Our Cars – An early spring startup for our BMW Z3…


A (very) early spring startup for our beloved Z3, which has been “sleeping” during winter under its cover, and therefore shines brightly after it fired up instantly…ready for a first drive in 2018…

In our fleet we have since October 2005 a ’97 BMW Z3, which is now more than 20 years old, but is kept lovingly in pristine condition. I purchased it from a very careful previous owner, who kept the car in his garage under cover, and whereas it has stood outside for a year or so in my former house to make room for my classic Jaguar Mk 2, this time it also lives again well protected under cover in its own garage. We did not use it after last summer, so this third week of February we found it the right time to take our Z3 out again for a spin, and have some items looked after…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

We had replaced the old battery after more than 8 years of faithful service, and we connected the new battery. The Z3 started up without any problems on first try, and did run immediately totally smoothly.


At BMW Dealer Jorssen NV we stopped on our first 2018 outing to get some repairs done to the glove box lock and get some brittled rubber(s) replaced…just read below! 

Of course, after several months of rest, one has to be very careful to let the engine reach its operating temperature with a very smooth (first) drive. This means running with very light throttle openings, not exceeding 2500 rpm but of course also NEVER let the engine work hard under 1400 rpm. This means accelerating very smoothly in second gear when revs are below 1700 rpm or so. Also be (very) easy on the clutch, and the brakes, which you have to slowly “brake in” again, to avoid roughening up the disks. All this we did on a first tour – albeit with a few stops – of a good 35 kilometers, to let everything really warm up again.

We also topped up the fuel tank, so there is recent fuel again in the fuel system. It is amazing how well the electronics, fuel injection systems and what have you in these ‘90s cars cope with this intermittent use. After a few kilometers, everything went very smoothly, the engine humming pleasantly without the slightest hiccup or vibration. Again we enjoyed the agility and responsiveness of our Z3. What is also a pleasant surprise again is the excellent visibility, which is far better than today’s cars.

On this tour we also steered to BMW dealer Jorssen NV, at Antwerpsesteenweg 126 in Aartselaar, close to Antwerp. We had good reasons for this visit: the lock of the glove box refused to close again, which we noticed at the end of our last trip, and our Z3 needed some cosmetic attention. Having been exposed to the elements for a year, the rubber surroundings of the door handles got brittle, and the surrounding ring of the antenna also showed some cracks. The four BMW badges on the original light alloy wheels also went missing, all four(!) of them.


We were very well received by service manager Jeroen Van der reeth, who came out to inspect the car, and wrote carefully down what was needed. The same day, he had all the necessary parts sourced and mailed me an offer for the repair(s). We made an appointment for March 9, and in the meantime, show you here some photos of our Z3 on its February tour… and will soon also present a report here in these columns on the “Z Story Continues” in the BMW Brand Store in Brussels. Stay tuned!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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