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  #1  
Old 03-16-2009, 09:32 AM
schoenbg schoenbg is offline
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leaking hardtop 335i 2008

hello - i am having an ongoing problem with leaking of my hardtop on my 335i 2008 convertible. beautiful car, except i get water seeping in at the front top corners of both passenger and drivers side windows.

the leaks only happen with extended - 10-20-30 minutes of exposure to rain (even very light rain). so not in a carwash or with brief exposure.

dealer has worked hard but has been unable to fix despite multiple multiple attempts, involving moving/adjusting seals, the articulation of hte top pieces, as well as the force or pressure exerted by the windows.

this is a total nightmare - is this an issue anyone has had? or has anyone heard this is a chronic issue for these new hardtops?

or am i just lucky?

i have trouble sometimes remember to check the forum, so if you can respond to schoenbg@schoenbaumlab.org that would be great.

thanks,
geoff
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  #2  
Old 03-16-2009, 09:35 AM
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Look up SailinSand in the members list. Her car was lemoned or bought back due to this issue.

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  #3  
Old 03-16-2009, 09:43 AM
g0at23 g0at23 is offline
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Errrrr... That's the only reason why I didn't get the hardtop. Had I been leasing I would have went with it. After warranty its GG no RE.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:03 AM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schoenbg View Post
hello - i am having an ongoing problem with leaking of my hardtop on my 335i 2008 convertible. beautiful car, except i get water seeping in at the front top corners of both passenger and drivers side windows.

the leaks only happen with extended - 10-20-30 minutes of exposure to rain (even very light rain). so not in a carwash or with brief exposure.

dealer has worked hard but has been unable to fix despite multiple multiple attempts, involving moving/adjusting seals, the articulation of hte top pieces, as well as the force or pressure exerted by the windows.

this is a total nightmare - is this an issue anyone has had? or has anyone heard this is a chronic issue for these new hardtops?

or am i just lucky?

i have trouble sometimes remember to check the forum, so if you can respond to schoenbg@schoenbaumlab.org that would be great.

thanks,
geoff
There are a number of E93s (exact count is more highly classified than the designs for nuclear triggers) with water leaks at the point where the top attaches to the A-Pillar/Windshield frame. I am 'in between BMWs' for that precise reason. Your best approach if you are within the Lemon Law coverage period, is to start the Lemon Law process (take the car in for 4 repair attempts and send a written letter to BMW along the way). The one thing that I have learned from my Lemon Law experience and observing other LL experiences along the way is to get an attorney involved as soon as possible. BMW will take your case much more seriously once an attorney is in the picture.
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:49 AM
schoenbg schoenbg is offline
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So just an update for everyone.....anyone.

The BMW dealer says this is likely no longer BMW's problem. The car had to be repainted 2 weeks after I bought it, due to falling debris from a storm striking the hood and scratching up the front end. As part of the process, the seals on the top were removed. Though the dealer initially worked on the top, they are now pointing to this incident as the reason it leaks.

Of course Allstate was surprised to hear this a year later.

I also looked into the lemon law discussed in one of the replies. Clearly this will be difficult. Requires a certified letter be sent soon to BMW. Interestingly when I asked for the national address from BMW customer service, I was told that if I went that route, the representative "could no longer talk to me". That of course doesn't make sense if their goal is to help me. But it makes perfect sense if their goal is to you-know-what me.

Only the body shop is stepping up. They are going to take it all apart again and perhaps even drive it up to NJ to a special training class they are taking from BMW.

And here is the killer. I can fix the leak myself with a small bit of strategically applied silly putty.

Wha?!? Makes me wonder a bit about the wisdom of buying a BMW. I mean if I wanted a piece of crap that has to be held together to tape and silly putty, I would have bought another Volvo.

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Old 03-20-2009, 11:31 AM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Originally Posted by schoenbg View Post
So just an update for everyone.....anyone.

The BMW dealer says this is likely no longer BMW's problem. The car had to be repainted 2 weeks after I bought it, due to falling debris from a storm striking the hood and scratching up the front end. As part of the process, the seals on the top were removed. Though the dealer initially worked on the top, they are now pointing to this incident as the reason it leaks.

Of course Allstate was surprised to hear this a year later.
What happened to the top from the 'falling debris'? Was the damage cosmetic (as in scratches)? Or, was the top dented or otherwise structurally compromised? Cosmetic damage is not a release of BMW.

Removing the seals to repaint the top is not going to release BMW of its Lemon Law obligation. My top had the seals replaced and shimmed in an attempt to fix the water leaks.

If Allstate is in the picture from the earlier damage, that could be a good development - they have more resources to go after BMW than you do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schoenbg View Post
I also looked into the lemon law discussed in one of the replies. Clearly this will be difficult. Requires a certified letter be sent soon to BMW. Interestingly when I asked for the national address from BMW customer service, I was told that if I went that route, the representative "could no longer talk to me". That of course doesn't make sense if their goal is to help me. But it makes perfect sense if their goal is to you-know-what me.
Is there some reason you can't send a letter to BMW NA by certified mail? You certainly can type.... BTW, the address for sending the written notification is listed in one of the books that are provided with the car. I had to surrender all documentation that came with the car when the car was surrendered, so I can't point you to which manual to look for the address. As far as not being able to talk to BMW NA 'customer service', has talking to BMW NA customer service gotten you to any point of resolution?

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Originally Posted by schoenbg View Post
And here is the killer. I can fix the leak myself with a small bit of strategically applied silly putty.
You may think you can fix the leak with some silly putty. What you may end up doing is to re-route the water leak elsewhere. Depending on where 'elsewhere' is, you could be setting up electrical system problems. And, the liability would then be on your shoulders, since you made a 'modification' to the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schoenbg View Post
Wha?!? Makes me wonder a bit about the wisdom of buying a BMW. I mean if I wanted a piece of crap that has to be held together to tape and silly putty, I would have bought another Volvo.
If you want to get to a resolution of your problem, you really should look into contacting a lemon law attorney. And sooner rather than later. You are starting to experience why an attorney is needed to cut through the run-around; however, only you can make the decision to contact an attorney and stop the run-around. BTW, Volvos go Lemon Law too. Even the C70.

Last edited by anE934fun; 03-20-2009 at 11:34 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-20-2009, 11:53 AM
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330ximd 330ximd is offline
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Originally Posted by anE934fun View Post
What happened to the top from the 'falling debris'? Was the damage cosmetic (as in scratches)? Or, was the top dented or otherwise structurally compromised? Cosmetic damage is not a release of BMW.

Removing the seals to repaint the top is not going to release BMW of its Lemon Law obligation. My top had the seals replaced and shimmed in an attempt to fix the water leaks.

If Allstate is in the picture from the earlier damage, that could be a good development - they have more resources to go after BMW than you do.


Is there some reason you can't send a letter to BMW NA by certified mail? You certainly can type.... BTW, the address for sending the written notification is listed in one of the books that are provided with the car. I had to surrender all documentation that came with the car when the car was surrendered, so I can't point you to which manual to look for the address. As far as not being able to talk to BMW NA 'customer service', has talking to BMW NA customer service gotten you to any point of resolution?


You may think you can fix the leak with some silly putty. What you may end up doing is to re-route the water leak elsewhere. Depending on where 'elsewhere' is, you could be setting up electrical system problems. And, the liability would then be on your shoulders, since you made a 'modification' to the car.


If you want to get to a resolution of your problem, you really should look into contacting a lemon law attorney. And sooner rather than later. You are starting to experience why an attorney is needed to cut through the run-around; however, only you can make the decision to contact an attorney and stop the run-around. BTW, Volvos go Lemon Law too. Even the C70.
Before anyone else touches your vehicle and voids any warranty, contact a lawyer immediately.
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2009, 07:05 AM
claims claims is offline
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Leaking hardtop convertible

2008 328i Leaked at the pillar post both sides damaged the leather door panels before they gave me the 2009. 2009 leaks at both pillar post and they are sending BMW rep to meet with me. Seems like they would have a fix by now as it is the same problem you have and I suspect others have.

By the way they tried to tweak the 2008 to stop it. Put on new seals, not sure if they shimmed. Will keep you posted on what goes down.
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2009, 07:15 AM
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SailinSand SailinSand is offline
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2008 328i Leaked at the pillar post both sides damaged the leather door panels before they gave me the 2009. 2009 leaks at both pillar post and they are sending BMW rep to meet with me. Seems like they would have a fix by now as it is the same problem you have and I suspect others have.

By the way they tried to tweak the 2008 to stop it. Put on new seals, not sure if they shimmed. Will keep you posted on what goes down.
This is crap. My 07 leaked, you'd think they'd have the bugs worked out by 2009. We have our eye on the new z4 or a CPO M'Vert (assuming I find a job)...maybe not if they can't make 'em without leaking.

The one thing I love about my 07 M Roady (lease up in 11/2010) is that it doesn't leak...but I miss the look and feel or the hard top (much quiter ride). Blah...

Where are you in FL The GM was Bert Smith was awful to us. We got hosed on our trade assist (not a dime off on the x5 that we paid MSRP on ). I'd think twice before buying form them again. What a shame.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:17 AM
sdbrandon sdbrandon is offline
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The hardtop roof is an accident waiting to happen.

3 pieces, tons of seals, motors, etc. all having to work perfectly.

My guess is all of the tops leak if you look close enough and in a few years it will be worse when the roof seals between the panels fail.

I don't think convertibles are suppose to be water proof. Just weather proof.
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  #11  
Old 03-24-2009, 08:33 AM
schoenbg schoenbg is offline
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hi all - so just to answer the quesetion posted above....

the falling debris did nothing more than make a few tiny scratches on teh top. nothing larger than a roofing nail hit the top. no impact. no structural damage. no dents even.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:34 AM
Tiara Brightsab Tiara Brightsab is offline
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This really scares me since I am thinking of buying a hardtop convertible.

Hmm....
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  #13  
Old 03-24-2009, 11:52 AM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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This is crap. My 07 leaked, you'd think they'd have the bugs worked out by 2009.
Why is that? Nothing has been changed in the design of the top. There is a flaw in how the seals have been designed. Until the design changes, the sealing ability of the hard top appears to be a hit-or-miss proposition.

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We have our eye on the new z4 or a CPO M'Vert (assuming I find a job)...maybe not if they can't make 'em without leaking.
Do you really want to re-visit your last experience? The difference is that this time around (with CPO), you won't have the benefit of the FL Lemon Law....

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Originally Posted by SailinSand View Post
The one thing I love about my 07 M Roady (lease up in 11/2010) is that it doesn't leak...but I miss the look and feel or the hard top (much quiter ride). Blah...
See... it is possible to build a vert with a top that doesn't leak....
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  #14  
Old 03-24-2009, 12:00 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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hi all - so just to answer the quesetion posted above....

the falling debris did nothing more than make a few tiny scratches on teh top. nothing larger than a roofing nail hit the top. no impact. no structural damage. no dents even.
So, have you got in touch with a Lemon Law attorney?
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:46 PM
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g2artist g2artist is offline
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Most every e93 will exhibit some type of minor leak at the front a pillar. Mine does it when I wash the car, not so much when it rains. When I mean minor I mean a drop or two. Just enough to get a roll down the window which often doesn't even reach the door frame. Maybe after an hour or so it may reach the door frame but if you look at the frame, they have designed a water channel with a drain to the back of the door just in case water does get that far. If you look at the a pillar seal the water is simply going around the very end of the pillar seal and coming back down from the inside. You cant adjust the seal here. They tapered it upwards at an angle to try and channel the water the other way towards the front of the car where the pillar drain holes are but if you get enough water its impossible to keep up. I have learned to accept it as a reasonable tradeoff for having the folding hardtop. For me its no big deal at all. Now if you are getting lots of water down the window or it is not following the window but rather dripping off the seal directly onto the door than that is a different issue. If its just going down the window and not too bad then dont worry about it.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:11 PM
andrewket andrewket is offline
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fwiw, I've got a 2007 335 E93 ~9k miles on it and only once have I ever seen water inside the cabin. It was a drop - maybe two - on the driver side after very hard rain.

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Old 03-24-2009, 05:48 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Most every e93 will exhibit some type of minor leak at the front a pillar. Mine does it when I wash the car, not so much when it rains.
Ever drive your E93 in the rain at highway speeds? If you have and your car doesn't leak beyond the 1 or 2 'drops', then good on you - you have a car that is watertight. Some of us don't (or didn't) have such a car.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:32 PM
clarkcc1 clarkcc1 is offline
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I am actually very surprised an E93 has been lemoned for this - at least depending on severity. I too experience leaks at the pillar point in question, but infrequently when heavy/steady rain is involved. It is generally just a few drops that go down the inside of the window when opening or closing the door. Just annoying so I haven't even bothered the dealer.

I expect a lot out of any BMW. This being their first stab at a hardtop convertible I am very impressed after almost 2 years of ownership. Are there rattles going over bumps? Sure - though minimal in comparison to any other convertible I've driven. It isn't a fixed roof coupe, but much closer to it than almost any other convertible out there, so I guess a couple small annoyances don't make me want to 'lemon' it and go back to a coupe
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:58 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Keep on being impressed until you get lucky and get to experience a leaking hardtop. The leaks that get Lemon Lawed are more of a steady stream of water. I imagine it is hard for you to conceptualize a leaking hardtop, but it does happen.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:32 AM
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Keep on being impressed until you get lucky and get to experience a leaking hardtop. The leaks that get Lemon Lawed are more of a steady stream of water. I imagine it is hard for you to conceptualize a leaking hardtop, but it does happen.
Leaking top: think waterfall coming over my head as I'm driving to the dealership

I remember after they thought they fixed it, one of the guys took it through the car wash...he was soaked when he go out of the car... I was ready to lose it. His hair was wet and he had a damp shirt. Yeah, 'yah fixed it all right...
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:32 AM
claims claims is offline
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So now we know that this is a somewhat common problem that BMW knows about. I can't wait to see what they do about it. I suspect there is a cure in the making and let's hope that it comes out this year. Love the car.

I want to hear from owner who do not have the leaking condition on their hardtop convertibles.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:31 AM
Shark01 Shark01 is offline
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Mine doesn't leak a drop (early 2007 model), yes drive in all kinds of rain at speeds up to 100 mph.

Not saying it will never leak, as seals on soft tops also go bad (I had a Corvette with bad leakage) and I'm sure periodic dealer adjustments will be required as the car ages.

Judging from the number of complaints, this problem seems to be far less of an issue in % of cars with a problem than say:

N54 HPFPs
E46 M3 engine detonations
Porsche 911 rear main seals
Porsche 911 intermediate shaft failures
Jeep Wrangler hardtop leaks - Want some pain, visit those forums
Volkswagen EOS hardtop seal issue

At this point, the modern folding hardtop has been out in the market for 7 years (unless you count the 1994 Mitsubishi 3000GT) and I'm not seeing many major issues.

I'm curious who did the panel removal on the OP's car, BMW or a 3rd party body shop with no experience installing them.
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:07 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Mine doesn't leak a drop (early 2007 model), yes drive in all kinds of rain at speeds up to 100 mph.
You are one of the fortunate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark01 View Post
Judging from the number of complaints, this problem seems to be far less of an issue in % of cars with a problem than say:

N54 HPFPs
Unfortunately BMW does not publish defect rates, so at this point, it is all conjecture. I would agree that the HPFP issue is more prevalent than a leaking hardtop if only due to the difference in production volumes.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:50 PM
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My 07 E93 did not leak.

My 09 E93 does not leak.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:27 AM
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Met with tech engineer. He made me feel like I was lying about the leak or I intentionally caused it. Then proceeded to say that the 2008 they took back from me as a result of the leak didn't leak after all and was sold at auction. Poor person who bought it. They pulled my 2009 BMW into wash area and then pulled another hard top convertible from their lot next to mine for testing. Water tested mine and of course the water steadily poured down inside the driver's window. Water checked the car from their lot and guess what it leaked too! Had a few choice words for him and was told another rep would be in touch with me. Was told that they would not give me another convertible. I really like my car so it's just all too bad.
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