Used car buying guide: BMW Z4

As of this writing, there are 35 BMW Z4 M Roadster and coupes for sale on leading classified sites.

They range in price from £12 ‘ 500 for a roughly 90,000-kilometre-2006 Roadster € 28,995 for one of the 24,000 – nautical-mile 06 plate with the same body. The most expensive coupe is a 2007 car with 16,000 miles, for £28,390.

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The two versions can at first glance, the same specification, but the coupe is a bit firmer shock absorbers, a thicker rear anti-roll bar, and slightly faster steering. If this sounds sporty, and the soft-top is actually lighter by some 15kg and comes with a slightly more aggressive geometry settings.

The Coupé costs £41,285 new in 2006, the Roadster £42,950. Today, the differential was put on the head, with a used Roadster £3000 or so less than comparable coupes cost. If you are not going racing and have a sensitive back, a little more compliant Roadster could buy the wiser. David Smitheram, author of the Essential Buyer’s Guide BMW Z4 M and a ARDS racing instructor, reports on his Roadster is just as fast on a track than a Z4 M coupe.

Around 1500 Roadster and coupes were sold, while the Z4 M two-year lifespan from 2006 to 2008. Buyers were lured by the Chris styling and Boxster/Cayman – baiting M Power-punch Bangle, courtesy of a 338bhp 3.2 in-line six-cylinder engine drives the rear wheels via a six-speed Getrag manual transmission. It is good for 0-62mph in less than five seconds.

One important thing to note, if you are on a tight budget, is that the engine gave up the valve require a check every second service. That will be £1200 for a BMW dealer or about £700 at an independent. On the other hand, the engine is relatively easy to work on, so if you have the tools and the know – how, you could do it yourself, for around £200 in parts.

The Z4 M uses fly-by-wire throttle technology and VANOS variable timing. Problems with the early M3’s (same Motor) with the VANOS system had been solved by the time to came out of it, and the engine is largely a finest – although there are isolated cases of rod bearing damage (it has insane results in high piston speeds), and broken Motor screws through the car, the solid suspension. They also meet on dire warnings about Z4 Ms your missing 1200 mile running-in service. It is something to do with the oil, a cut-in of the specification, but Smitheram disputes. He says the oil-Z4 Ms left the factory with the standard spec, and that the question of a warranty was to do rather than nothing to do with engine health. As evidence, he refers to his own car, which had its running-in service at 4000 km and has not missed a beat.

To conform to what is the truth, the Z4 M will always be a thoroughbred, with the help of the running costs. The seller describe it as a classic. This is a seductive idea, but with 35, which is currently across all price classes, have put together the bargain boots up tight.

How to get a in the garage:

An expert’s view…

DAVID SMITHERAM, BMW CAR CLUB OF GREAT BRITAIN “, I have a 2006 Roadster, done 55.000 miles. I work in Motorsport for many years, to see how fast and reliable the old M3 E46s were and how easily they can be doubled, if road and rail cars. It has me thinking about the Z4 M, the latest BMW sports car with a manual transmission and a freely in-line six-cylinder. To me a Roadster, so I’m inclined to say it is to buy one, but since the car was designed as an open-top, it almost feels as stiff as the coupe. The prices are soft, and it is more fun in the sun.”

Buyer beware…

ENGINE-OIL and filter change every 7500 miles would be nice to see. First-run-in-service is not so important as asserted, so long as the following services are held. Inspection II service requires a valve clearance check. Some cases of failed connecting rod bearing about 75k miles. Budget for single disc replacement as a precautionary measure. If the idle is lumpy, check and clean idlec ontrol valve. Check the condition of the motor mount screws, which have been known to break.

SUSPENSION AND BRAKES Rear trailing arm bushings start to wear, at 50k miles, leading to uneven tire wear and the front bushings give less trouble. Rear springs snap – fit thicker, lower Eibach replacements. Horse riding is not affected because it is already hard as a rock. The brakes feel dead, but aftermarket pads fix. Standard pads are fine on the street, but not for use on the track.

BODY Roadster, squat, find the roof drain holes and check the blockages. A wire hanger should be clear of obstacles. On coupes, check from causing corrosion on the underside of the tailgate by the water in the bucket between him and the rear window. Poor accident repairs aside, it is the only place that Z4 Ms is red. Check the center console light works the rear brake (bolts of its fastening often to tight).

INSIDE, Expect wear and tear on door handles, switches and driver’s side seat bolster, and check the electric Windows work (the regulators can be annoying).

Also worth knowing:

BMW protected roadster-roof-motor in a water tight container (it is on the passenger side of the car), but if the roof of the drain to be blocked holes, the water and the engine grabs. Luckily, the clever guys at BMW Car Club an Update, which includes the relocation of it out of the danger zone.

How much to spend:

£12,000-£13,495 – Private sale-2006 Roadster with 90k plus miles to the start here, although the counselors auction price for average cars in this age is about £7000.

£13,995-£15,495 – Still strong money for the 06 and 07 plate-a Roadster with mileage around 65k.

£15,995-£17,495 – More 06-07 Roadster with a sub-50k mileage.

£17,500-£19,995 – Large selection of 06-07 coupes with around 70,000 miles.

£20,000-£25,000 – Contains a couple of main dealer cars – a 36k-mile 06 coupe for £21,000 and a 34k mile ‘ 07 Roadster for £22,990. Higher the price, the head is a 16k-mile 08 roadster for £24,950.

We found:

BMW Z4 M, 2007/07, 74,000 MILES, £13,999 A private sale, so you can get the measure of your guardian, and how you have taken care of for you. Full BMW history and the roof motor has been moved from the danger zone. It has exhaust, a performance, but the originals come with. A few scuffs, otherwise worth a look. John Evans

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