Question about 2004 BMW 3 Series

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BMW X 3 Panoramic sun roof initialization.

L own a 2005 BMW X 3 2.0d fitted with a PANORAMIC SUN ROOF. May anyone assist me with the step by step intructions on how to intialize the opening and closing of the sunroof. I have had my X3 for over 3 years, it was registered in Dec 2004. We have used the sunroof fairly frequently in this time and had no problems. I recently went to close the sunroof and the back panel did not close fully on the passenger side. I took it into my local BMW dealer expecting them to diagnose some electrical fault or new motor required. They have now informed me that the whole unit needs changing, the unit price for a panoramic sun-roof is approx GBP 2800! I am in shock! Unfortunately we did not take out extended warrantly cover.
Considering that the car is approximately 4years and 5months old I really feel that this kind of fault should not be presenting in a car of this age and mileage (approx 55K).
I would like to seek advice from anyone who has suffered from a major fault with their BMW and course of action taken to resolve it.
Has anyone been through a complaints procedure with BMW for a car of this age?
Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

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  • X3_troubles May 14, 2009

    I have been advised by my local BMW dealer that the sunroof is jammed and cannot be fixed. They don't want to force the screen back in place in case it causes any further damage, and they don't want to take the sunroof apart in case they can't put it back together! So basically I've been advised that the whole unit needs to be replaced and it is a huge expense.

  • X3_troubles Jun 30, 2009

    ooh pictures...that would be great in case it happens again!

    I have a brand new sun-roof now courtesy of BMW, better than the last one as better model and appears to open wider - unless the original was never opening fully in the first place, just can't be too sure!!!

  • lizzrd44 May 11, 2010

    Exactly! I had the same problem. They told me that it would be $5100 to
    fix. They told me just to shut the window and disable it, it would be
    $476. I took it to a mechanic and they got the window to retract for
    $85. I am pretty mad at the dealership. I have the same age car as you. The mechanic disabled the back panel.

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I just had the same problem... the rear glass has 2 suports, which you will need to insert a long screw driver in it and force them back manually... It's a pain, but I can get you all the pictures to this procedure...

Posted on Jun 30, 2009

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To initialize - hold the switch in teh tilt position for a while - it will open and close - do not release switch unitil ALL movement is complete. If unit is fault, initilaization will not help.

Posted on May 13, 2009

  • Secc17 May 15, 2009

    Thats wierd, there are many repair kits avail for the panoramic roof. They just dont want to risk it not working. Try another dealer. If you really want help with payment contact bmw customer relations and they will help you though this. If you are only 5 months out of warrany - you MAY be eligable for help.

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Very common problem.

Posted on Feb 25, 2010

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I don't have asolution to this problem...however i'm looking to purchase a 2004 X5 with pano roof, is this a common problem with these roofs???

Posted on Feb 09, 2010

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Jun 15, 2009 | 2005 BMW X5

4 Answers

BMW X 3 Panoramic sun roof initialization.


hello X3 driver, you can initialize the sunroof by pushing straight up on the button, (the same position that is use for vent). You will need to hold the button for atleast 30 seconds. The cassette should go to vent position, then to close, then to fully open, then back to close. Once the fully closed position has been reached, release the button. that's all there is too it. Glad to see BMW is taking care of it's customers.

Apr 09, 2009 | 2004 BMW 3 Series

3 Answers

BMW X 3 Panoramic sun roof initialization.


title says X5, but description says X3. i'll explain for an X5, but X3 with the pano should be the same. and i'll explain function of the roof, not reprogramming.

button is located on the panel at the top near the front & center windshield. its the switch on the far left on this panel. its a switch that not only toggles, but also slides forward & back.

with your finger in front of the button, slide it back & release. this will make the cover slide back and store revealing the sun roof. you know have 2 options (tilt the sunroof up or open the roof completely).

to tilt it up, press up on the rear of the button and release. the rear of both roofs will pop up. to close, push up and release the front of the button or slide the switch forward.

to slide it open completely, repeat what you did to open the protective cover (slide the switch from front to back). the roof will open completely and stow out of the way. to close, slide the switch forward and release. pano roof will now close.

to close the cover, slide the switch forward again.

neat trick: if you want to tilt the sunroof open without opening the protective cover, press up on the rear of the button (when the cover is closed) and release. the cover will separate in the middle exposing about a 2-3 inch mesh, then tilts the sunroof open. to close, push the button forward again.

also, if you are above a certain speed (can't remember what it is off hand) with the sunroof open or tilted, it will close automatically, then perform the neat trick on its own to keep air coming in.

one last trick: if you want to open the windows and sunroof from outside, press & hold the unlock button (forward button on the key) and you will see the windows go down, then the roof will open to vent. releasing the button will stop the motion of the windows & roof.

hope this answered what you were asking.

Jan 27, 2009 | 2005 BMW X5

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Ha, i just replaced one of these today. Yes they are serviceable but a pita. There is also a fix for the rear glass not closing. The rear tilt mechanisms need to be replaced bmw part number 54 13 7 240 682.

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