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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-26-2010, 09:50 AM
underdog45 underdog45 is offline
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Sunroof won't close completely, expensive fix?

Hi, i'm new to these forums, and I've been searching through them but haven't quite seen my exact problem. I'm looking to buy an 03 525i from this dealership. The car's in great condition outside of one problem, the sunroof, while it will open, close and tilt, when it closes, it won't completely close. Like it leaves an inch or so open. Is this an easy fix? Or a dealbreaker? I just wanted some advice because I really like this car and this is basically the only problem. Thanks in advance for any help. I've attached a picture too.

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  #2  
Old 09-26-2010, 01:14 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Does it "bounce" or does it just not close? Check for dirt or crud in the tracks, or something blocking the roof from closing. If it opens (back) and tilts (up) it probably needs to be re-taught where the "closed" position is. Have a pre-purchase inspection carried out by a qualified BMW independent repair shop or a local stealer who is not the seller. It could be expensive...good negotiating point!
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  #3  
Old 09-26-2010, 01:37 PM
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MatWiz MatWiz is offline
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It's probably too much gap, but try to 'reset' it. Press the button and hold for 10-20 seconds (I forget how long exactly), until you hear an adjusting sound. Do it a few times. See it the gap closes.


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  #4  
Old 09-26-2010, 04:47 PM
underdog45 underdog45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
Does it "bounce" or does it just not close? Check for dirt or crud in the tracks, or something blocking the roof from closing. If it opens (back) and tilts (up) it probably needs to be re-taught where the "closed" position is. Have a pre-purchase inspection carried out by a qualified BMW independent repair shop or a local stealer who is not the seller. It could be expensive...good negotiating point!
When I tried it at the dealership, it didn't bounce, I don't think. I couldn't even tell that it wasn't completely closed until I saw it from the outside. But I saw a forum post on that, I plan on getting it inspected by the closest BMW dealership. And then having any repairs that may be needed getting taken out of the bottom line price. Thanks for the advice!
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  #5  
Old 09-26-2010, 04:50 PM
underdog45 underdog45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
It's probably too much gap, but try to 'reset' it. Press the button and hold for 10-20 seconds (I forget how long exactly), until you hear an adjusting sound. Do it a few times. See it the gap closes.


mw
Thank you! I had read that it was possible to reset the sunroof, but I couldn't find any instructions! Thank you, I will try that when I go look at it again tomorrow!
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  #6  
Old 09-26-2010, 05:43 PM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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To add to what Matwiz is saying, you hold the button in the tilt position. The sunroof will tilt, come back down, open completely, and then close completely. After it's closed you can release the button.
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  #7  
Old 09-27-2010, 12:11 PM
DAPPA DAPPA is offline
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The problem I had was it wouldn't close all the way because it was hitting on the lid that folds down right before it closes. The rail, which has the wheels on a track to bring the lid down prior to glass completely closing, looked a little worn so I just added a clip to it. Works fine now!
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  #8  
Old 09-27-2010, 12:47 PM
antsbimmer antsbimmer is offline
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I had same problem happen to me last week or so with my 540. The problem I have is that the track that the roof runs on is getting warn so I put some semi-heavy grease ontop of tracks and inside and held flap down and closed sun roof and then reset. Havent had a problem sence. Some of those rails are metal and some plastic. I believe the only real fix is to replace the rails. Hope this helps.
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  #9  
Old 09-28-2010, 09:53 AM
underdog45 underdog45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAPPA View Post
The problem I had was it wouldn't close all the way because it was hitting on the lid that folds down right before it closes. The rail, which has the wheels on a track to bring the lid down prior to glass completely closing, looked a little worn so I just added a clip to it. Works fine now!
That turned out to be exactly the problem! I pushed the lid down right before it finished closing and it closed perfectly! I may try your solution to see if I can get it completely fixed. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by antsbimmer View Post
I had same problem happen to me last week or so with my 540. The problem I have is that the track that the roof runs on is getting warn so I put some semi-heavy grease ontop of tracks and inside and held flap down and closed sun roof and then reset. Havent had a problem sence. Some of those rails are metal and some plastic. I believe the only real fix is to replace the rails. Hope this helps.
Hmm... that sounds like it might work. I finally got t the roof to close so I'll try resetting it and then adding some grease. Thanks for the advice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan M View Post
To add to what Matwiz is saying, you hold the button in the tilt position. The sunroof will tilt, come back down, open completely, and then close completely. After it's closed you can release the button.
Cool, thanks for the instructions.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2011, 06:39 PM
Alexbenz Alexbenz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAPPA View Post
The problem I had was it wouldn't close all the way because it was hitting on the lid that folds down right before it closes. The rail, which has the wheels on a track to bring the lid down prior to glass completely closing, looked a little worn so I just added a clip to it. Works fine now!
what clip is this? i have the exact problem as the op did......i will have to try this ...
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  #11  
Old 02-12-2011, 12:00 AM
Alexbenz Alexbenz is offline
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anyone know if the sunroof need's or can be reprogrammed? it works, nothing seems to be blocking it but it still won't close fully or just tilts or if i press the button nothing happens and then 20 secs later it open up the tilt by itself...
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  #12  
Old 02-12-2011, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexbenz View Post
anyone know if the sunroof need's or can be reprogrammed?
It's in the VERY best of E39 Links.
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  #13  
Old 02-12-2011, 12:27 AM
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BTW, I gave the same answer to the same question you posted here.

It's so clear in the best links that I don't feel like cutting and pasting it here for you as I don't really think you even took the five seconds to look for it.
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  #14  
Old 02-12-2011, 01:00 AM
Alexbenz Alexbenz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
BTW, I gave the same answer to the same question you posted here.

It's so clear in the best links that I don't feel like cutting and pasting it here for you as I don't really think you even took the five seconds to look for it.
if i'm posting a comment it clearly means i haven't found my answer yet......
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:33 AM
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had the same problem. i superclued a plastic strip onto the rail and now it works perfect
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  #16  
Old 02-12-2011, 05:27 AM
bdavid13 bdavid13 is offline
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I had the same issue. I basically lubed the hinges the part the pushes down before closing, no issues after that. I guess they get stiff and tight through the years.
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  #17  
Old 02-12-2011, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexbenz View Post
if i'm posting a comment it clearly means i haven't found my answer yet......
What did you find in the best links when you did a "control f" for "sunroof"?

Did you see this?

- How to repair & reset the sunroof (1) (2) (3)
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  #18  
Old 02-12-2011, 09:11 AM
98540iA 98540iA is offline
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my sunroof "bounces" back when it gets to the closed position. I "help" it by pushing up a little as it gets to the "bounce" point and it then closes fine. It's been doing this for years and I assumed the rail was worn or bent just enough to cause it to bounce back. I don't mind "helping" it close and have been doing this for years....

I would not consider this a deal breaker OP!!!
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  #19  
Old 02-12-2011, 03:11 PM
Alexbenz Alexbenz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
What did you find in the best links when you did a "control f" for "sunroof"?

Did you see this?

- How to repair & reset the sunroof (1) (2) (3)
i don't need to repair it, i've rest it.....i'm asking if it may need reprogramming....
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  #20  
Old 02-12-2011, 03:37 PM
Alexbenz Alexbenz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98540iA View Post
my sunroof "bounces" back when it gets to the closed position. I "help" it by pushing up a little as it gets to the "bounce" point and it then closes fine. It's been doing this for years and I assumed the rail was worn or bent just enough to cause it to bounce back. I don't mind "helping" it close and have been doing this for years....

I would not consider this a deal breaker OP!!!
i did that just now, it works the first time but not after that......it just doesn't do what i want........it goes all the way back one touch and sometimes when closing it goes all the way and then tilts up, sometimes tilts up but not fully tilted...
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  #21  
Old 02-13-2011, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexbenz View Post
i don't need to repair it, i've rest it.....i'm asking if it may need reprogramming....
All I'm saying is in the best links are the following threads that other people listed with the word 'sunroof' in them (that "may" help you).
- Sunroof Repair
- Sunroof Realignment
- Sunroof (tilting not working) repair DIY
- How to repair & reset the sunroof (1) (2) (3)
- Sunroof alignment procedure
- Sunroof gasket replacement
- Sunroof reset

If you haven't checked out those threads, then you may be asking something that has already been asked many times before. However, if after reading those threads, you still have an issue, then it's perfectly appropriate to post for additional help.
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  #22  
Old 02-13-2011, 02:19 PM
Alexbenz Alexbenz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
All I'm saying is in the best links are the following threads that other people listed with the word 'sunroof' in them (that "may" help you).
- Sunroof Repair
- Sunroof Realignment
- Sunroof (tilting not working) repair DIY
- How to repair & reset the sunroof (1) (2) (3)
- Sunroof alignment procedure
- Sunroof gasket replacement
- Sunroof reset

If you haven't checked out those threads, then you may be asking something that has already been asked many times before. However, if after reading those threads, you still have an issue, then it's perfectly appropriate to post for additional help.
the last link, it says to hold the tilt button for 5 secs......it's either people have no idea what there talking about or make up ****...i've read to hold it for 20 secs, 30 secs and now 5....lol
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexbenz View Post
.it's either people have no idea what there talking about or make up
I've often run into this same inconsistency here.

Many people have wrong information. However, others, such as cn90, QSilver7, Fudman, 540iman, Agent99, mmm (Michel), Huang (all from memory) and others have proven themselves correct time and time again.

So, like anything else, you have to take the source into account when you read something. If the source is generally detailed and often correct, then there is more reason to trust that source over another.

However, what YOU can do to give back to the team is CORRECT any erroneous information you see (once you've figured it out yourself).

What you should do, once you do know the correct answer, is just post to any thread having the wrong answer what the right answer is.

That way, the NEXT person (after you) will not be as confused as the threads made you.

BTW, I've never needed to touch my sunroof or I'd have done that myself already!

Good luck.
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  #24  
Old 08-24-2012, 08:24 AM
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indyzhp indyzhp is offline
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Sorry to stir up an old thread, but I just wanted to throw in my $0.02 and help someone else down the line.

My sunroof was having the issue where having it open in the sun (as you would) it would then attempt to close, then bounce back and stay open approx 3". Later after being in the garage and cooling down, it would close just fine.

I believe it was hitting on the wind deflector, since there were witness marks indicating so. I tried resetting with the button, but it didn't fix the problem.

I did however take a look at the adjustment and sure enough, the front of the glass was not level with the roofline (low by about 1/8"). Just simply adjusting the front of the glass (via the torx bolts) to sit level with the roof was the correct fix. It could have been hitting something else besides the wind deflector, but regardless, proper adjustment fixed the issue.
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  #25  
Old 04-10-2013, 08:34 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This as asked today, so I bring it here so that the information is better cross referenced to one location ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by yungphillie View Post
Hello Guys I am a owner of a 1999 BMW 540i. I am having trouble with my sunroof. It seems not to close all the way... Ive held the tilt button to reset, it makes a sound and does not move... Can anyone help me with this issue?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joker13 View Post
I bet its catching on the wind reflector push it down with your finger while your closing it becareful so you wont smash your finger
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
If it is catching on the wind deflector like Joker13 mentioned above, take the time to clean & lubricate the mechanisms on each side of the deflector that allows it to articulate up & down. All it takes is a little bit of dust/dirt/grit to slow down the articulation of the deflector and it will not duck down far enough before the sunroof panel hits it...causing it to stop moving forward.

Again, lubrication can usually fix this (if this is the problem)....the "slipstream deflector" is #14 in the diagram below...and try lubricating #15 (on each side) until the deflector can move up/down freely:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BhamDave View Post
I find that pushing up on the leading edge of the sunroof is safer than puling down on the wind deflector. Less chance to pinch a finger.

Cleaning and lubricating did nothing for me.

Someone once mentioned adding some thickness of tape on the "ramp" on the defector assembly that the sunroof slides on that causes to deflector to retract. This would work, I just haven looked around for something to use.

I also read a thread somewhere (can't find it now) that mentioned a way to raise the height of the sunroof to correct the problem. I've been to lazy to go look for a way to do this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I never had sunroof problems but I can type /sunroof F3 in the bestlinks, which nets the following (among others) that may be useful to the OP:
- How to repair & reset the sunroof or moonroof (1) (2) (3) & how to fix sun roof rattles (1) & how to test & fix sun/moon roof leaks (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) causing water on the front passenger carpet & how to remove the headliner (1) & how to free up a stuck open sunroof or moonroof (1) (2) & how to replace broken moonroof/sunroof glass (1)
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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