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Thread: Some useful Q&A's for new owners,

  1. #1
    Team Z8
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    Post Some useful Q&A's for new owners,

    After months indecision over the purchase of a SL500 or Z8 tonight's test drive has set aside any doubt about the Z8. This will be my first purchase of an "exotic" car though I've owned classic's and some very fast production cars. I have a BMW client advisor doing a search for a silver/red Z8 and the Dupont Registry shows one available in Texas. My question is what have you learned from your purchase and ownership of the car and what advice would you give to someone entering this type of ownership?

  2. #2

    Thumbs up Good decision!

    As you can see by this board I am slightly biased towards the car.

    The possible problems are all listed on the board here, my best advice is buy a car that has a full history, check it has had all the recalls & updates done to it by BMW. Everything done to the car by BMW has been recorded on their computerized service record system, and any BMW service center will be able to give you a full printout of the car's history.

    Also buy an extended warranty, as there are some expensive pitfalls that can lay in wait, mostly to do wiith the VANOS valve gear. About 20% of the 2000 & 2001 cars suffered with problems with the seals inside this system. It is an $8-12K fix, and extended warranty will be much less.

    Welcome to the clan, and hopefully see you out at one of our drives.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8-NL's Avatar
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    Andy,

    At what milleage does the VANOS problem manifest itself and how? I have a 2001 engine and I hear the VANOS system when I just start the car. It is gone after few seconds. Sometimes when I shut off the engine I hear some rattling noise as well.
    Whilst driving no problem at all.

    Thanks
    Z8-NL
    Klaus

  4. #4

    Vanos info.......

    so far I haven't had any issues with this, so all I have is second hand. The cold start noise is normal, and not a problem. It is when you get the noise constantly that the VANOS gear has started to break up.

    Follow this link to everything I have on the issue........http://www.bmwz8.us/vbb/showthread.php?threadid=72
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  5. #5
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8-NL's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks Andy.

    Will keep my ear to the "ground"/engine. My BMW dealer says it is very little compared to others he he servicing (M5's and Z8's) so for now keep fingers crossed.

    BTW I am very impressed by this site and the amount of information available. Hopefully it"ll be there for years to come as I intend to keep this car a very long time.

    Cheers
    Klaus

    black/black
    eisenman, ACS, Alpina wheels

  6. #6

    Thumbs up Vanos & Cams

    I intend to keep the site going as long as I'm around! I love the car, and am now on my second one, this time a US spec car. I'd have one in every color if I could, but don't have the garage space! I'm hoping some kind of owner's group or club might eventually develop from the site, but as yet it hasn't.

    Many of visitors have said they intend to keep this car forever too. It is such a unique, extraordinary machine, a true one off whose beauty and useability will be more appreciated every year. Let's see if we're all here in 10 years time!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  7. #7
    Team Z8
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    Going out to Pacific BMW in Glendale this weekend to check out their two Z8's. Thanks for the advice on the VANOS issues, still question if there is a relationship between the year of production and the frequency of the problem.Anyone on the forum want to meet me out there and throw in their two cents on the silver 2000. Ron

  8. #8

    2000 & 2001 are the ones affected.....

    The VANOS isn't a problem you can detect till it happens sadly!

    Good luck!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  9. #9
    gocargo
    Guest

    New to Z8 ownership and few questions..

    Hello, I live in the Atlanta Georgia area and just purchased a 2000 Black/Tan Z8 with 28000 miles (European model, I have the amber rear turn signals) and have a few questions.

    The dealership ordered an owners manual on order for me, but thanks to you-all, in the meantime I wll be viewing it online!

    Unfortunately my front passanger-side turn signal is not working. I tested it myself last week before purchasing the car, so I know it "worked". What should be my first step in determining where the failure is?

    What are the steps to program the garage doors remote on my Z8's rearview mirror?

    Is-are the hardtops available? (mine didn't come with one).

    So far this Z8 has been all I expected it to be... I currently own a MB awd sport Suv and traded my 911 cabriolet in towards the purchase price of this car. I've previously owned quite a few sports cars, several MB SL's, Viper, Vette's, 300zx etc.. and this is for the most part quite an improvement in many areas where the others were lacking.

    Thanks, Brett

  10. #10

    Welcome to the clan!

    I can't help with the remote programming, as I wasn't even aware it had that feature. I have owned a Euro, and loved it, I think the red/orange tail lights are the prettier of the two by far.

    Hardtops are available, and can be ordered thru any BMW dealer, they also come up for sale on ebay from time to time.

    I am not sure what the fault with the front light is, but make sure you try with the head light switch in all its positions, just to be sure it is the same. It could well be a bulb blown, which is a no brainer to fix, or otherwise a loose wire or fuse.

    Enjoy the car, and remeber to send us in some pictures!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  11. #11
    gocargo
    Guest
    Hello Andrew.
    Well, I am not too bright I'm sure you know by now the buttons to which I was referring were the map light buttons on the bottom of the rearview mirror... guess I've driven too many MB cars!

    The preowned dealership I purchased this z8 from had a USA model silver z8 with the all red tail light assb's... IMO the amber ones are are much nicer when the 2 z8's sitting next to one another.

    BTW, I believe mine was originally destined for Saudi Arabia, due to the Arabic writing on the passanger door outside mirror, probably saying "objects may appear further away..." I will post the vin for your collection sometime soon.

    The turn signal that is out is the front right neon one, I hope its a loose wire...otherwise up to $550 retail for lamp assb and control module.. no labor.

    -Brett

  12. #12

    I love the Euro tail lights too....

    I'm happy you figured out the remote, or lack of, and my fingers are crossed for the front indicator too. The neons don't blow too often, infact I haven't heard of one going out as yet, so my hope is it will be some wire or fuse.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  13. #13

    Intro and a few questions

    I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Gary Bossert and I am from New Jersey. My father and I are avid car collectors and long time BMW nuts. I have raced and worked on BMW's since the 1980's and we presently have a '73 2002/S14, three E30 M3's a 740is and two 325i cabrios. Non-BMWs include a GT3, Elise, R32 and C55 AMG.

    I have lusted after the Z8 since its intro and the prices have come in line with what I'm preppared to spend so I have been in the process of tracking down a car. First, I want to thank Andrew for a great job with this site, it has been very informative and IMO is a must for the prospective Z8 owner.

    I did a ride and drive in a friends Z8 over the weekend. It feels faster than the test numbers, the quality and fit and finish are amazing and the structural rigidity for a convertible (or any car for that matter) is solid as can be. I'm totally impressed with the car.

    I'm looking at a few Z8s, some with very low mileage and others with about 10,000 miles. I was steering away from the 2000 and early 2001 cars because of the possible vanos issues.

    Does the 2yr - 50,000 CPO warranty cover exactly the same as the original warranty? If so, do you think it would be worth going for a 2000 car with CPO if the savings was $5,000 to $10,000 over the late production 2001 car?

    I see some cars are imported through foreign countries (Chile, Great Britain) but these cars all have U.S. VINS and started off with no miles. Are these cars different in any way than the U.S. cars that came through BMW NA? Are they worth less?

    Thanks for any insight you can provide, I hope to be a Z8 owner soon.

  14. #14

    Smile Welcome, and thanks!

    Does the 2yr - 50,000 CPO warranty cover exactly the same as the original warranty?
    I think so, but there are after market warranties by companies like Easycare that are even better, and I'd say a must.

    If so, do you think it would be worth going for a 2000 car with CPO if the savings was $5,000 to $10,000 over the late production 2001 car?
    Since you are a serious collector and likely looking for a long term keeper I'd keep to a later model, as there were many small upgrades beyond the DME & VANOS.

    I see some cars are imported through foreign countries (Chile, Great Britain) but these cars all have U.S. VINS and started off with no miles.
    I think there are just two basic VIN configurations, AH6**** for all the US spec cars and AF7**** for all the EU spec cars. A US spec car that has been privately imported has either come in thru an overseas diplomatic, military or some other odd back door sale, as the US cars were generally only available thru BMW NA.

    Are these cars different in any way than the U.S. cars that came through BMW NA?
    Yes, I had a Euro, and there are many detail differences, but essentially it is the same car. I have listed the differences here.

    Are they worth less?
    Yes, they are today, but as all the cars come out of warranty I expect the difference to greatly diminish. There are around 100 Euros that I am aware of that have been Fed'd and a couple that have been 'Californiated', a much harder bureaucratic trick. The reason so many Euros came in at the beginning of the run was price gouging by the BMW dealers here in the US.
    I bought my Euro when the dollar was very strong in the summer of '01, I paid $105K for it landed and Fed'ed when there wasn't a dealer in SoCal who would consider selling me a Z8 for under $170K! Ironically a German buyer can now buy a very clean Z8 here in the US today for less than the cost of a wrecked one at home, such is the dollar's terrible decline.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  15. #15
    Andrew thanks,
    Everything you say makes sense and has been borne out through my Z8 search. I actually just took delivery of my car on Friday. 2001 Silver/Sport Red w/ CPO. I think it may be the last US Z8 sold new. Mileage is 550. Car is amazing, now time for some 20" wheels and to see if I can get the flip phone activated. On the drive home on I-95 I passed a guy and his family in a perfect silver 996 C4S. He was going crazy waving and giving me the thumbs up. The Z8 really has a presence on the road... like a modern day E type.

  16. #16

    Congratulations!

    Please send in some shots of the new member of the family when you have them all assembled.

    Good luck with it!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  17. #17
    Z8 Novice
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    24

    Euro Spec Cars

    Hi Andrew,

    This site has been a great reference for me as I have been discovering the wonders of my Z8. I had contacted BMW AG to get recall and service bulletin information on my 2000 (WBAEJ1104YAF77109). They told me mine was not Euro Spec but built for foreign delivery (I know it was delivered to Lebanon and then brought in to the US shortly thereafter). They told me to contact BMW NA. I did but they claim to have no knowledge and sent me to NHTSA.

    I can keep going around but I thought I might check with you. Was there any other Recalls or service bulletins besides the ones you posted here that you found? Believe it or not my company deals with all the major auto manufacturers including BMW and my contacts have not been able to help me. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

    My email is [email protected]

  18. #18

    You should register the car with BMW NA first.

    As this is the only way you'll find out if there are any open recalls. You'll need to write a letter to BMW NA to tell them you have privately imported the car, and give them it's VIN. I suggest calling BMW in NJ, and ask for the dept who deal with Z8 customer service to find out where to send the letter.

    This is the only way to get the car into the system, and discover if AG has any open recalls on the car. My local dealer (BMW Beverly Hills) did all the recall work on mine for AG with no problems.

    Every issue I know of is listed here, but I also don't know everything by any means, just what I've learnt along the way.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.