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Z3 / Z4 /ZM BMW Z3 Forum & BMW Z4 Forum - Covers all the past and present Z3/Z4 vehicles including: BMW Z4 Coupe 3.0si, BMW Z4 Roadster 3.0i, Z4 Roadster 3.0si, and the ZM Coupe and Roadster (BMW Z4 Forum, BMW Z3 Forum, BMW ZM Forum)

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Old 05-15-2013, 11:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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searching for Z4

Been looking for a while now... Did they get the steering column problem fixed before a certain year? Was there ever a recall from loss of steering to fix this? I have been looking at 2006 and newer but the 05's are looking reasonable. Wife and I would just like to go for some Sunday drives, weekend get aways. What year would you guys suggest buy or stay away from?
Also is the 3.0si just as dependable. Still debating on the motor size
Thanks

Last edited by fatcatsailor; 05-16-2013 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I see it's been a while since you posted with no replies. The bad years for the steering column are 2003-2005. The NHTSA basically said it was not a problem, so BMW did not institute a recall. There are some anecdotal reports of some BMW dealers giving "good faith" discounts on total column replacements; however, this seems to have occurred just outside the time the warranties expired.

I would suggest a 2006 or later model. Search any of the classified sections of the many BMW forums on the net and you are bound to find what you are looking for, or if you are not a member, join the BMW-CCA and peruse their classifieds.

You can also visit the ZSCCA Facebook page and post what you are looking for. It is a great organization, which you just may want to join once you have your Zed.

One last option if you find you can't spring for a 2006 or newer is to go ahead and get a 2003-2005, but drive it first during the hot weather to see if the column has a problem. Not all do. That said, even if it does have a problem you can pick up a steering column from a 2006-2007 model year at a junkyard for probably under $200 and have a reputable specialists install it for far less than a dealer would charge you, probably under $500. Not the best option, but dooable.

You might have some luck on Craigslist. I often find Z4's there in almost every area I search.

Good luck and maybe we will see you at ZFest this year.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Still looking

Zedfor, thank you for the response. The info was so helpful. I just needed to find the most trouble free car possible. Now I am looking for just the right zed for me to buy. I have found several and looks like it may be a plane trip for the wife and I and a small vacation driving it back if things work out. There are not many zeds up here in MN to pick from. A southern car may be better anyway. I have found a 2008 3.0si in Florida for $15,000. Has more miles than I wanted at 90k but is real nice shape and has Nav. Still debating this or 2006 3.0i with less miles for around same price. I am not jumping in just yet as I want to feel right about my choice. We test drove a 2005 3.0i and liked the power, but wish there was a 3.0si up here close to feel the power difference. Will let you know what I get and thanks again.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Closer to home:

2005 BMW Z4 Sport

A couple of points to consider: up in MN you are not going to have the heat that seems to trigger the steering issue, at least not as much; if you call this listing (I have no connection what-so-ever) then make sure and ask the owner if he/she has had the problem; rust is usually not a issue with these cars unless they have had substainal body damage in the past.

Best of luck with your search.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I am a new owner of a 2006 Z4 3.0i auto. Black with tan and black top. What a beautiful car and a blast to drive. I got a good deal on it from a private owner as I believed the car was in transport mode and no air or rear defrost (no light displayed on the dash either when pushing the buttons). Car has 70k and needs a little TLC.
Here is my problem.. I ordered my BMTechnics program and got it out of transport mode and the air and everything worked. I thought I had it made but a day later the radio started shutting off sometimes very frequently and the dash lights when in the first position started flickering, and now don't work, and the air bag light came on. Dome lights coming off and on also. Went into the program and deleted all the faults but it did nothing. Radio only shuts off maybe every half hr now which is better but have to shut off manually. This only happened after I deleted transport mode as all was fine with everything else for a good week of driving.

Now last night the door locks and the fab stopped working, and radio wheel controls. So I am getting worried whats next.
It has a new battery and shows 12.55 volts, and the specs look same as OEM. Talked to BMTechnics about registering the battery and they said there is none for my 2006 and is not needed. There is no place in the program to do it also. They did not give me the SSS program as one of the programs do the same (think its advanced section).

Can I unhook the battery and start over and maybe the computer will reset, is there a special way to do this so it don't go back into transport mode?

Is there anyone here that can help me with this computer program as it is somewhat complicated. I need detail information please. I am hooking it up again this weekend. Seams like the faults don't stay deleted or I am doing something wrong. I have done this maybe 4 or 5 times sometimes shows no faults but still got problems.

I love the car and looks great but I live 200 miles from a dealer and no time to drive it there and rather do it myself.

Things I have done to it so far..New expansion chamber (leaking) and motor is good except still missing a dip stick which scares the heck out of me. Fixed foggy head light, good cleaning and 2 coats of wax. The car has new run flats which suck as they thump a little at about 80 mph.

I only paid 10,500 dollars for the car so I got some room for problems and the guy really needed money. Car fax was clean and dealer said new water pump at 45k and brakes also. They said looks like a good car.

Hope someone can help my..Thank You in advance

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Old 09-12-2013, 09:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatcatsailor View Post
I am a new owner of a 2006 Z4 3.0i auto. Black with tan and black top. What a beautiful car and a blast to drive. I got a good deal on it from a private owner as I believed the car was in transport mode and no air or rear defrost (no light displayed on the dash either when pushing the buttons). Car has 70k and needs a little TLC.
Here is my problem.. I ordered my BMTechnics program and got it out of transport mode and the air and everything worked. I thought I had it made but a day later the radio started shutting off sometimes very frequently and the dash lights when in the first position started flickering, and now don't work, and the air bag light came on. Dome lights coming off and on also. Went into the program and deleted all the faults but it did nothing. Radio only shuts off maybe every half hr now which is better but have to shut off manually. This only happened after I deleted transport mode as all was fine with everything else for a good week of driving.

Now last night the door locks and the fab stopped working, and radio wheel controls. So I am getting worried whats next.
It has a new battery and shows 12.55 volts, and the specs look same as OEM. Talked to BMTechnics about registering the battery and they said there is none for my 2006 and is not needed. There is no place in the program to do it also. They did not give me the SSS program as one of the programs do the same (think its advanced section).

Can I unhook the battery and start over and maybe the computer will reset, is there a special way to do this so it don't go back into transport mode?

Is there anyone here that can help me with this computer program as it is somewhat complicated. I need detail information please. I am hooking it up again this weekend. Seams like the faults don't stay deleted or I am doing something wrong. I have done this maybe 4 or 5 times sometimes shows no faults but still got problems.

I love the car and looks great but I live 200 miles from a dealer and no time to drive it there and rather do it myself.

Things I have done to it so far..New expansion chamber (leaking) and motor is good except still missing a dip stick which scares the heck out of me. Fixed foggy head light, good cleaning and 2 coats of wax. The car has new run flats which suck as they thump a little at about 80 mph.

I only paid 10,500 dollars for the car so I got some room for problems and the guy really needed money. Car fax was clean and dealer said new water pump at 45k and brakes also. They said looks like a good car.

Hope someone can help my..Thank You in advance
I take it you did not get a pre-purchase inspection done. My off-the-cuff guess is your ECU is bad, but let me forward your scenario to someone that knows a lot more about this kind of thing than I do to see if I can get a better diagnosis for you. Barring that, you might start looking for a good independent BMW repair facility in you area. You can start your search here: BMW Repair Shops - Find a BMW Mechanic | BimmerShops.com
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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All this happened after I got it out of transport mode otherwise all was fine except the air conditioning for maybe 2 weeks. There is no dealer anywhere close for an inspection except 200 miles. I am a good mechanic as I own a 528i and done all the work myself.

Took it for a drive today and the locks and fab started working again..hmmmm
I will look at the info you gave me.

Thanks for the info so far, hopefully that someone can help
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Here are the replies I received from two people I forwarded your info to. They are both very knowledgable about BMW's and Z4's in particular.

I don't mean to disparage your mechanical ability, so I hope you did not take it that way. Sometimes these electrical gremlins take a lot more analysis and equipment to diagnose than most home mechanics have access to.

In any event, read the replies I received (below). Maybe they will help. Let me us know what you find.

Quote:
Brad: I have an BMW E soft wear. That will work on this car and may be some help as to mechanical resets. But that really does not help here. I think as I recall that that car has three total ECUs and two that are linked,The Air bag ECU system is on it's it's own. So all of this does not quite make perfect sense to me Such,as in the Air bag light on. Now the rest is possible as the two linked ECU's do control all of the rest we are talking about here,again than the Air Bag System light on, I would say you are 100% correct if the changes in the program do nothing to reset when he has advanced. What he says about the transport mode in my understanding is correct. The system would do just as he says but then I am not 100% up to date on his system. BMW made a huge change in the ECU system in the 2004 and up cars. Now the computer can be reset by removing the negative terminal for five minutes or more, but I think it puts the car back in transport mode. I am thinking it is the ignition switch. This could and would control all the things we are talking about here. The ignition switch powers up everything and would power down everything we are talking about here.

///

It does sound like there is voltage drops somewhere in the system. The battery is not the only connection; many branches and splices, each being a potential problem. Steve's shot at an ignition switch is a good one, probably one of the easier places to start.

I can see this car potentially taking some serious investigative volt meter and scanner work. To be blunt, the very first thing I would be looking for is signs of being in a flood.
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Last edited by Zedfor; 09-12-2013 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks Zedfor for the help.

I was thinking the same thing about the ignition switch and remember the dash lights when in #1 position were flickering, I would move the key and it did make a difference. Now there are NO dash lights when in #1 position.

Just talked with the Souix Falls dealer and there was just oil changes and a flat tire done (Same town I bought it from). Thought of a flood also, but this guy was not a mechanic and I think it would have been totaled or shown up somewhere with past service.
Dealer thought it may be a module, but which one and would it show up with a scan?
So where to start? Does anyone know where the most important connections are to check first? it almost sounds like bad contact somewhere. I do live on a very bumpy road and may have shook something loose.

I have heard of people disconnecting the battery after waiting a while for storage and all was fine. I will keep researching this. If anyone can tell me the correct way to do it, it will help. Is there a sleep mode?

Thanks again
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