E46 Convertible top goes 'half way' now ?!?

I have an '01 325CiC with the power convertible top that developed a new problem last week. I checked thru the newsgroup, and haven't seen mention
of this before. It's a longshot, but I thought I'd post it here to see if anyone has seen this before...
One hot day, I got into my car and pushed the top 'down' button. The car behaved normally to a point - the windows dropped a couple inches, the front latches disengaged, the rear of the top lifted to allow the storage cover to rise. Once the storage cover was open, the back of the top lowered like it was getting ready to fold into the storage compartment. But then nothing happened, the motor strained for about 10-15 seconds, and there was a 'pop' and then it stopped. When I take out the key in this 'half way' condition, I hear a clicking sound (like a solenoid) in the rear driver side (sounds like in the storage compartment)
I can get the top to go back up, but someone has to hold the top 'up' button, and I have to grab the top and push/lift the back to get the power mechanism to engage and it then finishes raising and latching the top.
This is completely repeatable - have done it a few times to open the storage compartment and look for clues...
A couple other facts (that may be red herrings) - on the day this happened, the inside console door lock/unlock button stopped working too. The power door locks continue to work fine with the key buttons though, as well as the door handles (manual). - it was a hot and sunny day (90s), but no where near record heat - I had a problem a couple months back with a mouse eating a few wires, but that was fixed and has been fine since then
Anyone have any clues? I have a clueless dealer in this town, so I think I'm on my own...
Thanks for any help!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
it may be a weak or dying motor or something is binding or stuck I would start by removing panels around the convertible top so you can see the moving components that are hidden. Also make sure you are getting a full 12 volts to motor. I would say that is a good start.
Good luck! Chazg32
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the suggestions!! When you say 'panels', are you talking about the cloth top panels, or something else. Maybe it's the inside seat panels, I'm not sure where the motor is. I'll start poking around!

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've narrowed it down, I got some time to check things out and found in the driver side mechanism, there's a bit of oil on the bottom of the mechanism for the convertible roof, but I can't see where it came from
But I suspect a cylinder in the roof. When I lower the roof, the motor strains at the part when the roof folds up to get in it's compartment. If I just help it a little bit by pushing up at the front of the roof to start the folding, the motor does the rest.
I'll keep poking around to find out what, in the front of the roof, is binding up or causing resistance...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well, I think I finally have a clue - I found a local mechanic who specializes in German cars. There is a hydraulic fluid level in the convertible top motor/pump, and mine was a little low. The top also works better in colder temperatures - hinting at low fluid/pressure issues too
Evidentially, the pump is in the trunk behind some panels, I didn't ask specifically where though... I hope this doesn't need replacement, they tell me it's expensive!

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.