SORN 3.0i 2009

Specific discussion about the E89 2009 Z4 (sDrive35is, sDrive35i, sDrive30i, sDrive23i)
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Big Bad Boris
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SORN 3.0i 2009

Post by Big Bad Boris » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:58 am

Hello all,

Once we are all allowed out and about again I plan to swap my current e85 2.0i for an e89 3.0i.

I have been researching and looking for a while now. I’d be interested in thoughts on one I enquired about a few weeks ago as it seems a little different.

The car is a 2009, it has 30,000 on the clock. When doing the usual check of MOT history I noticed that in 2016 it had covered 27,500 miles... in 2017 29,667 miles... the MOT then expired after 12 months in 2018 and nothing since.

I enquired with the dealer and he told me that the owner put the car on SORN as he was working overseas. I asked if that meant it had been basically been laid up for a very long time, he said the car was stored in a heated garage and started by the housekeeper every couple of weeks.

I’d be interested in thoughts on this one as I see it being one of two ends of the scale (a) the dealer would say that wouldn’t he, it has been laid up which could cause a lot of problems, don’t touch it with a barge pole or (b) I’ve stumbled on a very low mileage car with a viable backstory that has suffered little wear and tear and could be a good buy.

I’d appreciate any thoughts.. and stay safe everyone.

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SORN 3.0i 2009

Post by Jasonn » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:02 pm

I had something similar, I picked up a 2 and a half year old Mgzt which had around 600 miles on the clock.

Old boy bought it, his wife got ill and he never drove it, then it got picked up by the supplying dealer, so the numbers all matched - still had the new car smell, took it to an independent MOT station to be on the safe side and it still had the paper labels on the suspension components suggesting that it'd never been out in the wet (just a buggered alloy where he'd smacked a kerb).

They're out there, hope you're as lucky with that E89

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Post by Tinker15 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:06 pm

I purchased a late 2009 Z4 about 18 months ago with 35,000 on the clock. It had 3 previous owners with some doing very little mileage. The specification was what I wanted apart from cruise control which I’ve now had fitted. There was comprehensive service history and the car was in excellent condition. After purchase I had it checked over by a local independent garage who gave it the thumbs up. I have had no problems with it and it has now done just over 40,000 miles.

Providing it has service history I don’t see a problem. Yes, there can be problems with a car that hasn’t been used but you have to balance this with the condition the car is in. The tyres were shot on mine so I replaced the 18inch wheels with new 19inch wheels and tyres. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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E89 sDrive 30i
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Post by flybobbie » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:07 pm

Bit like the motorbike i bought.
2003 Kaw. ZZR1200, 2013 when i bought it, only 3,000 on the clock in it's first 3 years.
Last 7 years with that owner it only went out for MOT's.

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Post by Big Bad Boris » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:45 pm

Thanks guys, all positive feedback so far. Obviously I can’t go and see it now. So I am going to ask more questions in the meantime, I will ask for full details of service history naturally, also I will ask for details on the tyre manufacture dates, they may have lots of tread but could be past their sell by date having been on the car along time. I assume it will probably have the dreaded run flats?

Any other obvious questions I should pose given the car has moved little in 3 years?

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Post by Tinker15 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:32 pm

Regardless of the tyres now on the car if it has been sat for 3 years they will have flat spots so will need changing anyway. RFTs were standard when new but most have changed them to non RFTs by now. As a priority you would need to check when the last oil change took place and the condition of brake discs and pads. Is the place you are buying from capable of servicing the car and if so presumably they will do it before you collect?
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Post by Big Bad Boris » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:16 pm

Thanks Tinker, yes the dealer says the “vehicle will come with a full years mot & fully serviced”.

I will add those questions to my email.

Spec wise the only thing this one doesn’t have, that I’d really like, are the heated seats, I assume they are too much hassle to retrofit?

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Post by Tinker15 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:43 pm

Big Bad Boris wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:16 pm
Thanks Tinker, yes the dealer says the “vehicle will come with a full years mot & fully serviced”.

I will add those questions to my email.

Spec wise the only thing this one doesn’t have, that I’d really like, are the heated seats, I assume they are too much hassle to retrofit?
Mine came with heated seats but I can’t imagine retrofitting would be easy. Others on here may know.
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Post by Argyll Andy » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:46 pm

Big Bad Boris wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:16 pm
Thanks Tinker, yes the dealer says the “vehicle will come with a full years mot & fully serviced”.

I will add those questions to my email.

Spec wise the only thing this one doesn’t have, that I’d really like, are the heated seats, I assume they are too much hassle to retrofit?
I have to say that I sought advice on here about spec’s and must haves. Heated seats were ones that recurringly came back as must have’s. I never bought a few cars because they didn’t have them, the car I did buy does have them. I’ve been using it as often as possible in all weathers and that’s largely down to the heated seats. Roof definitely wouldn’t have been down at least 50% of the time if I hadn’t them. Mine never came as standard and previous owner retro fitted them. Don’t think it’s too much of a pain to do but getting hold of them may be costly. Up to £1k for a good clean set I think.

If the car is as good as it appears and has everything else you want it could well be worth the retro fit.

This all also depends on where you’re located, it’s bl00dy cold where I am a lot of the time so I may use them more than you’d need to.
E89 23i sDrive, Silver, Black leather heated MSport, Cruise, 296’s, Stubby

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Post by Baza » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:55 pm

Not related really to the original post, but my 3.0i E89 due for tax at the month end will be going on sorn, as it's not a daily drive (high days and holidays) with the situation as it is seems sense to save a month maybe two of Tax. 2009 mileage 27000 so as I said not a daily drive
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Post by Mr Tidy » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:11 pm

Well it sounds like a good example OP, assuming that what the dealer is telling you is true.

That's one of the reasons I prefer to buy older cars privately as you are dealing with the owner, so it's easier to judge how the car has been kept in the past.

As others have said I'd definitely want a full service done and new tyres fitted before collecting it .

On the topic of the seats does it have the M-Sport ones? If it does you might be able to recover a fair bit of the cost of some heated ones from someone who doesn't have M-Sport seats.

Anyway I hope it all works out - the 3 litre N52 is a great engine. :thumbsup:
Coupes because stunning!
Current - Silver Grey MC, Imola Red heated Nappa & carbon trim. H & R Coil-overs, CSL Reps, Strut brace, Nav, cup-holders, DSP Hi-Fi, pdc, cruise, MFSW. E90 330i daily
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Gone - Ruby Black

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Post by Big Bad Boris » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:46 pm

Thanks a lot. Would the engine comment remain the same if I also considered the 2.5 version in the 2.3i?

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Post by Mr Tidy » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:37 pm

Well the 2.5 in the 23i is the same N52 engine as the 30i, just a smaller version.

I have no experience of the 2.5 version in a Z4 as Coupes only came with the 3 litre, but a couple of years ago I decided to buy an E91 3 Series Touring as a daily and just couldn't find a 330i so I bought a 325i.

To be honest I found it pretty under-whelming even compared to the E46 325ti it replaced, so last year I replaced it with an E90 (Saloon) 330i as I still couldn't find a 330i Touring (or 130i) in budget. :(

I suppose it depends what you want from the car - a 23i would be a smooth cruiser, but a 30i would be more exciting if you were in a hurry. :lol:
Coupes because stunning!
Current - Silver Grey MC, Imola Red heated Nappa & carbon trim. H & R Coil-overs, CSL Reps, Strut brace, Nav, cup-holders, DSP Hi-Fi, pdc, cruise, MFSW. E90 330i daily
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Gone - Ruby Black

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Post by Tinker15 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:53 pm

As Mr Tidy says the 3.0 litre N52 is a great engine. I think you will find it more entertaining to drive than the 2.5 litre.
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Post by Big Bad Boris » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:06 am

Thanks guys, I have approached the dealer with various questions about the 3.0i referenced in the OP, nothing back so far.

I was asking about the 2.3i as there seems to be a lot more of them around, so the chances of finding the right colour and spec is much greater Also moving up from a past it’s best e85 2.0i either version will sound and feel better. Must admit though, owning a BMW with a straight six 3.0 is on the car bucket list.

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