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The Hard Top


Active Member
Oct 12, 2007
My XLR/V(s)
Blue '05
This is not my first convertible but it is my first with a hard-top. There are probably 2 realities; convertibles leak one way or another, and you either have mechanical or fabric problems to deal with. Probably both with a conventional top.

Yes I have had the dreaded "Top Not Secure" message... I have had a complete failure and in reality the trunk lid seems more of a problem than the top.

The original design used limit switches to move from one phase to the next of the top operation. They quickly learned that the system needed to be able to recover from many conditions and changed to positional indicators so it could understand where the top is actually located in order to make the next or resume the correct move. I don't know exactly how many there are, but they occasionally become a little loose or fail electrically. This is a fairly simple fix and sometimes a failed top operation can be resumed by either turning everything off and starting over, or by physically moving/shaking parts enough to make an electrical component change. There have also apparently been some programming changes too. Your service department can re-flash the computer with that.

Most of the times I have had top related problems, it was really the trunk lid that would refuse to un-latch or otherwise wouldn't move on its own.

I have been in for service on the top 3 or 4 times. Usually I would move the car to the driveway and wash it. When trying to move it back to the garage, I would get the "top not secure" message... when obviously I had done nothing with the top. The service manager always was amused when I told this story... that I would wash my own car. I have lots of car-care tips. Anyway, I have had several sensors replaced and the computer re-flashed. The most significant was a blocked drain in the trunk compartment... apparently where the top pump lives. They had to replace the pump that time. I still get the "secure" message from time to time, but I have never seen it when actually being IN the rain... just when I wash the car. Strange.

There apparently is some water leakage associated with the top problems. I don't think I ever owned a car that didn't have SOME water problem somewhere... but it was always more pronounced in every convertible we owned... the XLR being no exception. I don't think there is much normal leakage, but we all know what happens when you open the trunk when the car is wet.

On other forums I have seen owners go practically postal over top problems. Yes it is an expensive car and no it shouldn't really happen but I think it is not the only expensive car with similar problems... so I keep it in perspective. If you have never experienced the joy of tounue covers, road noise and security... and what about those looks?

My best advice with top problems is to work with your dealer, and more than one if the first one can't resolve things. It is a complex bit that makes the car such a stand-out. It's worth a little effort if needed.
This may be related to your problem --if enough water pressure is applied to the suspect area.

CC :wave:

Body - Water Leaks Into Trunk When Parked Uphill

Bulletin No.: 07-08-57-003
Date: August 14, 2007
Waterleak in Trunk When Parked On a Hill/Incline (Apply Adhesive Shim Stock)

2004-2008 Cadillac XLR
Some customers may comment on water in the trunk after a rain when the car was parked on a hill/incline (front wheels 102-127 mm [4-5 in] higher than the rear wheels).

This condition may be caused by a dip in the two bond joints in the trunk inner panel.
Clean the shaded area shown in the first illustration above. Apply a small amount of weatherstrip adhesive to the center of the two bond joints. Refer to the second illustration above.

Cut the Kent Automotive Adhesive Shim Stock, P/N 46475, to the dimensions shown in the illustration.

Pull back the adhesive paper protector near the notches and bond the notch together with weatherstrip adhesive.

Insert the foam at each corner. Be sure to place it against the deck lid inner, following the ridge.

Use a pair of scissors to trim off excess foam to the edge of the deck lid inner.
Verify the repair by water testing with the vehicle on an incline (front wheels 102-127 mm [4-5 in] higher than the rear wheels).

Parts Information
Adhesive Back Shim Stock can be purchased by calling 1-888-YES KENT (1-888-937-5368) or online at www.kent-automotive.com. This foam is sold in 50 foot rolls. This roll will service seven vehicles. Please return any unused portion to parts inventory for future use.
Warranty Information
Whoa! What happened to the orginal illustrations showing the slight deformation in the trunk lid? The verbiage is correct, but the illustrations are showing different unrelated issues each time I parse the thread. Weird!!!!

Whoa! What happened to the orginal illustrations showing the slight deformation in the trunk lid? The verbiage is correct, but the illustrations are showing different unrelated issues each time I parse the thread. Weird!!!!


WOW!!! I'm having the same problem.... interesting!! :confused:

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