform oil changes anywhere between 5K and 7K. If you are going to use a synthetic-blend or 'dino' oil, then take that down to 3K, just to get the contaminants out of the engine. Also, there is NO requirement for a synthetic-blend to be labeled synthetic-blend. It can be labeled just 'Synthetic' confusing the issue. There is a reason for this which I will not get into here. I will also not get into what brands are better. I have done a LOT of oil research on the subject for the last 15 years... If you want to know my personal thoughts and what my research found, that can be another thread, but it will start a 'oil war'....

I have personally seen the internals of 'properly maintained "old school" maintenance schedule' BMW engines with 150K and they look like new...

Do a brake/clutch system flush every two years. This is because brake fluid is 'hygroscopic' (meaning is absorbs water) so your brake system rust or rots out from the inside.... You cannot see the damage...
Coolant system flush every two years. Yes, the anti-freeze component (glycol) does not wear out but the corrosion inhibitors do. Flushing with new coolant will replenish these corrosion inhibitors and flush out any deposits that form.

If you really do not intend (for what ever reason, and I don't care...) to drive more than 5K a year, then invest in a good (not cheap) battery tender. BMW's DO NOT like to be left on the battery for more than a couple of weeks without a good drive to charge the battery. BMW's DO NOT like a 'low voltage' battery. This causes all kinds of issues....

Also, if you are going to mainly do short drives (less than 15miles) a lot, then once a month you really need to do a long drive to heat the oil up to accelerate the evaporation of any fuel that might build up, diluting the oil. Short drives are harder on an engine and the oil than long drives are.

These are not secret BMW procedures. These are common sense approaches to keeping a car for as long as possible. With a BMW, do not get cheap on the maintenance side.

One more thing. BMW's have a lot of electronics in the car (see battery tenders above) that CANNOT be accessed with your standard ODB-II readers. These can only be access with persons with the proper software or your dealer. Yes, you can get the BMW software on the internet for a small fee and it can be a pain to setup to work properly. Or you can spend more money on some aftermarket companies software. If you have a good mechanical/electrical background, these tools will save you a ton of money diagnosing and repairing some of issue that may crop up.... Of course, BMW is not the ONLY manufacturer that does this.... Pick your poison.

I have a saying that I have repeated here often for new BMW owners who have just transitioned from their Japanese counterparts and do not understand the 'old school maintenance' concept:
BMW does not mean Bavarian Motor Works. It does mean Bring Money Withyou at repair time....

I love both my BMW's and they have been pretty much trouble free, with some exceptions...
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Last edited by shipkiller; 03-24-2014 at 03:49 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2014, 04:47 PM
theubaid theubaid is offline
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Thanks for all of the fantastic replies and insight! I am bookmarking this page right now for future reference!

I am used to changing oil every 3k miles so 6 - 12k recommended here sounds great.

After seeing the expertise of the users here, I would be extremely grateful if someone could answer one last question:

When buying a BMW (Z4), what should I check to make sure the previous owner took good care of the car? I know the normal things to check for but is there anything extra or special that is more vulnerable to bad usage in a BMW as opposed to a Japanese car?

Thanks again!
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2014, 05:53 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theubaid View Post
Thanks for all of the fantastic replies and insight! I am bookmarking this page right now for future reference!

I am used to changing oil every 3k miles so 6 - 12k recommended here sounds great.

After seeing the expertise of the users here, I would be extremely grateful if someone could answer one last question:

When buying a BMW (Z4), what should I check to make sure the previous owner took good care of the car? I know the normal things to check for but is there anything extra or special that is more vulnerable to bad usage in a BMW as opposed to a Japanese car?

Thanks again!
There are 5 things to look for:

1. Maintenance records
2. Maintenance records
3. Maintenance records
4. Maintenance records
5. Maintenance records

As Shipkiller indicated, one owners idea of good maintenance is not going to far past the maximums to have the recommended fluid changes and other routine maintenance done, while another's is faithful adherence to the old school routine. Maintenance records will help you judge the truth.
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  #10  
Old 03-27-2014, 06:39 AM
Patrick Gent Patrick Gent is offline
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Shipkiller has pretty much hit it. But, if you buy a Z4 and want to keep it, get Mike Miller's "Lifetime Maintenance Schedule" from Mike at BMWCCA (BMW Car Club of America). It is free, and teaches how to keep a BMW for a long time, not the 50K that is all the factory cares about.

And, knowing what I know now, I would not buy a used BMW without maintenance records. If they had the dealer do all of the work, you can get a printout. But, the more miles on the car, the longer it was maintained on BMW's 15,000 mile interval rather than one designed to make it last.

Last edited by Patrick Gent; 03-27-2014 at 06:40 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-30-2014, 10:09 AM
funkle funkle is offline
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Thanks, this is great to know. I wish I had known about Mike Miller's Lifetime Maintenance schedule sooner. Hopefully my car is no too far gone after 40K of BMW scheduled maintenance.
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  #12  
Old 04-01-2014, 07:04 PM
bluedogok bluedogok is offline
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The biggest problems on my car has been plastic parts breaking, a casualty of sitting out in the Texas and Colorado sun most of its life. The parts aren't all that expensive but there is just quite a few of them.
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2014, 07:50 AM
Pierce Pierce is offline
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Yea, like the cup holders. Treat them with care!! They are fragile!


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