Last post on May 20, 2012 at 7:18 PM
You are in the BMW Z4
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BMW Z4, Coupe, Convertible
#1 of 23 BMW Z4: Care & Maintenance
by claires HOST
Oct 19, 2006 (10:52 pm)
Talk about maintaining and caring for your Z4.
#2 of 23 automatic car wash?
Jan 30, 2006 (5:59 pm)
I am thinking of buying a Z4 roadster (or perhaps a 3 series convertible)sometime in the next couple years, but I just thought of something that might prevent me from doing so. I have some health issues that won't allow me to wash the car on my own, so I'd have to rely on automatic washes. But I was thinking this might be a problem with a convertible top. I have no experience with convertibles.
Any advice? Would I be ok with automatic washes, or should I forget about the soft top convertible route?
#3 of 23 Re: automatic car wash? [mdw1000]
by kyfdx HOST
Jan 30, 2006 (8:06 pm)
I don't know about a Z4, but I run my 3-series convertible through an automatic car wash... It is the best car wash in town... I've seen Porsche Carrera convertibles go through there...
The key is not to use any of the wax or "paint sealant" treatments... Just opt for the basic wash.. Soap and water only..
Ask around... and find out where the BMW and Mercedes owners take their cars... There is a lot of variance in quality and care between the car washes..
Ask the BMW dealer.. mine gives free hand washes on Saturdays, if you don't mind the wait..
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#4 of 23 Re: automatic car wash? [mdw1000]
Jan 31, 2006 (8:28 am)
I had a Honda S2000 and now have a 911S Cab. In both cases I was specifically told not to take the car through automatic car washes and, when hand washing, not to use soap on the convertible top. Most dirt and even bird droppings are able to be washed off with just fresh water and a little elbow grease. I kept the S2000 for 2.5 years (3 winters) parked outside and the top looked like new when I traded it.
The "no car wash" recommendation I got was probably overkill. It didn't bother me, because I like to wash the car by hand about once every week or two, and have a hose handy in front of our house. But that would be an unfortunate reason for you to have to forego a convertible. So you might want to check BMW's recommendations and see what they say. And, as the Host suggested, there are a fair number of dealers that offer free hand washes if you buy (or get service) from them.
#5 of 23 Re: automatic car wash? [mdw1000]
Jan 31, 2006 (9:14 am)
Here is the "Cleaning and care of the convertible top" section of the 3-series convertible owner's manual (downloaded from BMW Owners' Circle ). It's lengthly, but complete:
The appearance and life of the convertible top are highly dependent on its proper care and operation. You should pay particular attention to the following instructions if your car has a lightcolored top.
Protect the vehicle from exposure to intense sunlight whenever possible by parking it in the shade. This will help to prevent the paint, rubber and fabriccovered parts from being worn out.
Never stow the convertible top in the convertible top compartment when it is wet, dirty or frozen, since this can cause mildew stains and chafe marks.
To prevent mildew stains, do not keep the convertible top enclosed in the convertible top compartment for any extended period of time.
If the vehicle will be parked for lengthy periods in an enclosed space, be sure that the convertible top is dry and that there is adequate ventilation.
Clean off bird droppings immediately, since they attack the convertible top and cause the rubber seals to swell due to their caustic characteristics.
Besides water, treat rubber seals only with talcum powder, rubber care products or silicone spray, particularly when they feel dry or tend to stick.
Eliminate noises such as squeaks with lubricant spray.
Depressions and discoloration may occur in the convertible top as a result of improper maintenance and cleaning or due to loading from excessive use. The convertible top and its seams may also develop leaks. These occurrences
are not covered by the warranty. For repairs, please consult your BMW center.
You can wash your BMW at an automatic car wash. Brushless systems are preferable.
If a brushless car wash is unavailable and a brush car wash must be used, modern systems with soft brushes are preferable. Do not select the wax finish option. The small amount of beading wax always used in automatic car washes will not harm your vehicle's finish.
In the case of more extensive dirt, which is definitely visible on lightcolored top materials, clean the top with the BMW Convertible Cleaning Set. Please proceed as follows:
Spray the convertible top with the cleaning agent and then rub with a well-dampened sponge using circular motions until a foam develops. Then you can finish washing the vehicle in an automatic car wash. After washing your vehicle 3 to 5 times, you should treat the convertible top with a special convertible top impregnating spray. Please follow the instructions on the spray can.
#6 of 23 Re: automatic car wash? [bdr127]
Jan 31, 2006 (1:35 pm)
Thanks for the advice, everyone! Now, another question...
How are the BMW convertibles (3 series and/or Z4) in the snow? Ideally I will keep my 4wd pickup and get the convertible as well, but that may not be an option. I live near Chicago, so snow has to be a consideration. I'm concerned mainly about the RWD of course, but also about excessive cabin heat loss.
#7 of 23 Re: automatic car wash? [mdw1000]
by kyfdx HOST
Jan 31, 2006 (1:49 pm)
Heat loss is no problem.. My 3-series is my wife's daily driver..Be sure to get heated seats... that will extend your top down driving by about ten degrees.. The one thing you will notice: Noise... Every car and truck next to you on the freeway will sound like it is buzzing in your ear (even with the top up)..
I can't really speak for snow buildup, as we haven't had more than an inch this year... but, the cars are designed as a 4-season car.. (ground clearance may be a problem in a Z4, in heavier snow). I have winter tires on mine (and on my previous 3-series sedan). I heartily recommend them...
As you can see from the BMW literature copied above.. a black top is much easier to keep clean and stain-free...
#8 of 23 Re: automatic car wash? [mdw1000]
Jan 31, 2006 (2:08 pm)
You will be pretty close to a six cylinder engine in either the Z3 or Z4. The cabin should stay pretty warm.
RWD in snow has issues but is manageable. Keep the traction control on and take it easy when accelerating.
If you are real concerned, you may want to get winter tires. If you have a truck, winter tires seem like an extravagance to me.
#9 of 23 Keeping my Z clean
Aug 25, 2006 (10:11 am)
New Z4 owner, what a car!
What is the best way to keep the flat black interior looking like new? Should I be using the car care equipment that BMW list in the book or use just plane water and very mild soap when needed?
#10 of 23 Soft Top stains
Aug 07, 2007 (12:54 pm)
I have some pretty bad stains on my Z4 soft top. They're probably from a cat which took to sleeping on the roof for a while (unbeknown to me at the time). I'm having real trouble removing them - in fact no success at all. Any suggestions?