Question about 2001 BMW Z3

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Z3 Convertible top - seems to be a common problem

Convertible top sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. Apparently, this is a common problem. Wondering if I made a mistake buying this car !!!

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  • xstemboatr Sep 02, 2009

    Well, hard to say because it's not working at all !! When it worked, it worked both ways. It's very unpredictable. Some trys it will work both ways. Other times, it doesn't work at all. The mechanic said the windows had to be all the way down (not true). We purchased the car through CarMax and the mechanics have no "specialties". They are planning on taking it to a BMW dealership tomorrow.

  • BavOtto May 11, 2010

    Does the top work intermittently for both opening and closing, or just one or the other?

  • BavOtto May 11, 2010

    Does the top work intermittently on both open and close, or just one or the other?

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  • 21 Answers

In general, without any testing or diagnosis, you could be dealing with any of the following:

* Open relay - Located at the pump unit
* Close relay - Located at the pump unit
* End position micro-switch
* The operating switch itself
* An issue with the pump unit, but I doubt this, due to the intermittent nature. However, do check the hydraulic fluid level.

The windows do not have to be down for the system to run.

The brake pedal must be pressed while operating the switch. There is a switch at the pedal that signals the convertible top system, but if your brake lights are functioning, the brake switch will not be at fault.

The system is pretty simple and some quick electrical tests should locate the faulty item.

The Bentley repair manual for the Z3 has all of the electrical wiring diagrams, for use in the diagnostics. You can purchase this at Bavarian Autosport 800-535-2002.

Posted on Sep 03, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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