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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About to pull the trigger on a 2011 335i convertible. Seen various posts here and there about leaky tops. Anyone have any idea of how common this is? Don't want to end up with a problem. I commute a 105 miles a day to work. Don't want to drive home in the rain with a leaky roof. Currently have a 2006 330 Ci with ragtop and never once leaked. I thought the hard top should be better. Is that not the case?
 

· Tastes like chicken
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From what I've read on here and other forums, it seems to be an all or nothing prospect--if it leaks when you first get it, it will always leak and they can never seem to fix it. If it doesn't leak when new, it won't leak. The incidence rate is very low, but if it does leak it's a chronic problem. Mine just turned three years old and it doesn't leak at all and I go through high pressure touchless washes all the time.
 

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The car I am looking at (from a private party, second owner) was serviced for a leak in June 2010 and June 2011. Spoke to a nice man in BMW service dept. who disclosed that but said the leak was "fixed". Sounds like maybe it might be a chronic problem....:cry:
 

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I recently traded mine in. It was my third BMW vert and my first hard top. It never leaked until it was damaged after being rear ended. It was repaired correctly so that it sat properly on the car, but the seal wasn't installed fully flush. The leak was pretty bad at first and I brought it in for repair, but they couldn't fully stop it. Water would pour in if it rained more than lightly. I eventually learned how the roof is sealed and fixed up most of the problems. After that, it only leaked if it sat in heavy rain. It never leaked while in motion.

The main issue is not with the front seal or with how the windows sealed on the sides. It was the gasket under the roof that wasn't seated properly. Water would collect in the railings until it got back to the spot that wasn't sealed. I'm pretty certain it could have been 100% fixed if I had tried. I never gave it a lot of effort. Don't expect the dealership to figure out your leak if you have one. Almost none of them have body people capable of figuring it out. If it doesn't throw an error code, you will almost always get the famous "unable to reproduce". :)

That's not to say that 100% of shops couldn't fix a leak, but most of them don't employ body people. They are technicians, not body repair, but unfortunately roofs are not repaired at the body shop. They have specialized tools to align them and it takes specialized training to use them, which is a technician's job in BMW's eyes. The body people are usually in a different location. Occasionally you get lucky, though, and find someone who understands how the seal is supposed to work. Knowing what I now know about the way the roof is sealed, I wouldn't be concerned. However, if you're irritated easily and not mechanically inclined, you could be in for a world of frustration.
 

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About to pull the trigger on a 2011 335i convertible. Seen various posts here and there about leaky tops. Anyone have any idea of how common this is? Don't want to end up with a problem. I commute a 105 miles a day to work. Don't want to drive home in the rain with a leaky roof. Currently have a 2006 330 Ci with ragtop and never once leaked. I thought the hard top should be better. Is that not the case?
The pre-LCI E93s seemed to have more problems with leaks (mine was repurchased as a Lemon for leaks). Around 2009, BMW released a revised set of top seals that seemed to solve many of the leak issues. However, I suspect that even some LCI E93s are leakers. This is probably due to manufacturing tolerances, as there is only so much that can be done if the top is not compressing the seals sufficiently.

Probably the best advice would be for you to run the car through a high pressure (touch-less) car wash and then immediately take it for a spin at 70 mph. If no leaks, then you have a water-tight car. If there are leaks, pass, as the leaking will only get worse.
 

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The car I am looking at (from a private party, second owner) was serviced for a leak in June 2010 and June 2011. Spoke to a nice man in BMW service dept. who disclosed that but said the leak was "fixed". Sounds like maybe it might be a chronic problem....:cry:
Even more reason to be certain the leak was truly fixed. Are there any high pressure touch-less car washes in your area?
 

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Problem is I won't be able to check for leaks unless I buy the car, and then well, I'm SOL.
Sorry to be the "skunk at the party" here. Covertibles have leaked since the invention of the convertible top. Technology has improved enough that some of them don't leak, but many of them still do.

Let us look at your potential car. It has already been repaired for leaks twice, and it has had two previous owners; in only two years. I would say the odds are against you here.

In terms of leak probability, a convertible is probably the highest, and a solid top (no sunroof) sedan is probably the lowest, with everything else somewhere in between the two.

:drive:
 

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Too many red flags for that car. Would have walked sooner but was exactly what I was looking for (minus the leaks of course :p)
So it was brought in for leaks, was claimed to be fixed, and yet there are too many red flags - so what are the other red flags?

And, it you're worried about potential leaks, why can't you go to look at the car, tell them you need to go to a high-pressure car wash to test it for leaks (or even tell them you need to do that before you go to look at it so that they say it is ok), and see if it leaks for yourself?
 
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