Z4 (e85/e86) FAQ
Hello folks, for any newbies browsing or those who may not yet know some of the little things about their cars, I've compiled a Frequently Asked Question Section. Please read before posting in case your question has been asked a million times before! There is also a very handy Search function on the forum - most points have been discussed in detail.
[*] The Z4 (called Internally the E85 ) was launched in 2002, with the first cars being delivered in early 2003 with either a 2.5i or 3.0i M54 engine, with a 2.2i 6cyl coming later. Later in 03 an Alpina Z4 was launched with an enlarged version of the 3.0i. You could choose a 6 speed manual, 5/6 Speed Steptronic and on the 3.0i prefacelift, an SMG gearbox. It was offered in SE trim, which was later renamed to just "i".
[*] Before the existance of the Z4M, the wonderfully rare Alpina Roadster S was launched, powered by an enlarged 3.4-litre version of BMW's previous-generation M3 straight-six, the hand-built motor trades ultimate power for a hearty slab of mid-range torque, but still packs a handy 295bhp punch. In Lux Spec this adds Nav, Cruise, Xenons and 19" wheels.
[*] In 2006 the Z4 was facelifted with new engines, a 2.0i, 2.5i, 2.5si, 3.0si and the launch of the 3.2i Z4M. The facelift model is easily recognised by revised headlamps and taillamps. These were available in SE or Sport trim.
[*] Also new for the facelift was the e86 Coupé model, available in the UK with a 3.0si and /M 3.2i.
In 2009 the E89 Z4 was launched with a folding hardtop. This is covered in depth in this forum
Here is an exhaustive list of UK Specifications, options & engine differences
from the original brochures, post pre and post facelift. Here's
a great post listing the types of wheel available too.
If you are new to this forum and have just bought a Zed - please introduce yourself in the Newbie forum
If you are looking to buy, very well looked after Zeds are often For Sale in the Buy and Sell section
. Did you know?
[*] Holding down the Unlock key on the keyfob will lower the roof (or windows on a Coupé). This seems to be model dependant although it's not clear which years don't work. Here is a list of options.
[*] Due to safety, you cannot raise it by default but you can get your key coded (with lots of other options) by an Independant Specialist with Autologic to do this
[*] Pulling the left indicator stalk towards you before exiting the car will give "follow home" headlights which turn off after a default 30 seconds.
[*] If you have a BLACK Radio/Stereo in your Zed it will play MP3 CDs, if it's grey it won't. The changeover was late 2005 - you can swap these but you will either want to swap the front from the old unit or buy more vents, to make them match.
[*] The Standard Z4 aerial can be replaced with a smaller "stubby" from either Mangowalk
or an official Peugeot
part. This can have a limited affect
on radio signal.
[*] 3.0 Z4's had a Sound Generator, this can be retrofitted
[*] Standard Z4 Runflat tyres have advantages but often significantly degrade the ride. Many members have swapped these for Falken 452's or newer generation Runflats. If you do, you'll either need a spare wheel, or possibly from the Z4M - the M Mobility Kit.
[*] Roadster Z4s will have a space for a wind deflector between the roll hoops. If this was a factory option it can be stored in the panel under the bootlid.
[*] On the Roadster you should also have Coat Hooks inside the Roll Hoops. Move the seat forward to hang things on them.
[*] All Zeds have an adaptive throttle, which you can reset.
[*] Pressing your DSC button briefly engages DST, allowing slightly more wheelspin. Pressing and holding turns off all aids and is not advisable.
[*] Some Z4's have optional Electrically folding exterior door mirrors. If yours don't fold electrically, they *will* fold manually but it's not obvious - look at the crease lines carefully and you will see.
[*] If you have one of the very earliest 2003 cars, most options can be retrofitted easily as the wiring looms for most optional extras (eg electric seats, cruise) are present. Later cars had equipment specific wiring.
[*] Cleaning your roof (as most have fold marks) can give good results, depending on the products used.Common Faults
is an excellent link to all the Service Information Bulletins (SIBs) for the E85/E86/M.
[*] All Z4s have a high failure rate on rear springs. Good news is, it's a relatively cheap replacement.
[*] You can reset your one touch window open / close (if active) like this
[*] On Roadsters, the drains will need cleaning
which if left will corrode your roof motor, with substantial repair bills. This apparently forms part of Inspection I & Inspection II, but check with your dealer this has been checked.
[*] If your roof motor has failed, expect large repair bills from a dealer (£1000+). Shipkiller has kindly documented his replacement
which will make this lots cheaper, as well as how to remove the roof
[*] Facelift Zeds have a sealed roof motor to limit this problem.
[*] If you have an ODB2 lead
you can list any stored faults, the definitive list is of these codes is here
[*] All Z4s have a Clutch Delay Valve, which can give the effect of "kangarooing" in 1st/2nd gear. This can be removed
by you or an specialist.
[*] If you have an illuminated Airbag light, it's likely your door airbags were disconected without the battery being removed, but there have also been occasions of failing seat occupancy sensors which cause this.
[*] Failing electric windows are often due to Window Regulators
- telltale sign is a rattly door.
[*] Sticky / Non-working wipers? Check out this excellent thread
[*] Cruise Control
depending on the model year of the car is an excellent value addition. On an /M
this is much trickier.
[*] Navigation is a big job but can be done for around £500. Thread is here
[*] Bluetooth is possible with OEM parts
and you should expect to pay about £400.
[*] There is also the retrofit of the TV Module, both analogue and digital.
[*] You can retrofit Interior Mood lighting, also with LEDs.
[*] Wind deflector Retrofit
[*] Multifunction buttons can also be added to the steering wheel to control audio / bluetooth.
[*] Replacing light clusters with facelift versions is tricky, especially at the back as you will need a new Light Control Module. Check this
[*] Automatic gearboxes can have steering wheel paddles added, as per the post-facelift. Audio, Nav & Bluetooth
[*] Up to date Bluetooth Compatibility List
[*] Post 2007 cars have an auxilliary in, (for MP3 Players). This is an easy retrofit.
[*] For more useful Ipod Integration (particularly if you have NAV), the favourite seems to be the Intravee, but there is also Dension, and the BMW unit which both have mixed reviews.
[*] There are 3 Audio options in the Z4. Basic, Hifi and DSP (Carver/Logic7). Basic has 6 speakers & no amp (with 8 visible grills), Hifi has 10 speakers with an optical amp, and DSP is the Carver system with 10 speakers, optical amp and DSP settings you can change. If you have cubby boxes behind the seats you have basic, if you have DSP settings you have the DSP, anytihng else you have the Hifi option. Anything other than the Basic Hifi is incredibly difficult to upgrade. Carver was the original Launch top Hifi named after the company that designed the Speakers, after 2007 it became the Logic7 system, all have Phillips Speakers.
[*] Several members (including myself) have upgraded the Audio, there's a thread with good pictures here
, and another here
[*] If you have a black head unit (not dark grey) it should play MP3 CDs, & your changer should too - This was from approx Oct 05 If not you can swap the head unit, and either buy new vents or replace the facia to the grey one.
[*] CD Changer retrofit is tricky as you have to remove lots of the rear centre console, most elect for an ipod install as this is far easier.
[*] If you have NAV you will have TMC, a traffic info alert. This will be green when not using the radio, meaning it's receiving updates. It does this usually from Classic FM.
[*] If you have lost your pairing code for bluetooth, you can lift the carpet and find it on a label on the module.
[*] To pair bluetooth, you need to press the button on the inside of the "flap" - not the steering wheel button.
[*] OEM Nav can have it's firmware upgraded (latest is v32) which will allow 3d Perspective Mode, (avail from about v27 in 2006) but this is hidden.
[*] Perspective mode is accessed from a hidden menu:
if you have firmware v29+
[*] You can also modify an Original NAV DVD to add speed cameras and also Audio Alerts.
[*] Latest Nav DVD can be purchased in a swap scheme from your dealer for £99, latest is 2010-1, as of Dec 09.
[*] How to set the clock is here//M Specific
[*] Lots new to the M will often experience Kangarooing in 1st/2nd changes, some say removing the CDV helps this but mine felt similar - just get used to the clutch.
[*] Z4Ms all have a slightly noticeable "rattly" VANOS noise at about 3-4k RPM. This is completely normal.
[*] Allignement issues can be fairly common in an /M, usually resulting in often pulling to the left.
[*] Many have experienced failed O2 sensors, it's fairly common to have had both replaced by about 30k. Symptoms are an engine light & poor running, often due to fuel.
[*] As /Ms have a Limited Slip Differential, you can only disengage the DSC fully by holding the switch (not like the two stage switch on the non-M)
[*] Some early Z4Ms have noted grinding between 1st/2nd gear which have resulted in Warranty gearbox replacements.
is a report of the Geometry settings for alligning a Z4MCUseful Websites
for a complete parts listing
[*] Cooper BMW
Parts for pricing of the above
[*] Support the forum and purchase a Z4-Forum Sticker
for your Zed
[*] If you're not an owner yet, Parkers
has a section called ‘Facts and Figures’ where you can click to see what was a standard spec and which items were / available options.
[*] All of the Wiring Diagrams
for BMWs are here too. Reviews
[*] There's a nice review which includes a launch Z4M and Alpina Roadster S here.Credits
To those who have PM'd me with changes and any threads I have linked to, many thanks! Big thanks to Mr Shipkiller
who has contributed heaps. & Remember
This site is free to join and free to use, but does cost a lot of money to run. If you would like to contribute towards the running of the Z4-forum your donations would be most welcome. Click the donation link at the top of the page if you feel Z4-Forum has helped you.Some Pictures
2006 Facelift Roadster
2006 Z4M Roadster
2003 Alpina Roadster S
2006 Z4M Coupé