Convertible top not working message "Top Malfunction"

Tiny
PAUL BEYER
  • MEMBER
  • 2008 CHRYSLER SEBRING
  • 72,000 MILES
Just bought the car listed above Touring Convertible Hard Top. Was told the top will go down but be hard to get back up. Not true. I press the top down button and the windows go down only about 6-8 inches and there is a humming sound from the trunk and then it stops after a minute and I get a "Top Malfunction" note on the dashboard. I can't get the top to budge.
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Thursday, June 6th, 2019 AT 12:56 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Hi Paul,

Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for these systems. I attached the basic warning messages and what they mean. Your message is the last in the list and it may be hard to see but it says to see dealer for service.

These tops have a series of micro switches that go in a series or progression and the control module needs to see each one complete its proper movement before it begins the next movement. In other words, the decklid needs to open prior to releasing the latches, and the latches need to release prior to moving the roof and so on. Basically, you don't want to just operate everything at once or just assume everything is working because if one component does not work then you will bind the top or worse yet, open the top onto the decklid and damage something.

The only way this can be figured out is to hook a scan tool to the vehicle and monitor each switch to find out which one is not functioning and then repair or adjust as needed.

These things are well known for being opened and someone still have golf clubs or obstructions in the trunk and the top collapses onto it and it bends the Z hinges and then nothing functions right.

Let me know if you have scan tool that can read the Power Top Control Module and I will send you the progression and we may be able to figure this out.
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Friday, June 7th, 2019 AT 8:26 PM
Tiny
PAUL BEYER
  • MEMBER
Wow. Great response. Made a lot of sense. Thanks for the general description. The person who sold me the car said he was told that the top motor needs replacing. Be that as it may, I wanted to share the fact that when I push the "Top Down" icon on the switch, all that happens is one ping and the "top malfunction" message appears. With the top up and I push the "Top Up" icon to raise an already secured top, the four windows go down simultaneously for about six inches then jointly stop and all that is left is a humming from the trunk for about a minute or when I stop holding the switch down. I have to manually close the windows.
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Saturday, June 8th, 2019 AT 4:56 AM
Tiny
PAUL BEYER
  • MEMBER
Turns out that I have received more accurate and precise information from you compared to all my other attempts for help. I'm hoping we can work together to fix this. I'm an amputated Vietnam Veteran and I bought this car in the hopes that I can enjoy the day with the top down. Seems the older I get, the more I appreciate stuff like this. I mean, c'mon, you've got to have a convertible in Hawaii! I knew going in that the top didn't work right but I got a really great deal from a Marine who is deploying. Your help is appreciated for sure.
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Saturday, June 8th, 2019 AT 5:02 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
That is good information. Without seeing what the switches are doing with the scan tool, everything you described sounds like a pump issue. Add in the fact that was want the previous owner had it diagnosed as, I would agree. Obviously this is a bit of a guess still because we haven't confirmed it but the humming noise is the pump. The windows dropping together is normal because if the window do not drop then the top moving could make contact with them and they will break.

Here is the process on how to replace the pump and check the fluid level:

Let me know what you think and we can go from there. Thank you for your service as well. Because of people like you, we are free to talk about cars on the internet!
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Saturday, June 8th, 2019 AT 8:03 AM
Tiny
PAUL BEYER
  • MEMBER
Man, I hope they pay you alot, you're great Kase! The previous owner stated that the top motor located inside the cowling at the top of the assembly. Doesn't look like it's got a hydraulic function? He said it needed to be replaced. I'm hoping when I address the issue today, a solution might be found in the instructions you advised. Thanks for the diagrams. Really helpful. If the fluid is low doesn't that imply there's a leak?
Also, I'm pushing the "top up" button to get any action (the windows go down 6 inches and stops). Does it matter? And where can I get the proper fluid? Will brake fluid work? Thanks again Kase.
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Saturday, June 8th, 2019 AT 9:26 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
That actually makes sense. The windows dropping when the top is going down, I believe is one of the last steps so if it doesn't get past the first step, it will not get to the point of dropping the window. However, when raising the top, it is one of the first steps.

Yes if the fluid is low, it would have a leak because this is a sealed system. However, I included that level check for the new pump. I am not sure if the new pump will require you to add fluid. If so, you want to use the proper fluid. You can not use brake fluid. The proper fluid is ARAL VITAMOL ZH-M.

I included a picture of the fluid and Mopar part number. However you can use another brand but most are about the same price. I would suggest performing the repair and then checking the level before buying it. It is pretty costly and completely useless if you don't need it for this purpose. Its not like you can change your lawn mower engine and use it up if you have it left over. So again, just see if you need it and then source it. Most any parts store will have an equivalent.

I hope this is your issue and you can enjoy your car. Please let me know how you make out.
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Saturday, June 8th, 2019 AT 10:02 AM
Tiny
PAUL BEYER
  • MEMBER
Will do. Thanks again. Will do. Wow! That's pricey!
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Saturday, June 8th, 2019 AT 10:59 AM
Tiny
PAUL BEYER
  • MEMBER
  • 2008 CHRYSLER SEBRING
  • 72,000 MILES
I got an answer and am just trying to continue the thread.
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Saturday, June 8th, 2019 AT 4:24 PM (Merged)

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