: XLR top

12-13-09, 11:35 AM
Just purchased a 2006 XLR and the Third time I operated the top it got stuck so it would not fully open or close. I spend over an hour with a great service technician who got me to close the top manually. Is this a problem with the XLR. I have 8,000 miles left on warranty. I have never purchased a warranty
except one from Mercedes that i got burned for 2 grand, but feel that buying the factory warranty would be a good idea for the particular vehicle. Any advice from other owners would be appreciated. John Colonial Beach,VA

12-13-09, 01:47 PM
Welcome to the fold John!

Yes, the top is the most problematic system in the XLR. Some vehicles never have an issue, and others are more trouble-prone. By 2006, a number of improvements were made to the folding top, so hopefully, your problem was an islolated incident.

The majority of top issues can be traced to faulty position sensors (there are three.) Properly installed and calibrated, the switches and sensors are pretty reliable, so once your top is set up, it should remain trouble-free. Good techs are hard to find, and worth their weight in gold. I always ensure the dealerships I frequent have a certified XLR tech with the proper training, or I keep looking. The XLR is the most complex car GM has ever built.

Anytime you disconnect the battery, you need to re-index the windows, or the top won't operate. The windows are lowered as the first step of the top's up/down sequence, and their lowered position is reported to the Folding Top Control module. If the windows aren't indexed, the FTC module won't know their position and aborts the operation. Pressing the Top's up/down switch after the successful operation chime sounds will raise both in Express Up mode.

There are many warranties you can buy that claim to offer bumper-to-bumper coverage, but at present, the GMPP from your dealership is the ONLY one that covers the folding top. You have to purchase it before your factory warranty expires. I opted to buy a Tech 2 and some spare switches for about the same price as an extended warranty; --because after the warranty period expires, at least I have a valuable tool I can sell. Your milage may vary, depending on your abilities/pocketbook.

Knowing how to raise and lower the top manually is one of those skills you hope you never need, but comes in handy if the situation arises.

Also, ensure the drain hole in the compartment that houses the Folding Top Control module (left/side trunk) isn't plugged. There have been several reports of accumulated water (from leaky trunk seals) in the compartment shorting out the module. It's easy to check by crawling under the car and inspecting the hose. The right compartment doesn't have a drain at all. Mine had three inches of water in it when I bought the car, so my first mod was to install a drain and have the trunk seals checked.

Hope this helps!


12-13-09, 11:59 PM
PS: If you decide to purchase a GMPP Major Guard warranty, be aware that the price is negotiable from dealer to dealer. I've attached two possible sources who have provided other XLR owners with great deals.

Capital GMC
5500 S. Laburnam Avenue
Richmond, VA 23231
Steve Dixon

Finance Manager
Watson Chevrolet
Tucson, Arizona
520 292-1500


12-14-09, 05:12 AM
CC, Thank you very much for that valuable information, by the way what is a
Tech 2? John

12-14-09, 11:19 AM
The Tech 2 is the scan tool GM techs use to peer inside your car and monitor the inter-connected systems. There is no comparison between a Tech 2 and a bargain-priced code reader. Priced at $2200-$4000, the Tech 2 not only monitors the status of just about every switch and sensor, but it's required when replacing modules, since many have to be "personalized" for the vehicle. In short, it reads and writes. A shop manual (at a minimum) is required for use with the Tech 2.

In the case of the top, anytime a switch or sesor is replaced, it's top up/down (beginning and end of travel) position must be loaded into the Folding Top Control module. This is called "re-learning", or calibrating the top. The XLR has all of it's systems connected by two serial networks, a low-speed Class 2 bus and high-speed GMLAN. GMLAN was introduced on the XLR and Saturn ION in 2004 and is the communications protocol of choice for GM, due to its speed adn bandwidth. More electronics are introduced with each passing year and the Class 2 bus was implemented way back when CPUs and cars barely knew each other. Nothing is simple anymore and DIY's are a vanishing breed. Now, when you press a window switch, multiple modules communicate the request before the window lift motor is ever energized. Of course, this all happens in micro-seconds, so it's transparent to the operator.

You won't find many after-market upgrades for the XLR simply because of it's inherent complexity. With the low volume of vehicles produced over it's lifetime, it isn't economically viable either. But hey, the car has just about anything I could ever want, so I'm happy with what I have.

The Tech 2 is being superceded by a laptop-based system, but it will around for awhile yet.


12-14-09, 11:37 AM
57, if it keeps giving you trouble come on up, unless this is your black one you dropped off earlier today. ;)

12-14-09, 05:44 PM
ewill, thank you, yes it was us who brought in the black xlr. John

12-14-09, 06:59 PM
Looks like you've already acquired one of the best techs on the planet, so your problems ought to be minimal!


12-14-09, 09:45 PM

Robert was looking at it.
He was the guy who worked with you over the weekend to get it closed.
He was my apprentice for about 2 years and is very familiar with those systems. He spoke to me briefly about it and said he wasn't having much luck getting it to stall out.
He is also going to school for 2 days. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me anything.
What year is that one? At the very least we should check it to see if it has the updated software. It is less glitchy and the specs are looser on the position sensors which eliminates some stalling issues.

The Tony Show
12-15-09, 11:14 AM
Have no fear- ewill3rd is on the case! :D

12-15-09, 01:34 PM
e-will, Thanks for helping Robert along. He was a lot of help in explaining to my grandson how to get the top manually closed. We had a Christmas Parade here last Saturday and I run a antique/classic/muscle club, I was going to carry the Mayor. My plan was to show the 10+ Corvette owners in the club
at the parade my suprise car. I have a 1957 Ford Fairlane Convertible that I usually drive and I did not think I was going to get the car fixed before the parade. Robert spent over an hour on the phone w/my grandson taking him through the process. We got the top closed and I was able to show off this
great looking car to the club guys. I got a lot of nice comments from the Vette

This is a 2006 XLR, with about 7,000 miles left on current warranty and I am shopping around for a extended warranty, Lindsay wants $4449.00 for a 3 year, 24,000, Going to check with the two other dealers CC recommended plus a Cadillac dealer in Las Vegas I used. I am not mechanically inclined so getting a Tech II would not help. Any suggestions from other XLR owners would be appreciated. John:worship::worship::confused:

12-17-09, 03:50 AM
One of the guys on another XLR forum just got a 3 yr/36,000 Major Guard warranty from Capitol (near you) for $1735. It pays to shop around.


12-17-09, 11:23 AM
Thanks again, CC. I will get in touch with Capitol very soon. I love this car it has been the chief topic in our car club. Got some vette guys want to drive it, I told them there would be a minimum fee. lol John

03-15-15, 10:57 AM
I like this forum it allows me to troubleshoot problems instead of running to the dealership. My problem was that the folding top stowage front closeout panels would rotate away the deck lid and trunk would open and then nothing would happen. I would then manually close it up, cycle it again with the same results. At this point the trunk would not open with key fob, exterior or interior trunk switch. I came to this forum for possible solutions.

First try:
Saw discussion on low hydraulic fluid and noted that my hydraulic fluid level was on the low side. Went to the Cadillac dealership bought 16 oz. bottle of hydraulic fluid for $47, and I filled the reservoir to slightly more then half with 50 mls. of fluid. I tried to deploy the top with no better result then the problem noted above. NOTE: A mild amount of hydraulic fluid is going to coat the cylinder each and every time they move. It is possible to loose fluid without having a leak. 50 mls. seven year old vehicle, owner who constantly raises and lowers the top sounds reasonable. TIP: Buy a meat injector this will allow you to remove the reservoir plug and inject the hydraulic fluid through the fill hole without dripping a drop on your interior.

Second try:
After cycling the top to the furthest position noted above, I manually pushed the folding top stowage front closeout panels a little bit further open, not too much just a bit further. I pushed the button and the top finished its deployment cycle. With the top up, I got in the trunk and below the center folding top stowage front closeout panel there is a position sensor. I noticed that it appeared to be rotated 1 degree counter-clockwise. So with my thumb and fore finger, I rotated it 1 degree clockwise back into position. This aligned obviously with the metal armature which is why I was able to notice that it appeared to be out of position. I did not tighten down the torx screw because I did not want to risk cracking the sensor. I cycled the top many times without incident. NOTE: If you have been working on your top with the car in accessory mode be sure that your battery is charged. My top initially worked in functional stages, so I took the car out for a drive, to recharge the battery, and the top worked flawlessly through several cycles, and a little more quickly with the addition of the hydraulic fluid. TIP: I placed a plastic zip tie around the metal armature and sensor to minimize movement over time which was one degree over seven years and several cycles.

I hope this helps!