You use the special tool that Gilly describes with the top on the car. In fact, the front latches are designed to close only if one of the tops is in place. The purpose of the tool is to allow the hard and soft tops to be operated if the elctro-hydraulic system is not functional.
If you can get a stored DTC for the problem as mentioned by Satern and Gilly that would be great. I think the only way for you to capture one is as follows. When the problem occurs, stop the car and push the top button forward to latch the top. If the lamp in the switch goes out, the top is fine and you have no code. But if you hold the button and the lamp stays on, after a moment the lamp will flash. If that happens, a fresh DTC has been stored for the problem. You can follow Satern's post and use a wire to retrieve the code and report it here for us to look-up.
If you can't get a code, I think you'll have to play with the latches as I suggested in an earlier post. You may find it necessary to go to the electrical connector like Gilly mentioned and check the switches that monitor the state of each latch. That is a bit time consuming, but it is easy. If you find yourself going that route, I can guide you with a simple procedure.
Last edited by bobterry99; 11-23-2003 at 01:12 PM.