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Max, VW Shop Foreman
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 190
Experience:  VW certified lead technician, ASE certified Master Technician, 10 years experience
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2004 VW Beetle: convertible..there any way to close the top manually

Resolved Question:

I have a 2004 VW Beetle convertible. The top is down and won't come up. Is there any way to close the top manually? What is the likely source of the problem that's stopping the top from closing? The panal just f;ashes the picture of the top closing but there's no movement or any sound at all from the top.
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Max replied 10 years ago.

Good eveningCustomer

Sorry to read about the top operation concern. The top can be closed manually. What you need to do is open the trunk. There is a access hole located on the left rear of the trunk. This hole should be covered by a round plastic piece about 4 inches in diameter. Remove the cover. Behind this you should be able to see the hydraulic pump assembly. This pump supplies pressurized fluid to two hydraulic rams to operate the top. On the pump there is a small toggle bolt (looks like a T). Turn this toggle bolt to release pressure from the hydraulic system. It should now be possible to close the top.

If the top is locked into the down position by the locking latches, attempt to open the top to get these locks to release.

The most likely source of the top not closing properly is a microswitch. There are 4 to 6 microswitches installed at various positions in the convertible top and latching assemblies. You will need to take the vehicle to either the dealer or a very good independant shop that has the scan tools and know how necessary to check the binary inputs from the switches and know how to "read" these inputs. Your vehicle may very well be covered by the 4 year/50000mile new vehicle warranty (depends on the sale date).

The panel is flashing to let you know that the top is not fully opened or closed.

I hope that this information helps you get the top fixed and operating properly. Max

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I looked in the trunk and canot see any round plastic disk 4" in diameter. What I see is a black metal box in the rear left corner mounted on the roof of the trunk. Is the access hole located within this metal box?
Expert:  Max replied 10 years ago.

The black metal box should be the amplifier for the Monsoon radio. There should be an access cover in the left luggage compartment trim. Lean in and look down and towards the rear of the vehicle. There should also be a ventilation grid along the lower edge of the left trim. Both of these components can be removed. I was accessed the VW repair info for your vehicle and the component schematic for the left luggage compartment trim shows both of these covers. I will look again to make sure that this is correct. Max

Expert:  Max replied 10 years ago.
Double checked the repair info and as it says "Behind a rubber cover of left trim in luggage compartment, a toggle handle is installed on the hydraulic unit". Anytime I have a top that does not stay in position while working on it I check this toggle to ensure that it is closed fully. Max
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Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Please look again and confirm your advice.
Expert:  Max replied 10 years ago.
Do you have a ventilation grid on the left trim towards the rear? If so pop it out and check to see what is behind it. I have gone through the repair schematics for 2003 to 2005 and they all show an access port (wouldn't be the first time they are wrong) but I know that I have removed either the grid or the round cover to gain access to the toggle handle. I am not trying to make you run back and forth looking for this part. Sorry, Max.