Last post on Oct 19, 2006 at 7:25 AM
You are in the Nissan 350Z/370Z
What is this discussion about?
Nissan 350Z, Coupe, Hatchback
#499 of 549 Re: Buying 2003 Z, anything I should know? [rossboss]
Apr 15, 2006 (4:56 pm)
#1, ask him if Nissan fixed the feather issue and take a look at the wear on his tires.
The stock tires are Potenza RE40's.
If those are not on there ask him why.
#2,If you have never driven a 350Z, Don't test drive his until you have done your homework. Trust me - if you drive it, you will lose all objectivetity and say to yourself "I rally want this car"
Now for my long ramble:
You did not tell us which Model you are looking at so some of my comments may not be applicable (like wheel size and TPMS, for example)
Of course the tire feathering issue is the major item that was in the press but being a first year car, there were also a number of nitnoids that they fixed later.
One that comes to mind is that on the 2003, the bolster on the seat wore out really quickly.
This website has ALL the service bulletins for Nissan's by MOdel and year.
Take a gander at the list,the link I have enclosed, and see that you think about the 2003.
It looks to me like it is 100% comprehensive as I looked up a number of the issues that I know the 2003 has and I found them.
I have a 2005 Enthusiast Model so I am a bona fide Z owner.
Here is my opinion , and it comes from reading a lot about the 2003 through 2005 model year's from supposedly unbiased sources.
I say supposedly because I know the website like Edmunds and the magazines do have their advertisors so you have to wonder.
If you can get Nissan to fix the tire feathering issue for free (they had a campaign going last year to fix it for free on ALL 2003's and the 2004 VIN's that were affected)and can get a good price on such a low mileage car(see what KBB says) , I would jump at it.
There are a number of cosmetic (and now I could not live without them like the Tire pressure thing or the seat belt 'unrattler' but that is just me) changes made which you could live without BUT they did make a few of the performance features standard on the the Enthusiast model in later years.
Let me add one caveat to my opinion, I have read many reports on the various Z boards that some (not all) of the 2003's were having various problems with parts of the transmission that required replacing or repairing.
Some were about the gear box and some were about the differential.
SO,I STRONGLY recommend that you buy an exclusionary warranty for this car as it is out of warranty (3 Years/36,000 miles) so if the tranny blows up, you are covered.
Remember the #1 rule about making decisions's based upon problem reports you read in bulletin boards ,such as this one or my350z.com,etc.:
Statistically, they are completely useless to base decisions on since the sample set is comprised of nearly 100% of reports of problems because people rarely do not report non problems. IE. Most people only post about their problems in discussion based forums and are silent when things are going okay.
I say this so you don't freak about my comment about reported transmission problems.
If you really want to get valid data to help you decide, look at the long term ownership reviews done by the car sites/magazines, balanced reviews by owners (balanced means they talk about the good and the bad), the companies database of issues reported and complaints issued to the government agency who tracks ownber's complaints to decide if a recall is needed.
It may set you back $15 but I would also do a Carfax check.
I can not imagine anything showing up on what is pretty much a new car but unless you know the person selling the car and he is the FIRST and ONLY owner, you could probably skip it because the report will be neary blank.
After all, if the odomoter was set back, I think that only shows up when the car chages hands or is reported to carfax.
I still always do a Carfax report on every car I am seriuously considering and will then go back if I buy the car and update all the data on the car.
I am sorry but I am drawing a blank on that website with the name of the government agency.
Last time I researched to that level of detail was 8 years ago when I was buying a very used Porsche.
One last thing and I promise I will shut up.
It has been said by many sources that since the reviewers really dinged Nissan for the harse ride when the car came out, that starting with the 2004 model, they slighty softened up the suspension for a better ride and that due to this, the BEST handling model Z IS the 2003.
I drove a friends 2003 Z (we both use the same Michelin Pilot Sports).His cause they needed it and me cause it was part of the new car deal cause the stock Potenza's are awfull.
I KNOW his handled better than my 2005 when I pushed it really hard back on the farmland 'proving grounds'.
I say this because there is on stretch back there that is my nemesis.
It is banked all wrong, has 3 left curves, 2 straigtaways and 4 right curves. The speed limit sign says 30.
No comments now: I can take that stretch at 72 before the rear starts telling me that is it right at the limit of breaking loose and in my friends 2003, I can take this stretch at 75 with NO sign of rear warning.
I am looking into getting better tires which is how I somehow stumbked upon this thread.
If you want more info, post back and I can get you my email address or phone number via my350z.com cause they have Private Messaging and maybe we can talk in person? I hope that was not too presumptious of me.
I am in my 40's so you are not talking to a kid.
I hope all that rambling helps a bit and hope I did not go overboard.
This could be a real buy so I hope we all can help you make an informed decision.
#500 of 549 Re: Buying 2003 Z, anything I should know? [zztop3]
Apr 15, 2006 (6:45 pm)
i just want to address this one statement.
see what KBB says
99% of the time, KBB is total garbage. Its way overpriced.
#501 of 549 Re: Buying 2003 Z, anything I should know? [qbrozen]
Apr 16, 2006 (4:57 am)
Lets deal in facts.
Fact #1 - Car Dealers use KBB for pricing. NOT Edmunds. So get that out your head.
I tried using an Edmunds price for a trade in at a dealer a few years back and was politely told "KBB is what is used to establish a starting point for negotiations. Car dealer's do not recognize Edmunds pricing"
Fact #2 - KBB is NOT overpriced. Perhaps you meant to say "UNDERPRICED"?
Please Do your homework before posting wrong information.
Here is what the 2 'books' show for a 2003 350Z Enthusiast with Automatic,10K miles and in Good condition (no one ever gets The Excellent rating unless you were trading in a 2006 car you bough a few months ago)
This is the car under discussion.
Trade in Private Sale Dealer Retail
$20,069 $21,948 $23,573
Trade in Private Sale Dealer Retail
$16,330 $19,145 $23,405
I think I will stick with KBB if I were the poster who started this thread and wanted to buy the 350Z.
May I ask what mythical guide you use to help you decide on a starting value for a car - used and new?
Please don't say Edmunds.
If I ever sell you my Z, I will very happy to use Edmunds's price:)
#502 of 549 Re: Frustrated with Nissan in Burlinton, WA. [mehottguy]
Apr 16, 2006 (9:07 am)
What tires did you end up getting?
I just bought a new 2005 (left over from late last year) Touring Roadster. It came equipped with Michelin Pilot Sports on 18" alloy wheels.
Salesman said they were A/S, but I don't find any A/S marking on them, so looks like they are high-performance, summer only tires not to be driven at all in winter.
The dealership also gave me, as part of the deal, the next two sets of tires, for free. This is a new program they're doing, probably inspired by the notorious tire problems the early Z's had. But there's a big sign in the dealership about the "free tire" program, so it apparently is something any Nissan buyer can use.
Thing about it is that the program says "tires will be replaced with same type as supplied on vehicle." I want him to agree that replacement tires could be either the A/S or the same as what I have, *at my preference." I'm a little concerned about having summer-only tires. Of course maybe I'll like them, and it's not as if we get much snow here anyway, so we'll see.
#503 of 549 Re: Frustrated with Nissan in Burlinton, WA. [biancar]
Apr 16, 2006 (10:39 am)
Mine has the A/S tires on it (part of the deal when I bought the car) and the A/S symbol is VERY prominent.
So you got the Pilot Sports which are raved about.
I thought when I bought the car that I might need some help in snow but I have a 4WD Creb Cab truck and found that this winter, the Z NEVER got drivne unless it was a nice day.
So with that in mind, I am going the complete other direction.
I am looking at tires that are barely street legal but won't put me in circles if it rains at all.
I want the Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD07 but they don't come in my size and the C&D test is making the waters even more muddy.
So, I am still studying up on tires.
IN your case, the Pilots are raved about by Z owners but as you say, they are not for snow.
#504 of 549 Probably ok
Apr 16, 2006 (7:44 pm)
We only get maybe half a dozen really snowy days, if that, and maybe a few days of freezing rain and/or leftover snow. We're keeping our Maxima, so that will be fine for snow days. So might work out just fine to just have the HP tires and just don't drive on snowy days at all.
After one day of ownership, I L-U-R-V-E my new Z! Took a long drive today on the GW Parkway along the Potomac River, up to Great Falls Park, got out, walked around for half an hour, looked at the river, the gorgeous views, the beautiful day, turned around and drove all the way south to Mount Vernon. Beautiful, beautiful day to spend on a lovely drive.
Tires seem just fine!
C&D test very interesting. The Pilot Sports they tested scored very high, but I noticed it was yet another variation, and not the same tires I have. Guess all the Pilot Sports are good tires.
#505 of 549 Re: Buying 2003 Z, anything I should know? [zztop3]
Apr 17, 2006 (5:39 am)
You couldn't be more wrong on all counts, zz.
Try visiting the Real-World Trade-In Values board and learn a bit from the professionals over there. I never said anything about using Edmunds pricing. And if you have a dealer that uses KBB, please point me to them, if they are still in business. Any real dealer uses auction values. There is no book on the planet that can keep up with auction values. The closest you will ever find is Galves, and they are not 100% accurate 100% of the time, either.
Is KBB ALWAYS wrong? no. i just said they are wrong most of the time, just like edmunds, just like NADA.
#506 of 549 Re: Buying 2003 Z, anything I should know? [qbrozen]
Apr 17, 2006 (6:39 am)
"And if you have a dealer that uses KBB, please point me to them"
From first hand knowledge cause they told me they use KBB numbers and where I either negotiated with and/or bought my Z and my Colorado within the past year:
Antwerpen Nissan Clarksville,MD*
Sheehy Nissan Annapolis,MD
Ourisman Chevrolet Bowie,MD*
J. B. A. CHEVROLET Glen Burnie,MD
Toyota of Bowie Bowie,MD (almost bought a Tacoma but went with the Colorado)
Go to www.carmax.com and pick ANY used car you can think of and The KBB price is clearly listed next to each car listing.
Two years ago:
I got a price on a car I was thinking of selling to them and when I balked at the low price, they showed me the KBB value on my car and said that they strictly use KBB numbers.
Not sure where you are from so you would not have heard of those dealers BUT jump on over to carmax.
I could go back to 3 years ago and list some more car dealers I dealt with that use KBB if you want when I last bought a car.
Did I point you to enough?
#507 of 549 Re: Buying 2003 Z, anything I should know? [zztop3]
Apr 17, 2006 (6:56 am)
Interesting in that I see that Carmax has changed it's marketing method.
They always listed the KBB value and then their "no haggle price" was a bit less.
I see that they are not always listing the KBB value.
I guess they have gotten so big that they can get way with just listing the price.
Interesting that they do that on some and others they list the KBB value - dunno what the scoop is but anyway,
Here is a listing for a 2005 Z on Carmax:
CarMax® Used Vehicle Fact Sheet
2005 Nissan 350Z 2D Hatchback
Exterior Color: Silver
Interior Color: Gray Cloth
Current Store: Laurel
No Haggle Price: $24,599*
Blue Book™ Retail Value:
Jan. - Feb. 2006 Edition $24,810**
They are the most successfull car dealer ever (it is why a lot of dealers are following that model)and they use the KBB.
#508 of 549 Re: Buying 2003 Z, anything I should know? [zztop3]
Apr 17, 2006 (7:14 am)
all i can say is, "go chat with the dealers and salespeople here on edmunds." We don't need to discuss heresay. You can get it straight from the horses mouths.
Now, to be fair, Terry, for example, on the Real-World board has said that KBB and even edmunds have reigned in their numbers over the past year or 2 and are getting closer to reality ... but there is still a variance.
oh, and on that last post ... OF COURSE they will sell you a car at KBB! If every dealer could get KBB retail on their cars, they'd own the country. My last few cars I've paid $1500-$2500 over dealer auction value. That's typically been several thousand below KBB.