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

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Old 03-03-2013, 07:34 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Los Angeles
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My Ride: BMW E46 323CI
Series of Problems Help? 2000 323CI Convertible (long thread)

Hey Guys first I want to thank you very much for taking the time to help and read. I have a series of problems with my car not major problems, but minor problems such as driver door handle, Convertible locked?, Headlight Trim Gap, Seat controls falling out, airbag button, Window wipers rubber thingy, driver window trim falling off and shakes when window is down?, Trunk problems Wires? (Trunk doesn't open with key button, and lights inside trunk don't turn on when open trunk, it also shows on the dashboard that my trunk is still open when it's closed), Corner lights flickering, and Dashboard problems.

Firstly I want to fix the major things on the list such as:
Door Handle, Convertible Lock, Trunk, Driver window, Dashboard Problems, Corner Lights flickering.

-Door Handle: The door handle apparently broke and it doesn't open from the exterior (Outside) only from the inside. Here is a picture of it to give you guys a better view. (Attachments)

Any suggestions?

-Driver Window: Not to long ago I've been hearing the driver window raddled when it's down, and also the outside trim is coming off from the back.

-Trunk: I've been having this problem for awhile now, my trunk hasn't been good lately, people tell me it's the wiring of the trunk. When I click the button on my key to open the trunk it doesn't open (and yes the key is activated good) only way is if I open it with the key, and when I open the trunk the trunk lights don't seem to turn on anymore. In the dashboard it shows my trunk is open when it's closed. Can it be the wiring?

-Dashboard problems: So my dashboard seems to lie to me at times, people told me that the BMW's are electronically and takes time for it to fix. In my dashboard it shows my corner lights are burned or front headlight is burned but they work fine (This leads to the corner lights supposedly being burned look at the corner light section) it shows my tail lights burned but every lightbulb is working. It says Check Engine when the engine is fine I know this because my mechanic checked it. on the Gas it also shows I'm low in gas, and the next time I turn it on it doesn't show I'm low in gas? Any suggestions?

-Corner Lights Flickering - I bought some corner lights Depo from with LED corner lights. I have installed them good and everything, but the problem is there is flickering? when the parking lights are on. On the dashboard it shows my corner lights are burned, but when I connect a regular bulb it comes off? The problem is the Bulbs or the wiring?

-Convertible Locked? - I have had my convertible locked for awhile because supposedly the clips broke. Here is a picture of the black clips that broke. Any suggestions on how to fix the convertible?

These are the small things I'm in need of help with...

- Headlight Trim Gap: I have the right trim and everything it's just that this game bugs me a lot. (attachments)

- Seat controls: The seat controls on driver side is falling how can I put it back to place? (attachments)

- Airbag button: Just looking for one to buy lol (attachments)

- Window wipers rubber thingy: I just want to replace it cause it's worn out (attachments)
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:50 PM   #2
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Electrical gremlins are usually a sign of a battery about to fail. If your battery is 6+ years old get it tested to ensure its still good.

The trunk is a common problem. The wiring bends each time the trunk is opened and eventually breaks. Pull the wiring cover back and see if any are broken. Search, you'll find lots of info on this.

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Old 03-03-2013, 11:53 PM   #3
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Your headlight trim it's installed wrong. That gap isn't a gap, it's the first step to installing the trim. The trim clicks into the slot you see.

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Old 03-04-2013, 09:31 AM   #4
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By doing this it will solve what problems if I may ask? Sorry lol
About the trunk ill look into it today and head light trim also
Thank you
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:31 PM   #5
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I had a problem with the trunk lights. Turned out to be the connectors in the bulb sockets. If I pushed on the light covers, the lights would come on. I put a shim (piece of toothpick) under the "spring loaded" connector to force it to make contact with the bulb; problem solved.

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Old 03-05-2013, 11:22 PM   #6
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I'll help with one. Your "window wipers rubber thingy" is more commonly called a windshield cowl and is part # 51718208483. It costs roughly $50 to $70 or so depending on where you get it. I think the cowl comes with new clips too, but if not, you'll need several of them, maybe 8 or 10. They're cheap, about $0.75 or so each, but I really think they already come with the new cowl if I remember correctly.

If you're not familiar with it, one of the members here came up with a search function at where you put in a part # and it will check about 15 or so of the most popular internet vendors for BMW parts. When I checked it with the above part #, seemed to have one of the lowest prices at $49 and some change.

There are several good DIY write-ups on this, just do a search for it. Its fairly easy. Good luck.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:07 AM   #7
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First off, There are many websites that have part drawings/diagrams that break down the different parts of the car. I prefer Enter the last 7 digits of your VIN and it will display applicable parts depending on your build date.

-Door Handle: I recall reading about a cable or rod that gets out of position inside the door. It mights explain your rattle as well. A search in the general forum will give you lots to read.
Remember to disconnect the battery before taking your door panel off so you don't set the Air Bag indicator off.

-Trunk:Agree with other posters that the wiring in the trunk is probably to blame. Up near the hinges where it bends. Peel back the sheath and inspect it. The insulation may look fine, but it can be broken internally.

-Corner Lights Flickering - Flickering is probably due to a bad connection some where. Depending on which LED's you bought, I have read that our older 323's need a resistor wired in series to eliminate the false bulb out indication. That is why when you plug in a regular bulb, it dash board indicates good. As far as the tail light out indication, Are your tag lights working. I recall reading a thread or two about the tag light connectors getting corroded and indicating a tail light.

-Convertible Locked - I didn't see what was broken in the picture. A common issue with the verts is the wiring at the first bend of the roof. it fails and will indicate the this/that latch is/isn't made, causing the top to stop or not open at all.

If you can find a local fanatic with DIS/GT1/INPA, they can read your codes. A regular scanner will not let you see (or reset) any of the convertible top codes. Also, you can turn off the bulb check feature with the software, so it doesn't indicate bad light bulbs.

Hope some of this helps.

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