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Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your BMW Z3

BMW Z3 Models:

Image for car images BMW 1996 1998 BMW Z3 size thumb Image for car images BMW 1999 2002 BMW Z3 size thumb

BMW Z3 Problems

Suspension & Steering -- Verified

A fluid leak may develop from one or more power steering hose. When a leak is being repaired, it is not uncommon for multiple hoses to be replaced.

Engine -- Verified

Valve cover gasket leaks are common after 60,000 miles. Symptoms will include oil drips under the vehicle and burning oil smell from the engine compartment.

Engine -- Verified

It is not uncommon for the radiator to develop a coolant leak. A leaking radiator will require replacement. When a leaking radiator is replaced the entire cooling system should be inspected and if any additional leaks are found they should be repaired also.
Overheating can cause severe engine damage. If the engine begins to overheat it is recommended to stop at the first available location and have your vehicle towe...

Engine -- Verified

An engine coolant leak may develop from the expansion tank resulting in engine overheating. When a cooling system component fails the entire cooling system should be inspected. It is not uncommon to find additional component have failed or are leaking.
Overheating can cause severe engine damage. If the engine begins to overheat it is recommended to stop at the first available location and have your vehicle towed to a rep...

Engine -- Verified

The low coolant light may illuminate and/or the engine may overheat as a result of a coolant leak from the water pump. The leaking pump will require replacement and the entire cooling system should be inspected for leaks as it is not uncommon to find multiple leaks on higher mileage vehicles.
Overheating can cause severe engine damage. If the engine begins to overheat it is recommended to stop at the first available locati...

BMW Z3 Recalls (Recent)

Drive Train, December 10, 1999

Summary: VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES. THE REAR AXLE DIFFERENTIAL MAY CONTAIN RING GEAR BOLTS THAT WERE INCORRECTLY TORQUED DURING ASSEMBLY. THE BOLT OR BOLTS COULD LOOSEN LEADING TO NOISE FROM THE DIFFERENTIAL.

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Drive Train, October 30, 1997

Summary: THE CRUISE CONTROL AND THROTTLE CABLES ARE ATTACHED TO THE SAME THROTTLE VALVE ACTUATING LEVER AT THE THROTTLE HOUSING. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE PLASTIC BUSHING ON EITHER CABLE COULD BREAK DUE TO ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES COUPLED WITH VIBRATION. IF THE BUSHING BREAKS, THE OUTER CABLE HOUSING CAN SEPARATE FROM THE BUSHING. IN THIS CASE, DURING APPLICATION OF THE THROTTLE PEDAL WITHOUT CRUISE CONTROL BEING ENGAGED, THE OUTER TUBE COULD CATCH ON THE EDGE OF THE BROKEN BUSHING.

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Electrical & Lights, November 30, 1998

Summary: VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES. THE NUT THAT SECURES THE MAIN POSITIVE CABLE TO THE POSITIVE BATTERY TERMINAL CLAMP WAS NOT TIGHTENED PROPERLY, ALLOWING THE CABLE TO LOOSEN OVER TIME. IF THIS OCCURRED, THE CABLE COULD ULTIMATELY LOOSEN TO THE POINT WHERE ELECTRICAL CONTINUITY COULD BE INTERRUPTED.

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BMW Z3 Questions and Answers

tpmpe, 1996 BMW Z3, Long Branch, NJ

Engine light on sometimes,

Visitor, 1996 BMW Z3, Middleboro, MA

I had the cam sensor replaced and was told to do a drive cycle and the codes would clear.I drove 2000 miles and they never cleared.The service light is not on,just not ready codes when they do emis...

Visitor, 1996 BMW Z3, Conowingo, MD

bmw 1996 z3 owner manuals...where can I buy one? I'm not spending $100 for one either...thats crazy

Glenn Clarke, 1996 BMW Z3, Playa Del Rey, CA

The turn signal & Hazard lights have failed on my 1996 BMW Z3. Is it a relatively easy DIY fix? And, if so how do go about doing it myself?

Visitor, 1996 BMW Z3, Lansing, MI

I have a squealing and scraping noise coming from the back of my BMW Z3. What could this be?

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BMW Z3 Reviews

Mine is a 2.5 Roadster with automatic transmission. I have had it for 6 months. It had 81,000 miles on it when i purchased it 6 months ago. If the top leaks at all then be sure to replace it as that cost is cheaper than the sensors that are under the carpet and if they get wet and go bad then the cost can ruin your day. With a 6 cylinder engine under the hood mine gets up and goes when I ask it too. I put $4800 into mine in repairs because the previous owner didn't give it the TLC it deserved. These cars are made to drive and I drive mine 100 miles a day round trip to work and so far it just gets better. Sure I will rack up a lot of the miles but I plan to keep it so rebuilding it will be something I will do when the time comes. This is my 2nd Z3. Great cars.

We bought our 2001 Z3 used from an auto recovery dealer. It had a new windshield, new brakes, new tires, new battery, new belts and hoses, ect, all done by The German Repair Shoppe in Denver. What a great little car! Ours is silver with a black rag top, and is in great shape. It was a one owner vehicle until we bought it in 2011. We have enjoyed it so much, and when we drive into the mountains with the top down, it is one of our favorite things to do. Love, love, love this car!!

Bought new in 1996. Had to have heater repaired a few times. Tranny fixed immediately (a few weeks) after purchased. No problems since. Window motors went out. Need to replace. Replaced top twice. Door armrests both have pulled loose.

Leaks oil so need to replace some gaskets. Clutch still good. 125K miles. No other major issues. Still roles smoothly. Some minor issues with cracked plastic, some flooring plastic trim pulled loose, and such.

Most irritating thing is the squaky plastic they used to hold the top. That's been bugging me for years but no clear way to get up under the top and see what is the issue. Top drips at front corners where corrects to front window. I put some silicon and it lessened greatly.

One key is worn and only works when inserted one way. Had to disconnect ABS one time. On board "computer" still works. Replaced the radio (tape deck). Busted the plastic compartment between the seats and behind them. Will remote it.

Dad had roll bars installed. The sales agent told us the car had "pop up rollbars. They come up when the car leans more than 15 or maybe 30 degrees". Heh, I was young and foolish. Plus no kids so money to burn. LOL.

Overall, good car. Oh yeah, had to have it repainted fairly early. Seen several with paint clouding issue.

Oh yeah, really bad about fishtailing. Watch that on ice and wet streets. So, probably not a good car for a teenager. I had a few close calls but no wrecks. And can say it handles well on a dark night with a dead cow in the road on a back country road when you are going 70MPH. BTW, the speedometer is off like 5MPH. I guess you think you are going faster than you really are. Always been like that.

love this car, steel grey metalic. very sweet looking, driver seat leather worn a little. not too practical for my husband since knee replacement, now have grandchildren, so need more room.

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