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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > ANOTHER exploding sunroof...



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      06-16-2007, 09:35 PM   #45
Fredric
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I remember a demo in high school physics class of what can happen if tempered glass is not cooled properly and there are uneven internal stresses in it. The instructor scratched the surface, and the glass shattered. It may be that a batch of such glass was sent to BMW, or even that the mfg does not have proper quality control, so that it is an ongoing problem (like the infamous Siemens fuel pumps). Just my .02c
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      06-16-2007, 09:41 PM   #46
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that's it. the fuel pump did that s***
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      06-16-2007, 09:47 PM   #47
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that's it. the fuel pump did that s***
hahahahahahahha

sorry about that. I just found that really funny. I really hope it works out though. I can nearly "feel" your frustration.
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      06-16-2007, 10:27 PM   #48
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yes your ears feel a pressure change but it's very small, a couple psi at most. 10psi vacuum over the upper surface of the car at highway speeds would be bad bad bad.
My estimate was 10 psf, not psi. 10 psf = 10 / 144 psi. Your eardrums can rupture at 5 to 10 psi sudden changes, so "a couple psi" is quite a bit.
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Last edited by bimmerFUD; 06-16-2007 at 10:32 PM. Reason: added "sudden changes" to be clearer
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      06-17-2007, 07:38 AM   #49
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The reason the sunroof shatters to pieces unlike a windshield that doesn't, is the windshield has safety glass with a thin clear film sandwiched between the outer and inner panels of tempered glass, which holds the glass in place when it shatters.

What I find perplexing is that none of the sunroofs have shattered when they are in the open position and the glass is inside the roof panel. If the glass panels are under stress from improper heat treating, then why haven't any of them exploded while in the open position? Considering the interior is vented, heat inside the cabin would not pressurize the cabin to the point where it would break the glass.

I do agree that they should not be breaking so easily, even if a rock hits them.
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      06-17-2007, 07:55 AM   #50
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WOW, too bad about your car.
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      06-17-2007, 08:37 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerFUD View Post
I feel for you. Yep, "trying another dealer" isn't always a reasonable option. My next closest dealer is 5 hours away.

It will blow out. At 65mph, the outward pressure is about 10 pounds per square foot. My bimmer hasn't been redelivered yet, so I don't know the sunroof dimensions. But say it's 3' by 2', that gives 60 pounds of force on it. Not much, so either the glass is defective, or maybe it was mounted incorrectly such that it was under a lot of stress.
For a sunroof to blow out due to cabin pressure....., that must of have been one hell of a fart.
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      06-17-2007, 09:28 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
Considering the interior is vented, heat inside the cabin would not pressurize the cabin to the point where it would break the glass.
Quote:
For a sunroof to blow out due to cabin pressure....., that must of have been one hell of a fart.


It's not so much the increased cabin pressure from heat, a/c, concussion farts, etc., but more that the air increases speed as it moves over the car. Higher speed air has lower (static) pressure. So it's the decrease in pressure over the sunroof. Very roughly, airplane wings use this same effect to create lift.

In any car, it's the same reason when you close all your windows when driving at highway speeds, your eardrums feel the pressure increase. At least mine do

Is the pressure difference enough to shatter a crappy sunroof? Maybe. But whatever does shatter the sunroof, it's not a surprise to me that it blows out.
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      06-17-2007, 09:37 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flipmde786 View Post
Whatever the case, the sunroof should not randomly shatter like that. These cars (as well as others) are supposedly tested in the most extreme conditions to ensure things like this don't happen in our lives. Apparently someone isn't doing their job right. An exploding sunroof is ridiculous and should never happen, whatever the case (unless a huge rock hits it).

The weather conditions we experience are all "normal," and the car is supposed to be wind tested to high speeds so our driving speeds (and any impending pressure changes) are "normal" too. There is no excuse for exploding sunroofs.
+1

It really should not matter unless a fairly large sized rock hits the sunroof. If the glass is of an appropriate thickeness and properly tempered, it should not shatter. Quite frankly, even if a rock did it it, it is still most likely defective glass.

And, if the glass wasn't manufactured defectively, then there is something wrong with the design. It is foreseeable that small rocks will occasionally strike the sunroof, and the sunroof should be designed to withstand those small impacts without shattering.

Any way you slice it, the sunroof is most likely defective. This issue should be properly reported to BMW and addressed before someone gets hurt.
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      06-17-2007, 09:39 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lrscpa View Post
likwidplastik:

This couldn't hurt:

Call, or better yet visit the service manager at the dealership. Tell him that when you get the survey, you cannot in all good conscience give him "all fives", and see how he reacts.

If he doesn't try to make good, then you can always make a stink w/BMWNA. It may not get you anything, but it just might make you feel better.
Actually, instead of calling, you should write a letter. This is a serious enough issue that it deserves to be properly documented.
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      06-17-2007, 11:59 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
What I find perplexing is that none of the sunroofs have shattered when they are in the open position and the glass is inside the roof panel.
This could simply be because sunroofs tend to spend most of their lives in the closed position, especially at highways speeds (which seems to be the most common situation under which shattering has occurred).

-Dan
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      06-17-2007, 03:46 PM   #56
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Damn...it makes me want to drive with the sunshade closed. I can kind of understand the fuelpump thing, but exploding sunroofs?
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      06-18-2007, 01:26 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poiney View Post
BTW, how confident are the people with shattering sunroofs that it isn't mechanical damage from foreign object, such as a rock, etc. I don't know whether or not the rock has to land inside the car and do the damage if these occurred while driving.
In my case, pretty damn confident that nothing hit my sunroof. If something did, it would have had to flown off a car somewhere in front of me, and it woudl have had to be sizeable, or very hard and pointed, I saw nothing flying toward the car.

Not that most of the cars are fairly recent build. Mine had a hair over 1000 miles. That, to me, indicates a defect is pretty likely.

These are some pretty freaky coincidences if that's all they are.

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      06-18-2007, 01:30 AM   #58
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likwidplastik,

As one of the others that this has happened to, I ask you to please write a letter to BMWNA, and file a complaint with the NHTSA (nhtsa.gov). Even if this is all a big coincidence, there really needs to be a record of it.

Richard
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      06-18-2007, 07:17 AM   #59
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Quote:
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likwidplastik,

As one of the others that this has happened to, I ask you to please write a letter to BMWNA, and file a complaint with the NHTSA (nhtsa.gov). Even if this is all a big coincidence, there really needs to be a record of it.

Richard
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      06-18-2007, 07:29 AM   #60
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Trading in a car because of a dealership that treats their customers like ass? That's just silly.
No it's not - not at all. The OP also called the drooling morons at BMW NA and they were, as usual, no help. Personally, if the OP really does ditch the car and get another brand I applaud his statement.

This is a worn and debatable topic I know, but until BMW and other manufacturers realize that the dealership is a direct extension of their corporation they are riding the road to failure. It is the dealership with whom we must do business, not BMW NA or BMW AG. Who cares about the corporation or the state of the art factories, or the marketing machine if you can't get legitimately warranted satisfaction at your dealer?

I'm fortunate to have a good dealership, but if I didn't, I would do the same thing if I had those problems. Brand loyalty only works for me if the brand is equally loyal to me. BMW is currently riding high on a wave of popularity and fashion. It's easy for a struggling company to provide excellent customer service - that's a survival issue... when they stop doing it when times are good, that is telling about the organization.
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      06-18-2007, 09:08 AM   #61
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I have to say, if I had a choice between a crappy dealership and no dealership at all, I would not have bought a BMW. Thankfully, around here, there are several to choose from, and Passport BMW (where I and several DC-area e90post-ers bought) is excellent.

Hey, maybe that plug will get me a better loaner for my first scheduled service, which is coming up.
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      06-18-2007, 09:21 AM   #62
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Well put LEDZEP!
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      06-18-2007, 09:30 AM   #63
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Well put LEDZEP!
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      06-18-2007, 12:05 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEDZEP View Post
No it's not - not at all. The OP also called the drooling morons at BMW NA and they were, as usual, no help. Personally, if the OP really does ditch the car and get another brand I applaud his statement.

This is a worn and debatable topic I know, but until BMW and other manufacturers realize that the dealership is a direct extension of their corporation they are riding the road to failure. It is the dealership with whom we must do business, not BMW NA or BMW AG. Who cares about the corporation or the state of the art factories, or the marketing machine if you can't get legitimately warranted satisfaction at your dealer?

I'm fortunate to have a good dealership, but if I didn't, I would do the same thing if I had those problems. Brand loyalty only works for me if the brand is equally loyal to me. BMW is currently riding high on a wave of popularity and fashion. It's easy for a struggling company to provide excellent customer service - that's a survival issue... when they stop doing it when times are good, that is telling about the organization.
Well, in your opinion it's "worth it". I understand where you are coming from, in fact I agree with your reasoning... Brand loyalty is a significant factor to me as well in all aspects of business, whether it be with cars, electronics, whatever. At this point in my life, I would financially refuse to accept trading in a $50,000 vehicle based on a *rare* and secluded series of events. Most BMW owners are treated by their dealerships and BMW NA in a 100% professional fashion - am I wrong? If this was a common thing, I would be concerned.

I'm not trying to argue here. For example, how BMW said it was covered under "good will" and not under "warranty", I could see how that would rustle your feathers. Maybe it does, maybe it doesnt. Fact of the matter is that they covered it. Will how the sentence was worded change the fact that BMW was generous enough to do the work? I agree, sighing and making it sound like they are going totally out of their way is quite ridiculous. Maybe he was having a bad day.

All in all, I would have found a new dealer + SA instead of taking out my anger by removing the automobile from my life, along with a nice $8-10,000 loss in the pocket... Just doesn't make sense to me!


I hope things work out for you likwid. I saw your response to my earlier comment and it's good to hear that you may have another dealer close by that is ran by professionals.



Quote:
Originally Posted by likwidplastik View Post
I know it may sound silly, but I really don't want to have to deal with that dealership for the next 4 years.
I agree, I wouldn't want to either, that's why I'd find another dealer If the other dealer sucks, I would definitely consider ditching the car. The one hour drive is worth professional, friendly service. For your sake, I hope that's what they give you!




Quote:
Originally Posted by LEDZEP View Post
The OP also called the drooling morons at BMW NA and they were, as usual, no help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by likwidplastik View Post
the guys at BMW North America were very helpful, and pleasant to deal with.
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      06-18-2007, 12:41 PM   #65
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crazy stuff!

i've never heard of shattering sunroofs until being on this forum too.
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      06-18-2007, 02:37 PM   #66
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gerbs - props for a great discussion and exchange of alternate opinions! I wish more people could debate without hostility (yours truly too sometimes). Yeah, it would be extreme to ditch the car, but I understand his frustration.
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