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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:35 AM
Rob.vanderBorg Rob.vanderBorg is offline
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2011 335I Conv. leak in roof, cant fix

hi guys, im new here. I have a 335i Convertible 2011 I bought in november, Certified pre-owned from a BMW dealer.

Lately it has developed an ever so tiny leak in the roof when its pouring rain and i am driving over about 40mph, I am talking about 1 tiny drip every 2-3 minutes above the driver.

I brought it to dealer for service light on 06/19 dealer called me a few days later it was ready, I said great im 5 minutes away actually. then I get a call back that its not ready, still leaking. I have been told several times parts are on the way, then that germany has to approve the parts, last week I was told it would be here saturday or monday and I should have monday afternoon. Well monday afternoon I get a call the part now isnt scheduled until the 22nd, will be over a month they have had it. I am told part was not in stock anywhere in the world. Dealer said all he can do is email BMW trying to get it faster. They gave me number for for BMW North America. I called, girl on phone heard me out, tried calling dealer 4 times, they didnt answer. then I get a resolution specialist on the phone, asks me what i want. I said I want my car. He said there is nothing he can do, "cant snap his fingers and make the parts appear" said I have to wait for the 22nd, after car is fixed they can offer me some compensation.

anyone have any experience with issues like this? Yes i have a loaner, but it sucks, its not my car, is been 26 days today since they have had it, will be over a month until supposedly the part is here.

Please any advice or experience is greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:35 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Try gummi pfledge on the seals.

It's a rubber dressing that moisturizes and reconditions. It may help soften and expand the rubber and as a result, fix the leak.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:41 AM
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CALWATERBOY DUE CALWATERBOY DUE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob.vanderBorg View Post
hi guys, im new here. I have a 335i Convertible 2011 I bought in november, Certified pre-owned from a BMW dealer.

Lately it has developed an ever so tiny leak in the roof when its pouring rain and i am driving over about 40mph, I am talking about 1 tiny drip every 2-3 minutes above the driver.

I brought it to dealer for service light on 06/19 dealer called me a few days later it was ready, I said great im 5 minutes away actually. then I get a call back that its not ready, still leaking. I have been told several times parts are on the way, then that germany has to approve the parts, last week I was told it would be here saturday or monday and I should have monday afternoon. Well monday afternoon I get a call the part now isnt scheduled until the 22nd, will be over a month they have had it. I am told part was not in stock anywhere in the world. Dealer said all he can do is email BMW trying to get it faster. They gave me number for for BMW North America. I called, girl on phone heard me out, tried calling dealer 4 times, they didnt answer. then I get a resolution specialist on the phone, asks me what i want. I said I want my car. He said there is nothing he can do, "cant snap his fingers and make the parts appear" said I have to wait for the 22nd, after car is fixed they can offer me some compensation.

anyone have any experience with issues like this? Yes i have a loaner, but it sucks, its not my car, is been 26 days today since they have had it, will be over a month until supposedly the part is here.

Please any advice or experience is greatly appreciated!

Yada yada

What part?
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:41 AM
Rob.vanderBorg Rob.vanderBorg is offline
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I dont know what exact part, they told me its a seal that goes around the entire roof
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:20 PM
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CALWATERBOY DUE CALWATERBOY DUE is offline
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I dont know what exact part, they told me its a seal that goes around the entire roof

HERE
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:31 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Originally Posted by Rob.vanderBorg View Post
I dont know what exact part, they told me its a seal that goes around the entire roof
There are multiple seals for the top of the E93: http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...62&hg=54&fg=15

Net-net, if replacing the seal(s) doesn't fix the leak, OP is going to have a choice - live with the leaks (and they will get worse), or sell the car. Top seals are the E93s weak spot. It is a great car when things work, but top seals are the achilles tendon of the car. I have personal experience with top seals of the E93.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:23 PM
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beden1 beden1 is offline
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There are multiple seals for the top of the E93: http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...62&hg=54&fg=15

Net-net, if replacing the seal(s) doesn't fix the leak, OP is going to have a choice - live with the leaks (and they will get worse), or sell the car. Top seals are the E93s weak spot. It is a great car when things work, but top seals are the achilles tendon of the car. I have personal experience with top seals of the E93.
Selling the car seems a tad extreme, wouldn't you say? I'm sure a leak can be fixed, if, you can find someone competent to do so.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:32 PM
Rob.vanderBorg Rob.vanderBorg is offline
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im not asking how to fix, im asking what to do about the dealer having my car a month, still cant fix, and its under warranty
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:46 PM
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Bot much

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob.vanderBorg View Post
im not asking how to fix, im asking what to do about the dealer having my car a month, still cant fix, and its under warranty
Not much you can do as it's not a brand new car and you're not the original owner (no lemon law applies) The dealer has provided you with a loaner car and ordered the part. Looks like they have done all they can do until the replacement part is delivered. It sucks, but it is what it is.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:59 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
Selling the car seems a tad extreme, wouldn't you say? I'm sure a leak can be fixed, if, you can find someone competent to do so.
Not really. If swapping out the seal(s) doesn't do the trick, there is a matter of manufacturing tolerance(s) that can't be sealed.

My ex-E93 went through 4 failed repair attempts (plus >30 days total time in the shop) with the shop foreman trying seal swaps, and top alignments to no avail. The ex-E93 is an ex- due to CA lemon law encouraging BMW NA to repurchase the car.
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:02 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
Not much you can do as it's not a brand new car and you're not the original owner (no lemon law applies) The dealer has provided you with a loaner car and ordered the part. Looks like they have done all they can do until the replacement part is delivered. It sucks, but it is what it is.
+1. If the car had been delivered in CA and OP was a CA resident, depending on the time in service and mileage, they might be able to use CA lemon law for a remedy. But given the circumstances, OP needs to dial down the unhappiness. As you posted, it sucks, but it is what it is.

Ultimately, if seal(s) replacement doesn't solve the leaking, OP has a decision in front of them.
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:26 PM
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+1. If the car had been delivered in CA and OP was a CA resident, depending on the time in service and mileage, they might be able to use CA lemon law for a remedy. But given the circumstances, OP needs to dial down the unhappiness. As you posted, it sucks, but it is what it is.

Ultimately, if seal(s) replacement doesn't solve the leaking, OP has a decision in front of them.
I would take the car to a competent body shop for a remedy. I was thinking about the OP's problem and I think I may have a solution if the replacement seal does not remedy the leak. A body shop can measure where the seal may not be seating properly. Before installing a BMW replacement seal, they could use a double sided padded 3M tape under the new seal to create a tighter fit. I'm not thinking a padded foam tape but something more dense.

The problem that I have with dealer mechanics is that they lack problem solving skills.
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:30 PM
hondo402000 hondo402000 is offline
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well until you get the car back there is really nothing you can do, so what loaner did they give you?

My 335 is a 2007 and I get some drips on the passenger side rear that appears to be coming from the middle seal section but it goes away in the summer, I would guess because the top expands a little and the seals tighten up,

it doesnt drip while driving just when sitting, so if the car sits for a while I put a cloth there just in case

I am afraid if the dealer monkeys with the seal that it will leak worse when they try to repair it.

I did a lot of research and their is some gasket sealing material that goes under the Rubber seals, If you look at the diagrams on Real OEM parts you will see buytle sealing material that comes with each seal, maybe there is a gap in the sealing buytle strip somewhere thats letting water get past the rubber seal
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:21 PM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
I would take the car to a competent body shop for a remedy. I was thinking about the OP's problem and I think I may have a solution if the replacement seal does not remedy the leak. A body shop can measure where the seal may not be seating properly. Before installing a BMW replacement seal, they could use a double sided padded 3M tape under the new seal to create a tighter fit. I'm not thinking a padded foam tape but something more dense.

The problem that I have with dealer mechanics is that they lack problem solving skills.
The only issue with taking it to an independent body shop is they may not have the proper alignment jigs that are necessary. Per my reading on TSBs and long involved discussions with the shop foreman at the dealership I used while in warranty, not every tech is certified to work on top issues; plus the additional equipment needed to do the work makes it very onerous. There is a reason that the Regensburg plant has the "Top Assembly Hall" which is separate from the main assembly floor.

My little chronic leak that only happens when I hit the car with water from a specific angle or in very rare driving rain-storms is I'm sure a result of the seal not being applied dead center. I can make it go away with summertime heat and keeping the seals liberally lubricated and plumped up.

If OP's seal failure is one of the lateral seals that's going to be very hard to "plump up".

Until the dealership gives his car back, he is kind of SOL on this one; as I imagine the reason the dealership isn't giving the car back at this point and rescheduling an appointment is that they have already stripped the old (faulty) seal off the car.
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:42 PM
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The only issue with taking it to an independent body shop is they may not have the proper alignment jigs that are necessary. Per my reading on TSBs and long involved discussions with the shop foreman at the dealership I used while in warranty, not every tech is certified to work on top issues; plus the additional equipment needed to do the work makes it very onerous. There is a reason that the Regensburg plant has the "Top Assembly Hall" which is separate from the main assembly floor.

My little chronic leak that only happens when I hit the car with water from a specific angle or in very rare driving rain-storms is I'm sure a result of the seal not being applied dead center. I can make it go away with summertime heat and keeping the seals liberally lubricated and plumped up.

If OP's seal failure is one of the lateral seals that's going to be very hard to "plump up".

Until the dealership gives his car back, he is kind of SOL on this one; as I imagine the reason the dealership isn't giving the car back at this point and rescheduling an appointment is that they have already stripped the old (faulty) seal off the car.
The seal shrinks in the cold and creats a leakage point? Fortunately I have no leaks, but my car has been in Florida for the past 2+ years. Maybe the heat is keeping mine sealed, or hopefully, my seal is properly aligned?
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:48 PM
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The problem with a dealership is that the technicians that are trained to work on the E93 have to train the others in the shop which leads to about a 10% retention rate. Not a slam against the techs just how life is. BMW has very few skilled mechanics anymore that know tricks to correct things. It was mentioned before but the really experienced BMW craftsmen know how to solve this problem. In CA I have read countless posts by others in other forums that the dealer could not correct the leak. In fact one of my forum friends lemoned his after 4 months and got an M3 E93 which has been flawless while his 335 was a problem.
The craftsmen know how to build up areas where the tolerances stack up and know the materials that work. Might sound strange but BMW uses real rubber seals and they shrink. On an 11 model that can't be the case. It didn't leak when delivered to the dealer new so it has to be something that has happened since then. E36 and 46 softtops all eventually leak and require seal replacement or seal bolstering which can be as simple as silicon of the same color as the seal to push against the top and window frame. Same thing is true with the E93 there are tolerances as Kat mentioned that are being exceeded thus the leak.

Give the techs the chance to repair the car. Your wait is just part of life which everything is one world. I waited 6 weeks for a new AC controller for a Toyota Avalon so it is NOT unique to BMW.
What to do if this doesn't fix the leak?
Take it to another dealership and request to talk to the shop foreman and explain the attempts that the other dealership made. By the way the forum friend of mine was in the San Fran area and had no success finding a BMW dealership that could solve his problem. Not saying your car is the same situation just that I know first hand of others in your area that has an unsolvable problem.

Lubing all the seals helps but can't solve a problem of tolerances that don't provide sufficient tension to keep water from entering.

I hope they can resolve your issue and the fact they think they know what it is and have the part on order is a positive step...

Last edited by fun2drive; 07-15-2014 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:19 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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I would take the car to a competent body shop for a remedy. I was thinking about the OP's problem and I think I may have a solution if the replacement seal does not remedy the leak. A body shop can measure where the seal may not be seating properly. Before installing a BMW replacement seal, they could use a double sided padded 3M tape under the new seal to create a tighter fit. I'm not thinking a padded foam tape but something more dense.

The problem that I have with dealer mechanics is that they lack problem solving skills.
Possible. The repair you describe would be one that I would pursue if after 5 years of ownership, my E93 had started to leak. You are essentially trying to compensate for seal compression that can't be resolved by treating the seals with Wurth/Gummi/etc.

OP is not even at the 2 year point of their ownership experience, so having him incur the expense of taking the car to a body shop and have them try to solve the seal leak seems to be a bit of an imposition. After all, the car is supposed to be under warranty with BMW, and they should know how to seal their cars, right?

I hope the OP is able to achieve a successful outcome with a seal replacement on BMW's dime. The E93 is a great car when things are working right, as I suspect everyone who has participated in this thread would agree.

If notů a decision is in OP's near term future. Maybe two decisions - 1.) Try taking the car to a body shop, and 2.) If no joy, to sell the car and move on.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:36 AM
Rob.vanderBorg Rob.vanderBorg is offline
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just an update, tomorrow is 30 days the dealer has had the car, they are going to buy it back i was told yesterday. Just because a car is used doesn't mean your not protected. in this case my car was a certified pre-owned from BMW, and still under original warranty.

They are going to give me the option of buying either another used or new BMW and putting what I have paid on the other car to that, or cutting me a check for the full amount I have paid including my trade in, and any payments I have made.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:51 AM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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just an update, tomorrow is 30 days the dealer has had the car, they are going to buy it back i was told yesterday. Just because a car is used doesn't mean your not protected. in this case my car was a certified pre-owned from BMW, and still under original warranty.

They are going to give me the option of buying either another used or new BMW and putting what I have paid on the other car to that, or cutting me a check for the full amount I have paid including my trade in, and any payments I have made.
Props to BMW NA for stepping up. The offer you described is almost exactly what was offered in my repurchase transaction.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:22 PM
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Very good support from BMW and the dealership to try and solve his issue. I just find it amazing that a car gets bought back because of a seal. Wouldn't you think that someone would know how to fix something like that?
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:29 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Problem with dealerships is that they NEVER fix anything, they replace parts.

If the replacement parts don't correct the issue, they don't know what to do.

As mentioned above, there are very few techs who can actually diagnosis an issue, figure out a solution, and carry it out properly. If the diagnostic computer doesn't tell them what's wrong, they are clueless.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:30 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Very good support from BMW and the dealership to try and solve his issue. I just find it amazing that a car gets bought back because of a seal. Wouldn't you think that someone would know how to fix something like that?
Speaking from my personal experience with the lemon law repurchase of my ex-E93, the CA lemon law has a presumption of 'lemon-ness' if the defect (and yes, a leak is a defect) can't be repaired after 4 repair attempts or 30 days total time in the shop. BMW NA has a choice of how it wants to perform the repair, if they can't fix the defect in 4 attempts or 30 days total time in the shop, it is time to repurchase the car.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:41 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Problem with dealerships is that they NEVER fix anything, they replace parts.

If the replacement parts don't correct the issue, they don't know what to do.

As mentioned above, there are very few techs who can actually diagnosis an issue, figure out a solution, and carry it out properly. If the diagnostic computer doesn't tell them what's wrong, they are clueless.
That is a choice that BMW NA has made - they don't want to be paying for a tech to try to fix a defect outside of specified repair/replacement actions that BMW NA has 'approved'. The downside is that BMW NA gets to repurchase cars that can't be repaired by their 'approved' bulletins. BMW NA is fine with the present model. Otherwise, they would be sending regional factory techs to repair the cars. When I was going through my lemon experience with the ex-E93 (it had repairs for brake system issues (2) and buffeting in addition to the water leaks), not once did a regional tech get involved.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:58 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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I agree with what your saying but there are certain cases where someone who can actually diagnosis a leak should be brought in to inspect the issue.

For someone under a new car warranty, throwing parts at the issue is not too much of a concern. But for someone outside of warranty, it turns the car into a money pit.

The OP is lucky he is still under the new car warranty. If he wasn't, he would be SOL.
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdriller9 View Post
I agree with what your saying but there are certain cases where someone who can actually diagnosis a leak should be brought in to inspect the issue.

For someone under a new car warranty, throwing parts at the issue is not too much of a concern. But for someone outside of warranty, it turns the car into a money pit.

The OP is lucky he is still under the new car warranty. If he wasn't, he would be SOL.
I don't necessarily think this is a matter of not diagnosing properly, it may be more a matter of sometimes there is only so much that can be done. Again, drawing on memory from our visit to the Regensburg plant (where the cabrios are assembled), the normal tolerance for mating body parts is 1mm. For the cabrio top, that tolerance drops to 0.7mm. That 0.3mm may not sound like much, but for a drop of water, that's the Grand Canyon. One thing I learned from my days in the dental profession is that tenths of millimeters really do make a difference. If something is off, sometimes no matter how gifted and talented you are, you can't right the issue without starting completely from scratch.

It is certainly too bad for the OP that he has had to go through this, but it speaks well of BMWNA that they are trying to make things right as best they can.

With regard to the comment about having this crop up after the car leaves warranty, I think every one of the small handful of threads about leaky tops over the last 5 years has involved a car still in warranty.
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