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Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > E46 Convertible

E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 05-05-2010, 08:47 AM   #1
318Vert
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Unhappy 2003 E46 318 convertible roof issues

Hello everyone, my roof is having issues and I have no idea what to do.
The cars been on the diagnostics 3 times and they cannot find any errors on the car.

The issue is as follows:
I press the open button and it lowers the windows and then stops.
I press the open button again and the roof at front unlocks and lifts a bit but stops.
I press open again and it opens a bit more and then stops.

it does this for a few presses until the roof is in a certain position and then it lifts the back section up and opens the compartment lid and then moves the roof back as if it is going to fold it down but as it starts to fold away it give up and then the system just gives in and the roof falls back to the front.

Now I can put the roof down manually once the roof as given up trying and it will do the final stage and lock the compartment lid properly.

The roof is down now but when I try to put it back up I have problems like I did at the start of the opening procedure.

The roof compartment lid will unlock and stop. Then I press again and it will open a bit and give in.

It will keep doing this till I get someone to hold the compartment lid open and then the roof will come back up with out a hitch.

This leads me do believe itís an issue with the roof compartment lid or a sensor.

Anyone got any ideas on how to fix or diagnose this as summer is closing in lol.

Storage compartment is the correct down position.

Cheers

Ash
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:17 AM   #2
318Vert
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Anyone....???
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:22 AM   #3
jfoj
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A few issues:

Are your sure in the first part after the windows drop all the way, if you hold continue to hold the button for 5-10 more seconds the top does not start to open?? There is a built in delay between the windows dropping before the top starts to open. This is normal.

What you are describing sounds like a broken wiring in the top wiring harness somewhere on the drivers side in a folding area along the top frame.

Search the forums carefully and you should find more info. BMW wiring has a issue where is breaks easily where the wires bend often like in trunk.
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:49 AM   #4
318Vert
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Cheers for your reply,

Even if i hold for more then 10 seconds after windows drop it does nothing untill i re-press the open button and then it does a bit and then stops again.

But it dosnt do this all the time only on the first part of opening and closing the roof. The part where the roof folds after it unlocks from the front and once the rear compartment lid is held up in the correct position it works fine.

Ive searched the forums for a few months and i havnt found anyone else with my issue.

Cheers,

Ash
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:01 AM   #5
booboocakes
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I had the same problem...I needed hydraulic fluid in the canister. If you are low on fluid the hydraulic system will not fully pressurize. The reason it works in steps is because the top re-pressurizes itself.
The canister to the hydraulic pump is in the trunk on the left hand side under the trunk lining.
The fluid you need is called Arol-Vitamol and is only available at the dealership it's around $20 bucks.
The is a line on the canister that shows its full, fill it up and then test the top, you should see a huge difference and you will notice the canister empties out.
After about 10 minutes you will notice the canister fills up again, put the top back up and it will empty out again, wait 10 min. and it should be full again.
if this works put the trunk back together and your good to go!!!!
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:02 AM   #6
BavLar
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Try looking through this for a better understanding of the mechanics, perhaps it will help.

Edit: Who needs this manual when booboocakes ponies up such an excellent answer. Nice work bbcakes.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ConvertibleTopManual.pdf (750.2 KB, 8672 views)
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:45 AM   #7
jfoj
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Previous 2 posters, best convertible info I have seen to date.

The Convertible Manual is a great find.

I have the Bentley manual and it has none of this info!!!

I think the last thing we need to drag out and post is where the wires in top frame break all the time and make a sticky with the fluid and manual info.

Knock on wood, I have not had any issues yet, but when they happen, I want the info at hand.

The problem with convertible is getting anyone to really fix them is hard. Many folks try to send it to the body shops, but in reality most body guys are not equipped, trained or experienced to work on the convertible mechanism. You need someone that really understand electrical as most problems appear to be electrical, after that they you have hydraulic issues. Unless the frame gets damaged or broken, there is very little mechanical to go wrong with the top mechanism from what I can tell.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:00 PM   #8
booboocakes
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It's actually an easy fix...the mechanical aspect of this top is very simple.
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:17 AM   #9
318Vert
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Thanks for the info booboocakes. From my understanding on the hydraulic reservoir has a circle on it and the fluid needs to be about half way up the circle to be the correct limit?? is this correct??
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:09 AM   #10
318Vert
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anyone got any more info that could help me?
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:32 AM   #11
318Vert
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Right i messed with the wiring that goes throught the left hand side of the boot lid and i took the top of the drive motor onder the rear seat and made sure all wires and sensors were fine.

The roof then started working but now has stopped again.

I wounder if there is a broken wire in the boot harness so the roof thinks the boot isnt closed properly so it wont operate the roof, but i dont get no indication on the dash. Or... there is a sensor on the drive unit under rear sear that sits in a hole that, i guess lets the roof know when the rear compartment lid is unlocked/locked. this just sits there with nothing holding it in. Could this be the issue, and its moving about?
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:14 PM   #12
BradleyStuart
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That's excellent! Thank you very much! Much appreciated!
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:49 PM   #13
gilly54
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Hi Vert,
I just got the same problem on my E46 softtop,only after my windows drop, the roof only opens 3cm and thats it. I am doing the rounds looking for help and at the present time nobodies knows anything . Will keep you posted or you me if and when I get to the bottom of it
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:31 PM   #14
dan_1337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 318Vert View Post
Thanks for the info booboocakes. From my understanding on the hydraulic reservoir has a circle on it and the fluid needs to be about half way up the circle to be the correct limit?? is this correct??
That's right, with the measurement taken when the roof is open.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:14 PM   #15
mps
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilly54 View Post
Hi Vert,
I just got the same problem on my E46 softtop,only after my windows drop, the roof only opens 3cm and thats it. I am doing the rounds looking for help and at the present time nobodies knows anything . Will keep you posted or you me if and when I get to the bottom of it
Hey gilly54. Did you every figure out what was wrong with ur top? I am having the same issue. Thx in advance
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:52 AM   #16
tungster
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had a simalar prob with my 323ci roof ....under back seat is manual release button and a black box with cables coming out remove top off box and you will see a micro switch . i changed mine and diagnostic gave all clear ,but i think it needs resetting anyone know how

































hi had same prob, changed micro switch under back seat in a black box next to manual release button ......any one know how to reset , thxs
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:23 PM   #17
Stuntpuppy
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One last big Question

Can someone tell me exactly how to get to that motor/reservoir in my 2004 BMW 330Ci Trunk?
I've pulled out the form fit panel on the drivers side but only part wants to come lose.
Do I need to get more aggressive or am I barking up the wrong tree?
I like others here was blessed with the puddle of hydraulic fluid in front of my driver's side rear wheel...and a top that only begins to go up and down.
I just can't afford to take it in or I would...
I know there must be hose leaking but there is no fluid left to trace the leak so I have to start from scratch on this one I guess...

Many Thanks fellow Beemer drivers..

Best,
BC
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:54 PM   #18
e46topdown
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i have this problem! and i believe my hydraulic unit pump is empty and would like to know where i am suppose to fill it up from,how.
i was thinking i might just have to unscrew the plastic container fill it up and re install it. i have not completely taken off the sound proof fiber but have ripped off a piece to see if it is empty and it does look so.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:10 PM   #19
shaw7380
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Hi having same problem did anyone contributing to this post solve their issues
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:35 PM   #20
klixtokw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booboocakes View Post
I had the same problem...I needed hydraulic fluid in the canister. If you are low on fluid the hydraulic system will not fully pressurize. The reason it works in steps is because the top re-pressurizes itself.
The canister to the hydraulic pump is in the trunk on the left hand side under the trunk lining.
The fluid you need is called Arol-Vitamol and is only available at the dealership it's around $20 bucks.
The is a line on the canister that shows its full, fill it up and then test the top, you should see a huge difference and you will notice the canister empties out.
After about 10 minutes you will notice the canister fills up again, put the top back up and it will empty out again, wait 10 min. and it should be full again.
if this works put the trunk back together and your good to go!!!!
Boobo how in the heck do you remove the lining to expose the canister????
Would appreciate some info before i destroy the trunk.
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