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Considering the future of my Z Roadster

Mercedes costs much more for maintenance, parts and service compared to a Z or a Honda, that's the reason I agreed with the comment made. You can buy a 5

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Old 08-02-2018, 04:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Mercedes costs much more for maintenance, parts and service compared to a Z or a Honda, that's the reason I agreed with the comment made. You can buy a 5 or 6 year old Porsch in LA for under $16,000 but when something goes awry you're going to spend much more then had you bought a 5 year old Z
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:24 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Or may I suggest a Corvette...I mean they can be budget friendly and reliable. Strong performance right out the box but at the end of the day it's just another Corvette and around here they certainly aren't rare. At the price point of an older model it could be that ultimate 2 seater convertible.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by busterbull View Post
Mercedes costs much more for maintenance, parts and service compared to a Z or a Honda, that's the reason I agreed with the comment made. You can buy a 5 or 6 year old Porsch in LA for under $16,000 but when something goes awry you're going to spend much more then had you bought a 5 year old Z
Absolutely. I would steer clear of most Bmw/Mercedes...they aren't what they used to be as in terms of reliability. If you go that route buy new and as soon as it's out of warranty let it go. Never owned one personally but I've got a buddy right now having all kinds of issues with his 535...awesome looking sedan but a complete piece of junk....
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:19 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Just to jump in; I offer that you consider keeping your Z, as long as you're enjoying it, and don't worry about the top. You may never have anything go wrong with it.

There's allot of Roadsters out there and there are plenty that are working out just fine.

IF something goes wrong, just have it fixed. And I repeat; IF something goes wrong. Except in regard to the steering lock; disable that bad boy asap!

I can't come up with a cost that would be involved in repairing the top, because it depends on the repair, but whatever it was, it has to be much less than what it would cost to buy a new car in the price range of a Benz or Beamer, and from what I've heard, they all have there own particular potential for problems.

Sure, the Z has it's own set of possible issues, just like all other cars, but it's still allot of car for the money, and in comparison - less expensive to own and insure.

I wanted to offer another perspective.

P.S. I noticed that you have a 2010 with over 50,000 miles on it. Nothing will last forever, things wear out, but it seems that if you were going to have any "defect" kind of problems, they would have happened by now.
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Last edited by Hi-Step'n370Z; 08-02-2018 at 08:25 PM. Reason: final comment
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:08 AM   #20 (permalink)
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How about keeping the Z and replacing the soft top with a hard top?

Hard Top Option...
Or Better Yet - How About Keeping The Z And Leave The Roof Down?

I Too Ride Bikes And Keep Mine In The Garage For Sunny Days - Covered In The Winter - The Roof Has Not Been Up For Several Years!
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:23 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Hey all,

I realize there will be varied opinions on this and that's fine. I'm hopeful to get some good input.

I feel Roadster owners bought their Z for reasons other than just because it's a Sports Car. I enjoy riding my motorcycles and still do, however, I also enjoyed my Fiance' riding with me. But after her reading many stories in our local newspaper about riders being injured or worse due to wrecks, she became increasingly uncomfortable about riding on the back of mine with me. To the point she no longer will ride. So I looked for another option which is what lead me to my Z Roadster, same open air feel but much safer. And yes she loves it as well. Now, after owning my Z for 2 years, I find I am having increasing concern over the reliability of the convertible top. My Z is a 2010 model with only 51,000 miles, strictly a pleasant weather car. It sits in my garage when not being played with. I have been researching other Roadsters and have a great interest in the Mercedes SLK 350. The overall reviews of the car are excellent and from what I've read the top gives little to no trouble plus it's a hard top instead of a soft top. I must admit, due to the constant worry that one day my Z's "top not working you're screwed now" alarm will sound, I am strongly considering parting ways with my Z and moving on to the Mercedes. From info here on the forum I realize a removable hard top is being developed by a private person but I struggle with paying $1500+ considering the top must be removed every time I want to drive it.



Has anyone owned or currently own the Mercedes SLK 350? Experiences with it? Thoughts on parting ways with my Z? I like my Z allot....BUT.........

Thanks for reading and any constructive thoughts.
I have owned a lot of convertibles over the years.American,Italian and German.
All have had some issue with the top.Life with a roadster.I do not think you can find a worry free top on any brand.
Enjoy your Z.
SLK 350 has had engine and transmission problems.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:50 PM   #22 (permalink)
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LennyK,

You state that you haven't raised the top on your Z for several years. I would suggest that you may wish to raise that top several times a year, and then keep it up for the winter storage period.

Several years ago in early fall I parked my 54 MG TF Roadster with its top down in storage for a week. When I went to get it out for exercise at the week's end, and put the top up ...... I discovered that a mouse had decided to make a nest in the top. I had a series of nickel sized holes all in a row where the top Stayfast material had folded on top of itself in four sections. An entire new top material was the fix.

Everyone has had a car where when they start the AC for the first hot day and it doesn't work. AC seals are lubricated by the refrigerant that contains a special oil. The lack of AC use will allow the seals to dry out and leak the refrigerant out. Turning the AC on once a month for 10 minutes keeps those seals from drying out and remaining pliable.

I would expect that the seals throughout a Z's top system would react the same way, and that putting the top up and down 4 or 5 times a year would go a long way to ensuring the hydraulic system stays leak free.

My two cents worth, if its of any value to you.

Gene
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:56 PM   #23 (permalink)
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LennyK,

You state that you haven't raised the top on your Z for several years. I would suggest that you may wish to raise that top several times a year, and then keep it up for the winter storage period.

Several years ago in early fall I parked my 54 MG TF Roadster with its top down in storage for a week. When I went to get it out for exercise at the week's end, and put the top up ...... I discovered that a mouse had decided to make a nest in the top. I had a series of nickel sized holes all in a row where the top Stayfast material had folded on top of itself in four sections. An entire new top material was the fix.

Everyone has had a car where when they start the AC for the first hot day and it doesn't work. AC seals are lubricated by the refrigerant that contains a special oil. The lack of AC use will allow the seals to dry out and leak the refrigerant out. Turning the AC on once a month for 10 minutes keeps those seals from drying out and remaining pliable.

I would expect that the seals throughout a Z's top system would react the same way, and that putting the top up and down 4 or 5 times a year would go a long way to ensuring the hydraulic system stays leak free.

My two cents worth, if its of any value to you.

Gene

I was thinking along the same lines.
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Old 08-05-2018, 07:49 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Fellas I greatly appreciate all of the input. In reference to the most recent post; even though I agonize when I push the top button like many Z owners, I put the top up when I'm not driving it. I've also heard by leaving any soft top down, for extended periods of time, the fabric can "shrink" putting a greater amount of pressure on the system when it's finally closed. I'm not for certain if that's true but it's worth considering.

I realize no mechanical convertible system is full proof but I also can't imagine any other mechanical system is more expensive to repair than ours.... I'm talking about stealership prices. I guess I'm just considering if there is a modern day built, 300 - 400 HP, reasonably priced sporty convertible that is dependable BOTH mechanically and top wise. Mechanically the Z is spectacular but the top... not so much.

Unfortunately after reading everyone's replies it appears no car exists that is consistently dependable in both areas. Please don't think I'm looking for the million mile problem free convertible sports car, it doesn't exist. Everything has a set number of cycles before it breaks -- I get that. But if there is a reasonably priced convertible sports car out there that is more dependable, both mechanically and top, I'd like to consider it. As typing this I believe the best thing Nissan could do is manufacture the Z mechanically as it does now AND make the soft top manual. BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!! But that's not going to happen.

Thanks again. For now I guess I'll be keeping my Z and splash Holy Water on it every time I cycle the top. I do like it tremendously. At the same time I won't stop looking.
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:11 AM   #25 (permalink)
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When I got my roadster, I didnt do enough research to grasp the tremendous cost of our top. But either way, even if I did know before hand, I dont think it wouldve swayed my decision to get one. Its a really fun car, not too common, and probably one of the best looking roadsters out there.
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Old 08-06-2018, 10:02 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I'd like to put a different perspective on the concern about the convertible top.

Yes, there have been some problems. However, I think that there has been too much unjustified worry about the top regarding the huge costs involved in repair.

Keeping the whole thing in context; just exactly what can go wrong?

The fabric may need to be replaced because of rubbing on the wires. IF that happened, replace the fabric, and while the wire harness is accessible, do an adjustment to the wire harness, re-adjust the pads - as needed - to prevent further problems.

I also remember reading here on the Forum of someone who saw a small pin hole in the fabric from rubbing, and he simply put a patch/pad behind it, and no further problems. Just a guess, but the "pin hole" is probably not even noticeable anymore.

Eventually, if you use the top allot, and or it get's old, they're all going to need to be replaced, no matter what make of car it is. That's the nature of convertibles. And unless you keep the car as a collector car, you'll probably trade it long before anything like that occurs anyway.

Addressing the concern regarding the cost of around $20,000.00 mark to replace the whole top. Unless the top was smashed from some kind of accident, which the auto insurance should cover, other than something like that happening, why would anyone need to replace the WHOLE top?

The only more possible issues that we may have to deal with involve the operation mechanism, such as hydraulic and electrical components, and there is a vendor on this Forum that supplies individual parts to replace any that go bad. I understand that Nissan does not sell them separately, but I may be wrong.

I had the bungee's replaced to stop the lid from hitting the 5th bow. I had that done while the car was still under warranty. I was told that Nissan is supplying a new and improved bungee to replace the original material. Of course, I don't know it that's true, but I haven't had any problems since. If the deck lid starts hitting again sometime in the future, I'll just pay out of pocket and have them replaced again.

Other than those kind of things, I don't see the top as being such a severe problem that warrants such concern and worry to the point where people want to abandon the whole car because of it.

Sure, there's a cost to repair factor, but that's what we get into when we buy a specialty car. They all have their quirks. I guess that's what makes them special. I just spent $1,000.00 on Michelin tires after only getting around 13,000 miles off the prior set. When you look at the costs of ownership factor, such as tire replacement, $100.00 Ester Oil changes, and the higher auto insurance cost, it kind of makes the possibility of an occasional repair to the top not seem so concerning.

However; there's the other side of this that involves owner maintenance, such as cleaning and treating the fabric, treating the rubber "seals". I remember back around 2010 there was allot of posts on this Forum discussing top cleaners and treatments. I haven't seen any lately and do wonder if the care and maintenance of the top has been forgotten. Taking good care of the top is good preventative maintenance. The sun and elements on an un-cared for top fabric do have a destructive effect.

The only thing that made me sit up and take notice - and take immediate action - which was not Roadster specific, was the steering lock issue, which I took care of at once. And I had the RevD, which was supposed to be the one Nissan issued for replacement. No way was I going to trust that lock either, especially since Nissan gave up and stopped using locks altogether. I saw a ticking time bomb that wasn't a matter of if, but when, it would fail, and I wasn't going to wait around for that to happen.

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Old 08-06-2018, 06:18 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Hi-Step'n370z,

I agree whole heartedly with your synopsis of the top issue. In my case, I've owned one of each Z generation over the years, and when it came to my present toy I researched for months and months to see just exactly what I was getting myself into.

And I have not been disappointed. Nor will I be overly excited if something goes wrong with the top.

But I do understand the disappointment some here have experienced ... but this goes with the territory. No one can expect to just put gas into the tank and turn the key and everything will work correctly forever. Especially with a convertible top mechanism as intricate as the one on the Z.

Just plug a search statement like "convertible top problems" (don't identify any car make in the search) into YouTube, and it'll take you months to view all of the recorded entries.

Convertibles are more expensive to buy ... and to maintain. You should only own one if you deal or lease every 2 or 3 years and move on to another car before the warranty times out, have deeper pockets and repair costs just aren't something you need to be particularly concerned about, or you have one or more daily drivers and the convertible is just a toy in the stable.

I think we've all seen a 10 or 12 year old convertible some guy bought on a whim, that has duct tape or parts of garbage bags over sections of the ratty top, because they can't afford the repair costs. As for manual convertible tops, even the newest generation Miata has top issues, most common is rubbing wear issues of the top material.

Its just the nature of the beast.

Gene
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