Which BMW Z4 Years To Avoid and Why? (Explained)

The BMW Z4 may look to be a fascinating sports car to buy, with roadster and coupe variants. The Z4 has been available since 2002 and has gone through three generations, some year models will have more faults than others.

If you’re looking for a used BMW Z4, this one should be on the top of your list. You need to know – what are the BMW Z4 years to avoid?

Many drivers, however, have experienced issues with steering, fuel system, and a malfunctioning cooling system. with this high-priced model for many years.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW Z4 so you can make an informed selection!

BMW Z4 Years to Avoid (List of Years)

Even a dependable sports car like the BMW Z4 might have worn-out or damaged components that influence drivability. If you’re seeking to buy a used BMW Z4, keep reading to find out which versions you should avoid!

Worst Years of BMW Z4:

  • 2003 BMW Z4 – First Generation
  • 2005 BMW Z4 – First Generation
  • 2007 BMW Z4 – First Generation
  • 2011 BMW Z4 – Second Generation
  • 2020 BMW Z4 – Third Generation

A widely reported BMW Z4 issue is a sliding steering wheel. The vehicle has jerked to one side in the past, making it difficult to control.

When making a turn, owners of the afflicted models have reported feeling a gripping sensation from the steering wheel.

Many owners have complained about faulty roof mechanisms, as well as oil leaks. In the case of an accident, the airbags have also been reported as failing to protect the passenger.

What Makes These BMW Z4 Years Worth Avoiding?

2003 BMW Z4 – First Generation Problems:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2003 BMW Z4 has received a remarkable 445 complaints (NHTSA).

Steering problems, fuel system problems, and a malfunctioning cooling system are among the most serious of these complaints.

There isn’t much information on how much these faults cost to remedy. It would be difficult to find a second-hand version of this car that is 18 years old and has minimal mileage, many owners, or other wear-and-tear.

2005 BMW Z4 – First Generation Problems:

The biggest difficulty with this 2005 BMW Z4 car is that the steering sticks in place and is difficult to fix, which is exacerbated by hot weather. There are some electrical problems as well.

Even though there has been no official recalls for this model year, the vehicle still has 200 NHTSA complaints, which isn’t promising.

2007 BMW Z4 – First Generation Problems:

The most common complaint about this vehicle is that it has steering issues, such as the car drifting while steering and problems with the electric power-assist system.

In 2017, this car was also the subject of a warning that affected over 700,000 vehicles owing to a melted PCV valve, which raised the danger of fire.

The 2007 model has been the subject of 43 complaints and one serious recall, and it appears to be a costly and dangerous vehicle to maintain.

2011 BMW Z4 – Second Generation Problems:

When seeking a used car, the 2011 Z4 is still a model year to avoid because it has some flaws that make it unworthy of buying.

There are 29 NHTSA complaints about the 2011 BMW Z4, ranging from wheel problems to brake and engine problems.

This model has also had issues with its service brakes, which is a serious condition that is expensive to remedy and has a high chance of causing a crash.

2020 BMW Z4 – Third Generation Problems:

One of the main reasons why the Z4 is a model year to avoid is because there are simply other cars with greater performance for the same price, ranging from $55,603 to $67,487.

Another reason to stay away from this model year of the Z4 is that it has already received seven NHTSA complaints and three recalls in the short period since its sale. Problems with the brakes, steering, engine, suspension, and body/paint are among the concerns.

What Makes These BMW Z4 Years Worth Avoiding?

Even a dependable sports car like the BMW Z4 might have worn-out or damaged components that influence drivability. Here are some of the most common faults with the Z4 throughout the model years

1. Steering Problem

The steering wheel of the BMW Z4 has several difficulties. Some of them are listed below.

2. Steering Drifts

A widely reported 2007 BMW Z4 issue is a drifting steering wheel. There have been instances where the vehicle jerked to one side, making control difficult.

Owners of the affected models have reported a gripping sensation from the steering wheel when turning.

3. Steering Sticks

Many owners of the 2005 Z4 facelift have complained that their steering wheel would stick while driving at highway speeds, requiring additional effort to turn the wheel.

4. Roof Problems

Many Z4 owners have complained about a faulty roof mechanism for the roof motor to rust. The roof mechanism was replaced several times by some of them, but the problem remained the same.

A squeaky roof on a Z4 is irritating, even if it isn’t a severe mechanical issue. You can avoid this problem by wiping it down every couple of weeks and storing it in the garage, or at the very least cover it.

5. Faulty Airbags

Despite being parked with the engine turned off, the airbags of some 2005 Z4s have been known to deploy at random. In the case of an accident, the airbags have also been reported to fail to protect the passenger.

6. Break line issue

Another prevalent Z4 issue is rust and corrosion on the braking lines. Due to the complexity of removing and replacing brake lines, they can be costly.

7. Malfunctioning Cooling System

Because of an engine coolant leak from the expansion tank, some 2003-2005 and 2008 Z4 engines have overheated. Other elements, such as the upper and lower hoses.

Which BMW Z4 Years are Safe to Buy?

You may focus on the BMW Z4 models that you can buy pre-owned or used with confidence now that you know which years to avoid.

2010 BMW Z4 Roadster

The 2010 BMW Z4 is a thrilling sports car with a fantastic folding top, but inside space is limited and the price is high.

The new BMW Z4, which debuted in 2009 and was carried over to 2010, is a little more conservative than previous models. The hood is long and low, with the proportions of a classic roadster’s short deck.

2006 BMW Z4 Roadster

The BMW Z4 of 2006 is unquestionably the greatest yet. It’s enjoyable to drive and fairly priced if you don’t choose too many options.

Standard suspension for enhanced ride comfort, a higher final-drive ratio for improved acceleration, new wheels, and increased braking functions for the stability control system modifications are all included in this edition.


Familiarizing yourself with the model’s most typical difficulties will also assist you in making an informed decision before purchasing a BMW Z4.

The Z4’s mainly reliability and ride quality, as well as operating costs, that drag the total score down.

We’ve looked at some of the worst years, as well as some of the most prevalent issues that customers have highlighted over time, as well as some of the best years to buy a BMW Z4.

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