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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-22-2012, 11:32 AM
CZIIDAY CZIIDAY is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 323i convertible
Convertible Top Not Working

I have a 1999 323ic with fully automatic convertible top. When I press the switch to lower the top, the only thing that happens is that all the windows go down one inch at a time until they are fully lowered. Nothing happens with the top at all, and I don't hear any motors running during this time. I have tried to reset procedure, but this does nothing. Anything I can do or check before I bring it to someone who can check the computer codes?

Thanks,
Derek
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2012, 11:52 AM
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Moeman10 Moeman10 is offline
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I have no idea, sorry.

Also, that's why I'll never own an E36 convertible.
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2012, 03:21 PM
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Jok15 Jok15 is offline
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Did you reengage all the motors? 2 on the back and 1 on top?
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:14 PM
CZIIDAY CZIIDAY is offline
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I never dis-engaged them. The top was working fine. I do have an front airbag light on in the dash. Can't remember if the top was working before that light came on. Don't know if that would affect the top function. Thanks.
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  #5  
Old 03-22-2012, 08:11 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is online now
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If you've never disengaged the motors then you haven't done the resync procedure. Resync is done with the top fully down and in the storage compartment. See page 19 of the vert troubleshooting guide.
If you had some kind of a power system glitch then it's possible that your airbag light is related to your recent top problems.
Given the amount of work involved in manually opening the fully automatic top, I'd be tempted to fix the airbag issue first since it needs fixing anyway, and then move on to other things with the top if it was still non-functional.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf E36%20Convertible%20Adjust.pdf (878.8 KB, 847 views)
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:47 AM
CZIIDAY CZIIDAY is offline
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DC - thanks. Several months before this problem, I popped the motors and manually put down the top, then sucessfully resynched the top. It was working fine except that it would not quite meet the windshield so that the hooks could grab, unless I pulled it down on the drivers side. Then the hooks would grab, and it would seal and complete the procedure, blinking red light would go off. Everything seemed normal. I probably did this about 20 times until one day, I went to put top down and experienced the situation I described with the windows being funky and no movement on the top. I'll have the shop fix the airbag light issue and see if that solves the problem. I am also wondering if by me having to pull down the top to the windshield if I knocked any of the micro switches out of adjustment. Do you think that is a possible cause for what I'm experiencing? Also, do you have any idea who might know if the way the windows are acting when I try to lower the top is an indicator of a specific problem? As I said, when I try to lower top, the red light blinks, and all the windows go down an inch at a time until they are fully lowered. Very strange. Never had that happen before. Thank you.

Derek
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  #7  
Old 03-23-2012, 11:02 AM
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petriej petriej is offline
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Airbag light most likely not related, but as DC said, get it fixed anyway.

It sounds like there's a bad microswitch somewhere. I don't have the time to investigate, but the answer is probably in that pdf DC linked.
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2012, 08:05 AM
CZIIDAY CZIIDAY is offline
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thanks, Petriei
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  #9  
Old 05-07-2012, 08:07 AM
CZIIDAY CZIIDAY is offline
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DC - just a follow up. My convertible top was not working. All that would happen is my windows would go down 1 inch at a time until they were fully down but nothing would happen with top. I took it too a shop that works on a lot of BMWs. They said the top function shut down to prevent it from burning up. They reset the codes in the module box, and it worked as usual. The problem, though, it that there is a strap that is broken, so it is getting caught. If the motor has to work too hard, it will trip the code in the convertible module box and shut down the auto top function. They quoted me a cost of $150 for the repair kit and up to $300 in labor, depending upon how long it takes to replace. Thanks for your input on this.
Derek
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  #10  
Old 05-07-2012, 04:26 PM
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Thanks for the update with the fix! Too many times we never get what the final fix was. This is one I'll tuck away in the memory bank for future use.......
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  #11  
Old 06-20-2013, 07:04 AM
genotech genotech is offline
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Convert Top Not Working???

The convertible top suddenly seemed to stop working after returning from the airport. I had just loaded a large suit case into the trunk and the trunk did not completely close but was drivable. The switch to bring down the top appeared to be dead. I read the manual. It said that if the trunk is not closed the top will not come down. After removing the suit case and closing the trunk, the top came down as usual.
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