BMW Z4 M Coupe

The launch of an all-new Z4 this year means now’s a good time to take a fresh look at the Z4 M Coupe, a proper M-car with real future classic potential

BMW Z4 M Coupe Checkpoints

24 Nov 2009

Key areas to check before buying an M Coupe

• Engine
Check the service book for the initial, 1200-mile service. This is where the fluids are changed from the run-in spec to the normal spec, and if it wasn’t done then serious wear could result.

Curiously, the throttle system can go out of tune. Resetting it can improve throttle response and its really simple to do: turn the ignition on and wait for 10 seconds, then turn it off for 10 seconds, then turn it on again for 10, then start the engine.

The crankcase ventilation oil separator assembly can clog with sludge; in extreme cases this can lead to combustible vapour building up in the intake and going bang in a big way when you next start the car. The valve is fitted to many BMWs and is one of the most ‘popular’ replacement parts!

• Transmission
If there is a rattle when you switch the engine off, which doesn’t happen if you have the clutch down, then this is probably the clutch springs. If this is the case, then it’s fairly normal and nothing to worry about.

• Body and chassis
Your Z4 M Coupe should come with two keys, so check that they both operate the remote central locking. If not, then it is a main dealer job to get them reprogrammed. Also check that the key still turns the mechanical door lock, because it rarely gets used and can seize if not lubricated.
Be aware that the strut braces can crack near the strut tops – it’s actually the weld on the body that breaks so replacement is expensive – so check this area carefully.

• Brakes and suspension
The standard run-flat tyres can give a harsh ride, so changing to normal sports tyres is a popular move, but remember to pack a tube of tyre foam because there is no room for a spare.

The road springs have been known to snap at 35-45k, so check the car sits level and there are no rattles from the corners when driving. Some owners fit uprated Eibach springs.

There can be a problem with the electric steering system, leading to inconsistent response or a sticky feeling. There is a fix for this using the later steering ECU, but unfortunately it is an integral part of the steering rack and so the whole unit has to be replaced.

Creaking from the rear can be worn anti-roll bar bushes, but they are reasonably cheap to replace.

Specifications

Engine In-line 6-cyl, 3246cc
Max power 338bhp @ 7900rpm
Max torque 296lb ft @ 4900rpm
Transmission Six-speed manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive, M diff, DSC+
Tyres 225/45 ZR18 front, 255/40 ZR18 rear
Weight (kerb) 1424kg
Power-to-weight 241bhp/ton
0-62mph 5.0sec (claimed)
Top speed 155mph (limited)
Price when new £41,285 (2006)

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