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Q: I have BMW Z3 with not knowledge of the service history for the past 9 years. Car has 130k miles. What needs to be checked and done on the car?

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I am planing to change valve cover gasket. I noticed some smoke coming from back of the engine. I think alternator bearing is a little loud. Engine is dry. No sign of oil leaks. Breaks are good. No rust anywhere. Car starts and drives ok.

My car has 132000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there. Perform a 75 point safety inspection on the vehicle and make sure that all of the safety features to the vehicle are in good condition. Then check the condition of the coolant, belts, and tires. Then if the alternator is making a noise, check to see if the belt is too tight or if the alternator is just making noise. If the alternator is making the noise, then I recommend replacing the alternator as the bearings or windings may be going out. For the smoke at the back of the engine, check for an exhaust leak or oil leaking onto the exhaust from the valve cover gasket. Replace the battery if its old or not holding a charge. If you need further assistance with your vehicle inspection, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

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Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle is likely going to need a few different updates. Not knowing what has been done, you will have to make your best educated guess on what will take priority. With that said the vehicle is likely going to need inspections of the suspension, brakes, fluids, air filters, all hoses, transmission, and tires. The alternator wearing down is also no surprise. Most are not able to be rebuilt, and its likely going to need to be replaced. When accessing the alternator, you will want to have a good look at the drive belt as well. Check it for fraying or cracking. If by saying the engine is dry you mean there is not oil in it, the head gasket may be allowing oil to be consumed in the engine. This may also be contributing to the smoke you see (although typically described as blue smoke). Do not start or run the engine without oil. Check all the fluid levels, and the condition of the fluids. If they need to be changed, do it sooner than later. Now is also a good time to replace the inside cabin air filter, and the main air intake filter as well if it has not been done lately. Make sure all of the hoses and lines are in good condition. Again, at this stage in the vehicle’s life, the amount of components that need to be inspected can be long. To shorten this list, take into consideration any repairs within the last few years. For a full 75 point safety inspection, contact our service department.

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