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6 Series
The BMW 6 Series builds on BMW's sporty heritage with aggressive lines and an incredible motor to back the design up. Available in coupe and convertible trims with a standard 4.8 liter engine producing 360 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque, the 6-series is a popular choice that exceeds expectations.

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  #1  
Old 09-14-2012, 07:15 AM
avoiceoreason avoiceoreason is offline
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Can the Boesman push lead us to a permanent fix to top not locked error?

First, let me once again give all thanks and praise to user Boesman10 for his "field solution" to the dreaded top-not-locked error.

But as I am contemplating taking my '07 in for attempt #8 to fix this problem, it got me to wondering...

Is it possible that this simple solution could lead to a more permanent fix?

I know there are likely some good engineers (mechanical or electrical) and/or good 'ole DIYers on this former who might be able to opine on what BMW could/should do to fix this based on what we know about the "Boesman push" other than what is spelled out in the TSB.

As evident from my experience and others, the TSB will fix the issue, but only temporarily. My sensors have been replaced at least three times (two different dealers) and the angle bar modification seems to be done every time it goes in. Contrary to the TSB, this issue happens in hot, cold, mild, dry, or wet weather (i.e. I don't need to park it in the sun to replicate the problem).

So if pushing on the sensor seems to pop it back into place, then shouldn't there be some sort of solution that involves keeping the sensor bar better aligned. I realize that is kind of what the TSB attempts to accomplish, but for whatever reason, the fix doesn't hold. And the Boesman push will pop it back into place, but it won't stay there since the technique needs to be redone (often daily for me).

Anyway, I figured some out there might have some insights/approaches that BMW certainly hasn't considered. One would think they would try to update that years-old TSB since the issue continues to occur even after the TSB fix is performed (multiple times).

I would love to give the techs some new fodder or ideas to tinker with when I take it in vs. the insanity approach (i.e. doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome) that I know they will otherwise follow.

And as an aside, for those of you who use the "Boesman push", how long does that usually keep the issue at bay for you? For me it only works for a day or two.
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  #2  
Old 09-14-2012, 11:56 PM
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Yorgi Yorgi is offline
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In your case since they have changed sensors and done the frame modification mentioned in the TSB, I would guess you have a problem with the metal frame itself. One of the joints probably has excessive play in it and pushing on the joint re-aligns the sensor.
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  #3  
Old 09-15-2012, 08:35 AM
tampamark tampamark is online now
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I didn't have my sensors replaced but I did have the TSB modification done by my dealer. It did not permanently fix my problem. Like you my issue manifests randomly regardless of environmental conditions. My top unlocked error rarely occurs thankfully.

An aftermarket solution would be difficult considering how much monitoring goes on during the top open/close procedure. It is just a poor design! This PDF shows all the status checks that the system makes.

I wish you could disconnect the sensor and just have the top tell the system when it is up and when it is down.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BMW Top unlock Segment_Status_6_Cabrio.pdf (2.54 MB, 67 views)
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  #4  
Old 09-16-2012, 05:25 PM
avoiceoreason avoiceoreason is offline
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Well my error usually occurs every 3-4 months after a fix like clockwork.

Yorgi, if it was a frame issue, then why would the sensor replacement, and or TSB modification, fix it for 3-4 months before recurring? And the longest it ever went after a fix was almost a year.

That said, your guess would make sense as to why the Boesman push would work. I feel like there should be some sort of guide or something that could prevent the sensor form slipping out of place.
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  #5  
Old 09-16-2012, 11:47 PM
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Yorgi Yorgi is offline
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My guess is that this is a frame issue since some cars have zero issues even after years of daily open/closing while others go in for 10 plus visits to the dealer and still have issues.

There are two identical sensors (with 7 segments or positions read during the top movement) and only one is causing the issue. The sensor used to read the position of the two "fins" as they move up to allow the storage lid to open never have problems. It's always the "boesman" sensor that causes problems. Maybe the roof is bowing a bit on some cars or the sensor comes loose? Something is causing the sensor to think the bar that runs from the boesman sensor area to the A-pillar is not fully straightened.

Check out page 6 vs page 7 in the TSB .pdf that shows the segments during the top movement. That minor movement in the "boesman" area is the only difference between segment 1 and segment 2. I am 90% sure the car thinks the roof is in segment 2 position when the "top not locked" error occurs.
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2012, 11:34 AM
avoiceoreason avoiceoreason is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorgi View Post
My guess is that this is a frame issue since some cars have zero issues even after years of daily open/closing while others go in for 10 plus visits to the dealer and still have issues.

There are two identical sensors (with 7 segments or positions read during the top movement) and only one is causing the issue. The sensor used to read the position of the two "fins" as they move up to allow the storage lid to open never have problems. It's always the "boesman" sensor that causes problems. Maybe the roof is bowing a bit on some cars or the sensor comes loose? Something is causing the sensor to think the bar that runs from the boesman sensor area to the A-pillar is not fully straightened.

Check out page 6 vs page 7 in the TSB .pdf that shows the segments during the top movement. That minor movement in the "boesman" area is the only difference between segment 1 and segment 2. I am 90% sure the car thinks the roof is in segment 2 position when the "top not locked" error occurs.
This is exactly the kind of thought process I was hoping for, so thanks Yorgi for your posts. So would you by extension think that the reasoning behind the TSB in the first palce, i.e. the sensors are overly sensitive and expansion/contraction of the metal is causing the mis-readings, is basically not right at all? I've never believed it myself, but unfortunately that is what they keep doing when they try to fix it.

I kept flipping back and forth from page 7 to 6 in the PDF and I see exactly what you're saying and this would make perfect sense to me as to 1) what is causing the problem and 2) why the "boesman push" works.

If you are correct, is there anything, short of replacing the roof, that could be done to fix the issue? If it is a frame issue perhaps its more complicated, but if its the sensor coming loose that should be more easily managed. And to my uneducated view, a loose sensor makes sense as to why a gentle touch in the boesman area clears the error.
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  #7  
Old 09-19-2012, 03:51 AM
tampamark tampamark is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avoiceoreason View Post
Well my error usually occurs every 3-4 months after a fix like clockwork.

Yorgi, if it was a frame issue, then why would the sensor replacement, and or TSB modification, fix it for 3-4 months before recurring? And the longest it ever went after a fix was almost a year.

That said, your guess would make sense as to why the Boesman push would work. I feel like there should be some sort of guide or something that could prevent the sensor form slipping out of place.
I personally think it is pure coincidence that any modification or push improved the situation for a certain amount of time. Boesman actually says that he has to push it everyday, I think it only fixes the situation at that time, you have potential to be out again on the next top cycle. I had the TSB fix when the top unlocked error first happened. Then it went a year without another incident. All of a sudden it happened twice in one week to my wife. She simply waited it out and the error went away on it's own, maybe a bump in the road knocked it back, I have no clue.

I didn't do anything at that point, no boesman push, no visit to the dealer. It did not pop up again until 6 months later. I did use the boesman field fix at that time. Didn't see it again for another 6 months. Now I am going on 9 months and no error.

If you find a permanent fix you will be a savior!!!!!
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  #8  
Old 09-19-2012, 06:22 AM
avoiceoreason avoiceoreason is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tampamark View Post
All of a sudden it happened twice in one week to my wife. She simply waited it out and the error went away on it's own, maybe a bump in the road knocked it back, I have no clue.

I didn't do anything at that point, no boesman push, no visit to the dealer. It did not pop up again until 6 months later. I did use the boesman field fix at that time. Didn't see it again for another 6 months. Now I am going on 9 months and no error.

If you find a permanent fix you will be a savior!!!!!
Tampamark - your experience would also lead me to believe it is more likely a loose sensor vs. a frame issue or anything to do with what the TSB tries to fix.

It seems reasonable to assume that when the techs try to correct the error and make the modifications, they are likely (intentionally or not) to, for lack of a better phrase, tighten everything up. Then over the ensuing months, the sensor loosens back up again, whether from, as you said, bumps in the road, or putting the top up and down.

This also might explain why it happens seasonally to a lot of people. This seasonality may be what led BMW to assume it had something to do with expansion/contraction of the metal. What if, instead, it simply had to do with increased raising, lowering of the top as you shifted from winter to spring or spring to summer? With the increase up/down of the top somehow loosening the sensor.

I'm not familiar enough with the design, but can anyone opine on whether there are connection points for the sensor that could work themselves loose over time? Perhaps the time periods b/t it occurring (usually 3-4 months for me, but six sometimes and once a year) simply have to do with how well the sensor was connected in the first place.
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  #9  
Old 09-19-2012, 07:39 AM
tampamark tampamark is online now
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Well, I use the top year round. The last time I had the error the top hadn't been moved in 4 days. I got in it one morning, it was nice and secured in the garage overnight, it was a nice and even 72 degrees that night and only about 76 when I opened the garage door. I have an insulated door and concrete block walls, so the temp in the garage was also moderate.

Yet I start the car and DING, unlocked error.

It is easy to see for yourself, when the top is partially open walk back and look at the joint you press, pull up the canvas if needed, you will see the wires going into the sensor mounted to the frame.
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  #10  
Old 09-19-2012, 09:43 AM
avoiceoreason avoiceoreason is offline
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I am planning to take a look as you suggested. Is there a way to partially remove the canvas so that I could sit in the back seat and watch the sensor/rotation throughout the entire up/down process?
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  #11  
Old 10-04-2012, 02:14 PM
avoiceoreason avoiceoreason is offline
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Taking the car in next week to have them take another (10th) crack at this.

But I noticed something.

When I got the error recently, I was driving and couldn't reach the boesman touch point. What I could reach was the sensor wire that runs along the frame ahead of the boesman area (i.e. closer to the driver seat). It was running along the frame toward the interior of the car. I tucked it up and over the frame so that it would run along the exterior of the car and the light went off. Each time the error has ocurred since, I have found that the wire has found its way back to laying on the interior side of the frame. I then push it back to the exterior and the light goes off.

Does this give anyone any ideas?

Is there a way to adjust the connection point of the sensor so that it can't work its way back over the frame, or some way to tighten it so it can't flop back over?

Can someone who has never had the error run their hand along the frame and tell us the location of their sensor wire (i.e. does it lie to the interior or exterior)?

Last edited by avoiceoreason; 10-04-2012 at 02:16 PM.
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2012, 09:30 AM
Gold323Ci Gold323Ci is offline
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My 08 650i is in the shop now for this problem. Can someone help explain where this Boesman sensor is? The shop says I have a sensor that needs replacing but I'm not sure if it may be the wiring at this point needs put back in place.
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  #13  
Old 10-10-2012, 10:56 AM
avoiceoreason avoiceoreason is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold323Ci View Post
My 08 650i is in the shop now for this problem. Can someone help explain where this Boesman sensor is? The shop says I have a sensor that needs replacing but I'm not sure if it may be the wiring at this point needs put back in place.
Sorry to hear. Especially as I thought this was primarily a problem of the '07s and earlier.

In any case, boesman10 is/was a member of this forum who offered a simple fix for this frequent error. It is detailed here: http://www.forums.bimmerfest.com/sho...&postcount=120

But basically the sensor that causes this malfunction is on the driver side of the car. There is an an angle/pivot point on the frame located on the driver's side passenger seat. Pressing gently on this pivot point will usually clear the error. (pics in the link make it easier to understand)

I have also found that if you follow the frame up from that pivot point toward the driver's seat, you will feel a wire running just off the frame's edge. Nudging that wire up over the frame, or pulling it gently down further will also clear the error.

This leads me to believe that the problem isn't the sensor itself, but the attachment of the sensor that is the problem (i.e. over time it works itself loose, making the readings inaccurate and causes the error).

The TSB from BMW will tell the techs to modify the frame and/or replace the sensor. But be forewarned, my sensor has been replaced at least three times (picking it up today in fact with yet another new sensor!) only to have the problem recur 3-4 months later.

Hopefully you're under warranty. If not, I would ask them to cover the cost anyway as this is a known defect of the car and IMO should be a recall. Only they can't do a recall because they can't figure out how to fix it.

Last edited by avoiceoreason; 10-10-2012 at 10:58 AM.
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