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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am new to this forum. I am looking to buy a CPO 2016 Z4. I already know the car is impractical and fairly expensive to own. I believe this forum is mostly for US based enthusiasts. I am in the New York City area.

I am wondering where I can get information on intelligently buying one. There seem to be many available for approx. $31,000 with maybe 22,000 miles. I can't figure out why most seem to be black with black interior, which I'm not crazy about.

I'd appreciate any buyer's advice you may have. To start:

What should I look for?
What should I try to avoid?
What do you consider to be the weakest features of these cars?
Do you find these cars to be "high maintenance", always needing attention?
When you buy a CPO, will the dealer offer you an optional BMW-backed extended warranty?

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Richard
 

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I have owned a few beemers. The one I own now is a lightly used CPO BMW. I have owned it for 5 years now and drive it to work every day. It has been one of the best cars I have owned. The only things I have had to replace are the tires and the battery. I would greatly advise anybody that is looking to buy a used BMW to purchase a Certified Pre-Owned BMW from a BMW Dealership. Certified Pre-Owned means that BMW Techs have gone over the car from top to bottom to make sure the car is in perfect running condition. You also have the option to purchase an extended warranty. I also wanted to add that I take very good care of my cars. Make sure the tires are fairly new . The tires for these cars are painfully expensive. I bought a set from tire rack and had them installed myself. My battery I only let a BMW Tech replace, because these cars can have problems if the battery is not installed properly. Do your homework and you will find a great Z4 ! Happy Holiday's !
 

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I bought my first BMW last summer. A 2010 Z4 with 60,000 miles. It is my favorite car.
I would have liked less miles but I often see these cars with well over 100k on them. That gave me the confidence to go with more miles for a car with a clean CarFax and a BMW dealership service record.
I wanted a stick shift 3 liter and I did not want another black car (they always look dirty) and super hot in the CA sunshine. I wanted the red interior but conceded the red for the right car.
I found my Z4 at a Chevy dealer 500 miles from home. Sent it to a BMW dealer for PPI. When I spoke with the service manager I told them what I was concerned about and he gave me a detained report with tire and brake wear readings. He assured me that is 3 items were addressed he would certify it for his used car lot. Well worth the $250 which the Chevy dealer gave back to me using the bargaining chips the BMW dealer supplied.

This is a very fun car to own and drive. I have been doing some work on it for fun. Replaced the struts and shocks. Put Michelin NRF tires on it so that now it rides and drives better than new. Changed plugs and oil in the engine and it sings along wonderfully. It is a pleasure to drive.

I spent a ton of time on this selection understanding what years offered what changes. Looked at a 2016 35i with 40k for $30k on line this am. I gave $17 for mine. I have a $20k in it now.

I love shopping for cars. PM me a link to the car you are looking at :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the quick responses

Mikey48 and scootr, Thanks for your insights. As I zero in on a car, I'll get some specifics out.

As I research this more, I come up with more questions.

I have read the owner's manual online. It appears that there were several available tire configurations for the 2016 Z4. I will not be pushing this car to the limit, so I want an all season tire that will not be ultra-vulnerable to damage. It appears that some of cars have 18 or even 19 inch wheels, with different size tires on front and rear. I'd like to avoid that if possible.

I would like 17 inch wheels, same size front and rear, so I can rotate them as I have for all my other cars. Having lived with your cars for awhile, does my approach seem reasonable on this?

Also, I have been looking at the base engine (turbo 4) because they are less expensive, but there were two optional 6-cylinder engines. Are there any inherent issues with the turbo 4 that you have heard of?

Thank you,
Richard
 

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If you are not dead set on the fastest or most powerful motor the 4 cylinder is not only cheaper to buy but returns better GPM. I have not heard of any problems with any of the motors in this car. It came with a stick shift or an automatic trnsmission.
Personally I love my 6 cylinder 3 liter with 6 spd manual. My take on the wheels is this.
The bigger the rim the shorter the sidewall which translates into the bigger the wheel the harsher the ride.
I have kept my 17" wheels and installed Michelin Pilot 4s for the best ride possible. I also wanted to rotate my tires front to rear so I have what is called a square set up (4 tires the same size)

You won't find an M version of the E89 but you will find adaptive suspension - again even the base model has sport driving modes which are good enough for any public streets.
Track modes are harsh.
 

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Simply google "Z4 for sale near NYC" and you will see listings for
CarGurus
Cars.com
Edmunds
Carsforsale.Com
TrueCar
Auto.com
and more....

Then start filtering by your priorities...... color, mileage, features? E89 was produced from 2009-2016.
I see a yellow 35is (most powerful) with 10k miles.
and a Gray 2011 30i stick shift with 37k for $18k
Gray 2014 with 40k miles for $22k looks good.

There is a surprising number of (low mileage) cars to pick thru here > https://www.truecar.com/used-cars-for-sale/listings/bmw/z4/year-2011-max/location-new-york-ny/
 

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You've gotten great feedback so far from my fellow e89ers, as I expected. I'll add a couple of thoughts.

To follow the example of @scootr, I bought my 2011 35i (Deep Sea Blue over Ivory) about a year and a half ago. It was a 1-owner and had around 50K miles on it and was in great shape. It spent its life in Ohio, but was strictly a summer car and had been stored "properly" in winter. Its my daily driver and I've loved every minute I've had it. Some of the things I looked for and that I'd recommend were:

1. Make sure the one you find has complete service records. You need to make sure that whoever owned it was religious about maintenance, because that's way more likely to prevent the ugly and costly problems that can arise.
2. Make sure all recall work has been done. I think there were 4 recall items for my year/model. If someone neglected that, what else did they neglect?
3. Get the Carfax. Obviously, no accidents, plus avoid one with lots of owners. That's not always a problem, but really why even go there?
4. Use a "VIN decoder" type of online utility to make sure you know exactly how the car was optioned.
5. If possible, get some firsthand input as to how the car was driven and cared for. Was it driven in winter in snowy areas? If stored in winter, was it stored properly? Did the person "track" the car? Did they baby it? Personally, I try to avoid both. I don't really want a car someone has thrashed (though I get why you'd want to!) nor do I want a car that was never exercised as it should be.

To a couple of your other questions, regarding going to a non-staggered tire setup, I don't have firsthand experience. What I've heard from folks who did non-staggered is that you'll naturally lose some handling, but that may not concern you. I've kept mine with staggered 19" run flats. That does make for a pretty harsh ride, but honestly I never feel beat up by it. That said, a wonderfully generous friend of mine gifted me a set of brand new staggered 18" Continental Extreme Contact DW Tuned non-run-flats. I'm in the market now for rims and am anxious to see the difference NRFs make. Luckily, I live where I can run summer tires year-round.

I think CPO is a good way to go for peace of mind, but personally I wouldn't make that a hard requirement as long as you do your homework. And -as mentioned above - there is the extended warranty option.

Finally, from your initial comments, it sounds like you are considering one of the models below the 35i and 35is. If you're not interested in the highest performance configurations, I get that. What I will note is that the e89 35i & 35is models have the N54 engine which is an awesome engine performance-wise, and very reliable if maintained. The N54 won five straight International Engine of the Year awards and three straight Ward's 10 Best Engines awards. It's only shortcoming was its high pressure fuel pump, but that's one of the recall items I mentioned earlier. A diligent owner will have had that recall work completed.

Best of luck with your search and we're looking forward to seeing what you find! And welcome to the club.
 

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Oops, like @Mikey48 I forgot to add something: In my year and a half with the car, I've done 2 oil changes and had brakes done (pads and rotors all around). Oil changes were about $100 and the brake job was about $1400 (because of the rotors). I recently replaced the battery which - unbelievably - was the original battery! Meaning it was just about 9 years old. It was still working OK (though I did use a trickle charger frequently), but now with the new one I see how much the old one was starting to lose it. Cost was about $140.

Speaking of batteries, note that our cars take AGM type batteries (absorbed glass mat as opposed to "wet" type batteries and AGMs are maintenance-free). When you replace a battery, it must be "registered" which BMW dealers and good indie shops can do, but often charge what to me is crazy money. But if you're fine doing it yourself, you can do it with a tool called Carly (which I highly recommend for a host of reasons). Carly is an OBDII-port adapter that just plugs in and communicates via Bluetooth with a smartphone app. Besides the battery registration, it can monitor a wide range of car data, allows you to customize features and settings beyond what can be done with in-car controls, and can be used to read and reset faults just like a regular OBDII tool. I think the cost was about $80 for the adapter and the app costs something like $60/year. Well worth it IMHO. Even better, on our cars the OBDII port is super accessible, right down by the hood release.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone. Your suggestions will help.

Today I drove a 2014 Z4 and it was a great experience. I want to look around more since I have no reason to rush. One interesting thing came out of the Carfax, which included the service history from the 3 previous owners.

On four occasions, the previous owners replaced a single tire!!! The car has the factory 17 inch wheels, same size front and rear, and the tires have the "45" profile. What this tells me is that the Z4 tires are extremely vulnerable to potholes and the like.

Richard
 

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Today I drove a 2014 Z4 and it was a great experience. I want to look around more since I have no reason to rush. One interesting thing came out of the Carfax, which included the service history from the 3 previous owners.

On four occasions, the previous owners replaced a single tire!!! The car has the factory 17 inch wheels, same size front and rear, and the tires have the "45" profile. What this tells me is that the Z4 tires are extremely vulnerable to potholes and the like.

Richard
That's odd; granted I haven't had mine for a ton of time and I work from home and travel a lot for business so don't log a lot of miles per year, but I haven't had one tire problem. Plus, I'm running the 19" run-flats whereas the one you drove had 17s which should be more forgiving. Doesn't compute. The lower the profile tire, the more susceptible to failure (not my opinion, backed up by science! ;) ).

Also, I'd be interested to know what brand tire has been on the one you drove. Same brand/type for all 4 incidents, or different? Did the guy live down the street from the nail factory? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tire damage comments

Mordo, it's good to know that not everyone is getting flats every few months! I agree that the 17 inch tires would be the least vulnerable since they have a higher profile. The car I looked at had been registered in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Maybe you have better roads and/or milder winters than we have in the Northeast, but we do get a lot of potholes.

My friend had a VW GTR with very low profile tires and replacing them seemed to be a way of life for him.

Richard
 

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Mordo, it's good to know that not everyone is getting flats every few months! I agree that the 17 inch tires would be the least vulnerable since they have a higher profile. The car I looked at had been registered in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Maybe you have better roads and/or milder winters than we have in the Northeast, but we do get a lot of potholes.

My friend had a VW GTR with very low profile tires and replacing them seemed to be a way of life for him.

Richard
Good point, Richard. Roads here in Florida (Tallahassee) are pretty decent. The company I work for is headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey and every time I go there and am driving around say to myself, "I'm glad this is a rental and not my car!"
 

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I think the run flat tires are a good idea that does not apply well. My sister got a flat on a Porsche Cayenne with RFs. The sidewall failed when they pulled off the road at a dirt turn out.
Apparently the transition off the pavement was rough. Anyway they waited hours for a tow and were taken to a dealer who did not have a tire their size. Then they were towed to another dealer, got a hotel for the night and replaced the flat tire the next day. This is not an uncommon story.
I put conventional tires on Z4 the first week I had it. And it rides so much better with conventional tires too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree. Spare tires are becoming a rarity for a number of reasons. But we don't have a satisfactory substitute. Everyone hates run-flat tires.

The sad reality is that a flat tire is very likely to to take you off the road for the remainder of the day... or more. In the old days, you simply put on your same-size spare tire and continued on your journey.
 

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I suppose manufactures are saving money and weight. Weight being critical to mpg ratings. Features like engine stop/start technology RF tires should be options but I'm going to guess some cars cannot even fit a full size spare in the trunk.
My base model Z4 came with 25" diameter tires. I think a full size tire MIGHT fit in the trunk? But the weight will add up considerably between the tire and the jack.
Does anybody know if a lightweight wheel and tire is available ?
 
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