Monday, January 14, 2008

100,000 miles down.

Six years and four months. That's how long it has taken to put 70,000 miles on the Zed Three. I bought it as a three year old used car with 30k already on the clock, but other than routine maintenance, the car has cost nothing in repairs. Well, there was the cost of replacing the back window after a certain BMW convertible owner who will remain nameless (Hint: Rhymes with "camera") decided it would be cool to motor around with the top down one 25 degree night. It's on its third set of front tires and fourth set in the back. The A/C still blows cold and hasn't needed recharging. It doesn't use any oil. Gas mileage is running about 21-22mpg around town, 28mpg on roadtrips, which is down from the 24/30 I used to get. I should probably get that secondary air pump replaced. The top shows signs of having spent the last half-decade plus outdoors, and will probably need re-skinning in the next couple of years. All in all, I can't ask for a more satisfying ownership experience; I wonder what the next 100,000 miles will bring?


Carteach said...


I am about to kick 100K on the Titan... and it's an 05. Just 2500 miles away....

Four tires used up, ready for it's first set of front pads, and I just discovered a bad o2 sensor this weekend. Other than that, nothing but oil changes and three wiper blades.

17 around town, 21 on the highway at 70 with the AC on. 4x4 and never gets stuck, anyplace, ever. Hauls anything I can fit in the bed. Four doors, and more room inside than most luzury cars. Handles unlike any other truck I have ever owned, and enough power that steering with the BACK tires is an option.

Yup..... sounds like we both made good choices....

You got a nice ride there Tam... nice.

Anonymous said...

Nice. You've had the opposite experience of another friend of mine who gave up and sold her Z3. It was nothing but trouble, constantly needing expensive repairs.

As for me, I still drive my boring but reliable Impala. It's not sexy but it won't let me down, which is good because I have a history of putting 250K+ on my cars before getting rid of them.

theirritablearchitect said...

earl and filters along with the periodic tires and pads and maybe a chassis lube every now and then and you should easily get to the 200K mark.

or maybe even 300K. Still lots of 80's era 3-Series doing just fine 'round here with the M30 six and lots of miles.

Anonymous said...

636,000 miles. '92 Chevy Astro van
250,000 miles. '91 Chevy S10 Blazer
114,000 miles. '99 Chevy Silverado 1500. What I am currently driving.
132,000 miles. '99 Chevy Suburban. What dad drives.

We drive 'em till the wheels fall off, put them back on, and repeat.

I don't know why some people think that 100K is anything special- true, it was in the past that 100K was the junk point, but not anymore.

Hill Country Blogger said...

Boogers! My 2007 Chevy Colorado has already had an accelerator sense fritz, Cd player crap out, speaker blown right from the factory (which they still cannot fix), A/C system ONLY works on full blast, and now the power windows are acting up.

I hate to say it but my 2003 Ford Focus ZX worked with out any issues for four years straight.

Maybe I should go for a Zed 3? what's its towing capacity? :P

Anonymous said...

97 Toyota 4Runner: 153k
03 Toyota Camry: 110k.

I expect to keep both to at least 200k miles, hopefully 250k at the rate we're racking up mileage.

The only vehicle I've sold with less than 150k was a Nissan Altima that was doing it's damdest to fall apart before 100k. I've never had a worse lemon. Even the Pontiac made it to 160k.


Anonymous said...

Subaru '95 120K
I'm on my 3rd set of tires as of a week ago.

I think Tam's Z3 has about 3x the HP my car has and gets effectively the same gas mileage. That kills me.

On the other hand, I think I can haul a Z3 in back if I put the back seats down. And do it 12" of snow. Gotta love a station wagon.

Don M said...

The problem with German products (BMW, MercedesBenz, HK, Korth, Steyr or Glock): They make you drink the koolaide.

I think it comes from the second verse of Deutchlandenlied:

And no, German song ain't all that either.

Tam said...

While BMW's had its share of lemons (early 750iL's, the 528e, others...) the six-banger 3- and 5-series cars have acquired a reputation for reliability and longevity that is nothing to be sneezed at.

British sporty car rags dogged on the Z3 for having a 3-series mechanicals under the swoopy roadster bodywork, as though having the underpinnings of a benchmark performance sedan that has been on every Car&Driver Ten Best list since 1990 was a bad thing.

I don't do Kool Aid, but I'll admit that I'm a sucker for a bulletproof, fun-to-drive automobile.

Anonymous said...


'88 Toyota Camry 365,xxx. Head gasket at 98k, tires every 80k.

'04 Honda Accord, 105,xxx. Tires at 80k.

Tam said...

"Tires at 80k."

Performance tires don't work that way. Cornering grip is inversely proportional to tire life; I'd be ashamed to get much over 20k out of a tire.

(Also, you can't rotate them on a car that uses directional tires and has different-sized wheels fore and aft.)

theirritablearchitect said...


'British sporty car rags' should stay on their own island and bitch about their own cars, but since they haven't any cars of their own any more, Jeremy Clarkson can just shut the hell up about how great the Aston or the Jags are, since all of that shit was done by Ford.

I think BMW probably makes the best car of any manufacturer in the world, including Toyota. You pay a premium for buying and owning, but I'm convinced that after sampling (yet never owning) several of them, they drive and handle better than anything else around with terrific reliability, as you stated.

T said...

Two comments: yay! The wife just got an X3 on Monday, so I'm glad to hear it.

Second, since I assume you have a stick, how's the clutch? The X3 has the softest clutch I've ever felt in my life. I didn't expect the brutality of, say, and old Army 5 ton, but it's like pressing your foot into a loaf of wonder bread. Weird, and a distinct change from the Infiniti she traded in.

Anonymous said...

Oil, Filters, tires, pads and basic maintenance. Cars should go a long time. Keep after it and run them till they drop or aren't reliable. I know my cars have all become unreliable or more accurately I lost faith in them after significant problems.

73 IH Travelall 202,000 miles
75 Datsun 610 290,000 miles
84 Rabbit Diesel 286,000 miles
84 Chevy S10 Blazer 152,000 miles
91 Camry LE 196,000 miles
86 Chevy S10 Blazer 176,000 miles
95 Chevy S10 Blazer 136,000 miles

The 07 and 08 Toyotas are under 15,000 miles right now. Too early to say how they will do.

Tam said...

"Second, since I assume you have a stick, how's the clutch? The X3 has the softest clutch I've ever felt in my life."

I dunno... The clutch in the Z3 feels pretty normal. The last two (four-wheeled) manual transmission vehicles I owned before this one were a '79 280ZX and an '87 924S, and the clutch isn't appreciably softer in feel than either of those...

Don M said...

My B squad car is a Toyota 4 runner. 4 banger. 227 thousand miles. Big tires. Runs like a top.

Anonymous said...

just was reding the posts and decided i have had a few decent cars will extreamly high ks so figured id add them to the list of reliable cars
1,120 000 78 cadilac coupe deville
1,006500 82 pontiac lemans
928 000 89 honda prelude
980 000 89 cadilac baritzz
curently driving a 91 suburban with 678 000 kms on it and still running like a top 'iprefer to also drivem till they stop running lmao