Long-term update: 2006 BMW Z4 wrap-up
Since my last report, much has happened with the “Z.” Besides getting a job in Abu Dhabi which called for multiple trips in the week to Abu Dhabi and back to Dubai, I had taken the car twice to Fujairah, became airborne with the car (almost becoming airborne myself!), and eventually selling it where it was shipped to Iran in June 2010. As a petrolhead, it was a fun experience to keep it always waxed up, hearing the deep exhaust and induction noise and most of all, driving with the roof down. An added minor benefit of having blue xenon lights is that traffic seems to get out of one’s way much faster.
Now that I have sold the BMW Z4, and realised how much it actually cost, I would probably not recommend a premium German brand like this to anyone who was looking for the “budget option.” Furthermore, one should not be fooled by the price of used cars as an easy way to own one’s dream car. There is a reason why they are cheap; namely that the cost of maintenance being higher than a similarly priced Japanese car. Just look on the classifieds and check out the prices for used 7-series models to see what I mean. I worked out that it cost me an additional Dhs 1,400 per month in addition to the actual load repayments excluding petrol if I take into account all the accessories and maintenance. I also found the service from AGMC in Dubai and Sharjah is absolutely atrocious, but I have heard nothing but good things about Abu Dhabi Motors, even though the only dealing I had with them was for parts.
I worked out that towards the end of my time with the car, the fuel consumption was much better than earlier. It could have been the long distance or that the engine was fully opened up or perhaps just the fact that the driver had mellowed out quite a bit! By then, I managed to get about 8.6 litres/100 km on the daily commute and about 10 litres/100 km over weekends.
If you do decide to take the plunge and buy a BMW however, I would recommend getting the most powerful engine in that range; there were occasions where I struggled to keep up with other cars in the same performance bracket. Thankfully I emerged triumphant in all the “duels” I participated in as the situations called for more nerve than outright performance.
I sold it with approximately 119,000 km, so I covered about 82,000 km with the car in 25 months. Overall I am happy that I was able to own such a machine and enjoy it to the fullest.
I am now renting a Honda Civic and there is very little difference between the rent vs buy option. If one keeps in mind that one never has to worry about maintenance or tyres and neither am I as meticulous about keeping it clean, not to mention the fact that I clock up about 7,000 km a month then it makes sense for me, at least, to rent rather than buy. This is a sign of the times we live in.
There are various accessories that I put into the car, and shouldn’t be considered as part of the running costs:
- February 2010: Custom made Car Cover (Delmon Upholstery) – Dhs 200
- January 2010: Hood badge, auxilliary input kit, Bosch ICON wiper blade – Dhs 1,500
- March 2009: Roadster Solutions roof cover (only covers softop) – Dhs 720
- October 2009: Bimmian complete lighting set with 8000K Headlight bulbs – Dhs 600
- October 2008: LeatherZ Door and Centre Armrest with cupholder from USA – Dhs 1,120
These are all the actual running expenses from the last update in October 2008 associated with the Z4 until when sold it on 1 June 2010, in reverse order:
- Wheel alignment in April 2010 at Radial Tyre Change (117,359 km) – Dhs 150
- K&N Filter Cleaning Kit (At the recommended 5,000km cleaning intervals) in April 2010 – Dhs 60
- Oil Change at X Service Centre in March 2010 – Dhs 447
- Complete front windscreen rubbers in February 2010 (Abu Dhabi Motors) – Dhs 802
- Wheel alignment in February 2010 at Radial Tyre Change (109,441 km) – Dhs 150
- Four Bridgestone Potenza non-RFT tyres in February 2010 (225/45/17) – Dhs 3,500
- Battery in January 2010 at AGMC – Dhs 940
- Dent removal by Dentmaster in January 2010 (not recommended for double skin doors) – Dhs 1,000
- Replaced gearbox oil pan, new oil, adjusted handbrake, fit xenon headlight bulbs at X Service Centre (105,500 km) in December 2009 – Dhs 2,865
- Inspection charges for gearbox leak (decided to have the job done elsewhere) from AGMC – Dhs 354
- In August 2009, AGMC Service (99,173 km), inspection using diagnosis equipment, and replaced washer pump – Dhs 1,222
- In June 2009, oil change at X Service Centre – Dhs 442
- In January 2009, AGMC Service and inspecting minor faults (60,953 km) – Dhs 848
- In November 2008, AGMC replaced front control arm bushings – Dhs 1,247
- In October 2008, Radial Tyre Change wheel alignment – Dhs 150
- In October 2008, X Service Centre oil change – Dhs 435
Other items I spent money on, beyond maintenance, include complete vehicle detailing in May 2010 for Dhs 595, comprehensive insurance in April 2010 (with dealer repair) for Dhs 6,200, Meguiars Products from ACE for full detailing in February 2010 done myself for Dhs 276 and a complete Meguiar’s Detailing System for interior and exterior costing Dhs 698. These do not count in the final running costs.
Original Mileage When Bought: 37,000 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 119,000 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 8.6 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 6,718
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 7,894
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought:: Dhs 15,212
Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury
Looks like maintaining a Z4 remains relatively affordable, compared to other BMW models. On my friend’s 2002 BMW 7-Series, the electronic parking brake jammed, and it cost Dhs 20,000 to fix! He dumped that car once the transmission refused to go into reverse.
^yeah, i agree…. i have one just the same but in white and red interior..and its way far too much cooler that your Z3 thing… :):)
^thats my Kia Opirus 2006 just parking next to it… i swear to god it is….. thats in Discovery Gardens…. seems me and jeremy john lives in the same area….
Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury
^Yeah, noticed the Opirus. I’d have figured he’s your friend!
@asheq: My M is faster and more exciting than a regular Z4. Y’aarrghh!
^ I will be very glad if he and you as well accept me among your friends.. this is a very cool site, good information, nice forum, and interesting subjects…
PS.. are those Xenon HID original?.. they are sort of bluish to me, if they are not, could you tell me what brand are they?… i want to install the same in my car… thanks in advance 🙂 🙂
Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury
^I wouldn’t suggest that. You’d get fined. The only way to get away with aftermarket HID is if your car had the factory option, as with BMWs.
TO SABU….I guess you can install aftermarket HID in you car, as it has the factory option…. seen many of those cars (opiruses) with HID….. you can use bosch or philips… they are the best..IMO… also you can go to any authorized dealer for more technechal and proffesional advice rather than listening from random people…
As for the above Long-term update, this is amazing, i always wonders about these german coupes and convertables, it is a good effort that somebady finaly provided some review about them…. i would like to read more reviews (long term reviews) about several convertables and not only germans……..
Your car gleaming!!! Guess the detailing expense was money well spent.
Is it because the Z’s (prior to 2009 model) are assembled/made in USA that they give so many problems?? I’ve been a long term owner of beemers – (2001 320i and nw 2007 525i – both i6) and swear by the german marque.
TO Adam,… thanks for the professional help.. my car actualy had the HID head lamp since i bought it as no. one… but when the right lamp didnt work anymore (and the original will cost me 1000 Dh) so i took the decision to install an after mater ones… and that was my story and query.. thanks again for the respond….
BTW, i already installed bosch and they are working just perfect…
sabu. The car came with xenon bulbs, but one started giving problems (dashboard light came on at the same time, the RHS bulb stopped working-but it would only do this sometimes-not every time). When i found out the replacement cost was AED500 each from BMW i decided to go aftermarket with the replacement bulbs. I ordered 8000k Xenoflo bulbs from Bimmian.com and it cost me AED500 for both bulbs including shipping! i also threw in the interior xenon lighting kit which also gave all the interior lights (and rear license plate holder) a bluish light. i liked the effect in the end.
It’s true that the maint. cost (if out of warranty — so beware if you’re buying used — one suggestions, buy certified pre-owned: at least you know the car has passed inspections, and CPOs usually comes with limited warranty for another 2 years). But come on, comparing a Z with Honda Civic? One is a commuter car and the other is a sports car. Apples and oranges. The Z has never been considered a commuter car. I’ve owned commuter cars all my adult life and I loved them (mostly Toyotas), but there’s nothing like being behind the wheels of a sports car, and the Z is all about that. I am willing to pay more for that pleasure, then beat the crap out of my Toyota commuter.
I am on the market for a z4.
I wanted to ask how can I distinguish a 3.0 vs 2.5 models?
I found one But it doesnt have a badge for the engine size.
Seats are fabric and I read in wiki that all 04 and above 3.0 models came with leather upholstery.