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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 04-30-2005, 10:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I just bought my 2000 328ci last week. I've noticed that when the car sits in the rain, i get water on the floor and on the bottom have of the A-pillar. Does anyone have a solution to this. The seals seem to be fine... no cracks or tears. I need to fix this before I start to get a bad smell!!!!!
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Old 04-30-2005, 10:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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it could be the vapor barriers behind the door panels. they are like sheets of foam which protect from water leaking from behind the door panels. one way you could check is try and duplicate the leak. try spraying the door with a hose and see where the water comes out. i have found that if the vapor barrirer is gone or not installed correctly if you even pour water along the base of the window it can make the water leak from behind the door panel.

did you buy the car from a dealer/ becasue if they have worked on it before they would be able to tell if maybe anyone had the vapor barriers off for previous repairs. then you could take it back to them and have them fix it. sometimes if the dealer might replace a window regulator, which are somewhat of a common problem with BMW's, the vapor barrier can get torn or just not put back on correctly
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Old 04-30-2005, 10:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll give it try, but there is a lot of water getting in. ( puddles ) Would the vapor barrier let in that much?
Thanks!
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Old 04-30-2005, 04:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The barriers will most definitely leave puddles of water, and are very very common souces of water leaks. The other things to check would be the drains for the sunroof and obviously the front windshield itself.

Good Luck,

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Old 04-30-2005, 05:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I put the hose on the car and think I may have found the problem. The crome trim (and rain gutter) around the door has a thin strip of rubber between it and the car. Mine has started to crack and come out. Water just gets right past it and into the car. I hope this helps anyone with this problem.
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Old 05-01-2005, 12:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ghannanlt1@Apr 30 2005, 06:05 PM
I put the hose on the car and think I may have found the problem. The crome trim (and rain gutter) around the door has a thin strip of rubber between it and the car. Mine has started to crack and come out. Water just gets right past it and into the car. I hope this helps anyone with this problem.
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My car also has a major leak that puddles in the passenger footwell. I put a hose on it this morning and when I put the water on the trim that is at the base of the window it comes in by going through the door. Are there any tips/tricks to pulling the door panel? I have done it on other cars, but broken many a plastic clip.

Also, this has never been worked on, since I bought the car new. To bad my warrantee ran out on March 31st ghead
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Old 05-01-2005, 12:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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OK, I found this in the archives

http://www.openbmw.org/downloads/



Should come in handy.

Any other tips?
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I had major water leaks when I had after market speakers fitted and they damaged the foam seal. I used some bathroom silicone sealer and sealed everything in sight.

The door panels are easyish to remove. The fidly bit is the cable removal and refit on the back of the door handle. You have to pull the door quite hard once the screws are out. Pull the door from the bottom.
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I find it hard to believe that water is supposed to get in there in the first place. I pulled the door panel and it looks like some things are starting to rust in there. The window is also now making a clunking noise when it is rolled down.

I ordered a new trim strip for $20 at the dealer and hope that it stops the leaking. I guess I will reseal the foam with some the stickiest stuff I can find.

BTW, I know its very dangerous to be playing with the airbags and I have been disconnecting the battery for an hour before playing with it (plus I have long monkey arms so it is at least two feet from my head at all times). Does anyone know how to disconnect the wires to the airbag? I want to pull it and see whats going on in there with the clunking noise.

Maybe it was just late last night, but I was tugging on that connector for a long time in various ways and it did not want to come off.
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Old 05-03-2005, 02:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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As for the air bag in the door, try pulling the fuse instead. That is a pretty safe way to avoid an accidental deployment. They are located inside the glove box (up top). Instead of "sticky stuff", try using a black silicone. It is available in automotive stores and they have precision tips so you can avoid the mess.
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ghannanlt1@May 3 2005, 01:54 PM
As for the air bag in the door, try pulling the fuse instead. That is a pretty safe way to avoid an accidental deployment. They are located inside the glove box (up top). Instead of "sticky stuff", try using a black silicone. It is available in automotive stores and they have precision tips so you can avoid the mess.
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The window regulators on our car's is crap. Chances are the previous owner had at least one replaced.

When you pop off the door pannel you will see holes where the pannel snaps on. The male part of the fastener should have a foam washer on it that seals the fastener to the door. You can get water leak through there. Also, as described above, you could use butyl tape to re-seal the foam to the door; it's like windshield sealer/cement. A Hair-dryer is real handy to heat up the existing door seal to readjust the foam.
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Old 05-03-2005, 06:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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as for disconnecting the air bag. it is kinda difficult to exlplain w/o something to look at but i'll try my best.on the air bag the connector should be about a 90 degree angle of which the wires have to go to the end of the connector. on the flat part on the connector there should be a lock that you have to pry up just a little for the connector to release. you should be able to wiggle the connector out once the lock is lifted. and as for an accidental deployment. all the times i have ever taken a door air bag out i have never had any accidental dployments nor have i known anyone to have one as long as the key is off. i usually just have the key off and i have never had any problems. on the cars with the radio that turns on w/o the ignition i have had the radio on while taking the air bag out and no problem. the only thing to watch out for is when you plug it back in. if anything were to happen thats when it would. one thing that could casue any sort of problem is static electricity. i think it only takes like 1 or 3 volts to trigger an air bag and you can generate into the 10,000 of volts just through static electricity. so just be careful with that. it wouldn't hurt to discharge your body of any static before hadling the air bag. and although it is theoretically possibly it is highly unlikly
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Old 05-16-2005, 04:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You guys were right. The vapor barrier coming unglued caused the leaking. I bought some black RTV sealant and re-glued it. The leaking has stopped.

Also, you certainly do need the previously mentioned black foam washers. Once I resealed the barrier, I wanted to test for leaks before putting it all back together. Water leaked through those holes until I sealed them up by putting the panel back on and making sure that the foam washers were all there.

Thank You,
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Old 09-05-2005, 09:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by crackhead944s
I find it hard to believe that water is supposed to get in there in the first place.
Clearly the interior of the doors were designed to handle some water - as things are sealed and there is a drain at the bottom-front of the door, but the question on my mind is whether the door was designed to deal with that much water.

Given that the vapor barrier seal is about 6 inches up from the bottom of the door, I'd guess that maybe a gallon of water (maybe more) accumulates in there before you start getting spill over into the interior.

The seals appear to be intended primarily for noise reduction (the snap fasteners used to hold the door skin on use simple rubber washers as seals), and water resistance, rather than submerged water proofing. The tiny single drain hole in the door similarly suggests the designers didn't anticipate that much water accumulating in the door. (I'm tempted to pop out the plastic plug at the bottom of the door, but unfortunately it would drain water into the gap between the two sets of door seals, which might still cause flooding into the car.)

All this makes me wonder if fixing the vapor barrier seal is only a temporary band-aid, and the real problem is determining how to reduce water infiltration into the door.

The window seal appears to be in decent shape and is tight against the window, so I'm not sure how so much water gets inside, but running a hose against the window for 2 minutes is adequate to fill up the bottom of the door.

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I ordered a new trim strip for $20 at the dealer and hope that it stops the leaking.
How difficult is that to replace? Has it helped the problem?

-Tom
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Old 10-10-2005, 10:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The trim strip just pulls off (Pull up). I took the old one off, but then put it back on. I never put the new one on and it has not leaked since I resealed it.

It definately was only a small trickle coming in and it is my belief that you need those little foam washers around the clips. Like I said before, I tested it before completely putting it back together and I almost lost my mind when it leaked again after having resealed it. But once I put the panel back on and the foam washers and clips were in place it stopped the water leaking problem. It has been almost five months and I have yet to have a problem with it leaking.

Hope that helps,
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