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      04-10-2013, 07:45 AM   #1
mac-z4
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Problem History - Retractable Hardtop

Great forum. Thank you for all the excellent information. BMWZ4Riders thread on extended warranty brings to the forefront my continuous concern over the maintenance of the Z once the 4yr maintenance/warranty program expires. Specifically, I have concerns over the long range operation of the retractable hardtop mechanism due to its complexity. Ive not seen any issues reported on the forum regarding this subject. Does anyone have insight into the problem history of the E89 retractable hardtop? How concerned should I be about the longevity and durability of the roof mechanism? I have nightmares that somewhere down the road the top will fail halfway up or down at the most inopportune time; e.g. Just before a major rain storm or at a traffic light where Im known to activate the top when Im miles from home. Ive even thought of carrying a small tarp as a temporary remedy in the event of a problem. Appreciate your feedback.
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      04-10-2013, 08:17 AM   #2
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The car is simply not old enough to gauge any long term problems. I've read about issues with failed microswitches and one where a hydraulic line burst. That's it though. I'm afraid you'll have to find out, like the rest of us, whether this roof system is robust in the longer term.
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      04-10-2013, 11:14 AM   #3
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When the 4 year clock ran out on my '06, I bought the aftermarket / extended warranty at the dealer. Obviously, it was a softtop then, but over the following few years, I definitely found the warranty to be worthwhile. I think it cost a couple grand, but 1 or 2 failed parts and you can easily rack up that much in repairs.

I'd say, if you plan on keeping it around for several years after the factory warranty expires, pick up an extended one.
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      04-10-2013, 01:40 PM   #4
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Before I purchased my 2009 Z, I send it to a BMW dealer for inspection. I asked, among other info, about the top and its motors. They stated that there have been no "Regular/repeatable" top issues to date. The dealer also stated that the long term jury is still out on the robust nature of this system.
Wtih the E89 having so many major complex systems, component longevity untested and absolute guaranteed high repair cost, the extended warranty was my personal solution. I looked at the cost of the DCT-$14K, 4 motors for the top- Probably $500 each, Twin turbos-$1K, cooling system $$$???, electronic suspension $$$???, electronic parking brake system and on and on.
The $2,640/3 year NMW GOLD insurance policy will be well worth the price of admission for peace of mind even if there are no claims.
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      04-10-2013, 01:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWZ4RIDER View Post
Before I purchased my 2009 Z, I send it to a BMW dealer for inspection. I asked, among other info, about the top and its motors. They stated that there have been no "Regular/repeatable" top issues to date. The dealer also stated that the long term jury is still out on the robust nature of this system.
Wtih the E89 having so many major complex systems, component longevity untested and absolute guaranteed high repair cost, the extended warranty was my personal solution. I looked at the cost of the DCT-$14K, 4 motors for the top- Probably $500 each, Twin turbos-$1K, cooling system $$$???, electronic suspension $$$???, electronic parking brake system and on and on.
The $2,640/3 year NMW GOLD insurance policy will be well worth the price of admission for peace of mind even if there are no claims.
Absolutely
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      04-10-2013, 02:03 PM   #6
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If you are concerned enough about the top that you would carry a tarp, you should get an extended warranty or plan not to keep the car after the warranty period...

A key factor with any insurance purchase is risk tolerance, and seems like you would rather lean on the "over insured" side.

FWIW, I agree with you, and I took the most comprehensive mechanical breakdown insurance possible by leasing for 36 months with no intention whatsoever of keeping the car after the contract is up....
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      04-10-2013, 03:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknaz View Post
FWIW, I agree with you, and I took the most comprehensive mechanical breakdown insurance possible by leasing for 36 months with no intention whatsoever of keeping the car after the contract is up....
lol well played sir
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      04-10-2013, 05:07 PM   #8
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lol well played sir
The best part of leasing is being able to think "It's a rental, don't be gentle" without fear of the maintenance and repair cost
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      04-10-2013, 11:48 PM   #9
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there was a huge difference between the top in the E85 vs the E89. I suspect while there could eb isolated issues with it that the major bugs have been ironed out. The major issues with the E85 was that the pump was in the same location where the water would drain (or not drain if you will) causing it to rust, corrode and eventually fail.
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      04-11-2013, 05:35 AM   #10
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My 2011 model has been back to the dealer twice already with the roof failing... Once on a sunny day where it wouldn't go back up - drove it straight back to them and they had it for 2 days to sort. Second time was in the evening.. 10pm, roof was down and got stuck half way - wouldn't retract or go back up.. Clouds came in and was starting to rain so I had to clear my garage at 11pm! It went away on the back of a lorry the next morning and was away for 3 days... Report back was that they found a corroded connection in the roof harness. My thinking is that if you use a pressure washer anywhere near the roof seals there is a risk of water ingress... A year down the line it's been ok. Needless to say anything as complex as the Zed's roof is a risk.. I'll be out of it before the warranty runs out in any case.
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      04-11-2013, 11:59 AM   #11
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Making my extended warranty purchase even more self satisfying.
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      04-15-2013, 12:46 AM   #12
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I plan to keep the car for awhile. Definitely purchasing the extended warranty.
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      05-12-2013, 09:28 PM   #13
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Just thought I would revisit this topic as summer approaches. Maybe I'm a bit naive or optimistic, but I'm relatively comfortable regarding the reliability of the E89's retractable hardtop. With well over 50,000 units produced (many of them on the road for 4+ years) and considering the following of this forum, the fact that there was only one member reporting a problem with the operation of this fairly complex mechanism, I'd say that's pretty darn good. So I'm going to drop the top as I please and enjoy the sun.
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      05-13-2013, 08:02 AM   #14
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I too am in drop top and drive fast mode as much as I want for the summer season, (with the extended warranty in hand.)
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      05-13-2013, 08:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac-z4 View Post
Just thought I would revisit this topic as summer approaches. Maybe I'm a bit naive or optimistic, but I'm relatively comfortable regarding the reliability of the E89's retractable hardtop. With well over 50,000 units produced (many of them on the road for 4+ years) and considering the following of this forum, the fact that there was only one member reporting a problem with the operation of this fairly complex mechanism, I'd say that's pretty darn good. So I'm going to drop the top as I please and enjoy the sun.
I agree.
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      05-13-2013, 02:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac-z4 View Post
Just thought I would revisit this topic as summer approaches. Maybe I'm a bit naive or optimistic, but I'm relatively comfortable regarding the reliability of the E89's retractable hardtop. With well over 50,000 units produced (many of them on the road for 4+ years) and considering the following of this forum, the fact that there was only one member reporting a problem with the operation of this fairly complex mechanism, I'd say that's pretty darn good. So I'm going to drop the top as I please and enjoy the sun.
I don't wanna jinx myself, the roof and its mechanism seem solidly-built. I always take care of my car and its roof, never over-revving the car, and driving very slowly or standing still when operating the roof and almost always using the roof only when the car's started to save draining the battery.

*For me*, the extended warr costs too much for what it provides in the limited time of coverage. I'm already out of the original warr but so far so good. *knock on wood*
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      05-18-2013, 04:26 AM   #17
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My collagues car has had a roof unlock warning intermittent the last few weeks. Has just been in to BM with the problem. They did an oil change (at 6k!)and she parted with 240, but they haven't solved the roof problem.
So is this recorded as a fault on the diagnostic check?
Looking at the documents thats available, it looks like theres two roof closed switches on the glass rear section. Thats where i would look first.
But interestingly there is shown two emergency actuation valves. Be interesting to know how they operate.
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      05-21-2013, 12:29 PM   #18
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I too would be interested in any information regarding the two emergency actuation valves.
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      05-21-2013, 01:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
never over-revving the car,
avoiding the "money shift" is always a great idea.
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      05-21-2013, 03:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknaz View Post
avoiding the "money shift" is always a great idea.
too funny.
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      05-21-2013, 06:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z4z4z4 View Post
too funny.
Easy to laugh about it now that I have the DCT computer overlord preventing such a thing but my wife actually "mis shifted" 3rd into 2nd when learning how to drive manual in our old E90. Good thing it was at 50mph or it would have been "money shifted"
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      04-07-2015, 06:25 PM   #22
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Z4 3.5i Hardtop Failure...again

I have a 2012 Z4 3.5i sDrive and in the 30 months of ownership I have had 16 months with no issues. The dealership has replaced hydraulics, master switches, micro switches and micro sensors. A micro sensor appeared to resolve the problem, at least for 14 months, but on 4.3.15 the roof quit working again. I've reached out to BMW of North America and they are researching the issue...just curious if anyone else is experiencing this issue. My experience with the failure is as follows: initiate the process to put the roof into the trunk (either by the console button or by the key fob), the back glass section raises up and quits about 2/3rds of the way up and slowly descends down onto the roof section. The green light on the console that indicates the operation is executing changes to a red flashing light and the chiming starts (indicating a failure). If I turn car off and wait a few seconds I can hear the system "reset" at which time I can manually push the back glass back into position and once I start the car, the back glass section locks down and I can drive the car again, but not with the roof down. The first time this happened, it took my local dealership and BMW technicians 6 mos to figure out, now 14 mos later the problem has resurfaced. If anyone has any insight into this issue, please let me know as I would be most interested in a permanent solution.
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