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E36 328i Convertible Top Problems

March 31, 2010

I have a E36 328i convertible which the top does not go all the way down.The convertible boot opens and the top is about to fold but for some reason it stops. Is there a tool, or manual just for the top to trouble shoot the problems and narrow it down? 

It is not uncommon to find bent actuator rods in the convertible top mechanisms, this may be what you are dealing with. There is an emergency manual top actuation procedure, for raising the top. The procedure is outlined in your owner’s manual. You should note that once it is used, the top actuation system must be realigned and reset by a BMW dealer or a shop that knows what to do.   The Bentley repair manual would be of assistance in diagnosing the issue.

Once you have an idea of where the problem lies, we can order the parts that you may need.

Click below for Bentley repair manuals:

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Categories → 3 Series 92-98 - E36

  1. Neil permalink

    The car is a 1999 328I. I have a code that came from a code reading tool called Launch. The top is not working and the LED light on the switch is blinking. This is what happened; I opened the top enough that the back window was straight up. I walked away from the car for a few minutes and when I came back, the back window had dropped down. That’s when the light started to blink, so I paniced and closed the top manualy.

    • Once the emergency manual closure is used, a BMW dealer (or an independent shop who is knowledgeable on this and has the proper tools) must reset the system.

  2. Neil permalink

    Otto thanks for answering me I searched little deeper the new code is (03 impermissible convertible top position) what are the steps to fix this or how to reset the system thanks

  3. Thanks Otto the info to reset the conv. top on my bmw worked perfect thanks again.

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