I don't know for certain, but you should have a friend helping you. One of
you presses the button AND WATCHES WHAT IS HAPPENING, and the other one
helps the roof climb out of its storage bin. It is common on the older
models that the roof needs help getting started on the retract cycle, you
have to give it a push while working the button. It makes sense that you now
need to give it a lift to help it climb out of the storage compartment.
If this doesn't work, you need service on the roof motor. Perhaps all it
needs are a few drops of oil in the right places.
Forcing it is a BAD move.
There is a lever under the rear seat, drivers (left) side, pull this
lever and it disconnects the motors for the convertible drive. You can
then raise it by hand. If it was the fully automatic top (latches at the
top are electronic) - there is a allen-key type wrench in the tool kit.
Look where the center of the top front is - there is a small square
plastic plate. Pry this off - there will be a hole for the allen key
under it. Stick the key into the hole and turn it to latch down the
Then drive it to a mechanic who knows what they're doing. You may have
just cost yourself a new convertible top motor (there are actually about
3 of them) - figure $700 new from BMW, probably $250 used on Ebay.
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