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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
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  #1  
Old 04-19-2019, 04:49 AM
mikeroe36 mikeroe36 is offline
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Help with Possible Z3 Buy

I have always admired the Z3. I am just looking for a fine zippy convertible to take out in the warm weather I already have a newer Crossover That I need to drive every day for the space. I am looking at a 2002 2.5i model that is in very good shape inside and out. My only concern is the mileage it has 145,000. Should I be concerned and is that too many miles? It is a very good price so do I need to be doing something like putting a new engine/transmission Or at least taking to a really good BMW service technician to get it looked at first?
I have attached a description of the vehicle and a picture any advice or help you guys can give me would be very helpful.
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2019, 10:06 AM
leiniedude leiniedude is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 Z3. 2.3, 5 speed.
Hi Mike, I can not open your photo. Have you tryed to open it? Probably why there are no comments, take care, Mike.
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2019, 10:09 AM
khammack khammack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leiniedude View Post
Hi Mike, I can not open your photo. Have you tryed to open it? Probably why there are no comments, take care, Mike.
I can see the photos, but I don't have the answers.
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2002 M Roadster, Steel Gray Metailic, Gray Nappa Leather, Black Soft Top, Steel Gray Metailic Hard Top, TC Kline Double Adj Shocks with H&R Springs, Stromung Exhaust, SSR Type C Wheels.
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2019, 10:47 AM
luigi524td luigi524td is offline
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I don't know where the newbee is hosting the pictures of the Z3 but it's not working. And, frankly, while a picture might be worth 1000 words it might be more helpful if more words describing the Z3 were provided.
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2019, 10:50 AM
ZEEBOY ZEEBOY is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 Z3 Roadster 2.8
Mike, 145k is PROBABLY ok....if it has the maintenance records to go with it. Having said that, do not "fall in love" with the first car that interests you...do a LOT of research then make your decision..there are a lot of 50-100k z3s out there for rediculously low prices. I purchased my 1997 z3 last year with 88k for $5800...
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2019, 01:44 PM
zed3coupe zed3coupe is offline
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145k miles is just fine! Its a BMW inline 6! My old Z3 3.0 had 212k miles when sold it to my friend and now has almost 230k, still runs perfect. Also had an E36 with over 200k and it ran perfect. I would personally be more afraid of a low mileage car from 2001 than a high mileage car. If car has ow mileage, usually needs much more work as its been sitting for years.
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2019, 03:05 PM
mikeroe36 mikeroe36 is offline
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Not sure what is wrong with Photos. I went and took a few more photos of the car from the outside. It is truly in very good shape not a scratch.
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2019, 03:56 PM
luigi524td luigi524td is offline
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Your second set of pictures are now viewable.

As with any used car - ESPECIALLY A BMW - maintenance records and any parts-replacements done during the recent 5 years. Cooling systems are notoriously weak - lots of plastic parts that crack. Water pump replacements are common. But be sure that if there was a cooling system failure that the car was not driven "HOT". Auto or manual transmission? Some people have reported problems with 6 spd automatic transmissions. If the fluid and filter was replaced at 75-100,000 miles that would be a good thing. Any other wear items - brakes etc are easy replacements ... original equipment parts for services are best ... well-known EURO brands (MANN/MAHLE are OEM suppliers. Regular oil changes are important - using the proper spec and weight oil. I'm the original owner of my '98 2.8 Z3 ... only driven on nice days. They are lots of fun to drive and easy to keep on the road.
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Current: '17 540 xDrive | '13 X1 MSport | '98 Z3 2.8
Past: '13 535xDrive|'07 530xi|'01 740i|'98 740i|'94 740i |'86 524TD
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2019, 04:36 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3 1.9 5MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeroe36 View Post
... looking at a 2002 2.5i model...
Read:
http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...urchase-Advice
http://www.carproblemzoo.com/bmw/z3/

Then:
1. Put the last 7 of the VIN into http://bimmer.work to see all the info on its build.
2. Pay for a CarFax to see its ownership history and possible accidents.
3. Ask if its maintenance history and receipts are available. The cooling system should have been replaced.
Then for cars that you go look at:
4. Take a thorough drive. Note what the instrument cluster is displaying, the feel of the shifter, the feel of the suspension.
5. If any warning lights are on, ask for their trouble codes (DTCs) or have the PPI shop do it.
6. Work all the accessories, features, controls and switches.
7. Feel for dampness in seats, floor, trunk. Leaks can harm connections and sensors on or under the carpet, and be hard to track down and stop.
8. Be wary of aftermarket alarms and sound systems. Poor installations or removals can cause problems.
9. If all seems good, then pay for a Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) by a knowledgable import shop. It should cost around $100, will put the car on a lift to look at the brakes, drivetrain and suspension, and scan for any stored trouble codes.

Last edited by vintage42; 04-20-2019 at 04:42 AM.
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  #10  
Old 04-20-2019, 09:44 AM
ZEEBOY ZEEBOY is offline
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Zed3coupe...just so I understand..you would prefer a high mileage z3 to a low mileage z3? That is certainly a new purchasing strategy...one I have never seen before on this forum..chuckle...however, you make a good point...a high mileage Z3, PROPERLY MAINTAINED, will easily run 200k, 300k, and more..the key word is properly maintained..having said that, my mg buddy John, has a 2003 5 series that he got new, that has 360k mikes on it...I asked him what he did special to achieve that...he told me he simply changed the engine oil when the computer told him..as I recall, he said that was every 13k to 17k miles...they are amazing engines..

Last edited by ZEEBOY; 04-20-2019 at 01:50 PM.
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  #11  
Old 04-23-2019, 10:58 AM
Coconutpete Coconutpete is offline
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Mein Auto: 2K Z3 2.8
Z3's are old. None of them are going to be perfect. I bought mine with 140K on it. It gave me the warm n' fuzzies when I drove it and looked at it so I bought it. I didn't take it to a mechanic because the price was good and the guy had a line of people wanting it.

That was in November. no complaints.

If you buy it - I would do some maintenance right away. I drove it straight home and it didn't leave my garage again until I had changed the oil, gear oil, rear end fluid, air filter etc.

The one question I would ask about that car is: Are the badges gone from the rear because the current owner took them off or because of body work?
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Last edited by Coconutpete; 04-23-2019 at 10:59 AM.
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  #12  
Old 04-28-2019, 03:05 PM
comsult comsult is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 Z3
I'd do exactly as "Cononutpete" did.
I bought mine in Canada with 60K Kilometers on the clock.
At exactly 80K I lost my water pump and all that included, fortunately the fan did not damage the Hood when it disintegrated.
Just regular maintenance so far.
Just repaired the heater controls this weekend.
All the work I've done on it, has been easily done.
I'm saying that as an old Aircraft Maint. Mechanic, and having always worked on my own cars.
Not much electronics to concern yourself with.
A great weekend and sunny day car.
So far, I'm just about to turn 100K kilometers this season, that's just over 62K miles.
And love driving it.
Greg.
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  #13  
Old 04-29-2019, 09:55 AM
zed3coupe zed3coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZEEBOY View Post
Zed3coupe...just so I understand..you would prefer a high mileage z3 to a low mileage z3? That is certainly a new purchasing strategy...one I have never seen before on this forum..chuckle...however, you make a good point...a high mileage Z3, PROPERLY MAINTAINED, will easily run 200k, 300k, and more..the key word is properly maintained..having said that, my mg buddy John, has a 2003 5 series that he got new, that has 360k mikes on it...I asked him what he did special to achieve that...he told me he simply changed the engine oil when the computer told him..as I recall, he said that was every 13k to 17k miles...they are amazing engines..
Yep. In my experience, low mileage old cars have been much more prone to problems. 20 year old rubber is brittle especially when sitting. Properly maintained is obvious. A 20 year old car with high mileage that is running when you test drive it is almost always going to have been some what maintained or it wouldn't be still going. This also usually means if there were any serious issues, they have already been addressed. Most BMW enthusiast look at mileage as the end all be all but that is not the whole picture and is in my opinion the wrong way to look at old cars.
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  #14  
Old 05-01-2019, 01:51 PM
mzzz mzzz is offline
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Mein Auto: 98Mz3 09.135i 13.135is
Help with Possible Z3 Buy

My 71,000 mile 98 Mz3 has been just fine. It has been run, on average, about 3500 miles/year. Itís kinda skewed. I averaged 2000 miles/ year for about the first 14 years. My son ran it A LOT during the next 4 years. I got the car back after he bought an STI and now RUN it about 500-1500 miles/year on nice days.
Only major maintenance was a clutch/pressure plate replacement 5 years ago. Of course, itís had frequent fluid changes except diff. Car has not been abused.
These days, itís my music source (my son had a 2500 stereo system installed professionally) while I work on my 98 Corolla (238k miles), 09 135i (54k miles), or 13 135is (31k miles). I also keep a rifle in it in case an intruder happens to be in my home.
In sum, itís not about how low nor how high the mileage is; but, how well itís maintained and not abused. Once I saw a Ferrari owner redline the motor w/o properly warming it up. Abuse appears in many forms.

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Last edited by mzzz; 05-01-2019 at 04:24 PM.
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  #15  
Old 05-08-2019, 09:24 PM
bulldog2036 bulldog2036 is offline
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My Z3 1.9 is a three owner gem with over 329,000 miles on her....still runs like a top. Secret is all the right maintenance and record keeping.
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  #16  
Old 05-08-2019, 09:32 PM
bulldog2036 bulldog2036 is offline
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My Z3 1.9 is a three owner gem with over 329,000 miles on her....still runs like a top. Secret is all the right maintenance and record keeping.
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  #17  
Old 05-09-2019, 06:12 AM
RedconOne RedconOne is offline
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Car looks good in the (small) pictures! Have you driven it? I would think something badly wrong with the engine or transmission would rear itself in a decent test drive.

Ask for service records, sounds like they've done some decent maintenance. Also, around here roadsters with auto trans go for less $$ than those with a manual. Not sure if that's the case everywhere.
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