New BMW owner

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Hello,
I am in Saskatchewan Canada and just bought a used 2003 Z4 Roadster with a soft top. It has 28 thousand kilometers on it (15 thousand miles)and
was mostly stored and driven by a middle aged couple...... It esentially is new inside and out. Has an inline 6 cylinder 3 l motor, Automatic Transmission with the "shift with no clutch feature" in Drive...lol... I am totally green to BMW as I have always owned one of the "big three" so any tips on this new girlfriend I have bought? BTW I am a very fussy "clean freak" and my previous sports car was and still is a mint tropy winning (car shows) all original '77 Corvette that I am selling to make room for this BMW. Back to the BMW...I want to take this freaking car to bed with me I am so in love with it... anything I need to know about this car? Thanks... Jim
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Jim wrote:

Jim,
I have a 2008 Z4 3.0si. It's my fourth BMW. I lease my cars so I don't have any long term experience with them but, from everything I have read and from what the dealer service people have told me, the Z4's are the most trouble-free of their cars!
That said, and having owned other rag tops in the past, I would recommend that you research proper care for the top and it's components. Grease for the hinges, silicone spray for the weatherstripping, and a good convertible top cleaner/conditioner, will save you money and headaches in the future.
Of course, normal engine service is something to never overlook.
Enjoy your car!
Dan
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The only problem areas on BMWs (in general) are electronics and cooling systems. Never let it overheat; maintain the cooling system and replace things before they wear out, including radiator, expansion tank, etc.
You sound like you're the kind of guy that should join BMWCCA; Roundel is a great resource for enthusiast owners and people that like concours events.
FloydR
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wrote:

I know a bit about cooling from the "Old Z3" thread.
Could someone describe some of the electrical problems, particularly those relating to BMW's from, say, 1996 to 2001?
Thx, P
"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."
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Common one is the heater blower final stage resistor. Aux fans too. Dunno about any other common ones.
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Stuff gets old. Connectors corrode and become intermittent. Fuse blocks stop making contact. Switch contacts go bad.
Also, repeated thermal cycling makes solder joints fail, especially if they weren't well-made. And electrolytic capacitors fail, although all things considered, BMW has a lot fewer electrolytic failures than just about anyone else. They seemed to use very reliable caps.
BMW has a tendency to add outrageous amounts of electrical stuff into cars, and consequently they suffer an outrageous amount of electrical failures. The more stuff you have, the more stuff there is to break.
I recommend pre-emptively packing all electrical connectors with dielectric grease, which will prevent a lot of the issues. And when individual modules fail, whether that be the ECU or the turn-signal flasher, first look for cold solder joints before doing anything else. --scott
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Happens to any make. Not just BMW.

Indeed - but again common to any comparable make. And plenty are worse - much worse.

Any particular brand you recommend?

Especially if it's lead free solder. ;-)
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Yup. BMW is better than some manufacturers in that regard too, but the thing is even the older BMWs have a hell of a lot of connectors.

I use something that General Electric sells for high voltage switchgear, which I bought from Graybar years and years ago. But I really doubt there is any difference between brands. Whatever your FLAPS sells should be fine. I even know people who have used wheel bearing grease to pack connectors and it's probably better than nothing (unless it has high pressure additives, which don't go well with copper).

I haven't worked on anything new enough to use the lead-free solder. That is going to be a horrible, horrible nightmare in a few years. I predict great RoHS-related disasters. --scott
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trip to a different city on business......including stopping here and there and visiting family...ugh! Thanks so much for your replies... Jim
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That's got me confused. What does it mean? Only car auto I know that changes without a clutch is the infinitely variable 'rubber band' type. ;-)
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Err, which automatic transmission has a clutch pedal?

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Two problems there - a preselector isn't an auto and the pedal changes the gear.
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

BMW calls theirs SMG or Sequential Manual Gearbox. Maybe you've heard of the Porsche Tiptronic?
http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5016529_bmw-smg-transmission-work.html
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I'm perfectly aware of those - I was just wondering about the OP's wording since all of these have a clutch. But no clutch pedal. So no different in operation than any auto.
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Are you are attacking the guy because he omitted the word "pedal"? A CVT, as you referenced, does have an internal clutch so you are wrong there.
http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/auto/review5.php
D
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Sigh. He called it an auto. No auto has a clutch pedal.

But only use for starting off - not gearchanges.
I was just curious as to what he meant.
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D wrote:

And the article you referenced is a complete load of unmitigated nonsense. It could hardly be more wrong. JM
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