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Simon Tyrrell Unveils Common Problems on BMW Convertible Inoperable Rooftop

Technical articles
POSTED 10 July 2023

Simon Tyrrell Unveils Common Problems on BMW Convertible Inoperable Rooftop


The BMW E93 CVM, known for its elegant design and exhilarating open-top driving experience, has garnered admiration among car enthusiasts. Unfortunately, a vexing problem encountered by some owners is the roof's inability to function efficiently. With the warmer months upon us, and the rooftop function in demand, issues are on the rise. Technicians across the UK have the experience of diagnosing and repairing this common issue.


“During the summer months, we see a rise in customer cases whereby the rooftop becomes inoperable.” States Simon Tyrrell , BMW Master Technician for Opus IVS.


The most common cause of this issue is the failure of the retractable hardtop to open or close properly. “Technicians may encounter jammed or partially functioning rooftops, or even those with a complete failure to operate.” Simon furthers.


One of the primary reasons behind an inoperable rooftop is a mechanical fault. Components such as the roof motor, cables, latches, or hinges may suffer wear and tear over time, leading to malfunctioning operation. This can be due to poor maintenance, exposure to harsh weather conditions, or inadequate lubrication.


Simon continues “We supported a customer recently with a BMW E93 with an inoperable rooftop. When the windows were lowered, the front catch would release, however the front of the roof would start to lift away from the front screen causing the operation to stop. The pump could be heard running, but the roof did not fold away.”


This common fault occurs when the plastic lever that acts against the left coupling lock/fastener microswitch has seized. When the roof starts its opening procedure, the windows lower and the front cowl panel motor will release the front catches. At the same time, the pump in the back of the car in brought into operation and the coupling locks are released. However, because the change of state of the left coupling lock/fastener has not changed to “closed no”, the control unit looks at the remaining sensors/switch positions and controls the valves in such a way that the pressure is diverted away from the relevant hydraulic cylinders.


“I advised the technician that when the roof is in the failed state, he needed to connect his DriveProTM device, identify the car and then follow the steps below:”


Select Body >> CTM (Convertible top module) >> Diagnostic requests >> Sensors & Switches >> (Page 2 of 3 pictured below).


Simon informed the technician that they would see the live data for the left and right coupling locks/fasteners. They both needed to read the same – ‘left closed no’ and ‘right closed no’.




The technician was then guided in the removal of the upper part of the rear left door card/1/4 panel trim.  “I explained that this could be done without removing the complete trim and with the roof up." Simon revealed. (Picture diagram below).

    Screenshot 2023-07-10 at 12.24.57

There is a plastic lever that acts against the left coupling lock/fastener microswitch that seizes. The lever can be lubricated at the pivot point. After lubrication it was advised that the technician carry out a functional test on the roof.

Screenshot 2023-07-10 at 12.25.28

IVS 360TM  from Opus IVS, is an invaluable diagnostic support resource uniquely designed to empower technicians to repair vehicles with confidence. Through its dedicated team of OEM-Trained Master Technicians, the Opus IVS team provide brand-specific diagnostic support to technicians and workshop owners all over the world.

Customers can quickly and easily request support from the IVS 360TM team directly from their DriveProTM device. Simon explains; “It really is as simple as pushing a button. Our customers can send a support request directly from their Opus IVS device. We have over 100 Master Technicians that are there to guide garages in their complex vehicle repairs. They are brand-specific technicians, so no matter what complex vehicle our customer is working on, we can support with their diagnosis and repair.”

Discover how we can support your workshop with efficient diagnosis and repair. Get in touch today: