edg3 - Freelance Digital Web Design and Umbraco Development

Thoughts on the BMW Z4M a few months on

I bought my back in June (2016) from an independent dealer with about 52k miles on the clock.

History was decent but was missing the valve clearance check from the Inspection II; however I bought it and had that done a couple of days later at SJR Automotive (when checked they were all within tolerances and only one was adjusted). Additionally the differential oil was due a change, so that was done, and annoyingly while that was carried out I was advised that the pinion seal was leaking, which I told them to replace (however the more I read about this now the more I don’t believe it was actually needed, but that’s another matter).

After that being done I took it over Stockport for Darren (Darren Wood Ltd) to give it a look over and change the brake fluid as I was planning on putting some decent miles on it and wanted piece of mind the basics were sorted. While there he also plugged in his diagnostics and gave me the correct bluetooth pin code for no cost (which took 30 seconds – BMW wanted to charge £60 for the privilege!).

The car itself has everything I wanted, Imola Red, and was effectively fully specced apart from cruise control, aux input, and cupholders. It even has extended leather (after seeing ones with and without, I decided I couldn’t get one without that option!!) and has the digital (freeview) television!

I wanted aux ability, so I bought the adaptor from Fruity Car Cables and fitted it myself including drilling a beautifully clean hole for it in the sloped plastic under the heater controls so it’s nicely hidden. Installation took me almost 2 hours end-to-end, but I was super cautious/careful and slow; doing it again it’d be a 30 minute job at most (getting the vents out was the most difficult part).

In preparation for a road-trip I bought a genuine cupholder from BMW.

In preparation for a road-trip over to the continent I bought a genuine drivers side cupholder from BMW, this cost me £60 (ouch!) and despite what I’d read it worked flawlessly. I primarily used this for bottled water, and with the air-conditioning on the coldest setting it produced ice cold water due to the location of it; an unintended happy side-effect!

Now the only other negative when I bought the car was the tyres. It had Bridgestone Potenza all round, the rears were low anyway, but they were lethal in anything other than perfectly dry weather; and I buy my cars to use them (while treating them as best I can in my time of ownership). I replaced them with Michelin Pilot Super Sports (sourced through Costco), and the car was literally transformed. Even in wet weather I feel very comfortable pushing on and “making progress”. I would have gone for the Michelin Pilot Sport 4’s but Michelin had a shortage of the front’s at the time, and I needed something sooner, so settled with what I have now (and am very happy with them).

Other than what’s noted above, and the road tax (a painful £515/year, but you know the cost of this if you’re considering one), I’ve not spent anything apart from running costs. It’s not even used any oil. I have always stuck below 3k RPM until it’s warmed up and before enjoying that wonderful engine, then once warm it’s been used well.

Every single fuel stop during my ownership has been logged (39 of them so far; I’m a geek, what can I say).

I’ve put 6,805 miles on the clock since buying it, mostly consisting of a couple of trips up to Scotland, and the odd jaunt over on the continent (furthest point was visiting friends in Vodice, Croatia). It has done the occasional very short (6 mile) journey but it’s effectively a toy, and used as such. It has averaged 26.7mpg (with a best of 31.48mpg). That’s real-world, having used 1,168 litres of fuel (mostly super, but occasionally a tank of 95 in places where better wasn’t available).

It’s due a basic oil service in approximately 2,700 miles; should be nice and cheap comparatively. Then it’s the Inspection I in 10,000 miles after. I purchased mine because of the history and being at that point in it’s life where short-term future servicing should be fairly easily manageable / cheap. If it was due the Inspection II next then costs would obviously be more.


Read all of this as you will, it’s my experiences so far. I considered the 3.0 (E85) and the 3.5iS (E89) but the heart won and the ended up in the garage. There’s just something about an car that makes you smile, and I definitely look twice when closing the garage door.