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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-30-2012, 12:18 PM
DJBass DJBass is offline
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Good E9x Hardtop Convertibles

Hello All. My first post here. About 3 weeks ago my (paid for) E46 330 Ci Convertible was totaled and my wife wants another Convertible. However, I've read herein some horror stories about stuck and/or leaking E9x Hardtop Convertibles. I even saw the U-Tube video of the guy in SC showing his 335 leaking (badly) in a carwash.

So here's my question. How many of you have GOOD (properly articulating and nonleaking) Hardtop Convertible BMW 335's??

Generally, those that exhibit problems on internet are the tails of the distribution (statistically speaking) and so its hard to determine the real extent of a problem (again statistically).

What I'd really like to know is how many experience NO PROBLEM.

A leaking, non-atriculating roof to me is a show-stopper. I had a Z3 before the 330 and both were ragtops....and neither ever leaked for failed. If the problem with the E9x is really extensive....I'll look for another E46 (maybe a M3).

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2012, 01:07 PM
unrealii unrealii is offline
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No problems with mine. Bought it with 29k on the odo. At 33k, it had trouble coming out of the trunk, dealer adjusted it and its been problem free for the past 7k miles.

It is not recommended to take the convertible through a high pressure car wash. I do it and haven't had any issues (unless the guy drying the car gets it before I see it). Its not supposed to leak during rain.

Coming from a soft top, I prefer this hard top as it isolates road/wind noise from the cabin better than that of the soft top.
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2012, 01:18 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unrealii View Post
No problems with mine. Bought it with 29k on the odo. At 33k, it had trouble coming out of the trunk, dealer adjusted it and its been problem free for the past 7k miles.

It is not recommended to take the convertible through a high pressure car wash. I do it and haven't had any issues (unless the guy drying the car gets it before I see it). Its not supposed to leak during rain.

Coming from a soft top, I prefer this hard top as it isolates road/wind noise from the cabin better than that of the soft top.
Short of driving the car in a driving rainstorm at 70 mph, a high pressure car wash is the only way to test the seal integrity. The LCI E93 cars (4/2010+ build date?) had revised seals fitted to the top, so BMW even acknowledged the problem.
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  #4  
Old 11-30-2012, 01:53 PM
DJBass DJBass is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anE934fun View Post
Short of driving the car in a driving rainstorm at 70 mph, a high pressure car wash is the only way to test the seal integrity. The LCI E93 cars (4/2010+ build date?) had revised seals fitted to the top, so BMW even acknowledged the problem.
So you see my dilemma. Its almost like a "Box of Chocolates" (you never know what you're gonna get)...unless...you run it through a High Pressure Car Wash first. And if that is the "Acid Test", then I guess that must be a base level condition of a test drive. To be clear....we love having the top down when the weather is nice...and I'd like to get up to that 335 hp plateau without necessarily buying an older M3. So the 335 seems the logical choice. And the hardtop convertible sure is sexy from the onset....but it would be a REAL BUMMER to buy a leaker.

BTW...the Maintenance Manager at my local BMW dealer said that "most" hardtop roof sticking was a result of run down batteries. Is the darned roof that heavy??
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2012, 01:57 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Sticking roof situations are rarely due to run down batteries. I would not take my car into that dealership if they are resorting to fairy tales even before you bought a car.
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2012, 02:41 PM
DJBass DJBass is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anE934fun View Post
Sticking roof situations are rarely due to run down batteries. I would not take my car into that dealership if they are resorting to fairy tales even before you bought a car.
I'm an Engineer....and I sorta felt that already.

So you see my question. I've read horror stories about these roofs. I need to buy a car in the next few weeks.

Is the confidence in them so low that I should just go back to the rag top E46's....

Also...any knowledge abou the new Z4 Hardtop / Convertibles...does the problem extend to them as well?

The Z4 seems to be an order of magnitude less complex in its mechanical actuation than the 335 roofs.
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  #7  
Old 11-30-2012, 02:49 PM
Bimmer1988 Bimmer1988 is offline
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i own 2009 convertible hardtop ! never leaked ever ! u will never regret it i love it till this day .. only problem now i have is my engine just lightened up 2hrs ago .. and I'm worried to death wondering whats the dealer gonna say -_- its doesn't drive more than 60 I'm so worried
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  #8  
Old 11-30-2012, 03:11 PM
DJBass DJBass is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer1988 View Post
i own 2009 convertible hardtop ! never leaked ever ! u will never regret it i love it till this day .. only problem now i have is my engine just lightened up 2hrs ago .. and I'm worried to death wondering whats the dealer gonna say -_- its doesn't drive more than 60 I'm so worried
As I understand it...the problem you're having is related to your High Pressure Electric Fuel Pump....and it is a chronic problem with the E9x.
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  #9  
Old 11-30-2012, 03:17 PM
Bimmer1988 Bimmer1988 is offline
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maybe idk my car is 4v btw .. do u think the dealership cover this problem ? because i have my car still under warranty .. and if its not covered how much it will cost me to fix it ? idk anything about this problem is it serious ?
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  #10  
Old 11-30-2012, 03:26 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJBass View Post
I'm an Engineer....and I sorta felt that already.

So you see my question. I've read horror stories about these roofs. I need to buy a car in the next few weeks.
The horror stories seemed to occur with the pre-LCI cars more than the LCI cars (probably due to the earlier seals that were replaced with the LCI upgrade).

Quote:
Is the confidence in them so low that I should just go back to the rag top E46's....
Personally, if the car you are considering is a pre-LCI E93, I would insist on taking the car through a car wash. I am biased (my ex-E93 was repurchased as a lemon due to top water leaks that couldn't be repaired), however.

Quote:
Also...any knowledge abou the new Z4 Hardtop / Convertibles...does the problem extend to them as well?
No personal experience, but the seals just look more robust on the new Z4s.

Quote:
The Z4 seems to be an order of magnitude less complex in its mechanical actuation than the 335 roofs.
Yup-per. One less roof section = 2 less opportunities for seals to fail.

I am not exactly down on the E93; just a case of being singed once and shy as a result.
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  #11  
Old 11-30-2012, 03:57 PM
David Williamso David Williamso is offline
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we got our '07 used from a 3 year lease. No leaks driving in the rain but we also don't take it to a high pressure car wash, we hand wash it.
Easy to check, take it home and spray it with a hose.... if it leaks more than a few small drips reject it.
David
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  #12  
Old 11-30-2012, 04:04 PM
DJBass DJBass is offline
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Thanks to one and all for replying....

As you can see...one gets a spurrious response from the Dealer.

Its sorta like asking a Barber if you need a Haircut. Good to communicate with some who've experienced the issue.
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  #13  
Old 11-30-2012, 04:08 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer1988 View Post
i own 2009 convertible hardtop ! never leaked ever ! u will never regret it i love it till this day .. only problem now i have is my engine just lightened up 2hrs ago .. and I'm worried to death wondering whats the dealer gonna say -_- its doesn't drive more than 60 I'm so worried
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJBass View Post
As I understand it...the problem you're having is related to your High Pressure Electric Fuel Pump....and it is a chronic problem with the E9x.


Y'don't understand it - not enough info above to conclude much.

But when a problem comes along, you must whip it. Bimmer1988, post your codes.
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  #14  
Old 11-30-2012, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJBass View Post
What I'd really like to know is how many experience NO PROBLEM.!

No issues. many moons. But, once had this due to this.

Oh, and a frayed cord or two, easily replaced.

Perspective: Mine's up/down as often as humanly possible - we have a loooong top down season.
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  #15  
Old 11-30-2012, 04:36 PM
DJBass DJBass is offline
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Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Y'don't understand it - not enough info above to conclude much.

But when a problem comes along, you must whip it. Bimmer1988, post your codes.
Sure...codes would be good...But it is manifesting like the chronic fuel pump issue.

Another reason I'm a little put off by the E9x's.

But thanks for the positive response vis a vis the Top.
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  #16  
Old 11-30-2012, 05:22 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJBass View Post
Sure...codes would be good...But it is manifesting like the chronic fuel pump issue.

Another reason I'm a little put off by the E9x's.

But thanks for the positive response vis a vis the Top.

Limp mode can result from many sources - got t'have them codes.


If can accommodate the possibility o'maint, you'll bless yourself on every warm day for scoring an excellent convertible.

No kiddin!

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  #17  
Old 11-30-2012, 05:41 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
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I have the 2nd Euro Delivery E93 335i March 2 2007. I have had a failed glove box solenoid. End of story. I am also an engineer and after MB had great success with the SLK I was comfortable getting out of the soft top verts and buying this one.
This is a forum where most people who have problems come to look for answers and the rest of us are pure enthusists and enjoy learning and discussing our favorite rides. Clearly the reports are heavily skewed toward way more problems than actually exist.
I don't operate my top everyday and in fact I don't operate my top more than 15 times a year while many on here operate theirs 15 times a month of more. Operational use has a lot to do with what might fail but many users, heavy ueser like Kat have proven this top to be extremely reliable...
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  #18  
Old 11-30-2012, 05:58 PM
sorus sorus is offline
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I have only had the car for 6 months (2012 model year). Other than a few drops of water from where the top panel and the A-pillar mates when washing the car, no problem with the top at all. None in the rain. Treating the seals with Krytox definitely helps.

The hard top makes for a quieter and more comfortable car. I would say go for it. Good luck!
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  #19  
Old 11-30-2012, 06:07 PM
DJBass DJBass is offline
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Originally Posted by fun2drive View Post
I have the 2nd Euro Delivery E93 335i March 2 2007. I have had a failed glove box solenoid. End of story. I am also an engineer and after MB had great success with the SLK I was comfortable getting out of the soft top verts and buying this one.
This is a forum where most people who have problems come to look for answers and the rest of us are pure enthusists and enjoy learning and discussing our favorite rides. Clearly the reports are heavily skewed toward way more problems than actually exist.
I don't operate my top everyday and in fact I don't operate my top more than 15 times a year while many on here operate theirs 15 times a month of more. Operational use has a lot to do with what might fail but many users, heavy ueser like Kat have proven this top to be extremely reliable...
Thanks. My work is heavy in statistics and your point above regarding people airing problems on boards such as this is precisely why I'm soliciting opinions of those who've not had problems.

My recently totaled 330CiC was a joy with very few problems. And once one has owned a Bimmer....it's hard to drive anything else.
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  #20  
Old 11-30-2012, 06:31 PM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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Hi DJ,

Mine isn't a 335i, but I don't think the engine variant affects top integrity. That being said, as Fun2Drive mentioned I am a heavy user of my top. (had it up and down at least 5 times this last week of November).

I have a little teen-einsy drip that happens every once in a while if I hit the car just right at the passenger side a-pillar while washing the car. Other than that, no leaks.

Mine is a July 2009 (pre-LCI) build, took delivery Aug 2009.

I did have a sticky front hinge mechanism that was replaced under warranty and with an SIB in March 2011. Also, had the headliner tensioning cords replaced under warranty in August 2011. The frayed cords have been addressed by 2010 and newer cars getting the more robust cords (also what they used in my replacement issue).

I've never heard of the top sticking due to a failing battery - that's just crazy. It is true that actuating the top repetitively, without the engine running is a huge draw on the battery, but as long as your battery is in good health, I wouldn't sweat it. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending upon perspective, I live fairly close to my workplace so my car suffers from short hop driving. That has been its biggest issue. I just had my battery replaced under warranty and have acquired a battery tender to keep it properly charged.

I am a firm believer in keeping the rubber seals between the panels well lubricated and moisturized and as a result my top is creak free, and the car is very quiet (no wind noise) at highway speeds) - in fact it's quieter than the Honda Civic coupe I previously owned.

If you do decide to go this route - and I personally think it's a good route, make sure your local preferred dealership have service people that have gone to the cabrio maintenance school. The shop foreman at my dealership (large - high volume in Houston) explained to me that there is a special class techs have to certify in to work on the retractable top.

Good luck with your decision. I love my cabrio and the pleasure it gives far outweighs the effort of the extra maintenance required.
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  #21  
Old 11-30-2012, 06:44 PM
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My wife has an 09, 335i vert. The car now has 22k on it. The roof has always worked perfect. I usually take care of the wash duties and have had no issues with leakage. My wife has taken it to the car wash, usually when I'm too busy taking care of my car, and no reports of water problems from running it through.



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  #22  
Old 11-30-2012, 07:07 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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40,000 miles on an 07 335i. Not top issues, no leaks and the car is rattle free which is remarkable considering the beating it has taken on NYC roads.

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  #23  
Old 11-30-2012, 08:42 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
I have a little teen-einsy drip that happens every once in a while if I hit the car just right at the passenger side a-pillar while washing the car. Other than that, no leaks.

Now that ya mention it, ditto! Driver's side. Just a ml or two of water, and none in a rain storm. Prob the side spray. '09 too.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:51 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Originally Posted by DJBass View Post
....once one has owned a Bimmer....it's hard to drive anything else.

Porsche or Audi?
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  #25  
Old 11-30-2012, 08:56 PM
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Salvator Salvator is offline
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Mine lives outside (I know, tsk tsk) and it has survived hurricane sandy, the derecho storm, and lots of other downpours without a drip... In the winter, it's like driving a hardtop, in the summer, a soft top... Best of both worlds...
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