You can’t forget the BMW Z4 when it comes to reliable luxury compact cars. According to CarEdge.com, the two-seater sports roadster has a 56% depreciation rate after five years, leaving owners with a resale value of approximately $26,800. This means the model holds its value better than most vehicles, as the average depreciation rate for cars is 60%. The Z4 also has an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, which is considered better than most luxury sports cars.
Is the BMW Z4 Reliable?
RepairPal gives the Z4 a 3.0 out of 5.0 reliability rating, ranking it 14th out of 17 luxury compact cars. Despite its above-average reliability, the model is reported to have poor ownership costs. It requires approximately $900 for annual repairs and maintenance, which is higher than the usual $800 for luxury cars and $650 for all vehicle models.
The Z4 is brought in for unscheduled repairs 0.7 times a year, which is the average frequency for luxury cars. It also has a 16% probability of having a severe problem, which is 5% higher than other luxury cars.
Common BMW Z4 Problems
Even a sports car as reliable as the BMW Z4 can have damaged or worn-out components that could affect its drivability. Here are some of the Z4’s most common issues found across different model years:
Clunking Steering Wheel
Drivers of some 2003-2008 Z4s have reported that they could feel a clunk or jolt from the steering wheel upon applying the brakes. They could also hear a cracking noise when they drove in reverse due to a faulty front control arm bracket bushing. Replacing this part can cost anywhere between $30 and $80 plus labor costs.
There have been cases of some 2003-2005 and 2008 Z4 engines overheating due to an engine coolant leak from the expansion tank. Owners of the affected model years have also reported that they had to replace other parts like the upper and lower hoses to fix the leak, which cost around $700 to replace.
If left unaddressed, severe engine damage may occur, leading to more expensive repairs. Make sure to have your BMW Z4 towed to the nearest repair shop once you notice signs of overheating while on the road.
Defective Roof Mechanism
Many owners of the 2008 Z4 redesign have complained about having a defective roof mechanism that would retract into a separate chamber, causing the roof motor to develop rust. Some of them replaced the roof mechanism multiple times, but the same problem persisted.
Malfunctioning Convertible Top
One of the many perks of driving a BMW Z4 is having a convertible top. For some owners, however, this feature has been a source of frustration.
A malfunctioning convertible top has been reported to be a common 2003 BMW Z4 problem. Some owners of this model year have complained that the part moved sluggishly for a few weeks until it became inoperable. Others replaced the motor and hydraulic system multiple times to fix the issue, but the problem remained unresolved.
A drifting steering wheel has been a widely reported 2007 BMW Z4 problem. There have been cases where the vehicle would jerk to one side, making it hard to control. Owners of the affected models have also reported that a grabbing sensation could be felt from the steering wheel when making a turn. They also complained that the brakes felt like they’re being activated randomly.
Upon inspection, it was revealed that a faulty steering column has been causing these issues. The cost of replacing this part typically ranges from $80 to $100 plus labor costs.
Oil leaks have been a common problem in some 2003-2006 BMW Z4s. Owners of the affected model years have reported that their engine compartment produced a burning oil smell. The oil leaks were usually visible from the passenger side. Some drivers also reported seeing white smoke from under the hood due to a faulty valve cover gasket.
If you notice your vehicle exhibiting similar symptoms, make sure to check the gasket for any signs of damage. If oil leaks are left unaddressed, you risk damaging the HVAC system and parts like the engine and radiator.
Oil leaks are also a fire hazard and may cause your engine to seize. So don’t think twice about taking your BMW to an auto repair shop when you spot this problem. Replacing your Z4’s valve cover gasket can cost anywhere between $20 and $80 plus labor costs.
Steering Sticks In Place
Many owners of the 2005 Z4 redesign have reported that their steering wheel would stick while driving under highway speeds, causing them to exert more effort to turn the wheel. Some drivers have also complained about losing their Z4’s power steering, which made it difficult to recenter the steering wheel.
There have been cases where the airbags of some 2005 Z4s would deploy randomly despite being parked with the engine shut off. There have also been reports of the airbags failing to protect the passenger in the event of a collision.
Defective Door Locks and Door Handles
Some 2003 BMW Z4s have had several issues with their door locks and handles. Many owners of this model year have reported instances where both interior and exterior door handles failed to open the doors. Others have also reported that the driver’s side door popped open while driving, which may be caused by a faulty door latch. Replacement door handles can cost anywhere between $10 and $20, while a new door latch can cost anywhere between $30 and $100.
Being aware of your BMW Z4’s most common issues is essential in maintaining its optimum performance. Familiarizing yourself with the model’s most common issues can also help you save on repairs by preventing minor problems from escalating. Aside from knowing which issues are typically associated with the Z4, it’s also important to stay on top of your vehicle’s maintenance to keep it running for a long time.